7 Expert Tips For Finding The Best Mascara For Your Eyelash Type

Find your dream formula.

The best mascara for your eyelash type depends on the formula and the mascara brush.
Roy JAMES Shakespeare/Photodisc/Getty Images

Some eyelashes are naturally long; others are short, sparse, or jut straight out. Whatever your natural eyelashes look like, to get that voluminous curl, you have to match your lash type with the right mascara.

“When choosing a mascara, it is important to consider your own lash type and needs,” says Naseeha Khan, professional makeup artist and product development lead and co-founder of CTZN Cosmetics. “Whether you want a lengthened, fuller, or curled look — this information will help you decide what type of formula and brush type you should be shopping for.”

First, look at your eyelashes in the mirror and think about what you want from a mascara. “You want to think about the payoff,” adds celebrity makeup artist Meredith Baraf. “How do you want your lashes? Thick? Spiky? Long? Feathery? Start here. Then assess how you would describe your own natural lash. Combining those two ideas should lead you to the type of mascara you’d want to focus in on.”

If that still feels a little intimidating to you (too many options can be overwhelming), Baraf, Khan, and other makeup artist experts break down how to find the best mascara for your eyelash type. From the type of formulas you should look for to the kind of mascara brush would be most beneficial to your needs, this is your ultimate guide to finding the right fit for you. See all their sage advice (and product recs) below.

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Short Eyelashes

The Magic Extension 5MM Fibre Mascara has fibers that give you that false lash look,” says M.A.C. Cosmetics Senior National Artist Gisel Calvillo. “The brush and formula allow you to build the lash so each one is thickened, lengthened, and curled.”


Straight Eyelashes That Don't Curl

“For those with straight lashes that don’t curl, I would recommend going for a mascara with a curved brush and long-lasting formula,” says Khan. “Make sure to use an eyelash curler beforehand to lift your lashes even more.”

This one from e.l.f. cosmetics is a game-changer. The hourglass-shaped brush provides eyelashes with a major lift and its jojoba wax holds a curl for hours.


Long Eyelashes

“Anything goes if you have long lashes,” says Baraf. “You get to choose based on payoff. If you want to go Twiggy style, grab a thickening mascara and go to town. If you want a softer more natural look choose a mascara with a smaller brush and non-clumping claims.”

Khan agrees. “If your eyelashes are already long and you just need a subtle lift, the Tarte Sea Surfer Curl Mascara is great for everyday lashes. The tiny bristles and slightly curved brush give you complete control over how much product you apply.”


Sensitive Eyes

“For sensitive eyes, you want to look for products with claims like hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist tested, fragrance-free, and allergy-tested,” says Baraf. “Using a tubing mascara is another good option as it ensures that flakes won’t get in your eyes.”

ILIA’s mascara also has hourglass-shaped brush to give you buildable volume with no flaking or smudging. The super lightweight formula is made with ingredients like glycerin and provitamin B5 to nourish lashes, while being gentle enough to not irritate the sensitive eye area.


Thin Eyelashes

“Thin lashes love a volume-building mascara formula,” says Megan Curtin, lead makeup artist and head of education at Cover FX. “Look for one with a good wax base, as the wax is what will give the body and texture to build volume. [Also] make sure the brush is up to the task of separating the lashes, otherwise, you’ll end up with clumpy spider lashes. The [Cover FX] Power Flex Mascara has a blend of vegan waxes that builds volume beautifully and has both a traditional fiber brush and two rows of silicone combs to ensure perfectly fanned out and separated lashes.”


Damaged Eyelashes

“If you have damaged lashes, I would recommend a mascara with clean and nourishing ingredients to strengthen your lashes with each use,” says Khan. “One of the best for this is the Lawless The One & Done Volumizing Mascara. It is formulated with lacquer tree and rice bran waxes to give your lashes a lift, as well as castor and argan [oils] to soften and help them grow.”


Lower Eyelashes

“Using a tubing mascara is my favorite choice for bottom lashes,” says Baraf. “This fully avoids the issue of mascara transferring under the eye or flaking.”

“For your lower lashes, I would recommend looking for a mascara with a smaller and more precise brush,” adds Kahn. “I have been super into the Kevyn Aucoin Indecent Mascara, which features a unique cone-shaped bristle and pointed tip that is perfect for defining hard-to-reach areas and the lower lashes for a flawless look.”