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7 top-rated mascaras for lengthening and volumising your lashes

The most popular mascaras right now, tried and tested by the HELLO! Shopping Team

split image eye and two mascaras
Sophie Bates
Commerce Writer
10 April 2024
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No makeup look is complete without a touch of mascara, which is why for many, it's the beauty product they simply can't live without. Whether you prefer a dramatic false-lash look or a subtle tint, the lash-lengthening beauty buy is arguably the most transformative step in any makeup routine, elevating your lashes with length and colour every time.  

There are thousands of mascaras to choose from, so how do you find the right one for you? The HELLO! Shopping Team has tried and tested some of the top-rated options around, to determine the best mascara for every need, from value for money to volumising, lengthening, and more. 

Best mascaras - at a glance

What are the different types of mascara?

To determine which mascara is best for you, the first step is to define what it is you want to focus on. If your lashes are short you may want to opt for a lengthening mascara, and if you want to make your eyes pop, a volumising option may be your best bet. Waterproof mascaras are also a popular choice for keeping your makeup intact all day, and tubing mascaras have also risen in popularity in recent years, creating a tube effect on each individual lash that's lifting and easy to remove. 

Which colour mascara should I use?

When it comes to colours, black mascara is of course at the forefront, while the 'clean girl' aesthetic trend saw the rise of brown mascara, providing a more natural finish, particularly for those with lighter features. Blue and white mascara have had a moment too, and they're choices to consider for an eye-catching makeup look. 

How I chose

  • Personal reviews: All of the mascaras included have been tried and tested by myself or members of the HELLO! Shopping Team, and I've only chosen products that we truly love. 
  • Variety: Whether it's a waterproof mascara you're after or a lengthening option to create a false-lash effect, every mascara has a focus point, so there should be something to suit every need.
  • Price: A great beauty product doesn't need to break the bank, which is why I've selected mascaras with a mix of price points, ranging from affordable to luxury. 
  1. 1/7

    Lancôme Lash Idôle Mascara

    lancome mascara

    Good for Definiton: Lancôme Lash Idôle Mascara

    Shades: Black

    Waterproof: No, but you can buy the Lancôme Lash Idôle Waterpoof Mascara

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "The Lancome mascara is without a doubt my favourite. I often get black smudges around my eyes throughout the day from my mascara, and this is the first one I've found that stays completely put. The wand is curved, which took a little getting used to, but the effect is so worth it. The mascara provides so much length and it never gives me that clumpy effect. I've also tried the waterproof version and it really does not budge."

    Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer 

    The Lancôme Lash Idôle mascara features a curved wand with 250 different bristle sizes and 360 micro-bristles to create a voluminous effect. The gel emulsion formula minimalises clumps, for a fanned-out finish that lasts for up to 24 hours. 

  2. 2/7

    Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

    maybelline lash sensation mascara

    Good for Volume: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

    Shades: Three shades of black 

    Waterproof: No, but you can buy the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara 

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "This Maybelline mascara is just as good as the luxury faves I've tried. In fact, it's the only mascara in my beauty bag right now. It doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes, and slicks on so well - it feels like it's nourishing my lashes at the same time it's giving me amazing volume and length. And I can recommend the waterproof version too - it's what I use to get me through summer and my beach holidays without a smudge."

    Karen Silas, Senior Lifestyle Editor 

    Maybelline's Lash Sensational mascara is a cult favourite in the beauty world – and even Meghan Markle swears by the affordable buy. The curved silicone brush has six different size bristles for maximum volume, working to give a fan effect without smudging, while the low wax formula gives an intense colour without clumping the lashes together.

  3. 3/7

    L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara

    telescopoic mascara

    Good for Lengthening: L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara

    Shades: Black or Extra Black 

    Waterproof: No

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "The L'Oreal Telescopic mascara is my go-to when I want to achieve long lashes that still feel natural. The flexible wand elongates the lashes for a false-lash effect without the drama, and I can apply several coats without clumping. The thin brush is also super easy to use, and I find that it gives me a precise application every time."

    Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer 

    Designed to give a precise application, L'Oreal's Telescopic mascara has a flat multi-comb made up of subtle bristles to stretch the formula through the root to the end of the lashes. The buildable formula provides an elongated effect without clumping – and Zara Tindall is known to be a fan of the lengthening mascara.

  4. 4/7

    Benefit BADGal Bang Waterproof Mascara

    badgal waterproof mascara

    Good for Versatility: Benefit BADGal Bang Waterproof Mascara

    Shades: Black

    Waterproof: Yes 

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "I've tried several of Benefit's mascaras, but this one takes the top spot for me. The thin brush is easy to control, and I genuinely feel like I'm wearing falsies when I use this after my lash curler. It's my go-to on holiday as I can dip in and out of the pool without any smudging, and it can be layered to create a more dramatic lash for the evening."

    Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer 

    Benefit's BADgal mascara contains aero-particles that create the appearance of longer, fuller lashes. The waterproof formula will stay intact without smudging for long-lasting wear, while the slimpact brush separates each last for a defined and voluminous finish.

  5. 5/7

    Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara

    pat mcgrath mascara

    Good for Volume: Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara

    Shades: Black

    Waterproof: No

    HELLO! Tried & Tested 

    "Pat McGrath is an icon in the beauty world, and rightly so. Her makeup line Pat McGrath Labs is so excellent, but there's one product I reach for time and time again and that's the Dark Star Mascara. If you like dramatic lashes, and if you like clump-free application, you'll love this wand. The volumising formula clings to every individual lash, and the result is next-level. I don't wear my Pat McGrath Labs mascara to work - it's too good - I always save it for nights out, or for special occasions."

    Leanne Bayley, Director of Lifestyle & Commerce

    Created with one of the world's top makeup artists, it's no surprise that the Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara is one of the top-rated choices. The dramatic black formula works to lift and volumise lashes with a weightless coat that lasts all day. 

  6. 6/7

    Chanel Le Volume Ultra-Noir De Chanel Mascara

    chanel mascara

    Good for a False Lash Effect: Chanel Le Volume Ultra-Noir De Chanel Mascara

    Shades: Black, Brown, Blue 

    Waterproof: No

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "Chanel's mascara is the one I get compliments on - I've even been asked if I'm wearing falsies when I'm wearing it. It's brilliant at lengthening and volumising, and I like the 'ultra-noir' shade for ultra-black. The full brush really does seem to catch every lash, and you can amp up the drama the more you apply. It's never flaked on me, apart from if I rub my eyes, and it lasts, sometimes even if I've removed it (make sure you use a specific eye makeup remover, as otherwise, you won't get it off). Any other mascara I use falls short compared to this!"

    Carla Challis, Commerce Partnerships Editor

    The Le Volume De Chanel mascara has a unique brush developed exclusively for the brand, which uses its stacked disks to sculpt volume and is elevated by the quick-drying fluid formula. The dramatic appearance makes it a great day-to-night staple, and the high-end mascara also comes in a brown shade for a more natural finish. 

  7. 7/7

    Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

    merit clean lash mascara

    Good for Natural Lashes: Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

    Shades: Black

    Waterproof: No

    HELLO! Tried & Tested

    "I never thought I'd be a natural-looking lashes kind of girl but here we are. My most reached for mascara these days is Merit's Clean Lash. The tubing mascara is perfect for everyday as it gives length, lift and colour without any hint of clumping or smudging. The best bit? It's an absolute dream to take off at the end of the day. Special mention goes to Benefit's They're Real for when I want a more false lash effect."

    Hollie Brotherton, Lifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer 

    Tubing mascara has become a popular choice in the beauty industry. Made up of a formula of polymers, a tubing mascara wraps around each individual lash, rather than coating layers onto the lashes. Merit's version uses tubing technology to lift and separate lashes for a lengthened appearance, whilst keeping smudging to an absolute minimum. The mascara is easy to remove, and is infused with vitamin B5 to add shine.

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