Beauty

The best mascaras for any budget, as chosen by the Stylist beauty team

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Stylist Beauty Team
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Considering a new mascara? The Stylist beauty team reveal their favourite high end and high street buys…

When it comes to mascara one size definitely does not fit all. Some of us want volume whereas some want lengthening, and some greedy folk want both. Here the Stylist Beauty Team reveal their favourite lash enhancers.

High End 

I’ve tried a lot of mascaras and there are only a couple that I’ve loved enough to make room for in my make-up bag. Chanel’s Le Volume Ultra-Noir is one of them – I’m on my 8th tube. The formula is just that right side of thick and creamy with a slightly tacky consistency. One coat makes my lashes look longer and fuller. Two coats and you’d swear I was wearing false lashes eyeliner – the colour is so intense it looks like I’ve used a kohl pencil along the lid. It’s undeniably the best mascara for anyone with dark hair – it’s super dramatic.

Anita Bhagwandas, beauty director 

I never used to be about that expensive mascara life – why spend a fortune when you get one that does the same job for half the price? Then I tried this and it’s fast become my holy grail. Blacker than black, it adds serious volume and thicken lashes, the formula isn’t too wet (is there anything worse than a mascara that’s too wet?) or too dry and, most importantly, it lasts. It doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day but equally doesn’t require much effort to get it off each night. Ideal.

Lucy Partington, beauty editor 

I’m a sucker for cute retro packaging and Benefit’s hair roller-inspired tube makes me want to wave it around for everyone on my morning bus commute to see. Besides that, the mascara itself is beyond amazing. I always go for the brown shade for understated impact (ideal for ‘no make-up’ make-up), and the plastic bristles really fan out your lashes. Despite not being waterproof, it doesn’t transfer onto my under eye area at all. 

Ava Welsing-Kitcher, junior beauty writer 

I’m lucky to have quite long lashes anyway, but whenever I wear mascara, they tend to sweep my eyebrows and leave behind unsightly black marks – not this one, though. The formula isn’t too ‘wet’, so a single swipe is enough to lend lashes impressive volume. I choose the waterproof version over the original every time because it doesn’t smudge or flake and thanks to the added collagen it doesn’t leave lashes feeling crispy or dry. 

Jacqueline Killkita, Stylist beauty contributor

High Street

This is my go-to daytime formula as it makes lashes look longer and thicker but not too ‘done’. It’s like I’ve been genetically blessed rather than noticeably lacquered up with mascara. It contains L’Oreal’s trademarked Ceramide R and emollient Panthenol, so my lashes always feel super soft after wearing it rather than crispy and dry . A simple eye make-up remover or oil cleanser works to take it off and doesn’t smudge or flake. It’s a true high street hero. 

Anita Bhagwandas, beauty director 

If you’ve asked me to recommend mascara in the last two years, I’ve probably told you to buy this one. Seriously, it’s amazing. The curved plastic brush might look a bit weird, but trust me here. It gets right to the root and gives serious length without much effort, and it easily separates for that coveted, fanned-out, false-lash look. The formula isn’t too wet and it doesn’t make lashes crispy like some cheaper mascaras can. For just over a tenner you can’t go wrong. 

Lucy Partington, beauty editor 

My mascara collection used to be exclusively high street and Rocket Volum’ definitely reigned supreme. I love a plastic brush for the longest fluttery lashes, and this one has practically a hundred tiny bristles that actually comb through each eyelash. I always sweep the brush on top of my lashes for extra impact but end up with clumpy tips if the mascara isn’t up to scratch – but this one deposits just enough of the formula. Oh, and it washes away with just water. It’s basically perfection in mascara form.  

Ava Welsing-Kitcher, junior beauty writer 

Granted, the angled brush may look a little weird, but the bristles really cleverly capture, separate and curl each individual lash - even the teeny tiny ones in the corners. The result is Insta-worthy, amplified lashes sans any clumpy bits. It never melts onto my cheeks and a single tube lasts me for ages – pretty great for a mere £3.30.  

Jacqueline Killkita, Stylist beauty contributor

Main Image: Getty