Call it a #humblebrag, but I've tried almost every mascara this beauty industry has to offer—it's a perk of the beauty editor job. That means I have seen it all, from mascara formulas that clump at the mere sight of an eyelash to wands that barely have the power to comb lashes, let alone scaffold them. The conclusion I always come back to? Drugstore mascaras are simply the best. Yes, I may have the world's fanciest wands and most high-tech formulas at my disposal, but I would never use a mascara that costs north of £15. Keep scrolling to find out why.
Of course, there are plenty of products I'd recommend you invest a little more money in (it's these ones here, in case you were wondering). But when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, it's simply the perfect marriage of hefty wand and smooth, glossy formula that makes a mascara great—and the high street has managed to hit that sweet spot hundreds of times over. Whether you're after curl, volume, separation, length or colour (or, like me, the whole lot), you really don't have to spend a lot to get the lashes of your dreams.
Keep scrolling to discover the 6 best affordable mascaras that prove my theory.
If longer lashes are your goal, then this mascara is for you. The tightly packed bristle brush grips each hair, extending and coating each one for lashes that appear longer and separated (no clumping here).
This mascara will bolster flimsy lashes like no other, without causing unsightly clumps. Plus, the finish is far glossier than most.
It look odd, but the prickly ball on the end of this mascara wand helps you reach those tricky tiny hairs near the tear duct.
Ever find that your lashes that looked great when you left the house, have fallen flat by lunchtime? This clever formulation contains a setting wax (similar to the hair product) that acts like a scaffolding around lashes, keeping them upright all day.
This mascara proves that not all makeup technology is saved for the pricier brands. Solving that endless problem of a mascara that dries out just a little too soon for your liking, inside the tube of this one lies a ball bearing that remixes the formula when you shake it to make it just as smooth as when you first bought it. Genius.
If super-straight lashes are your issue, look for a curved wand. This one by Bourjois is the best I've tried for really pulling lashes into a curl and keeping them there.
Next up, these drugstore foundations rival even the most high-tech luxury alternatives.