The 9 Best Mascaras of 2021

There’s no doubt about it: mascara is one of the most popular makeup products on the planet! Whether you're searching for a fresh formula or simply on the hunt for something new, we’ve got the mascara you’ll want to try next.

Best Mascaras - Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara - woman looking down as she applies mascara -1080 x 771Best Mascaras - Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara - woman looking down as she applies mascara -1080 x 771

What’s your favourite, just-can’t-live-without-it beauty product? If it’s mascara, you’re certainly not alone. Since the 1930s, mascara has been a makeup-bag staple for women across the globe.

Initially adored by Hollywood icons, the look of long, luscious lushes soon caught the eye of all makeup lovers, becoming a quick, glamorous fix for beautiful faces far and wide.

Of course, things have moved on a bit since then. Nowadays, the best mascara comes in all shapes, sizes, and formulas. Whether you’re hoping to lengthen short, stubby lashes or create more volume with a fibre lash mascara, you can pick and choose from a slew of modern formulas.

But what makes a mascara really, really good? Whether you want something that stays put from dusk till dawn with no touch-ups, or a mascara for eyelash extensions, you can achieve the eyelash look of your dreams.

We’ve found 9 of the very best mascaras for 2021 and listed them below for you to explore. Plus, we’ve answered all your need-to-know mascara questions!

How to apply mascara?

If you’re struggling to apply mascara, you aren’t the first person to do so. While it may seem like a simple task, in reality, achieving fluttery, full lashes takes practice and a bit of dedication. And what about preventing smudges? Hands up if you spend minutes of your precious morning dabbing and rubbing away mascara accidents from under your eyes!

Whether you’re a makeup newbie or need just a few expert tips, follow these simple rules to get your lashes looking super-lovely.

Top tip 1: Always wipe your wand. (Your mascara wand, that is!)

When using mascara, it’s essential to consider how you take the wand from the tube. If there’s too much wet formula on the wand, it will over-coat your lashes, leaving them looking clumpy and limp. Simply smooth and scrape any excess formula against the rim of the tube before you start applying mascara.

Top tip 2: Zig-zag the wand.

Wiggling the wand from the base of your lashes all the way to the tips helps coat the lashes evenly. Start with the upper lashes and then move on to the lower ones.

Top tip 3: Use a light hand.

To prevent clumps and the dreaded ‘spider-leg lashes’, use a gentle hand and a light touch when you apply the product. Don’t let the formula dry down too much before you add another coat. And don’t overdo it: less is more!

Top tip 4: Clean away smudges.

Even the world's No. 1 mascara-applying expert (is there such a thing?!) will make mistakes. Smudges happen! Instead of immediately swiping away the mascara from your skin, wait until the product dries. Trying to wipe away any wet product will make the smudge worse. Use a (sustainable or reusable) cotton bud to flick the dry mascara from your skin—it’s so much easier to do!

What is the kind of Best Mascara?

Whether you're looking for the best mascaras for length and volume or the best vegan mascara, we’ve combed the reviews and found some of the best mascaras that 2021 has to offer.

Whether you’re looking to up your lash game with a more dramatic look or you’re simply looking for a replacement formula, try some out and play around. After all, makeup should be fun!

Clean beauty has accelerated in popularity over the past few years. And it's easy to see why! The more we know about the ingredients we’re applying to our skin, the better we look and feel. Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara was recently named the ‘best natural mascara’ by Cosmopolitan magazine—impressive! A vegan mascara that boosts lengths, adds volume, and increases the lifespan of your lashes, this formula is as pure as it is effective. Loved by many, the luxurious, satiny-smooth product softly coats each lash and offers an impressive panoramic effect.

A certified-vegan formula that’s also cruelty-free and halal, this Inika mascara gives even short, stubby lashes a gorgeous, clump-free finish. Free from harsh ingredients, this conditioning formula works to improve the overall health of your lashes by delivering nutrients where they’re needed most. Mineral pigments keep the colour dense and even. And the long-lasting formula keeps going strong from morning to night.

Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara contains a nourishing blend of ingredients that keep your lashes perfectly strong, long, and healthy. Vitamin E enriches your lashes and keeps them feeling soft and conditioned. It’s also widely reported that Vitamin E helps naturally thicken the lashes too. Galactoarabinan is a plant collagen and hydrating antioxidant that bolsters brittle lashes. Magnolia Bark Extract and Sunflower Seed Oil work together to lengthen and strengthen your lashes so you can feel proud of your soft, full flutter.

If you love the look of long lashes but haven’t got the time or patience for eyelash extensions, you might want to get your hands on L’Oreal Paris False Lash X Fiber Waterproof Mascara. Crafted to lengthen lashes with a coat of fibres, this multipurpose product features 2 formulas in 1 wand. The fibre mascara creates a false lash effect, and the protective topcoat locks everything in place. For a full-on dramatic effect that’s easy to achieve, first apply a coat of the fibres to each lash. Then top with a lengthening coat of the traditional mascara formula.

As much as you love false lashes, there’s something so high-maintenance about the whole process, from the glue to the upkeep. A faux flutter is great for a night out. But if you want longer lashes every day, you might want to try this unique blend. Offering 2 formulas in 1, this dual-ended mascara is easy to use and easy to remove. The no-fuss formula volumises and lengthens your lashes, lasting as long as you need it to. A great affordable makeup product, this mascara is sure to deliver ravishing results.

Working to create a false-lash look without the fuss of applying false lashes, L'Oreal Paris False Lash X Fiber Waterproof Mascara - Black offers versatility. For lashes in a flash, just use the long-lasting Black colour. If you have more time, prep your lashes with the fibre formula before applying the lengthening mascara. Either way, you can achieve the lash look of your dreams with this solution. The water-resistant topcoat delivers extreme volume. At the end of your day, you can easily remove the formula with makeup remover and a pad. For even more volume, instead of combing the fibres through your lashes, press them down onto the lashes instead.

When it comes to mascara, sometimes, you just want minimum fuss and a reliable product. Eye of Horus Bio Lash Lift Mascara lets you nail the no-makeup makeup look in no time. This unique mascara works to strengthen your lashes and help them grow. The wand features a double-sided comb that won’t leave clumps on your lashes. If you’re looking for longer-looking, lifted lashes, this mascara is the perfect formula for day and night. You can coat your lashes with confidence when you pick this cruelty-free and vegan formula.

If you crave dramatic lashes but hate the chemical ingredients that often accompany the look, you’ll love this unique, organic formula. This luxurious, Italian-made mascara is 98% organic and features a nourishing blend of natural ingredients. Crafted to help your lashes grow strong and long, the formula applies with a high-tech comb that lifts your lashes and gives you a more dramatic look.

Eye Of Horus Bio Lash Lift Mascara works to add length so your lashes flutter with fullness. A creamy formula that keeps your lashes soft and nourished, this mascara has been enriched with marine botanicals that add length but not unsightly clumps. The ergonomic brush ensures maximum length, and the high-quality nutrients deliver moisture and strengthen the lashes. Castor Oil moisturises lashes, and Oarwood strengthens them and helps stimulate growth. Galactoarabinan prevents brittle lashes from breaking. Simply comb the formula through, let dry, and go. Keep the mascara out of direct sunlight to ensure it stays in the best possible condition.

There’s something so simply stunning about just a splash of classic black mascara. Guaranteed to give your eyes a vibrant, wide-awake look, a nourishing, long-lasting mascara is a must for everybeauty. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a beloved formula that curls, lengthens, and defines lashes without smudging as the day wears on. You’ll love pulling the cool-looking chrome tube from your bag, and you only need a quick lick of the formula to make all the difference. A perfect, buildable formula that doesn't dry out quickly, this mascara is one you can wear for years to come.

A good mascara will never let you down. This buildable formula can take your look from boardroom to bar in just a quick bathroom trip! Apply as many coats as you need to achieve the dramatic look you crave. You’ll never have to worry about spider-leg lashes or common-looking clumps. This waterproof, smudgeproof mascara is long-lasting and offers supreme separation.

If you’re looking for a mascara that will lengthen lashes without clumps, you’ll love classic Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara - Black. Beautifully packaged, the mascara features a patented brush that thoroughly coats each lash with the lengthening formula. Easy to apply from roots to tips, this mascara should be allowed to dry before you apply a second (or third) coat. Remove with makeup remover at the end of your day to wake up bright-eyed in the morning.

A chunky brush on a mascara wand often means you’ll achieve great lengths fast. Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara doesn’t disappoint. Designed to take little lashes to bold, new lengths, this deeply coloured mascara will help you get the lash look you crave, quickly. Sulphate-free and free from artificial fragrances, this formula is ophthalmologist-tested and allergy tested, so even sensitive eyes will feel the nourishing benefits. Designed to seriously plump up skinny lashes, a coat or two of this formula will make you feel more confident than ever.

Even if you're having a minimal-makeup, joggers-at-home kind of day, you can still look young and perky with just a lick or two of your favourite mascara. Designed to give you a doe-eyed, much-lusted-after look, Chubby Lash mascara is easy to apply and easy to remove. A big brush is a great way to coat each lash, creating a full, voluminous look that lasts as long as you want it to.

If you’re craving a full, dark, dramatic mascara look, you’ll love Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara - 01 Jumbo Jet. The chubby brush coats each lash perfectly, and the rich colour builds up easily. Whether you apply one coat or two (or maybe even three!), your lashes will take well to this formula, giving you a look you’ll love to flaunt. Apply the formula as close to the lash line as possible, and wiggle the brush the entire length of your lashes. Repeat as desired to build volume and drama.

If you’re looking for a rich, black mascara that will open your eyes and give you a sultry everyday look, you'll love Blinc Mascara Amplified. A cult favourite that everyone loves to rave about, this mascara is as loved by beauty editors as it is by consumers. Working to boost flat, straight, limp lashes, the mascara uses tubing technology to lift your look. Instead of coating each lash with product, this formula actually wraps around each lash, forming small ‘tubes’ that strengthen the lashes.

Is there anything more annoying than mascara that smudges easily? Seriously: you spend all morning getting ready, and then in one swift move, you ruin everything with a smudge and a splodge. Blinc Mascara Amplified leaves minimal smudges—phew! Working to strengthen each lash, this product helps prevent breakage, even during the removal process. There’s no need to scrub at your eyes at the end of the day; this formula wears well yet slides off the lashes with minimal effort.

If you have brittle, short lashes, you’ll love the way Blinc Mascara Amplified strengthens and lengthens them. Acrylates Copolymer is the key to the ‘tubing’ effect. Beeswax and Carnauba Wax help the lashes maintain their shape and resist breakage. Perfect for all ages, genders, and skin types, this mascara is easy to use and a cinch to remove. If you're frustrated with flaky mascara that smudges easily, you should give this formula a try.

If you lurrrve the look of big, bold lashes, you’re gonna fall head over heels for the iconic Benefit BADGal Bang Volumising Mascara. Made to create massive lashes that scream volume, this formula won’t weigh lashes down or leave you with clumps. Plus, if you’re on the hunt for a formula that just won’t budge, this one stays on your lashes for an incredible 36 hours—or for as long as you need it to. Buildable for intense impact, this powerful, volumising mascara offers a gravity-defying effect with aero-particles. Derived from space technology, aero-particles are one of the lightest materials known to humankind.

If you love trying new things, you’ll adore the dramatic effect that this mascara offers. The innovative formula coats lashes with an intense Black colour, which helps you make a lasting impression. The unique brush has been carefully crafted to coat each lash from root to tip. Water-resistant (rather than completely waterproof), this mascara stays in place should you get caught in the rain.

If you want to create a dramatic look with minimum effort, give Benefit BADGal Bang Volumising Mascara a whirl. Working to lift and curl each lash, this formula contains Provitamin B5, which is known to offer thickness and strength to weak lashes. Made to create volume that lasts long into the night, this mascara is easy to apply and easy to remove. Simply brush the formula from the roots of your lash upwards to see instant volume you'll love to show off.

Those beauty insiders sure know what they’re talking about! Highly reviewed and highly favoured, Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara is always listed among the most popular mascaras. If it’s lovely, long, luscious lashes that you're craving, this mascara will help you reach your goal in just a few swipes. With a formula that’s stood the test of time, Goddess Mascara is rich with wax and oils, so your lashes stay in the best condition.

When you’re wearing mascara every day, you want to make sure you’re treating your lashes in the best possible way with the most nourishing formula. This mascara strengthens and lengthens lashes as it curls, adding dramatic volume and length. Even short, stubby lashes will look amazing with this luxury mascara.

Recipient of the 2020 Beauty Shortlist Award, Eye Of Horus Goddess Mascara has made a massive impression on the beauty industry. A favourite amongst makeup artists and insiders alike, this rich mascara, with its carefully designed brush, creates a sultry look worthy of a goddess—or at least Cleopatra! Drying down instantly, the formula makes smudges a thing of the past. The jet-black pigment creates an intense black colour, and the hourglass-shaped brush ensures each lash is coated perfectly. Made with Moringa Oil, Beeswax, and Rice Bran, this delightful mascara keeps your lashes in the best condition.

Waterproof mascara is pretty impressive stuff. It stays on even when you’re in the ocean, getting caught in the rain, or sweating in spin class. The only time a waterproof mascara may let you down is when you need to remove it. M.A.C COSMETICS Extended Play Giga Black Lash mascara is a waterproof formula that washes away easily. That’s right: you don’t need to scrub your eyes and to remove this waterproof formula! Mind. Blown. Lightweight yet long-lasting, this mascara defines each lash and adds length with a simple, petite brush.

You don’t need to use a bold, beefy brush to coat each eyelash. The little brush that comes with this mascara helps you reach even the tiniest of lashes. Loved by many, this formula is humidity-resistant, water-resistant, and sweat-resistant—the perfect formula to wear come rain or shine. The lightweight, buildable formula won’t clump up on your lashes, and the intense Black colour leaves a lasting impression.

M.A.C COSMETICS Extended Play Giga Black Lash mascara works to lengthen, lift, and define each lash. Yet it removes easily with warm water, so you don’t have to scrub your makeup away in a harsh fashion. Safe for contact wearers, this long-lasting formula will stay on your lashes for up to 16 hours. The innovative Thermal Technology ensures the product is easy to remove, and the slim brush defines even the tiniest lash. What more could you want from mascara?!

How often should you change your mascara?

When you really love your mascara, you probably want to keep it in your makeup bag as long as possible. As tempting as that is, especially when you’ve invested in a luxe formula, it’s no good for the health of your eyes. Even the best tubing mascara needs replacing every now and then! To prevent an eye infection related to mascara (yep, that’s a real thing), which is a breeding ground for bacteria and dust, you need to replace your product every 2 to 4 months. Buying a new mascara every 3 months seems pretty reasonable—especially if you’re using it every day.

How to get waterproof mascara off?

Whether you’re splashing in a pool, making waves in the ocean, or simply after a look that lasts through rain, sweat, and tears, the best waterproof mascara won’t let you down. The perfect product to keep your look tight while you carry on having fun, waterproof mascara is often a great option … until you want to remove it.

Notorious for clinging stubbornly to lashes, waterproof mascara can cause eye irritation at the end of a long day if you can’t get it off properly. To ensure your eyes stay clean and comfortable until the next day, pick up a dedicated waterproof mascara-removing product like La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover. Crafted to soothe sensitive eyes as it swipes away any lingering product, this mascara remover won’t leave your eyes feeling irritated after use.

Can you put mascara on eyelash extensions?

If you've extended your love of long, voluptuous lashes to full-on eyelash extensions, we know you mean business! While eyelash extensions are usually negatively affected by mascara (it can weigh them down), it all depends on the type of extensions you’re wearing.

If you want to extend your look further or perhaps deepen the shade of your lashes for a more dramatic effect, check with your technician first. They’ll be able to properly inform you and let you know what mascara works best with your extensions. Mirenesse Cougar Mascara Comb on 24hr Liquid Lashes Black Velvet 10g is a great option to consider. This mineral oil-free formula doesn’t weigh the lashes down and is easily removed with warm water rather than extension-destroying oil.

If you want longer lashes but can’t be bothered with extensions, you could always give your natural lashes a helping hand with an eyelash growth serum.

How to remove mascara?

Rather than scrubbing away at your eyes, causing irritation and redness, gently remove mascara with an oil-based product and a downward motion. Any good eye makeup remover will get the job done so you won’t have to sport panda eyes the next day.

Use a gentle cotton pad for the softest approach; pick up reusable bamboo versions if you’d rather take a sustainable approach. Avoid getting harsh soaps and chemicals in your eyes. Instead, reach for a product like Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 250ml or SkinCeuticals Simply Clean. Either will wash away makeup, get your skin fresh and clean, and keep your precious lashes in tip-top condition too!

Can I put mascara on after lash lift?

Absolutely! If you’ve had your lashes lifted and curled, you can still use mascara to give your look more drama. Mascara is such a great way to pull your look together; why would you want to give it up?!

Some lash lift technicians don’t recommend applying mascara straight after your treatment. And some may tell you to completely avoid waterproof products. If you’ve had a lash lift, always check with your salon first before applying any product to your eyes.

Does mascara come off when you sweat?

Whether you want your mascara to last through a hot, sunny day or a workout, keeping mascara from sweating off can be a bit of an issue. Of course, some formulas cling more to the lashes than others, so it’s good to look for something that’s been designed not to budge.

Priming your lashes before the sweat onslaught will help keep your look pulled together. You could also try a waterproof mascara if you definitely don’t want things to budge. An oil-based mascara is less likely to sweat or rub off, but mostly, your result comes down to personal preference and trial and error. We’ve curated some of our most-loved, highly rated mascaras and listed them below for you.

How long does mascara last opened?

Honestly, you want to toss your mascara out and pick up a new one before the 4-month mark passes. Once you’ve opened a tube, your mascara is susceptible to dust, dirt, and dreaded bacteria. Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so it’s important you keep your eye products in pristine condition. If you keep a mascara for months and months (yes, we’ve all done it), you could be constantly transferring bacteria from your eyes to your tube and then back to your eyes again. Kinda gross, huh? The upside of frequent replacements is that you get to try a new mascara every few months, guilt-free!

How to get really long eyelashes with mascara?

Even if you love the no-makeup makeup look, a natural mascara will take your lashes to the next level. Mascara can work wonders for your confidence—there’s no doubt about it. To get really long lashes with mascara, you need to find a formula that works for you. Luckily, there are tons on the market to pick from, from mascara for sensitive eyes to clear mascara with a barely-there touch.

To get really long lashes, you simply need a good product and a reliable technique. Keep your lashes in the best possible health by gently removing makeup after wear. Try not to scrub your eyes or make them sore or irritated.

Mascara is just one of those products that will never go out of style. But with so many on offer, it can be hard to choose the formula (and brush) that’s right for you. From waterproof mascaras to mascara for sensitive eyes, you'll feel confident enough to flutter your lashes when you pick any one of the above formulas.

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

This article has been updated on 12/02 to replace discontinued products with our recent product recommendations. Brooklyn from our Customer Service team has helped to bring you our most recommended products and up-to-date information.

Let’s Round Up The 9 Best Mascaras Of 2021:

  1. Inika Long Lash Vegan Mascara

  2. L'Oreal Paris False Lash X Fiber Waterproof Mascara - Black

  3. Eye Of Horus Bio Lash Lift Mascara

  4. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara - Black

  5. Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara - 01 Jumbo Jet

  6. Blinc Mascara Amplified

  7. Benefit BADGal Bang Volumising Mascara

  8. Eye Of Horus Goddess Mascara

  9. M.A.C COSMETICS Extended Play Giga Black Lash

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