See which new mascaras impressed us the most
Want longer and fuller looking lashes without having to put on some falsies before a night out? We’d do anything to avoid the faff so we’ve been testing out the best mascaras for 2016.
Whether you’re looking to save or splurge, we’ve tried products ranging from £2.99 to £23, which all promise to give you plumped-up, defined lashes.
Find out which ones get the thumbs up from our beauty team with our top ten mascaras on the market.
Brilliant for a bargain buy
What does it do? Created with an ultra-dark pigment – to make eyelashes look defined and thick – and with a curved brush to sculpt them upwards,
We say: "A bargain lash mascara with high-end results. The formula wasn’t too runny, and the pigment was good. The thin brush was good for getting between my lashes and fanning them out. I’d have liked it to be a tad more volumising, though." Beauty writer, Zoe
Long-wear and smudge-proof
What does it do? It has a long-wear, smudge-proof formula, and the wand has been created extra fine so that you can capture and coat all of your lashes.
We say: "This was really dark – I mean, really jet black. It almost fakes an eyeliner effect if you apply it close to the lash line. It has a thick formula, which I like, and stayed put. Very good." Beauty editor, Lynne
No clumps and long-lasting
What does it do? Castor oil and sea buckthorn make this mascara nourishing for your lashes, while its polymers make it long-lasting and volumising.
We say: "The brush is thin and made it simple to coat lashes. A good coverage, no clumps and my lashes looked dark. Staying power was good, too – no smudging at all." Beauty intern, Megan
Our beauty team’s fave
What does it do? The wavy-cut bristles separate lashes while the micro spiral tip captures the little ones. The formula contains little fibres which cling to the lashes, making them looked stretched.
We say: "Smashbox smashing it out of the park – this is just a dream. Luxurious packaging, very lengthening, and it has this pretty feather-like effect that made me look like I was wearing falsies." Beauty writer, Zoe
Volumnising and gives great definition
What does it do? This promises to do it all: lift, define and volumise. It has a lash-building complex and three rows of wedge-shaped discs on the brush to grab and separate.
We say: "They advise twisting and turning the brush between coats for best results but I don’t think it needs it. It’s a really good mascara and made my lashes look lifted and defined, just using the brush as it is." Beauty editor, Lynne
Amazing impact and lift
What does it do? A jumbo brush that gives lashes maximum impact – curling, colouring and lifting them with a carbon black formula.
We say: "With a big chunky brush and a thick consistency, this mascara was easy-peasy to swipe on. The coverage was even and I was really impressed with the results. I’d keep using this." Beauty intern, Megan
Beauty ed: The little rows of bristles on the wand are meant to capture all your lashes and coat them evenly. You apply the first coat with the brush curved inwards, then twist it the other way for the second coat.
Not the quickest to apply, but worth the effort.
Reader tester says : ‘The curved brush made it easy to apply, and it separated my lashes quite nicely. They didn’t look too much thicker, but it gave them a winged look at the corners. It wasn’t tricky to remove afterwards either." Charlotte Dudeney, London
Beauty ed: Forget volume or length, this is about ‘styling’ lashes. The wand is supposed to give a non-uniform, spiky look to lashes, hence the ‘punky’. It gave a pretty, separated effect, more sex kitten then Sex Pistol.
Goes on quite wet, so try not to sneeze for a few minutes after applying.
Reader tester says: "The bendy tip wasn’t very easy to use, and I couldn’t apply it to my inner lashes without smudging. I loved the overall look, though, as my lashes were spaced out, lengthened and looked really dark. Worth making a bit of a mess for." Krishna Sahi, Birmingham
Beauty ed: Max Factor’s original Transform mascara instantly converted me to comb-style wands when it launched last year, so I was excited to try this new version. It has the same comb wand (to get into the roots), but paired with a sexed-up formula packed with lash-fattening fibres.
It gave a VERY noticeable doll-like effect, especially when I used it on lower lashes and makes it one of the best mascaras on the market.
Reader tester says: "I loved how dark this made my lashes look. They were really thick, and I didn’t need my usual eyeliner to make them stand out. The wand really gets all the lashes. Very good for a bold look."Emma Stanton, London
Beauty ed: A false lash look in three steps; this duo has a ‘prime and seal’ mascara and brush-on fibres. You apply the mascara, then coat with the fibres, then apply a second coat of mascara.
A tad long winded? It’s worth it. So much easier than fiddling around with falsies, and my lashes looked just as good.
Reader tester says: "The three-step idea bothered me initially – who has the time for that in the morning? But it was really quick to do, and it looked like I’d put on a pair of false lashes! No clumps, really volumised and didn’t smudge during the day. Amazing." Renee Pearce, Bath
The claim: A formula and brush designed to show ‘64% more lashes’ (how precise!), with a fanned-out finish.
Octavia says: The brush looks as if it’s going to be clump central,
with mascara glooped around the end. It’s actually quite good though – my lashes were bigger, just not really lengthened.
Zoe says: The brush on this was amazing – it lifted, separated and made my lashes look like they were layered. The actual formula let it down for me – it was as if it had dried up a little.
All the newbies we tested passed the water test swimmingly, but did they give a smudge-proof result without compromising on glamour?
Find out more on our article for the best waterproof mascara.