In shopping for mascara (as in life), each of us strives for different goals. Some of us crave curl, while others seek volume or length in our lashes. For this reason, optionality is good. So we appreciate sites like Amazon®, which allow you to search for makeup by color, style, and price. (If you really want to get granular, you can even filter by hypoallergenic and/or organic formulas.) Nevertheless, there comes a point when options become tiring; when you’d rather create a filter that only produces awesome mascaras, plain and simple. Below, we asked five celebrity makeup artists for their top mascara picks.
Similar to how primer functions under foundation, the L'Oréal® Voluminous® Lash Boosting Conditioning Primer Mascara ($5) provides a base for your lash look. Just take it from makeup artist Jared Lipscomb, who has created red carpet looks for Christine Adams, Julia Lake, and Emily Althaus.
“I’ll admit I thought the idea of a mascara primer seemed a bit unnecessary [at first],” he says, “but I started using this one on clients who wanted a bit more density and length [without] false lashes, and I loved the results.” Specifically, he says it extends the longevity of your lash look while keeping flaking at bay.
Another lash enhancer from the brand that makeup maestros swear by is L’Oréal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara ($6). “It’s a feathery formula that makes the lashes very full and long,” says Rebecca Restrepo, who counts Kerry Washington and Gwyneth Paltrow as clients. “It gives a glamorous [lash] look.”
Fellow makeup artist Merli Estime, who has worked with models like Shaylan Reneè, Yaw Asiedu, and jOrdana, also recommends the product. “It holds a place in my personal and professional kit,” she shares. “[The formula] curls, volumizes, and lifts the lashes.”
You can’t go wrong with a classic. When it comes to mascara, Maybelline® New York Great Lash® ($7) is just about as time-honored as they come. “The iconic pink tube with a green handle has been around for a while, and for good reason,” Lipscomb asserts. “This classic mascara is simple [yet effective]; it glides on the lashes, doesn’t weigh them down, and never flakes.”
The formula also comes in different hues (including royal blue, brown, and two shades of black), Lipscomb notes. Plus, its hypoallergenic, opthamologist-tested formula is (literally) easy on the eyes.
Another Maybelline favorite, the Colossal Volum’ Express® Mascara ($6), has a reputation for creating lashes so long they almost look like falsies. Makeup artist Lilly Keys, who has worked with Kali Uchis, Dua Lipa, and Charli XCX, adores using the formula on herself as well as on her clients. “My lashes have never looked longer than [they do] when I use this mascara, and it stays all day long,” she shares. As if that weren’t enough, the formula is also infused with collagen to promote plumpness.
Adds Keys, “I also like the voluminous mascara wand, which creates a dramatic lash that I absolutely love.”
For runway-ready lashes loaded with volume, makeup artist Joy Fennell swears by the Christian Dior® Diorshow® New Look Mascara ($29).“This mascara is hands-down one of the best in the world,” she gushes. “It's a cult classic that many pros use!” Fennell (who has worked for top designers Valentino and Oscar de la Renta at New York Fashion Week™, as well as on editorials for Italian Vogue and V Magazine) attributes the mascara’s success to a combination of its grab-every-lash brush. Plus, it has a famous volumizing, lengthening, clump-free formula.
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