The Best Drugstore Mascaras — For Every Need

Whether you want to crank volume up to 11 or just want something that won't leave you spider-lashed, there is truly a tube of mascara out there for everyone — and it's not unusual to be very particular about what you coat your lashes with. But what if your priority is saving some cash? Do great mascaras that don't break the bank really exist?

Luckily, the answer to that is a resounding "hell yes." Ahead, we've rounded up the top mascaras for just about every need — including two picks from our 2019 Beauty Innovator Awards — that won't cost you more than your favorite brunch order. Click through and find your heart's desire in a tube. Your lashes, and your bank account, will thank you.


At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Check out the rest of the 2019 Beauty Innovator Award winners.

Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara


This 2019 BIA winner visibly lengthens and thickens after just one — yes, as in a single — coat. Plus, the curvy wand helps grip and coat the tiniest of lashes.
COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Mascara$7.94 Buy

L'Oréal Unlimited Length and Lift Mascara


The bendy wand on L'Oréal's new Unlimited mascara defies everything we thought we knew about drugstore mascaras. However, the genius behind the flexible wand goes much deeper than novelty factor alone: It allows you to get this close to the lash line to coat each lash from root to tip.
L'Oreal Paris Unlimited Length and Lift Mascara$8.50 Buy

Milani Dangerous Lengths 3D Mascara


If you're looking for ultra-fluttery, defined lashes, then this curling and lengthening formula is the one for you.

Milani Dangerous Lengths 3D Mascara$9.99 Buy

Revlon Super Length Mascara


Revlon’s lengthening mascara has a fiber formula that helps to extend each lash, and a plush brush also helps with volume for long, lush lashes.
Revlon Super Length Mascara - Blackest Black$4.90 Buy

L'Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara

This mascara is an editor and consumer favorite for a reason: It seriously plumps lashes. The fat brush has hundreds of tiny bristles that grab every hair and coat it with a volumizing formula that layers easily without veering into clumpy or crunchy territories.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara

This formula promises to give your lashes the same treatment that a stop-them-in-your-tracks pair of Loubs does to your confidence.

Almay Get Up & Grow Extreme Length Mascara

The name says it all: Almay's Get Up & Grow not only lengthens, but its conditioning formula helps strengthen your lashes over time.
Almay Extreme Length Mascara$8.39 $6.09 Buy

E.l.f. Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Think you can't get much for $4? E.L.F.'s mascara will give you long and fuller lashes for just four bucks.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara


This mascara is a classic for a reason — its densely packed plastic bristles make it super-easy to coat every single lash with a layer of its volumizing formula. Add a little waterproof action into the mix, and your mascara won't be going anywhere — whether you're sweating it up at the gym or trudging through a rainstorm.
Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara$6.97 Buy

COVERGIRL LashBlast Volume Mascara

CoverGirl's original Lashblast Volume mascara is one of our favorites. But when we need our makeup to last all day (sans raccoon eyes), we always reach for the waterproof version.

Avon Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara

Want to wear mascara to the gym? This one won't run down your face after a 45-minute sweat session.

COVERGIRL LashBlast Clump Crusher


There's a reason this tube is a favorite among quite a few of our beauty editors. Coat after coat, you'll never see a single clump.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

The secret of L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly is the butterfly wing-shaped wand. It combs through each lash for a perfectly even application.

Pixi by Petra Lash Lift


If you're looking for the ultimate eye-opening effect, this dual set will give you exactly that, thanks to a larger wand meant for volumizing and lengthening and a finer precision brush that gets into the inner and outer corners for fanned-out lashes.

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara

The whipped formula, which contains coconut extract, helps separate lashes to create are they real?-level volume.

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

This cone-shaped brush helps whip the wimpiest of lashes into glam territory.

Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Primer

This lash duo from Honest Beauty helps to create both length and volume at the same time. First, the primer protects and nourishes the lashes while also intensifying the color. Then, the mascara goes on extra-smooth to lift and amplify each and every lash.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara

Consider this mascara a Wonderbra for your lashes. It lifts, separates, and makes every individual lash look bigger.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara

For those of us who love wet mascaras that are almost too goopy on the wand, this is the stuff of magic. Whether you have long or short lashes, this not only volumizes them, but also makes them look darker.

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

This mascara will seriously beef up limp lashes thanks to its full, thick brush and volumizing formula.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

This fluffy brush creates fluttering lashes that won't sag or fall throughout the day. Plus, the formula can be layered for serious drama.

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Nourishing Mascara


We're sure Emma Watson would agree that finding a natural mascara that defines lashes and lasts all day is a challenge. Then, Burt's Bees launched its first full makeup collection and blessed our sensitive eyes with this lightweight formula that perfectly separates and won't smudge in the heat.
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