The Best Drugstore Mascaras — For Every Need

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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 coats your lashes with. But what if your priority is saving some cash? Do great mascaras that don't break the bank really exist?
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Luckily, the answer to that is a resounding "hell yes."Ahead, we've rounded up the top mascaras — for just about every need — 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.
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Lengthening

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.
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This unique brush has three different sides to make sure every single lash gets some loving.
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When you really want eyelash extensions, but are too impatient to sit in a chair with your eyes closed for two hours, this new formula from Almay gives lashes the feathered look while fooling everyone into thinking you paid $200 (when you really only paid $10).
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This dual mascara kit is the easiest way to apply false(-ish) lashes, ever. The set comes with a black lengthening mascara, as well as an “extensions” wand, which is a spoolie for applying false-lash fibers. All you have to do is apply a swipe of black mascara, another swipe of the extensions fibers, and then seal it all in with the black mascara. That’s it — and you'll have lashes that look like falsies. Plus, you'll have saved all that time it takes to glue on a strip.
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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.
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This formula promises to give your lashes the same treatment that a stop-them-in-your-tracks pair of Loubs does to your confidence.
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The name says it all: Almay's Get Up & Grow not only lengthens, but its conditioning formula helps strengthen your lashes over time.
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Think you can't get much for $3? E.L.F.'s mascara will give you long and fuller lashes for just three bucks.
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Waterproof

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

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.
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The secret of L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly is the butterfly-wing-shaped wand. It combs through each lash for a perfectly even application.
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All hail Iman and her brand's Volumize Mascara. The bristles lift, separate, and never leave lashes stuck together.
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Volumizing

Any mascara with the name Doll Eye has got to give your lashes a serious volume boost, right? And that's just what this formula does — at a very pretty price.
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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. It's double the work, but after you see the false-lash results, you'll understand why it's in our Beauty Innovator Awards this year.
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Birds of a feather flock together... and are the inspiration behind this mascara. The fanned-out brush promises to catch, coat, and separate your fringe.
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The whipped formula, which contains coconut extract, helps separate lashes to create are they real?-level volume.
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This cone-shaped brush helps whip the wimpiest of lashes into glam territory.
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The hourglass-shaped brush helps the fibers in the formula surround each lash to volumize and lengthen.
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This two-sided mascara was designed to seriously beef up limp lashes. Use the white, fiber-infused primer as a base, then layer the black mascara over top. Voilà — Hadid-approved lashes.
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It’s simple makeup math: One little wand x the human average of 150 eyelashes = the illusion of a million eyelashes.
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Those of you who dig clumpy lashes will love Maybelline's Colossal Spider Effect mascara. The unique plastic-bristle brush combs through lashes and deposits hefty amounts of product, which immediately beefs up limp hairs.
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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.
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Consider this mascara a Wonderbra for your lashes. It lifts, separates, and makes every individual lash look bigger.
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Sure, the thick brush will give you mega-volume. But this gentle formula is especially clutch if you've got sensitive eyes.
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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.
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Thickening

Haven't tried Great Lash yet? You're missing out. There's a reason this lash-bulking formula has been a favorite among pros for decades.
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Mascara primer often feel like an unnecessary step (especially if you're short on time), but a tinted primer that thickens and darkens your lashes is a fast way to skip mascara altogether for a no-makeup makeup look.
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This mascara will seriously beef up limp lashes thanks to its full, thick brush and volumizing formula.
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This mascara is designed with every lash type in mind — but we love it best when going for thickness, thanks to the unique brush shape. The round tip allows you to get incredibly close to the root of lashes, allowing for more density.
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Neutrogena's Healthy Volume is made with a touch of olive oil to moisturize your lashes. The result? A thick, gorgeous set all through winter.
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This fluffy brush creates fluttering lashes that won't sag or fall throughout the day. Plus, the formula can be layered for serious drama.
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Conditioning

This mascara does such a stellar job of separating and defining lashes that we would be happy if that were its only trick. But it also contains conditioners geared to help lashes grow, too.
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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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