It's an essential part of every mascara's job to add noticeable length to your eyelashes. Yet somehow, there are plenty of options out there that fall short in this department. Luckily, you don't have to go to great lengths to get lashes that are dramatically longer, thanks to the best lengthening mascaras on this list.
You can, of course, identify a mascara that's specifically suited for lengthening by looking for the obvious indicator right in the mascara's title. But if you flip the package over, a quick scan of the ingredient list should show polymers and/or fibers, which help elongate lashes. If you like the look of lash extensions but can't commit to the upkeep, try a mascara that uses fiber extensions instead. The tiny fibers in the formula aren't even noticeable when you whip out the wand, but once you've coated your lashes, you'll notice a dramatic difference.
But don't rely on the formula alone. In fact, the design of the brush is often even more important. While plastic-mold brushes tend to be preferred for lengthening, wire brushes can help boost both length and volume. The most important factor is that the brush is thinner in shape and has bristles that are finely spaced. This allows the brush to reach the root of the lashes, separating and extending each hair as you sweep it through to the tip.
Now that you're armed with some basic facts, check out these five lash-lengthening mascaras below.
1. Best Mascara For Long, Defined Lashes
L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara
If extreme length is what you're after, L’Oréal Paris' Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara is just what you need. It uses a flexible, dual precision brush to create lashes that are 60 percent longer, and comes in both waterproof and washable formulas. One side of the brush lengthens, while the other combs lashes so they stay separated and defined instead of clumped together. The formula, which comes in black, black brown, blackest black, and carbon black, is also fragrance-free and suitable for contact-wearers.
With nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it's a tried-and-true favorite. "After all this time on the hunt for a mascara that would help my baby lashes, I finally found one," writes one reviewer. "This mascara makes my lashes very long with just one coat … Its sleek and thin wand makes the application easy." Another reviewer who describes their lashes as "almost non-existent," raves, "I have tried many high-end mascaras, and none have lengthened my lashes like this does. It doesn't cake, it doesn't flake, and I never reapply it throughout the day."
2. Best Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Lengthening Mascara
Another great find from L’Oréal Paris, the Voluminous Butterfly Lengthening Mascara is for those looking for both dramatic length and volume. The mascara wand uses a wing-tip brush to grab onto lashes, lengthening and lifting them for a fanned-out effect. L’Oréal also introduces their cocoon fibers formula that leaves lashes silky as it wraps around them, so you can layer multiple coats without getting clumps.
One Amazon user writes, "The side [of the brush] with the longer bristles is perfect for lengthening, and the shorter bristles get the tiny lashes without smearing mascara everywhere. It adds volume without being thick and cakey, and [it] really seems to separate the lashes well." Another reviewer simply states, "A few coats of this, and my eyelashes look deceptively long and lush."
3. Best Fiber Lengthening Mascara
Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara
This mascara from drugstore fave Maybelline uses 4 millimeter fiber extensions to ensure your lashes look longer than ever. To deliver the elongating fibers, Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara created their fiber-fix brush to ensure optimal placement while sealing the fibers against the lashes. Though it may sound complicated, the mascara can easily be removed with your usual eye makeup remover.
"This is honestly the best mascara for length I've ever used," writes one reviewer who goes on to explain, "If I want added volume, I just put a voluminous mascara on top, [but] this builds well and doesn't clump." Another reviewer seriously impressed with its lengthening abilities says, "With this mascara I have people asking me if I'm wearing fake lashes."
4. Best Lengthening Mascara For Straight Lashes
Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara
A cult-favorite among those in-the-know in the U.S., the Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara is a Japanese drugstore mascara that basically does everything: lengthen, volumize, and curl. Not to mention it has a super waterproof formula that doesn't budge, even through sweating or swimming. The tiny bristles on the brush separate and lengthen, while the curved design lifts, making it a godsend for people with straight lashes. Just be sure to buy a proper eye makeup remover (the brand makes one specifically for this mascara) or oil-based cleanser, otherwise you'll have a hard time getting this stuff off.
"I didn't know my lashes were capable of reaching the heights they have using this product," writes one reviewer, adding, "My lashes are on the shorter and straighter side, but after just a couple of swipes of this mascara, my lashes are literally as long as the pair of falsies I have — I measured."
5. Best Lengthening Mascara For Sensitive Eyes
La Roche-Posay Respectissime Extension Lengthening Mascara
La Roche-Posay is a go-to for sensitive skin, and their Respectissime Extension Lengthening Mascara was specifically designed for contact lens-wearers and eyes that are more sensitive because they're prone to allergies. It also gives lashes a lengthening boost thanks to the tiny bristles on the brush that separate and coat every lash from root to tip. The fragrance-free and paraben-free formula also uses a blend of polymers and waxes to smooth and define lashes, so they look natural and feel soft.
"I have ridiculous[ly] sensitive eyes, and experience such difficulty when trying new makeup products," writes one reviewer. "I am happy to report that this mascara has not irritated my eyes, and it stays on all day. It's easy to apply, and [it] makes my lashes look super-long."
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