What do we want? Long lashes! When do we want 'em? Now! Who actually got long lashes instead? Lots of boys who don't even wear mascara and babies! Jokes aside, all lashes are great lashes, but sometimes, you might want them to be just a liiiiiittle bit longer, and sometimes, the universe just doesn't hit the mark. In that case, having a lengthening mascara in your stash comes in clutch. The catch is, not all mascaras that are lengthening make that clear in the name, and lots of the ones that do are, well, lying. So how do find the best lengthening mascaras? Lots of trial and error.
I don't say this to knock any mascaras; I say this from experience. About one third of my job as a fashion and beauty editor is to test hoards and hoards of products. With access to hundreds of mascaras, I've been able to whittle my short-list of best lengthening mascaras down to a select few, all making my average-length lashes appear longer and fit several different mascara moods. For example, some days, I might want length and volume. Others, I might want long and wispy. Others, I could want sky-high with maximum curl. For those with changing, specific tastes, like me, and for those who just want freaking long lashes, peep the best lengthening mascaras I've tried below:
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Best Lengthening Mascara With Volume
Though it's new to my (and everyone's) rotation, Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara ($29, Charlotte Tilbury) made an instant impact — more so than some mascaras I've been using for years. The firm bristles ensure every lashes is combed and coated for maximum volume, and the flexible formula builds on itself for noticeable length without flaking off.
Best Subtle Lengthening Mascara
Glossier's Lash Slick Mascara ($16, Glossier) is a quintessential Glossier product. Meaning: You'll barely notice it's there — but not in a bad way. I'm usually a "more is more" kind of girl when it comes to makeup, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lengthening properties of Lash Slick. It leaves brows looking wispy but long, like you were just born with natural long lashes or you were fortunate enough to get lash extensions. Either way, if you want long lashes, minus all the pigment, this is for you.
Best Lengthening Mascara For Over-The-Top Lashes
Everything about Pat McGrath's work and products screams "over-the-top" in a high-fashion, editorial kind of way. Dark Star Mascara ($30, Pat McGrath) is no different. The fat, bushy spoolie allows a great amount of product to coat each lash in one swipe. With a few quick wiggles of the brush at the base of my lashes and a firm swipe right up, I had a pretty uncanny difference in the length of my lashes. A few coats, and I swear, you'd think I was wearing falsies.
Best Lengthening Mascara With Curl
Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara ($25, Benefit Cosmetics) has been parked in my rotation for quite some time now, and I don't see that changing for a minute. Even for my relatively stubborn straight lashes, I get a distinct curl, as well as enviable length, that other mascaras claiming to curl your lashes just don't give me.
Most Affordable Lengthening Mascara
Long lashes don't need to cost a gazillion dollars, and that's on period. A classic favorite from a classic brand, Maybelline's Lash Stiletto Mascara ($9, Walmart) claims to instantly build up to 70% longer-looking lashes. Not to mention, it's easily removable — no clawing at your eyes necessary. Somehow, certain drugstore staples become years-long favorites, and this is one of them for me.
Best Lengthening Mascara That Doesn't Clump
Mix cult-favorite brand IT Cosmetics with cult-favorite blow-dry bar Drybar, and you have a mascara that'll blow you away, truly. The IT Cosmetics Lash Blow Out Mascara ($25, IT Cosmetics) is, as the name suggests, like a blow-out for your lashes. After a few coats, your lashes will look as big and glamorous as your hair leaving the salon — mine sure do.
Best Waterproof Lengthening Mascara
OK, listen, I do not go near a body of water wearing makeup unless I have on L'Oréal Paris' Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara ($11, Ulta Beauty). This timeless tube holds a winning formula that does smudge, fade, or crumble through tears, tides, or tenuous performances. Just ask Beyoncé, who wore this mascara through the entirety of her iconic 2018 Coachella performance.
Best Lengthening Mascara Overall
Consider this my love letter to the Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara ($24, Thrive Causemetics). Never in my life have I been so codependent with a makeup product. More so than any mascara I have ever tried, this product takes my lashes to new heights, dead*ss, and stays put all. Damn. Day. The fibers allow this formula to stand straight up for the doe-eyed lashes of your dreams. If this mascara was a person, I'd put a ring on it so fast.