Best Essence Mascaras
The 4 Best Essence Mascaras

$5 mascaras? No wonder this brand is a cult favorite.

Originally Published: 
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Every once in a while, a makeup brand comes along that's impossible to ignore, and Essence is one of said brands. Collectively, the best Essence mascaras have earned hundreds of thousands of reviews across the internet, most of them overwhelmingly positive — so which one is best suited for your specific makeup routine? Some would argue that you can't go wrong with any of them (especially considering they're all cruelty-free and about $5 each), but pinpointing your personal lash goals may help you to narrow down the best pick for you.

What To Consider When Choosing An Essence Mascara

While just about every Essence mascara is highly rated, affordable, PETA-certified cruelty-free, and designed to emphasize your lashes, different products serve different purposes, and that's due to their slightly varying formulas. Some are waterproof, some resist flaking and smudging, some are designed for falsie-like volume, and some provide a little bit of everything.

Shop The Best Essence Mascaras

In a hurry? These are the best Essence mascaras on Amazon:

1. The Overall Best Essence Mascara: Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

2. The Best Waterproof Essence Mascara: Lash Princess False Lash Waterproof Mascara

3. The Best Essence Mascara For Volume: What The Fake! Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara

4. The Best Smudge-Proof Tubing Mascara: Bye Bye Panda Eyes Tubing Mascara

Also Great - An Essence Mascara Primer: Volume Booster Lash Primer

Scroll on for the four best essence cosmetics mascaras on the market, according to thousands upon thousands of high reviews. (There's also a primer at the bottom, which you can partner with your favorite mascara — Essence or any other brand — to condition your lashes and boost volume even further.)

1. The Overall Best Essence Mascara

Essence's Lash Princess mascara is my everyday go-to, but I'm not the only one. Currently, it has more than 300,000 reviews on Amazon, not to mention a 4.4-star overall rating and best-selling status. People are "obsessed" because it has a cone-shaped brush alongside a bold, flake-free formula, both of which deliver dramatic, voluminous lashes that last all day — all for $5 a bottle. It's cruelty- and gluten-free, too. If you're looking for a great all-around mascara that checks most of the boxes while remaining extremely affordable, this one's a safe bet. However, if you're looking for a waterproof formula, scroll on to the next option.

One reviewer wrote: "I have heard people raving about this mascara so I finally decided to give it a try. I wish I had tried it way sooner! It goes on amazingly smooth, no clumps, and even on my short and very straight lashes, I get a lovely length and curl with this mascara! This will be my go to from now on!"

Waterproof: No | Colors: 1 | Brush: Tapered

2. The Best Waterproof Essence Mascara

This pick is the waterproof version of Essence's Lash Princess (meaning it's virtually the same formula with added staying power in the presence of moisture), but it deserves its own mention for several reasons: First, it truly does last all day, even through swimming, sweating, and showering. Second, it delivers serious volume without flaking, fading, and clumping — and it has the same cone-shaped fiber brush as the original for effortless application. It's also cruelty-free. Finally, it costs $5, just like the original. When you're ready to take it off, reviewers say coconut oil helps to loosen it up.

One reviewer wrote: "After falling in love with the regular mascara, I got the waterproof version because I live in the South where humidity ruins everything. It worked fantastically for everyday wear so I decided to try it out at the beach while playing in the waves for hours. It held up amazingly. After 6 hours of salty waves making both direct and indirect hits to my face, only a few smudges were noticeable and wiped away easily leaving still gorgeous lashes."

Waterproof: Yes | Colors: 1 | Brush: Tapered

3. The Best Essence Mascara For Volume

If you're looking for really intense volume, look no further than the What The Fake! mascara. Again, each tube is just $5, but this formula is infused with fibers to deliver extreme volume and length. It has a thick, creamy texture that’s great for building and layering and comes with a double-tapered brush to help define and coat every lash.

One reviewer wrote: “Wasn't expecting much from such a cheap mascara but this stuff works great! It is a little harder to remove but the staying power is amazing. Definitely adds length and thickness. Separates lashes and doesn't clump. I've tried so many mascaras and this one is in my top 3. Will be repurchasing.”

Waterproof: No | Colors: 1 | Brush: Double-tapered

4. The Best Smudge-Proof Tubing Mascara

Some people want all-day staying power, but they don't necessarily want to deal with a hard-to-remove waterproof formula. If that describes you, Essence's tubing Bye Bye Panda Eyes formula is a great option. Unlike standard pigmented mascaras, this one wraps each individual lash in a tube-like enclosure. As a result, it won't smudge, flake, or fade, even in the presence of mild moisture — but when you wash your face with warm water and just a bit of pressure, the tubes slide right off, leaving your lashes clean and lightweight. That way, you can get long-lasting volume without scrubbing.

One reviewer wrote: "For years and years, I've tried to find a mascara that wouldn't smudge. I've bought very, very expensive brands of waterproof mascara that always end up failing at some point during the day. Bye Bye Panda Eyes is, hands down, the absolute best mascara I have ever tried. It has never, ever smudged."

Waterproof: No | Colors: 1 | Brush: Straight

Also Great: This Essence Mascara Primer

Essence also makes a volume-boosting primer, which isn't a mascara in and of itself — but it's worth mentioning due to its 27,000-plus Amazon reviews and cult-favorite status. This formula goes on white to create a base that mascara can cling to, boosts your lashes with buildable volume, and is infused with botanical ingredients to nourish and condition your lash line. And one reviewer raved that it gives "amazing volume" when used with essence's Lash Princess products.

One reviewer wrote: "This PRIMER IS A MASTER! It increases the volume and length of my lashes before I even apply the mascara, once I put the mascara on WOW it almost looks like I’m wearing false lashes! So much volume and it keeps my mascara in place all day!"

Waterproof: No | Colors: 1 | Brush: Hourglass

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