November 27, 2021

14 Best Mascaras in 2020 – Top Mascara Reviews for Volume and Length

5 min read

When a lash extension job is not an option or your falsies just won’t cooperate, there’s one beauty staple that will never fail you: Mascara. editors know that not all mascaras are created equally; some of us are on the hunt for lengthening formulas that rebuild damaged lashes from botched extensions and some of us just want to give our “little weaklings” the thiccc life they deserve. Ahead, ELLE editors share their all-time favorite mascaras.


For Length

L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara, Carbon Black

L’Oreal Paris


“A makeup artist friend recommended this lengthening mascara to me few years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since! I like having long dramatic lashes and this delivers. It stays on at the gym, but washes off easily at home, which is definitely a plus.” – Rose Minutaglio, Staff Writer 


For Volume

Kush High Volume Mascara

Milk Makeup


“I really didn’t care for any of the cannabis-infused beauty products being released at lightspeed but Milk Makeup’s Kush Mascara is THE TRUTH. One swipe of this gave my little eyelash hairs more volume than I could ever imagine. Plus, I can layer without clumping or smudging.” — Nerisha Penrose, Associate Editor 


For A Smudge-Free Day

Iconic Lash Mascara

“Mascara is an everyday must, but I need a formula that’s going to last all day, smudge-free. This mascara is polymer based, so the formula creates a tube-like encasement around each lash. My fav part is the removal: it literally slides right off.”   Angel Lenise, Lead Video Producer 


For Easy Removal

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara™


“This Thrive mascara makes my eyelashes so long that they’re at risk of constantly touching my eyelid. It also comes off easily with water at the end of the day so I’m not standing there rubbing my eyes.”   Madison Feller, Staff Writer


For A Touch-Up Free Lifestyle

Monsieur Big Mascara



“I’ve learned that mascara that doesn’t flake, clump, or skimp on volume is worth the investment. The day I met Lancôme’s Monsieur Big Mascara, I never looked back. It’s often some of the only makeup that I don’t have to touch-up if I’m wearing it all day and night.”   Savannah Walsh, Editorial Fellow


For The Perfect Balance

LashCraft Big Volume Mascara



“When you want your eyelashes to tickle your eyebrows, Sephora Lashcraft is the one mascara that you grab from your make-up bag. The bristles on this brush are spaced out and tease each strand outward and upward. The mascara itself is thick enough to add volume but light enough that your eyelashes aren’t clumpy and weighed down.”  Yousra Attia, Photo Editor 


For Strong Lashes

They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Benefit Cosmetics


“My eyelashes are thin and lighter than my actual hair. Without a good black mascara they’re basically invisible. Benefit’s They’re Real ib black glides on smooth without any clumps and makes my little weaklings look thick and, well, yeah, real.”   Katie Connor, Digital Director 


For Depth and Drama

Lash Alert Mascara

“My makeup habits are decidedly low-maintenance for a person who doesn’t leave the house without lipstick—I add a touch of foundation and that’s it. But something about this glorious little tube awakens my oft-sleepy eyelids, adding a density and depth I can’t get anywhere else. I’m willing to update my routine for this one.”   Julie Kosin, Senior Culture Editor 


For A Buildable Formula

Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume HD Mascara

“I can’t live without lashes and this mascara has a buildable formula that goes from bambi to bombshell fast. It also manages to coat my lashes without getting everywhere and doesn’t leave any black residue by end of day.” — Ariana Yaptangco, Social Media Editor


For A Game-Changer

Better Than Sex Mascara

Too Faced


“I’ve tried many mascaras, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been this blown away by the way one transforms my lashes. It really adds so much volume and fullness to my natural lashes I don’t even need to curl them to get compliments. This really is a game-changer.” — Alyssa Bailey, News Editor


MAC Haute & Naughty Waterproof Lash Mascara

MAC Cosmetics


“This mascara has two different handles: one that super-swipes the brush so you get really light application and a second that leaves a hefty amount of formula on the brush for big chunky lashes. The light application is the one I prefer—it looks more like a tint than a mascara. This is also one of the most popular mascaras used by makeup artists backstage. I’ve been devoted to the waterproof version for years.” — Katie Becker, Beauty and Health Director


At Lash’d Lengthening and Curling Mascara

Marc Jacobs Beauty


“I knew this mascara was a keeper when my boyfriend, dad, and two friends I was Zooming with commented on how great my lashes looked on the first day I tried it. The brush is long and thin, which makes it easy to coat every single lash (even the corner ones!) in the super-dark, lengthening formula. A single swipe transforms my average length lashes into ones that look like extensions.” — Margaux Anbouba,  Associate Beauty Editor


Limitless Lash Mascara

“A little over a year ago, I was left with a nearly bald lash line after I had incorrectly applied lash extensions removed. Discovering this nourishing mascara was the silver lining of the experience, as it helped my lashes to grow longer and stronger than they were pre-disaster.” — Taylor Davis,  Assistant Beauty Editor 


FetishEyes Mascara

Pat McGrath Labs


“In the words of Pat McGrath, ‘This mascara is divine, darling.’ I’ve never met a mascara that can do it all: lift, add volume, curl, and lengthen. I use this mascara when I want my lashes to be the star of the show.” — Chloe Hall, Beauty Director

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