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Best Mascaras and Mascara Hacks

Best Mascaras and Mascara Hacks

It’s National Lash Day, so it’s the perfect time to share my picks for the best mascaras and mascara hacks. While I have been wearing lash extensions for a couple of months now, I’ve still got a stock of mascaras that I reach for when I need to boost my lashes or that I use when I’m not in extensions. All are cruelty free. This post contains a mix of press samples and products purchased by me.

Best Mascaras and Mascara Hacks

All of these mascaras have worked well with my sensitive eyes. Before I had my PRK vision surgery, these were the ones that I could wear comfortably, without them irritating my eyes or getting under my contacts.

It Cosmetics Super Hero Mascara
This is the newest mascara in my arsenal. I was able to wear this mascara a few times before I got lash extensions and I’ve used it a few times with my lash extensions. It’s a volumizing and lengthening mascara that doesn’t flake. The formula is great and I love the brush.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
This has been my go-to mascara for a long time and for good reason. It’s gorgeous and adds great length, as well as being super black. (See my before and after with this mascara)

NARS Audacious Mascara
The bristles on this brush are unusual, but it gives some excellent length. (see my before and after)

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
This mascara gives me the fattest lashes with the least amount of effort. It comes in cute purple packaging. It’s also vegan.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Provided you wipe the brush off with a tissue so you don’t have an overloaded brush, you’ll get really gorgeous results with the Better Than Sex Mascara.

Buxom Lash Mascara
I don’t often hear this mascara discussed but it gives good volume too.

Physicians Formula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara
This is one of my all time favorite drugstore mascaras. It gives my lashes a nice flare.

Essence I love Extreme-Volume Mascara
This is the best budget friendly volume mascara I’ve found to date.

Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection
I’m including this because it’s a pretty genius product. If you apply your mascara and screw up, use this to work through your mascara and banish clumps!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius
Make any mascara you love waterproof with Lash Genius.  It’s a clear topcoat that you need to have in your makeup bag. I’ve gone through several of these.

Mascara Hacks & Tips

  • Wipe off your mascara wand on a tissue before you use it. This prevents clumping from having too much product on the wand.
  • Apply mascara to the tops of your lashes first. This helps with lengthening and volumizing your lashes.
  • If you’re still prone to clumpy lashes, use a metal lash comb to apply your mascara. This also helps with the lower lashes.
  • Don’t coat your lashes evenly! Apply your mascara thicker at the roots when you zig zag and then lightly at the top when you pull through.
  • Dust translucent setting powder on your lashes with a brush in between your first and second coats to add more volume.
  • If you get mascara on your skin, wait for it to dry and then use a q-tip to remove it.
  • Use a mascara shield or spoon when you apply mascara to prevent getting mascara on your skin. Or use a business card.
  • Save your old mascara wands from your favorite mascaras (or buy disposable wands) and keep them in your makeup bag. You can use them to help prevent clumping.
  • Don’t store your mascara in the bathroom. You don’t want your mascara anywhere there’s a temperature fluctuation.

Looking for more to read? Check out my 10 Organization Hacks for Beauty Lovers or 8 Best Beauty Tools for Great Hair & Skin.

What are your picks for the best cruelty free mascaras? Any mascara hacks to share? Let me know below!

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22 Comments

  • I haven’t – I tried their Tight Line Mascara Primer and I loved the small wand for application I didn’t love the product itself. I currently use their CC+ as my foundation and have a love hate relationship with it. When I first bought it, in the smaller pump, I thought it was amazing, but then when I ran out I ended up buying the larger one (I think you can only get it on QVC) and it just isn’t the same. I don’t know if the product changed or my skin did, but it melts off of my t-zone and I never had that problem before. I’ll have to check-out their mascara though – thanks for the recommendation and keep up the great work on behalf of being cruelty free!

  • Just discovered your website by clicking on a link on another page and I am so happy I did! Your site is GREAT!

    Pacifica is my new go to mascara – I love it. I didn’t have any luck with Tarte, ItCosmetics, or Too Faced (I tried Benefit also, before realizing they aren’t cruelty-free) mascaras. Unfortunately many left a dusting of black under my eyes by the end of the day and didn’t do much for my lashes. I still haven’t found one that helps my lashes hold a curl.

    For added effect I will sometimes use NYX in their bright blue color as my base mascara and then run Pacifica over it only from midway up to the tip of my lashes. This really makes my blue eyes pop, but sometimes I get a little blue flaking under my eyes by the end of the day.

    • Thank you for your kind words! Have you tried the It Cosmetics Super Hero Mascara? I think that one is pretty great.

  • I love how you included some drugstore mascaras with the high end ones! I always use maybelline lash crusher and I really like it. Is maybelline cruelty free? I’ve been dying to try too faced’s better than sex mascara but never got around to it!

    Also these are some great hacks that I’m definitely gonna try!

    • Maybelline isn’t cruelty free. One great way to try slightly more expensive mascaras is to buy the travel size from Ulta (or Sephora, but Ulta seems to have more, like It Cosmetics, Urban Decay Perversion, Tarte Lights Camera Lashes, etc).

  • I just found it that it was national lash day but luckily in enough time to write my Superhero review. I haven’t used all your choices but the ones I have tried are great.

  • Another great informative post Phyrra. I have recently purchased a beautiful blue mascara from a Leaping Bunny certified brand made in Australia called Australis. It is fabulous – love the colour (a petrol blue) and the product. I don’t need my eye lashes to be long (that would create a wind shield wiper effect on my glasses), but I like them to look thick. This mascara does that.

  • Awesome post. Love Perversion, the Tarte mascara, Physician’s Formula Cat Eyes and Va-Va-Voom, It Hello Lashes, Benefit They’re Real, and e.l.f. 3-in-1 (the only e.l.f. one I like). I loved Better Than Sex, but I was allergic to it. 🙁

    My best mascara tip is to use mascara primer underneath colored mascaras. They help them stick better and white primers make the colors pop. I like the Nyx and Jordana colored mascaras.

  • I’m with you on the essence I love Extreme Volume Mascara as best budget-friendly mascara! I am going to try your metal lash comb to on my lower lashes because they don’t seem to want to take an color lately, or I’ll try the business card underneath them and see if that helps

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