The ultimate mascara guide!

This year, I’ve taken some time to clean out my closets, including my bathroom closet which houses my ridiculous makeup collection. I have been wearing various lipsticks around the house and tossing the ones I don’t like.

So, I thought I would do the same thing will all of my mascaras… and I had a lot more of them than I initially thought. But I wore them all — one each day during the month of August.

I did lash primer on one eye and no primer on the other to see if it made a difference. Below are my thoughts on all of the primers and mascaras I tried… and I’ll indicate my favorites.

Milani The Violet One Lash Primer

I have been using this one for awhile and I really like it. It makes my lashes thicker and longer. Plus, because of its light purple color, I find it helps me get the mascara on ALL of my lashes to make sure I cover them. Honestly, all of the Milani products I’ve tried have been great quality for an affordable price. | $10

Ulta Beauty Bold Ambition Volumizing & Conditioning Mascara

This was the first Ulta Beauty Mascara I’ve ever tried and I’d say it’s OK. It has a curved rubber applicator that defines lashes, but I honestly didn’t notice much length with this. | $4

Cover Girl Total Tease Mascara

This has a strange applicator — it is curved with bristles on one side of it and a ball on the end… I am just into the classic mascara wand. This one didn’t do much for me. | $8

Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer

This same brand has a mascara that beauty bloggers swear by, and while I’m all about finding affordable products that work… this SUCKED. The product got on my lashes, but I felt like I could never see a difference between the eye with primer on it and the one without. I wouldn’t bother with this one. | $5

Grande Mascara Conditioning Peptide Formula

Ok, I liked this one. I am a fan of your classic, basic mascara brush and this one has it. This one does a good job of getting each lash and providing a natural-looking longer, fuller lash. Now, Grande products are a little more on the higher-end in terms of price, so is this the BEST mascara I’ve tried? No. But, if you catch a sale, it’s worth it. | $25

Lancome Cils Booster XL Mascara Base

This is a big, fat HELL no. Honestly, this was the biggest disappointment of the bunch. I feel like Lancome as a brand has a cult following when it comes to their lash products. But this one… the bristles were too long so all of the product ended up bunched near the base and I don’t think any of it got on my lashes. Nope. | $27

Younique Moodstruck Mascara Duo

Someone gave this to me to try and it’s the set where you put the gel on first, then the fibers, then the gel. I admit, this stuff does give you longer, fuller lashes, but I’m generally against these direct-sales/pyramid-type of companies. The takeaway for me here is that fiber-based mascara isn’t so bad. | $36

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

By testing all of these mascaras, I learned so much about the type of mascara I like. I need thickening and lengthing, and if it has curling and volumizing, then that’s good, too. I like a near-false-looking lash. This is a lengthening mascara. So, while it’s not a grand slam, I do think it’s a good mascara. It has one of those rubbery applicators, which I’m normally not a fan of, but it works here. | $25

Milani Highly Rated mascara

Yes, yes, yes! Milani does it again — this one is a goodie. Classic brush, plus it’s a 10-in-1 formula… wow. I really liked this one; I feel like that classic brush gives the lashes a full but natural look. This is a great option at an affordable price. | $10

Tarte Maneater mascara

I feel like Tarte and Benefit are both brands you can trust when it comes to mascara. This one is lengthening and curling, so if those are your jams… this could be the one for you. It has a rubbery applicator with short bristles that are wide-set. Honestly, from the looks of the brush, I was questioning it. But it’s a good mascara. | $23 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius

I got this in one of my Birchboxes and while I love Anastasia Beverly Hills in general, this was a no. It’s a clear gel topcoat and honestly… I just don’t see the point in this product. This one is waterproof, so it would be good if you have a mascara that you love that’s not waterproof. If you use a clear topcoat for your lashes, I’d love to know the benefits (I’m being serious). | $15

Laura Geller Drama Lash

I like Laura Geller products, but this one was a little disappointing. The brush is huge… so big that it gets mascara all over your eyelid. But… it doesn’t look like this one is available through their site anymore, so that’s that on that. | $24

Benefit Roller Lash

I can see why people love this one so much. It’s curling and lifting, so it really makes your lashes visible if someone is looking at you head on. This one does have a curved, rubber applicator, but it’s nothing over-the-top. | $25

Beauty Bakerie Eyelash Icing

Beauty Bakerie is a Black-owned brand, so this is a good one to pick up! The brush has that hour-glass shape (similar to the Better Than Sex mascara) and it makes for full lashes. One thing I noticed right off that bat is that this stuff is JET black. The blackest of black mascara. | $18

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

This mascara… is the shit!!!!!! It’s a 4-in-1: lengthening, thickening, curling and volumizing… AND it has the classic mascara wand and brush that I like! I cannot believe I’ve never tried this mascara until now! Love, love, love this stuff — it’s one of my top two picks. | $23

Nars Climax mascara

I am just now tinkering with Nars products and this one was disappointing. It’s not a bad option, but it’s just a volumizing mascara, so I just didn’t think it did enough for me. | $23

Marcelle Lash Defining & Expansion Mascara

This one has a long, skinny applicator that doesn’t really have bristles — it just sort of has this built-in swirl thing…. it’s a good pick if you want a natural-looking lash. It does define the lashes and makes them visible but it doesn’t do much else. | $15

Smashbox X-Rated mascara

Smashbox continuously has products that I love, but sadly this was a disappointment. It wasn’t horrible, I had just tried better mascaras by the time I tried this one. However, I don’t even see this on their website anymore, so maybe they realized it wasn’t the best either. | $20

Benefit Bad Gal Bang! mascara

This one has more of a cone-shaped applicator so it’s a little easier to get your individual lashes and even your bottom lashes. This one is just a volumizing, but it’s a good choice if that’s your main need. | $25

Hard Candy Be Bold mascara in dare devil

I saw this in the clearance isle at Walmart and couldn’t pass it up — it’s a red mascara! It comes in different colors including purple and teal and I think it’s so fun. It’s got a standard applicator and it looks good worn by itself or on top of black. | $5

L’Oreal volume million lashes glitter top coat

This is a glitter top coat, so it provides no color, no length, no volume… just gold glitter. However, I love this stuff. It has a hard applicator that just sort of… lays the glitter on top of your mascara and doesn’t mess it up. The glitter is small enough that it’s noticeable but not tacky. | $6

Marcelle curling & lengthening mascara

This one has a curved applicator and while this is an OK choice for a curling mascara, go with the Benefit Roller Lash. This just didn’t do much for me. | $15

Wander mile high club mascara

This is my other top pick! I got this in a Birchbox last year and absolutely loved it and have purchased another one since. It’s lengthening and volumizing, with the classic mascara brush. It’s such a good mascara that plumps up your lashes, but they don’t look fake. | $26

marcelle ultimate volume nano

This mascara may have been the most surprising of the bunch. It has a very short, stubby brush and I was certain it wasn’t going to deliver, but it did! Good for bottom lashes, too. | $15

Too Faced better than sex mascara

This mascara has a cult following and I can see why. It does give that feathery, false-lash effect. It has an hour-glass shaped brush that gets all the lashes (short and long) and it looks honestly better than I expected. This is a win. | $26

Bare minerals lashtopia mineral mascara

This is a good one if you specifically need volume. I do love BareMinerals as a brand, so if you’re loyal, this is a good mascara to choose. It made my lashes look fuller without clumping. | $20

Babe Lash volumizing mascara

I got this because I use the Babe Lash serum at night to get fuller lashes. This mascara is good, especially if you have a sensitive lash line. It has a more flat brush which I hadn’t seen before, but in general this is a good pick. | $25

laura geller lash boss

This one has a weird applicator — it’s rubbery and only has bristles on one side of it. It does add length, but not much else. | $24

This beauty review is not sponsored — nor are any of the reviews on this blog. I am a beauty and skincare junkie and enjoy sharing the products I love right here! For more reviews and similar posts, please subscribe to the blog by clicking subscribe on the right side of your screen. Cheers!

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