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We ask a lot of our makeup, but perhaps the most hardworking of all is our mascara. It can't clump; must stay put for 12+ hours; has to divide, multiply, and add volume; and absolutely must not smudge or smear.
If it sounds like a tall order that's because it is. The average Southern woman will have tried, tested, and retested plenty of mascaras in her time—and things can start to run together with all that swiping. Between the Southern heat and all of the make-you-teary-eyed moments that we face, our mascara has to stand up to the challenge with a long-wear and lasting formula. For those of us who weren't born with long lashes, we did a bit of research on the best lengthening mascara. There are plenty of factors to consider when searching for a mascara that's just right – consider us the goldilocks of makeup.
Keeping that in mind, we've created a who's who of mascara. Here you'll find five of our favorite mascaras of the year. Looking to blast those lashes to new heights? Or are you on the hunt for a buildable formula that allows you to customize your look based on where the day takes you? From our choice of best mascara overall to the best waterproof mascara (we all need a reliable one on hand for those expected sappy occasions), these are the mascaras that you need now.
Best Mascara - Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
This is not only the top selling mascara on Amazon, but it's also the number one selling product in their makeup and personal care category and most reviewed beauty product (with over 142K five-star ratings at the time this story was published). If that doesn't convince you to finally add it to your cart in 2022, let the promises of all-day volume and zero clumping clinch the deal.
BUY IT: $4.99; amazon.com
Best Drugstore Mascara - Maybelline Eye Lash Sensational Mascara
The new formula is infused with rose hip oil so that your lashes stay nourished while looking fabulous. The fan-shaped wand ensures that each lash is separated and lengthened as you apply the mascara.
BUY IT: $6.79; target.com
Best Waterproof Mascara - Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Talk about a heavy hitter. This mascara features a volumizing and lengthening formula that's approved by ophthalmologists for sensitive eyes and contact wearers. Go ahead, wear it to your best friend's wedding, this mascara isn't going anywhere.
BUY IT: $21; sephora.com
Best Lengthening Mascara - L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara
You might be looking at this mascara brush wondering why it's so skinny, but there's a purpose behind this seemingly curious design choice. The flat side of the mascara wand lengthens lashes, while the comb side of the brush separates lashes and de-clumps them with each swipe.
BUY IT: $8.49; target.com
Best Mascara for Volume - Milk Makeup Kush Volumizing Mascara
While this mascara is on the pricier side of options, the formula contains hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, which conditions while fusing the fibers in the formula to your lashes. For even more oompf in your eye look, try pairing this mascara with a lengthening formula for a dramatic butterfly eye effect.
BUY IT: $25; sephora.com