Budget Beauty – The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras

The we heart this Magnificent 7 list

DrugstoreMascara Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore MascarasThere is one drugstore item that even the most elitist of makeup snobs purchase regularly. In fact, as is the case with this makeup snob right here, some may actually prefer drugstore brands (saving their hard-earned beauty dollars for more colorful items not deemed as staples). That item? Mascara, of course. Not only a necessity, but arguably the item purchased the most regularly and used the quickest.

Sadly, my staple mascara for the last 15+ years is a hazy memory at this point (Max Factor Stretch Mascara, sniff!) So, it was a perfect time to ask the allustrious wht team their opinion and produce another list. We give you…The Magnificent 7 Drugstore Mascaras!

Much like our Mag 7 Lip Balm list there were three very distinct winners, with the four remaining places being as varied as imaginable. There is one thing distinctly true to all of the results, our team take their mascara VERY seriously.

covergirl eyelights Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras7. CoverGirl Exact EyeLights Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $8.49 – The only eye color specific mascara on the list, Cori loves it for how it makes her eyes pop. She also likes “that it doesn’t clump and it makes my lashes look really long”. And with choices like black gold for hazel eyes, black pearl for brown and black ruby for green – everyone gets a chance to have long lashes and dazzling peepers!

Maybelline Colossal Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras6. Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $5.99 – Even though the gratuitous use of an apostrophe bothers her, Alyssa can not deny the big ol’ lashes that Colossal quickly gives. “It has a thick bristled brush and its formula glides on smoothly without major clumps. It also comes off easily with soap and water, which is perfect for ladies like me who tend to forget to use eye makeup remover.”

Maybelline falsies Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras5. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Washable Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $7.99 – There’s that apostrophe again! Such a long name, but no room for one little “e”. That aside, I’m have very impressed with Falsies. And other lovers of Fiberwig will be too (which pretty much means, everyone on the wht team!) Its got the same drama building fibers and is successful in creating both volume and length. Plus, I love the purple tube and I think the Spoon shaped wand works really well to reach every lash.

almay Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras4. Almay One Coat Nourishing Waterproof Thickening Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $5.99Tyna is a contact lens wearer who can’t wear anything but waterproof mascara (Plus, I’ve watched – she’s also an eye rubber!) True to it’s name, she says it really does take only one coat. And says that “it never flakes or smudges on me, and my lashes feel soft, not brittle like they do with a lot of waterproof mascaras”.

Maybelline fullsoft Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras3. Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara, Very Black%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $6.59 – Maybelline makes it 3rd appearance on the list (more than any other brand!) with this cuddly, work horse mascara that separates the lashes really well and it is a fabulous lengthener. Katie reports “You don’t get night-on-the-town drama or anything but it is a great everyday mascara. Especially for girls like me who can’t even go to the gym without a swipe of mascara and a layer of tinted moisturizer.”

loreal Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras2. L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $8.95 – There are at least four variations in the Voluminous collection, what L’Oreal calls their #1 volumizing mascara, but this newest addition got the most votes from our team. Dana says that she’s obsessed with it. “It separates my tangled web of lashes, gives them glorious volume and leaves them the inkiest black ever. LOVE. IT.”

So, which Drugstore mascara made the number #1 position on our list?

covergirl lashblast Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras1. CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara%name Budget Beauty   The 7 Best Drugstore Mascaras $8.99 – CoverGirl takes the coveted #1 spot! LashBlast comes in four formulas (with three of them having waterproof versions as well). Here’s a breakdown of which color tubes do what: yellow; lengthening, pink; adds shimmer, orange; volume. But it’s the purple tube, their newest addition, that got the highest votes as it seems to do a little of everything (sans shimmer). Like The Falsies, this is a fiber mascara, which equals major drama. It also has a plastic bristle brush, which really helps to get into to your lashes and coat every one. Tiffany says she always has a tube of this in her makeup stash. “I love using this when I go out at night because I can layer it with 3 or 4 coats without it clumping and it gives me incredibly thick gorgeous lashes”.

How about it readers? Did the team overlook your favorite or do you agree with their picks? Let us know!

Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, graphic designer, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.

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Written by stef


  1. Profile photo of Amanda

    Is it crazy that I’m proud of “my” Lash Blast Fusion for taking the #1 spot? I love that stuff! I own and regularly use 3 others on the list (Covergirl Eye Lights, and Mabyelline The Colossal and Falsies) but Lash Blast Fusion is always the most used in my stash.

    Ladies, y’all have good taste in lashes! :)

  2. Profile photo of sherrishera

    I never use drugstore mascaras. I know the pros say skimp here; I know you all say these are great. I’ve just never been happy with anything I ever tried when comparing to some like my all-time fave definicils, or new loves like Phillip Thomas Roth or Hourglass. But ya know…now that you’ve narrowed the playing field (and I really have never tried any of these)…perhaps I could choose a little wiser and give one a shot.

  3. Profile photo of Cori

    I really like my CoverGirl exact, I never have problems with clumps and it’s easy to take off too.

    I always pick up the lash blast and debate back and forth but in the end just go with my tried and true. Maybe next time I can convince myself to give it a whirl.

  4. Profile photo of Marilyn

    @Stef –I’m with you. I’ll spend lots of money on other products, but I almost always stick with drugstore mascara. Because of its short shelf life, and because there are SO many great and cheap options, I don’t like to spend too much on mascara. I personally LOVE Prestige My BIGGEST Lashes. I think that its formula is comparable to Benefit’s Bad GAL Lash–it adds both volume and length without clumping, and it has a nice big brush. It’s also easy to remove, and doesn’t irritate my contacts. The regular L’Oreal Voluminous is a good one too, as well as Voluminous waterproof.
    Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex recently posted..Three Things Thursday!

  5. Profile photo of lyssachelle

    Why with the gratuitous apostrophe? WHY?

    I love this list! I read on down and thought, “Ooo, I should give that a try” and then I get to number one and realize I should just skip ahead and get number 1!
    I’m wary of plastic bristle brushes, but if so many people recommend it, I need to just buck up and give it a try!

  6. Profile photo of hao9703

    @stef — This is a great article. I have not bought any drugstore mascara in awhile. I stocked up when Max Factor left the US. Plus, I usually get a small Bad Gal Mascara as gift when I get my eye brows waxed at ULTA.

    What a great resources this is for the next time I need mascara.

  7. Sam

    I usually just use Maybeline’s Great Lash, I recently picked up the Falsies and I like it! I thought I wouldn’t like the big, curved brush, but it actually does a great job of hitting every lash. I could never understand why some people are so opposed to Maybeline, it’s always did the job for me.

  8. Profile photo of Donna J
    Donna J

    Almay mascaras are a favorite with me, but I use One Coat Triple Effect, and Intense I-Color…for blue eyes, but I have brown eyes. lol I just wanted a blue mascara for when I am just having fun with my makeup. Both mascaras are great, no smudging, flaking, or hard as rock lashes.

    I’ve never used any on this list, I have used L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof, but didn’t like it because it gave me raccoon eyes, lots of smudging with that one. I’ve been told to just go with the original Voluminous and not waterproof either, it’s a better formula, but I think I’d like to try the Million Lashes.

  9. Amy

    While I’ve tried almost all of the above (Covergirl Exact Eyelights is my favorite from the above list), my favorite drugstore mascara is Neutrogena Healthy Lengths. It’s the only mascara I’ve ever worn that people come up to me and ask what I’m wearing because my lashes are so long- it’s the most lengthening mascara I’ve found. It’s thickening as well. The other reason I love it is because it washes off easily at night- no makeup remover required. It’s one of the few mascaras that I’ve bought multiple tubes of- even after I try something new, I seem to always go back.

  10. Katrina Thompson

    I’ve just never been happy with anything I ever tried when comparing to some like my all-time fave definicils, or new loves like Phillip Thomas Roth or Hourglass. The other reason I love it is because it washes off easily at night- no makeup remover required.

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