Mascara might be the most important part of any makeup arsenal—it’s what brings our faces to life. But if it isn’t clump-free, forget about it. We’d like to have a full set of lush lashes—not one big clump, thank you very much.
We know what it feels like to be disappointed by your mascara, so we did some leg work and found 12 formulas that won’t leave you with raccoon eyes. Apply that second and third coat all you want; your lashes will still be fab.
A version of this article was originally published in July 2014.
If we had to choose one makeup item to take with us to a deserted island, it would probably be mascara. Not only does it open our eyes and transform our face, but we just feel so much better about life when we have it on. The only problem with this beloved item is that it's prone to clumping, leaving our lashes looking like spider legs.
We've found 11 formulas that are the best of the best and won't get all clumpy on ya.
Urban Decay Perversion
This mascara is so good it's almost perverse. The formula both lengthens and volumizes, but it goes on so smoothly you never have to worry about it clumping or sticking, no matter how many coats you apply.
$22, Urban Decay
L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara
We love a unique mascara wand, but sometimes it's more of a gimmick than anything else. Thankfully that's not the case with L'Oréal's latest. The brush is angled in such a way that it lifts the outer corner of lashes, so you get a beautiful eye-opening effect with all of the flutter you want for your lashes and none of the clumping.
CoverGirl Lash Blast
The firm bristles on this mascara wand ensure you get separated lashes every single time. Not bad for a drugstore find!
Lancôme Hypnôse Star
This Lancôme mascara has a super silky formula, so no matter how many times you run it through your lashes, they never stick together.
Maybelline Pumped Up Colassal
Big lashes don't have to mean big clumps. This mascara may come with an extra fat brush, but the great formula is what keeps lashes from clumping up.
It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer
This inventive mascara is meant to be a primer of sorts. The teeny wand allows you to get it up close and personal with your lash line (giving it a tightline effect), but it still coats your lashes like a regular mascara. And you can even use it on your lower lashes without fear of clumping—and that's no easy feat!
$24, It Cosmetics
Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara
The only thing we love more than the non-clumping formula of this mascara is the unique tube it comes in.
$33, Jane Iredale
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
This mascara was made specifically for the lower lashes, which are so fine that they can easily stick together. It separates as it coats, which is why we love it for our top lashes, too.
MAC Extended Play Lash
This glossy mascara curls as it lifts, which makes it an instant favorite.
$18, MAC Cosmetics
Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils The conditioning ingredient in this luxe mascara keeps the intense coating film from collecting along the lashes.
L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Carbon Mascara The specially-designed multi-comb is what makes this lash-boosting mascara clump-free. Boasting that it makes lashes look up to 60% longer, the wand allows for precise application.
$11, L'Oréal Paris USA