There are definitely certain beauty categories we should invest some dollars in (foundation and moisturizer, to name a few). But buying expensive mascara seems like a total waste of money, considering there are some pretty bomb drugstore varieties that get the job done just as well as a $25 tube.
Lush lashes can make a look or BE a look—either way, we do love ours to be long, dark and fluttery. But we also love a bargain. Here are 10 of the best drugstore mascaras—all loved for different reasons, all around $10.
Originally posted May 2015. Updated October 2017.
For the full fan effect
This L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara mascara is the equivalent of Victorian flirting with fluttering fans ... except the fans are your lashes. This asymmetrical brush lets you get more mascara on your end lashes, giving you a very voluminous look.
Almay One Coat Get Up And Grow Mascara coats your lashes with a strengthening and lengthening formula that coaxes your little lashes into growing stronger and longer (duh).
For when you have ZERO clump tolerance
This Covergirl mascara is called the Clump Crusher. You can tell it totally hates clumps, maybe even more than we do (doubtful). But seriously, if clumps are your main gripe, you may want to throw this mascara into the ring.
The OG lash volumizer
Is L'Oreal's Voluminous Mascara. This classic has been around at least a decade—for good reason, this mascara gives us crazy volume on our lashes, comes in a super-black formula, and basically makes us look like we're wearing falsies ... in a good way. We just can't quit you, Voluminous.
For the lash length-challenged
Those of us with woefully stubby lashes have nothing but falsies or extensions to really give us the length we desire. However, for the everyday, we have Maybelline's Lash Discovery Mascara with a mini-brush, that's been made for reaching every baby lash, top and bottom.
If you're craving color...
NYX has your number. They offer a handful of fun bright colors (and some darker colors too) for when you want your lashes to look less boring than black. And for less than $10, you can't really feel too guilty impulse purchasing a pink mascara, you know ... just in case.
For temporary lash extensions
Physicians Formula has lash extensions in a tube. This two-step system has you brushing on a lash-lengthening formula to begin with ... and then going over it with the teeniest fibers that attach and build to the mascara to give you some serious length. The sky's the limit with this one.
Okay, so technically over $10, but trust us when we say you'll be glad we pointed you in the direction of these lash extensions in a tube that you can find at your local drugstore!
For the double-lash effect
We remember the original commercials for this Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara, with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the height of her television fame, brushing a stiff shrub to demonstrate how yucky stiff lashes be. Well, we can tell you that this mascara does indeed leave you with soft and quite full lashes—so much so, it makes us look like we have an extra row of lashes on.
For sensitive eyes
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara gets rave reviews for its smooth texture and the clump-free voluminous lashes it gives you. You're also conditioning your lashes with nourishing orange water, aloe and cucumber extract.
To condition your lashes
You love argan oil for your hair and your skin, and now it's your lashes' turn to reap the benefits of this conditioning oil with this Rimmel mascara, spiked with argan oil. You get light-feeling smooth lashes that are being nourished as you create your bambi-eyed look.