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Aside from a few exceptions, I staunchly believe that there are a select few beauty categories that are absolutely worth the splurge, including fragrance, skincare serums and a solid foundation that suit your skin. With that being said, however, I also firmly believe that shelling out a pretty penny on mascara (and even most eyeliners) is frankly, unnecessary. Of course, this is simply a matter of opinion (and stems from my ardent passion for finding the best dupes for high-end counterparts), but considering that you’re advised to toss out mascara every 3-6 months, it doesn’t seem like a worthy investment item to me personally. Now, with that being said, I’m also obsessed with full lashes, and I wear mascara pretty much every day. I was blessed with naturally long eyelashes, but they’re ultra-light and lacking some serious volume.
I’ll admit it: I love an over-the-top lash, even when I’m at the office or running basic errands. I barely even mind my lashes are on the verge of looking clumpy, so be it. I still prefer a dramatic, almost “architectural” look to a soft, natural lash (it’s the price I’m willing to pay for that doe-eyed, doll-like look). Dior’s iconic DiorShow mascara is a cult favorite for a reason (actually, a few reasons). The buildable formula delivers an insane amount of volume and length, all without flaking or transferring. What I love about it is that you can literally add layer after layer to customize your look without it clumping (I call this step in my eye make routine “lash sculpting”).
Don’t get me wrong; DiorShow is a downright incredible mascara, and if you’re game for shelling out the big bucks for a flawless lash, it’s totally worth some serious coin. However, I’ve found some high-performing rivals that cost a fraction of the price, so for me, it’s an easy choice to opt for my drugstore finds en lieu of the pricier products sitting all alone in my vanity drawers. Here are my favorite affordable dupes to the legendary, designer lash-enhancer.
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1. Essence Lash Princess Mascara
This affordable mascara performs like its luxury counterparts. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now, and it’s taken the place as my go-to, ousting even my former designer favorites that were triple the cost.
2. Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara
This mascara performs just as well as high-end products. It holds a curl, adds volume and lengthens lashes without smudging or flaking. It also gets major bonus points for its chic packaging and easy-to-use wand.
3. L'oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara
This volume-boosting mascara adds up to 5X more volume to the lashes without leaving your lashes feeling clumpy and hard. The buildable formula allows you to add drama or keep your lashes looking more natural and feather-like.