(Last Updated On: January 27, 2018)

A nice mascara that you can apply easily…Good

A really nice mascara that’s not a bitch to put on AND which really brings out the allure of your lashes…Better

An easy to apply mascara that’ll bring out the lustre in your lashes WITHOUT breaking the bank…Best

And, at Unsullyd, I always give you the best.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the Best Drugstore Mascaras.

Fun Fact

In Mascara World 4D refers to Volume, Length, Texture and Curve. Click To Tweet


At A Glance: The 5 Best Drugstore Mascaras

Maybelline New York Great Lash Big Washable Mascara is the one which passes on from mothers to daughters.

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Waterproof  Mascara is a good one-step lash fiber with great staying power.

L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara is perfect for a quick touch-up.

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama Washable Mascara is very good for curling your lashes.

HeyBeauty Volume Waterproof Mascara, Eye Mascara Long Lash Free Clump has good staying power.


The Best Drugstore Mascara

01. Maybelline New York Great Lash Big Washable Mascara Review

If your biggest worry is your lashes clumping together, Maybelline’s New York Great Lash Mascara is a pretty good bet.

It comes with an old fashioned brush with vertical bristles that’s great for loosening clumping and defining each lash.

That being said the brush may be a little bit big for some users. So, be careful while applying it, especially when you’re working on your lower lashes otherwise you could smudge it.

It’s reasonably waterproof and should be able to resist sweat and tears but you should remain wary.

On the positive side, it’s easy to wash off with soap and water or baby oil or makeup remover.

Some users may have some specific complaints. However overall this is a good option for all age groups.

The main ingredients are charted below.

SolventWater/Aqua, Butylene Glycol
EmollientBeeswax, Glyceryl Stearate, Palmitic Acid
EmulsifierBeeswax, Ozokerite, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Palmitic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Hydroxyethylcellulose
CleansingStearic Acid
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben
HumectantHydrolyzed Corn Starch
Film FormerHydroxyethylcellulose
Chelating AgentDisodium EDTA
Hair ConditioningQuaternium 22


  • Start at the base of your lashes and sweep upwards.
  • Apply several coats till you get the volume you want.
  • Do not allow much time between coats so it doesn’t dry while you’re still applying.
  • You should be able to remove it with soap and water. If necessary, use a makeup remover.
  • I’d suggest an extra coat for night-time use.

What I Liked

Good for avoiding clumping.

Reasonably water resistant.

Adds to volume significantly.

Easily removed with water and soap.

What I Didn’t Like

Contains Methylparaben, Propylparaben and Butylparaben.

Be careful not to smudge when applying it to your lower lashes.

It is water resistant but be careful if you’re crying, sweating or applying eye drops.

May smudge a little but that can be dealt with with a Q Tip and a fresh coat.

The Best Drugstore Fiber Mascara

02. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Waterproof  Mascara Review

If you’ve prayed for a lash fiber/fiber mascara that’s easy to apply, your prayer has been answered!

If you don’t know, lash fibers are tiny fiber particles that are deposited through your lashes as you apply them with the wand.

They enhance volume and definition but don’t weigh on your lashes like falsies do.

Now, most fiber-based mascaras have a two-step application – first a gel/mascara then the fibers – but this one doesn’t.

Here it’s just one step – one application of mascara plus fibers – and you’re good to go.

It lives up to its ‘waterproof’ claim. It should stay on through rain or even swimming. However I do not recommend keeping mascara on while swimming because if by chance if it leaks into your eye it could be harmful.

Of course the reverse of that is that you can’t just use warm water to rinse it off.

Some users may face flaking after a few hours. For that reason, contact lens users should be careful. If they face flaking they should switch to another drugstore mascara.

The main ingredients follow.

SolventIsododecane, Water, Denatured Alcohol, Propylene Carbonate
Hair FixativeAllyl Stearate/VA Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer
EmollientBeeswax, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Candelilla Wax
EmulsifierBeeswax, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1-Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethylene VA Copolymer
SuspenderDisteardimonium Hectorite
ThickeningCarnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax
AstringentDenatured Alcohol
Hair ConditioningRice Bran Wax
AbsorbentTalc, Silica
Skin ConditioningHydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1-Dimethicone
Film FormingPolyvinyl Laurate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyvinyl Alcohol


  • Place the wand at the base of your lashes and sweep up gracefully.
  • For the best possible look, comb your lashes before applying the mascara. This reduces the chances of clumping considerably.
  • I would suggest using warm baby oil or makeup remover to take it off. You can try soap and water but I think that requires too much.

What I Liked

 Single-step application removes chances of the gel/mascara drying out before the fibers are applied.

 Good waterproof mascara should withstand rain, tears and eye drops.

 Very little chance of smudging.

 You should not face any clumping either.

What I Didn’t Like

May flake after a few hours; may not be suitable for contact lens users.

You may need a few coats to get a nice volume.

The Best Drugstore Lengthening Mascara

03. L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara Review

The wand is flexible/bendy and the bristles are short.

That means they won’t hold a great deal of mascara at one dip. That also means you can quickly straighten your lashes but any extensive styling will take time.

And the mascara itself is not too wet; so it’ll dry fairly quickly.

It’s perfect for anyone looking for a quick touch-up. But a problem for anyone who wants more fancy work done maybe for a night out.

In my opinion it does a fine job of lengthening your lashes and easing clumps.

You can cry on your ball and chain’s shoulder all day and it won’t smudge.

It does not transfer onto your upper eyelid making it a good choice for users with hooded eyes.

The main ingredients are listed below.

ThickenerParaffin, Carnauba Wax, Acacia Senegal Gum
EmollientBeeswax, Palmitic Acid
EmulsifierBeeswax, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Triethanolamine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polymethacrylate
CleansingStearic Acid, PEG-40 Stearate
Skin SoothingAcacia Senegal Gum
BufferTriethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanediol
Film FormerHydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polymethacrylate
PreservativeMethylparaben, Propylparaben
Skin ConditioningHydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil
Antistatic AgentPolyquaternium-10
HumectantVitamin B5*
*As Panthenol.


  • Start at the bottom of your lashes and sweep up to the top.
  • You should be able to rinse it off easily enough, with soapy water or makeup remover.

What I Liked

 The brush is ideal for a quick touch-up.

 The mascara dries rapidly; again, ideal for a quick touch-up.

 It’s good for users with hooded eyes.

 Very little smudging or flaking.

 Good for users with sensitive eyes and/or contact lenses.

What I Didn’t Like

 The brush is not ideal for anyone who requires extensive work on their lashes.

Be careful not to use excessive amounts, you may get ‘spider lashes’.

The Best Drugstore Mascara For Dramatic Lashes

04. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama Washable Mascara Review

The adjective ‘drugstore’ applies so very well to Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama Washable Mascara. For its low price level, the quality goes breathtakingly close to premium lines by Dior or Estée Lauder.

Coming once again to the name, it doesn’t include falsies/false lashes. It’s just that you will look like you’re wearing falsies, the mascara is THAT good.

The wand has a curve which makes it perfect for curling.

If I absolutely had to point out a flaw I’d say that for a fortnight or so after you open a new tube the mascara may be a little bit wet so it may weigh your lashes a tiny bit initially.

You should also notice the ‘washable’ in the label. It’s water resistant to some degree but NOT waterproof.

So, remember to not rub your lashes if you’re sweating or crying etc. As long as you don’t rub, it won’t smudge.

Arginine and Serine are amino acids with antioxidant properties that are good hair and skin conditioners. They’re a kind of a one-stop shop to make your skin and hair lustrous and retard aging.

The main ingredients are listed below.

SolventWater/Aqua, Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol
CleansingPotassium Cetyl Phosphate
EmollientBeeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octanediol
EmulsifierBeeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG/PPG-17/18 Dimethicone, Steareth 20, Sodium Polymethacrylate
ThickeningCarnauba Wax, Acacia Senegal Gum, Candelilla Wax
HumectantGlycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Vitamin B5*
Skin ConditioningPentylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Arginine, Serine, Glutamic Acid
Hair FixativeAcrylates Copolymer, PVP
Film FormingAcrylates Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polymethacrylate
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate
Chelating AgentDisodium EDTA
AntioxidantArginine, Serine
Hair ConditioningArginine, Serine, Glutamic Acid
*As Panthenol.


  • Start at the base of your lashes and sweep upwards to the tip.
  • You have a nice curve on the wand. Use it to get extra definition. Don’t wiggle the wand.
  • Be careful it doesn’t dry between coats.
  • You can remove it with soap and water. Use warm baby oil or makeup remover if necessary.

What I Liked

Gets close to the false lash look.

Curved wand makes it easy to curl lashes.

Includes antioxidants to resist environmental damage and aging.

Won’t smudge or flake normally.

Easily removed.

What I Didn’t Like

May be a bit wet for a fortnight after it’s first opened.

Contains Methylparaben.

Not waterproof.

The Best Drugstore Mascara For Volume

05. HeyBeauty Volume Waterproof Mascara, Eye Mascara Long Lash Free Clump Review

Volume, Length, Texture and Curl. The 4 Mascara Dimensions.

It provides pretty good volume. The brush is pretty good at picking up sufficient product with each dip.

However the trade-off is weight. You will need to load up good if you want a lot of volume and that will weigh on your lashes.

The mascara is pretty good at drawing out the length in your lashes and the brush helps you sweep along the full length. Your lashes thus stand tall.

Alongwith volume and length comes texture. The mascara, containing a number of conditioners, definitely enhances your lash texture.

The brush and product are helpful for curling.

However you will require more than one coat to get good volume. That in turn may weigh down your lashes and hamper curling.

As far as smudging or flaking are concerned, you shouldn’t face much of a problem. It has good staying power.

The key ingredients follow.

FragranceEau de toilette
EmollientBeeswax, Palmitic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Arachidic Acid
EmulsifierBeeswax, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Palm Wax, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyethylcellulose
Skin SoothingAcacia Senegal Gum
ThickenerAcacia Senegal Gum
CleansingStearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Myristic Acid
PreservativePotassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol
HumectantGlycogen, Propylene Glycol
Hair ConditioningHydrolyzed Elastin, Serine, Soluble Collagen, Caprylyl Glycol
Skin ConditioningHydrolyzed Elastin, Soluble Collagen, Caprylyl Glycol
BufferAminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Acetate
Film FormerHydroxyethylcellulose


  • Start at the base and sweep upwards.
  • Don’t overdip the brush because it can hold considerable product with a single dip.
  • Remove with warm baby oil or makeup remover.

What I Liked

 Good at enhancing length and texture.

 Low chance of smudging or flaking.

What I Didn’t Like

 There is a trade-off between volume and curling.

What should you look out for in selecting a Drugstore Mascara?

Well, when you’re using mascara you’re enhancing your lashes which are strands of hair.

The first thing you’d want to know is what kind of mascara a product is. Is it

Traditional mascara which just cleans away dirt, separates clumped lashes and makes each lash stand out.

Mascara with micro fibers which, in addition to a traditional mascara or gel, contains micro fibers which are evenly deposited among your lashes, enhancing volume.

Tubing mascara which forms a tube on each lash, elongating it.

Secondly you’d want to check out the wand/applicator/brush. Is it

Twisted wire which is good at picking up product so you need apply fewer coats.

Injection mold which is good at reducing clumping.

Also, which way does the brush taper?

Traditional brushes start widest and gradually taper down. This is useful for curling and general application.

But some brushes start narrow and taper out till they are widest at the outer end. These come in especially handy for the corner lashes (both inner and outer corner).

Third you’d want your mascara to be/contain ingredients that are

Hair fixative to help hair (lashes) retain a particular style by stopping them from absorbing moisture.

Conditioners (which includes Emollients and Humectants) to help keep your skin and hair lubricated and soft.

Film formers to give your lashes a glossy look.

Antioxidants to retard aging and environmental damage.

Astringents to shrink pores.

The mascara itself requires certain properties like

Buffer to keep it from becoming too acidic or alkaline.

Chelating agents to prevent contamination or discoloration (distinct from Preservatives).

Suspenders to help certain particles settle.

Emulsifiers to stop the mascara (emulsion) from separating into various components.

A Neat Trick – Normally, you’d apply multiple coats of mascara without allowing it to dry between coats. However, if your mascara flakes, you could try allowing one coat to dry without applying the next one. Your flaking should reduce.

Don’t ask me why this works; I honestly don’t have a good explanation. If you suspect you know why, please do tell!


Sometimes mascaras start drying too soon. A natural temptation in such a case would be to use water to loosen them up.

That would be a very big mistake.

Mascara sits so very close to your eye; you need to take precautions and maintain hygiene. At the minimum, use contact lens solution to soften up drying mascara.

A second aspect of mascara hygiene is to be very selfish and NEVER, EVER share it with anyone. You’re doing both yourself and your BFF (who’s presumably asking to share) a big favor by saving both of you from a very high risk of infection. I kid you not.


By now you know enough to make a choice of drugstore mascara by yourself but there is a definite best choice I think you should check out.

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama Washable Mascara

As I said before, this is a really good product for its price. That is a very big thing if you’re discussing Drugstore Mascaras.

If you don’t believe me, believe celebrity makeup artist Amber Dreadon. She is a fan of this line (her favourite one is a different shade though).

It’s easy to get on and easy to take off.

It won’t smudge in most reasonable circumstances. This version is not waterproof but if you want, there is a waterproof version.

It’s contact lens and sensitive eyes & skin friendly.

The curved wand is perfect for curling.

Overall an excellent Drugstore Mascara.

Save The Base For Last!

Ms Mirella from Youtube has a great tip if you want to really go to town and curl your lashes. She suggests starting not at the root but at the tip. Do the tips first, then the middle and save the base for last. This really curls your lashes without loading or drooping them.

Mascara does not have an expiry date printed but it does have a shelf life all the same. Once opened you should try to use it within 3 months.

By no account should you use mascara that is more than 6 months old.

Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff adds that mascara that is past its prime will start to smell like gasoline.

If you smell gasoline, you know it’s time to throw it away! Better spend a few dollars on a new tube than rue your decision after your eye is infected.

Right, that’s about it! If you think there’s another drugstore mascara out there that ought to be on my list, please do tell me! The good suggestions may get a shout-out on Facebook or Twitter.

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