The best mascaras 2020 - as chosen by Mumsnetters
22 January 2020
Still looking for a mascara that’ll magically lengthen and curl even the shortest of eyelashes? Take a look at this round-up of the best mascaras, cherry-picked from our Style & Beauty forum (clumps and smudges aren’t welcome here).
The best mascaras for less than £20
L’Oréal Miss Hippie Mascara, £7.99
Adding volume to eyelashes without weighing them down is at the very heart of the mascara game. It’s not an easy balance to strike without the aid of falsies – but has it finally been perfected? Well, according to Mumsetters, the L'Oreal Miss Hippie mascara could be a tough act to follow with its winning combination of kaleidoscopic bristles and mega impact formula. It works by thickening and elongating lashes while maintaining a feathery appearance. If you’re after a mascara that can replicate the look of fake eyelashes in a natural yet noticeable way, this could be the one for you.
“I bought the Miss Hippie mascara the other day and after I applied it someone complimented me, asking if I was wearing fake lashes, so I was very chuffed. I also curl them with a cheap £1 eyelash curler from Primark, which seems to make a difference.”
“I have tried a few mascara recommendations now and, while they were all good, the Miss Hippie is amazing!! Now I’m not getting any smudges under my eyes!”Buy now from Amazon
Eyeko Lash Alert Mascara, £14.25
If you’re tired of having short, straight eyelashes that lose their curl the second you turn away from the mirror, it might be time to consider Eyeko Lash Alert mascara. Made for on-the-go applications, with a clever growth treatment mixed in, this mascara is all about waking up your eyes by adding curl and definition – all the while promoting healthy lash growth (you can thank their fibre-enriched botanical formula for that).
“I really like Eyeko's Lash Alert mascara as it has caffeine in it and has made my lashes really long and plentiful.”Buy now from Amazon
Related: Everything you need to know before you buy a Philips Lumea hair removal device.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, £22.50
Inspired by hair rollers, this mascara lifts and curls eyelashes to give off a retro-glam, wide-eyed look. So, if you’ve ever wanted to achieve that gorgeous 1950s pin-up girl vibe, Mumsnetters recommend heading straight over to a Benefit counter near you. Its ‘Hook ‘n’ Roll’ brush features tiny hooks so no lash gets left behind and ensures lashes stay in place for up to 12 hours. It even contains provitamin B5 and serine to keep lashes nourished and healthy.
“I just bought the new Benefit one – Roller Lash. It’s great. It gives you long and perfectly curled eyelashes (not spidery) that look completely natural.”
“Roller Lash by Benefit is a miracle worker – I’ve ditched my eyelash curlers!”Buy now from John Lewis
No7 Lovely Lashes Mascara, £13
It’s not always about mega drama – sometimes you want to achieve a more subtle everyday look that makes people stop and wonder what’s so different about you. That’s where No7 Lovely Lashes mascara wins extra brownie points. It’s formulated for beautifully soft, natural-looking lashes and is packed with conditioning ingredients like argan oil and vitamin E to help you embrace (and enhance) what you already have.
“I've tried so hard to get my lashes to look natural but noticeable and settled on No7 Lovely Lashes mascara which I'm really pleased with. It makes them look longer and darker but not clumpy or too obvious.”Buy now from No7
Maybelline Illegal Lengths Waterproof Mascara, £6.70
Maybelline Illegal Lengths mascara is all about making lashes look longer and claims to visibly stretch lashes by up to 4mm. It also features a fibre-fixed brush that has six different points of contact with each individual lash for optimal elongation and fullness. Mumsnetters like that it adds plenty of definition without breaking the bank.
“Maybelline Illegal Lengths mascara has my vote. It's fab – excellent for definition. Plus, it doesn't budge and lasts all day.”Buy now from Amazon
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The best mascaras for £20+
Clinique High Impact Mascara, £17
Add some drama to those peepers with this waterproof Clinique mascara. Mumsnetters recommend it because it’s designed to thicken and separate lashes, fanning them out for a natural look that lasts all day. If you’re in need of a mascara that can take you from day to night, give this a try. The formula is buildable too so you can reapply it easily without worrying about flaking or smudging.
“I've tried a few and keep returning to the Clinique High Impact mascara (the one in the green tube). It is by far the best of the bunch.”Buy now from Amazon
Kevyn Aucoin Curling Mascara, £29.80
It’s all in the name. Kevyn Aucoin’s The Curling mascara uses a ‘shrink-wrap’ formula to lengthen and curl each lash from root to tip, without weighing them down. The brush itself ensures simple styling and an even application without smudging or flaking. It’s also easy to take off and is super long-wearing so you can dance the night away without waking up with residue-induced panda eyes.
“I’ve just tried the Kevyn Aucoin The Curling mascara following advice on Mumsnet and I have to say that it is pretty amazing. It stays on all day (even in the rain) and just wipes off with warm water. I like a natural look so I wipe off the excess, which means I end up with nice long eyelashes without any clumping.”Buy now from Amazon
Related: Thinking of buying a beauty box? Read our guide and find the right one for you.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Mascara, £20.40
Ever excused yourself mid-meal to see how your make-up is holding up only to realise you’ve been sitting there all night with black smudges under your eyes, wondering why nobody said anything? Not anymore. If you're plagued by panda eyes, Mumsnetters recommend opting for this Estée Lauder favourite. Claiming to have 15 hours of staying power, it beautifully lengthens eyelashes for a classy but glamorous look.
“Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge mascara is the only one I buy now. No panda eyes for me!”Buy now from Amazon
Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, £28
This catwalk-inspired mascara focuses on helping you achieve a celeb-worthy finish. Its magic all comes down to the curved shape of the brush, modelled after professional eyelash curlers, for extreme lift and a stunning feline flutter. Even though it’s a bit on the pricey side, it could be well worth the investment if you’ve long been dreaming of sultry lashes that any femme fatale would be proud of.
“The ultimate mascara is Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara. It has a bristle brush instead of plastic so it’s great for adding volume to my lashes. You don't end up with black flakes down your face, it doesn't make your eyelashes feel claggy and the curved brush helps to create a nice curl.”Buy now from Amazon
Lancôme Hypnose Mascara, £25
Mascara and sensitive eyes don’t always go hand in hand. Put an end to itchy, watery peepers with this little wonder. Mumsnetters say it helps them control the volume of their lashes and goes on smoothly with each stroke for a clump-free, feathery and hypnotic effect. It even claims to intensify the thickness of lashes by up to six times.
“Lancôme Hypnose is amazing, I've tried a lot of top brands (as well as dead cheap ones) but I always come back to this one.”
“Yes to Lancôme Hypnose! It is absolutely the best mascara I've ever had.”Buy now from Amazon
Prices correct at time of publication. Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).