15 Drugstore Mascaras Celebrity Makeup Artists Swear By

December 20, 2022
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Close-up photo of a model applying black mascara to her top lashes

The drugstore beauty aisle, namely the mascara section, is a beauty lover’s happy place. Volumizing options are plentiful, lengthening wands are available by the dozen, and the promise of long, lush and dramatic eyelashes costs no more than $15. While testing every pharmacy find is admittedly tempting, we wanted to narrow down our drugstore search to the best of the best. That’s why we asked celebrity makeup artists to share their thoughts on the best drugstore mascaras. Keep reading, because these pro-approved picks are all the proof you need that getting great lashes doesn’t have to break the bank.

The Best Drugstore Mascaras for Volume

Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara

“Love the volume this mascara gives! For a drugstore mascara, The Falsies Volum' Express performs as good as any department store mascara. The curved brush hugs the lashes and provides instant volume. You can layer on a few coats to create a dramatic look for day or evening.” — Sara Talias


Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara

“You can create bold and intense lashes with this mascara. One coat of this mascara gives drama, but you can create a lot of drama with multiple coats!” — Allison Kaye

Maybelline New York Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara Big Shot Washable Mascara

“I have been in a committed relationship with this mascara for almost three years. I’m a huge fan of the brush’s wavy bristles that hug the lash line for instant volume. The formula is instantly dramatizing and does not flake or smudge.” — Dominique Lerma

“This mascara is great for people with really thin lashes or really full lashes. The wand’s wavy bristles can define and separate.” — Billie Gene

L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Voluminous Mascara

“This is a new favorite of mine! I love this mascara because it's buildable, allowing you the flexibility to customize your lash style while still leaving them soft to touch.” — Billie Gene

“This has been a staple in my kit for years. The mascara is volume building and leaves the lashes full and soft for a wispy and naturally gorgeous effect.”— Dominique Lerma


L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Voluminous Mascara

Maybelline New York Full ’N Soft Washable Mascara

“I've always been a big fan of this one. The applicator is a good size for every eye shape, and the applicator has lots of bristles so that you get volume and length while still looking natural.” — Jenny Patinkin

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

“I’ve used it in my kit for years! I love knowing that I can trust it to bump up the lashes with just the right amount of drama while staying put all day. When I'm running low, I can easily pop into my fave drugstore to pick up a fresh tube.”— Jonet Williamson

“L'Oréal Voluminous is such a classic mascara, the carbon black verison is a staple in my kit. I love the color payoff, and it always provides the perfect amount of impact to a defined eye. This is an amazing mascara for any style of makeup, and the buildable volume makes it very easy for anyone to work with.”— Sara Talias

Maybelline New York Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara

“It’s a little brush that grabs onto every hair. It’s also great for lower lashes to get a ’70s doe-eye look. It’s great for tiny lashes [and] really builds them up.”— Judi Gabbay Braha

Best Drugstore Mascaras for Length

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

“The skinny silicone applicator lets you get to the roots of your lashes. With a few coats of this mascara, you can get a lot of length — hence the name ‘Sky High!’” — Allison Kaye


Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

NYX Professional Makeup On The Rise Volume Liftscara

“Whenever I want my lashes to stand out without my falsies, I love the matte black formula of On The Rise Volume Liftscara to lift, lengthen and add volume — instant lash lift!”— Alexandria Cervantes

Maybelline New York Lash Discovery

“I love how this has a teeny, tiny thin brush! It’s great for using on mature women and doing a close detail on the bottom eyelashes.” — Ashlee Glazer


Maybelline New York Lash Discovery

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara

“If I have a client who wants more drama and oomph but also a ‘clean’ formulation, I reach for Pacifica Stellar Glaze. It's got a nice, thick, but not clumpy, consistency that can give you an almost false-lash effect in just two to three coats.” — Jenny Patinkin

PYT Beauty Swipe Right 12 HR Mascara

“This clean mascara and primer duo has a 12-hour wear. I especially love how nourishing it is! It contains vitamin E and olive leaf extract. This mascara is suitable for everyday wear, is super lengthening and defining. An added bonus is that it gives you feathery lashes and is 100% cruelty-free.” — Dominique Lerma

Best Drugstore Waterproof Mascaras

L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Waterproof Mascara

“The L'Oréal Telescopic mascara has this amazing tiny brush which is great for detailing. I love using this mascara for editorial work to carefully build up lashes. It is the perfect mascara for someone who loves defined lashes. The brush is incredible for the lower lash line.” — Sara Talias


L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Waterproof Mascara

NYX Professional Makeup Worth the Hype Waterproof Mascara

“On days I am looking for that deep sultry lash with max volume, Worth The Hype Mascara is my go to. The tapered brush tip easily coats all my lashes and feels comfortable all day.”— Alexandria Cervantes

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Mascara

“Another great super black mascara is the L’Oréal Voluminous. It can run a bit so I like the waterproof version. This delivers a ton of product and really makes lashes stand out.”— Colby Smith

Additional reporting by Ariel Wodarcyk. Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

Read more

Back to top