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The Best Volumizing Mascara

Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated December 2021

When we hear the word "glamour," we often think of thick, luxurious eyelashes. Salon treatments can be expensive, and faux eyelashes can be a pain. Try our picks for volumizing mascara---a fantastic alternative that still gives you full, thick, luxe lashes.

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  Top Choice Best Waterproof Cruelty-Free Two-Step Option Best Premium
 
  L'Oreal Paris
Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
Maybelline
Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara
essence
Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara
L'Oreal Paris
Double Extend Beauty Tubes
Lancome
Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara
 
Our SummaryFrom a long-time trusted name in cosmetics, this volumizing mascara adds tons of lash volume without clumps, streaks, or flakes.From another trusted name in the makeup industry, this fabulously fanned-out mascara packs a big bang for the buck.This fairytale mascara gives you all-day luscious lashes without guilt, harmful chemicals, or gluten.Another hit product from one of the most well-known names in your makeup bag, this two-step formula adds both length and volume to your lashes.The unique shape of the state-of-the-art mascara applicator is made to leave no lash behind.
ProsComes in a variety of color choices, not tested on animals, lengthens the lashes as well as volumizing them.Comes in many semi-dark to dark-colored shades, comes in a washable version, gluten-free.Designed to cover every lash, lengthens as well as volumizes, long-lasting.Nourishing, easy to remove, suitable for sensitive eyes.Goes on easily, easy to remove, helps the eyelashes to curl upward
ConsApplicator doesn't taper off, doesn't get corners well, brush bristles can get clumpy.Clumpy, brush prone to buildup, too heavy for extensions or falsies.
Not waterproof, might take several coats, prone to clumping.Can't let white step dry out between coats, too heavy to use on falsies or lash extensions.Only sold in one black color, brush may become detached from the tube, smudges.
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The Best Volumizing Mascara

A woman applies mascara and smiles at the camera.
Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB/Shutterstock.com

There are hundreds of mascaras out there that swear they’re the best at lengthening, strengthening, or volumizing lashes, but each formula and each person is different. If you’re looking for thick, full volume, we’ve researched many options and picked out some great products that could be just what you’re looking for.

Buying Guide for Volumizing Mascara

A woman applies mascara to her eyelashes.
KOBRIN PHOTO/Shutterstock.com

Why buy volumizing mascara?

If your lashes appear lackluster or if you want a more daring, eye-popping look, try a volumizing mascara. Some mascaras contain moisturizing and strengthening ingredients that can make your lashes healthier and fuller. It’s great to have on hand if you need to glam up on the go and is a staple in makeup enthusiasts’ toolkits.

What should you consider in volumizing mascara?

  • Waterproof vs. Washable: If you live in a hot, rainy, or high-humidity area, you may want to consider a waterproof formula. However, if you hate using special cleansers to wash your eyes at the end of the day, you can easily wash off most washable mascara with just soap and water, and sometimes just water.
  • Color: While black and dark black are the most popular mascara shades, many prefer browns for natural looks or blues to make a fun statement. Be sure the mascara of your choice comes in your favorite color.
  • Applicator Shape: People have different eye shapes, so different applicators will work better for different people. Some applicators are big and thick, while others taper off at the end. If you have narrower eyes or tight corners, try a tapered applicator. If you have large or round eyes, a chunky applicator will give you great coverage.

What makes volumizing mascara different from other types of mascaras?

Where lengthening mascara is made to make your eyelashes appear longer, volumizing mascara is made to make your eyelashes look thicker. Volumizing mascara has the added benefit of giving your eyes a full, natural look without looking like you’re wearing falsies. While both lengthening mascara and volumizing mascara typically contain pigments, polymers, or plant extracts to do the job, the formulas are different and provide different results.

Our Picks for the Best Volumizing Mascara

Top Choice

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

From a long-time trusted name in cosmetics, this volumizing mascara adds tons of lash volume without clumps, streaks, or flakes.

Pros: This popular mascara comes in a variety of color choices to match your best makeup look. It is not tested on animals, so you can feel good about your purchase. It does a great job at lengthening the lashes as well as thickening them.

Cons: The applicator doesn’t taper off, so it doesn’t fit some eye shapes, and it doesn’t get into the delicate corners well. Brush bristles can get clumpy over time, so be sure to give it a good clean with mineral oil or coconut oil if it gets full of clumps.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a money-saving mascara that compares to a more expensive brand, this may be a great choice for you. It works well to fan out your lashes, and it adds tons of volume, especially if you add a second layer to your lashes.

 

Best Waterproof

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

From another trusted name in the makeup industry, this mascara packs a big bang for the buck.

Pros: This mascara comes in several semi-dark to dark-colored shades for you to pick from. It also comes in a washable version for those who don’t want waterproof mascara. The formula is gluten-free, so it’s safe for people with celiac disease.

Cons: Some buyers found the waterproof formula too clumpy for their liking. While the brush style is one of the most popular, it’s also the most prone to collecting buildup and needs to be cleaned more often than some others. This isn’t the best mascara to use on falsies or extensions because the formula is heavy.

Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a volumizing mascara with a wow factor, this may be a great choice for you. It has tons of bristles to give you a lifted, thicker lash look. It’s easily removed with a simple makeup remover, so you don’t have to worry about having dark circles in the morning.

 

Best Cruelty-Free

essence Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara

This fairytale mascara gives you all-day luscious lashes without guilt, harmful chemicals, or gluten.

Pros: Tapered fibers and a curved brush are designed to cover every lash. It lengthens as well as thickens. Plus, this mascara is long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about re-applying it throughout the day.

Cons: This particular formula is not waterproof. It might take several coats to achieve a thick, fanned-out look. It can definitely clump, even during the first use, so be sure to clean your brush regularly.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for mascara without a chemical and sulfate-filled formula, this may be a great choice for you. This mascara is never tested on animals, and it’s recommended by PETA.

 

Best Two-Step Option

L'Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes

Another hit product from one of the most well-known names in your makeup bag, this two-step mascara adds both length and volume to your lashes.

Pros: This fantastic mascara has two steps to create long-lasting lifted lashes. The first step is applying the white primer with nourishing qualities that make your lashes stronger. The second step is the tubing mascara that stays in place all day. Once you’re ready to wash your face, all you need is mild soap and warm water. This formula is also suitable for sensitive eyes.

Cons: Don’t let the primer dry in between applications, or you’ll have to wash it off and start over. It’s too heavy to use on top of falsies or lash extensions.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a mascara that packs a big punch, this may be the one for you. Simply apply both layers for lengthened and voluminous lashes that last all day. Contacts wearers can feel safe using this mascara as well, as it doesn’t flake off.

 

Best Premium

Lancome Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara

The unique shape of the state-of-the-art mascara applicator is made to leave no lash behind.

Pros: This mascara goes on easily with the tapered applicator. It also helps the eyelashes to curl upward in most cases, making them more dramatic. It’s easy to remove when the time comes.

Cons: As of right now, this product is only sold in one black color. Some users noticed smudging while applying or wearing this product.

Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for washable mascara with dramatic effects, this may be a good choice for you. Despite the designer label, you can often find this mascara at a great price.

Final Thoughts

Volumizing mascara has been a secret weapon in makeup artists’ arsenals for many years. Thick, lush, fanned-out lashes don’t go out of style. Get them with the help of these volumizing mascaras.

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »

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