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The best mascaras 2018: Reviews by real women

We spoke to women from all walks of life, from women in their 50s to teenagers. Here are their top-rated mascaras.

What is the best mascara? It's almost impossible to know. Mascara ads always seem to promise the world. Lashes that are 10 times thicker. False-lash effect. Sky-high curls. Lash-multiplying formula. But most of them never truly seem to deliver on these claims.

Nobody has the time or money to test mascara after mascara. So how do we really know what works and what doesn’t?

By asking, of course.

Here at, we decided to compare and compile reviews. We asked a bunch of real women who use mascara every day what is the best mascara they’ve ever used. We spoke to women from all walks of life, from women in their 50s to teenagers, from university students to lawyers.

What did we find? Well, there was one clear favourite and lots of other great products that we never even thought to try!

1. Maybelline - The Falsies

Best supermarket mascara ever. Affordable and definitely comparable to more expensive brands I've tried.

- Natalie

I'm a sucker for a bargain, and luckily for me Maybelline is a reliable one. Great for everyday use and not as thick or clumpy as some of the more expensive brands.

- Liz

The Falsies is really good for a defining the individual lashes. It’s a good price too.

- Clare

No clumps - just long, thick lashes.

- Rae

It makes my lashes huge without being clumpy. Also, they say that you're meant to replace your mascara every 3 or so months due to bacteria. I love that this product is relatively inexpensive and that I can buy it whilst doing my usual weekly grocery shop.

- Alana

Using the lower lash brush because I make a mess with the normal sized one.

- Jackie

2. Tarte - Lights Camera Lashes

I really liked it because it’s a mascara you can layer without it becoming clumpy. Even if I do five coats, my lashes never turned into stuck-together blobs as they do with other mascaras.

- Mia

Tarte makes a great mascara. Depending on how thick your lashes are you can get away with one coat which is quite economical. Great for darker lashes.

- Alex M

It's thickening yet it doesn't clump or smudge.

- Emily M

3. Lancôme - Hypnose

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Available at David Jones

Lancôme Hypnose, because it stays put!

- Marie

Lancôme Hypnose Star. It's the best mascara for a night out or if you want a bit of the wow factor for the day. People will actually compliment you and notice the hints of glitter in your eyelashes. Guess the price doesn't warrant wearing it everyday though!

- Shirley

Lancôme Hypnose Doll. As a short lashed Asian female, I am partial to Lancôme hypnose baby doll. I'm prone to smudging because of my lack of eyelids and tiny eyes. But it gives you epic length, especially if you layer it.

- Sally

4. Rimmel - Volume Flash Mascara

An amazing mascara – builds great volume without clumping! It can be layered and doesn't stick together, so you can go from day to night lashes easily. Good value for money as well and available and most supermarkets and chemists.

- Gemma

5. MAC Cosmetics - False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara

The best mascara! Makes my eyelashes look really long and the brush separates my lashes rather than making them clump together like other mascaras.

- Aston

6. Dior - Diorshow Waterproof Backstage Mascara

Never using anything else! No running - it lasts all day and night and gives good volume.

- Katrine

7. Urban Decay - Big Fatty

It give great volume plus it’s vegan!

- Cass

8. Max Factor - Masterpiece Max

I like it because the brush spreads out my lashes, thus avoiding clumping, and it also adds volume and length which is great because I don't need to use two! It also doesn't crumble off so it stays on forever!

- Jessica P

9. Bobbi Brown - Black Smokey Eye Mascara

It lasts forever and doesn't clump.

- Bianca M

10. Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking

Perfect balance of length and volume, beautiful non-clogging formula.

- Steph A

11. Estee Lauder - Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara

It has a long name so you KNOW it's fancy. Also because it's perfect for everyday wear (not too heavy) but can also be layered for some intense eyelash magic.

- Jessica C

12. Maybelline - Volum' Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara

For a 'I'm not wearing mascara, I'm naturally pretty' look.

- Amy

14. Too Faced - Better than Sex

It really is better than sex!

- Bianca C

15. Australis Mega Lash Mascara

I use Australis Mega Lash mascara, stays on all day and I don't get lashes sticking together. #loveit

- Laura L

16. Make Up For Ever - Aqua Smokey Lash Mascara

It gives long lasting curl. It’s so dramatic and it gives amazing length.

- Emily G

17. Rimmel - Scandaleyes Flex

I like it because it's the only good brand that makes my lashes look amazing that I'm not allergic to. It's hypoallergenic but not an unknown hippy brand.

- Cassilda

18. Inika - Mineral Mascara

Because it's not stuck in the eyes of animals nor uses ingredients from exploited animals, and it looks amazing.

- Jennifer

19. L’Oreal Paris - Telescopic Mascara

It’s super dark and creates unbelievable length that gets noticed every time.

- Lauren

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Mia Steiber

Mia Steiber is the Editor of the Shopping section at finder. She has a serious shopping habit and an addiction to gold jewellery. Her talents include tracking down one-off or almost sold out pieces and knowing the sizing charts for just about every brand.

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