Last updated: August 29, 2021

Our method

18Products analysed

35Hours spent

7Evaluated articles

80User reviews

With our eyes, we communicate in a universal language, they allow us to express our selves without the use of words. It is actually said that: “one look is worth a thousand words”. With so much focus placed on the eyes, the beauty industry offers a wide gamut of products specifically designed to highlight and enhance their natural beauty: eye shadow, eyelash extensions and even coloured lenses.

Mascara, however, is easily the most popular eye makeup product. This wonderful invention allows you to transform your eye and gaze with the stroke of a brush. If you want to benefit from all the great perks of using mascara, keep reading. In this article, we will cover everything you should know in order to use correctly and to purchase the perfect product for your needs.


  • There is a wide selection of products with different characteristics and properties. Most mascaras today don’t only serve a cosmetic purpose, you can find products that also treat and nourish the eyelashes.
  • Mascara is very easy to use, and it can be applied swiftly providing instantaneous and long-lasting results.
  • Even though the use of mascara is for the most part harmless, in some rare cases, it may have a negative reaction.
  • The main purpose of mascara is to create more voluminous and defined lashes.

The best mascaras: Our Picks

In this section, we present you with the top  mascara products available on the market. We have included a small description of each product to acquaint you with some of the characteristics you can expect from quality products. This will help you figure out what it is that you need from one of these products so that you can find the best one for you.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about mascara

This section is designed to provide you with all the information you need concerning mascara products. Keep in mind you’ll be wearing mascara in one of the most delicate areas of your body, and as such, you should always make sure to be informed at the time of purchase. We have also included answers to the most frequently asked questions among buyers.

Woman applaying mascara

Mascara is simple and quick to use, creating instant and long-lasting results.
(Source: Puhha: 71353636/

What is mascara exactly?

Mascara is a cosmetic product that is applied to the lashes in order to highlight and enhance the eyes. It works by darkening, thickening, lengthening, and/or defining the eyelashes. With one simple step, you can drastically improve your overall look.

The first mascara dates back to the 1950s, it was created by Eugène Rimmel. The first mascara was a mixture of black soap, wax and carbon dioxide. It was applied with the fingertips or with a small brush and it was a highly irritating concoction. The formula has evolved, and mascaras today can actually work to nourish your lashes.

Why would benefit from the use of mascara?

Using mascara products today can actually have benefits beyond its evident aesthetic ones. Yes, it’s true that mascara will make your lashes more voluminous, lengthier, thicker and darker in tone. These things combined give your eyes a more intense and striking look.

Still, mascara can also provide enormous benefits to the health of your eyelashes. Some mascaras formulas today have been shown to protect the eyes and lashes from harmful external agents while also encouraging the eyelash to grow.

What properties should a good mascara have?

You can find a multitude of mascara products in the cosmetic section of any Shopper’s, The Bay or any other department store. Nonetheless, keep in mind that just like with any cosmetic product: not all mascaras are created equally. Regardless, there are some key properties every good mascara should have.

For starters, a good mascara should be completely innocuous. That is to say, it should not cause any damage to your eyes or skin. Furthermore, the easy application is key, the product should go on without clumping. Moreover, ensure the cosmetic you choose delivers long-lasting results that are resistant to smudges.

 the macro beautiful female eye

Modern mascara has been around for nearly two centuries.
(Source: Lukyanov: 3200194/

When we speak of aesthetic benefits, the product you choose should lengthen and give volume to the lashes without weighing them down. Eyelashes should become defined while keeping their curl and remaining flexible. Last but not least, a quality mascara should set pretty quick, allowing you to move on without worrying about smudges — The combination of all these factors will determine the quality of the mascara and its ease of application.

What is mascara made out of?

Even though different products will have different active ingredients, there is a base formula for creating a quality mascara product. The key components are water, waxes, oils, polymers, active ingredients, and pigments. Each one of these additives has a specific and important role in how the product performs.

Oils and silicone, for instance, make the product much easier to apply. The amount of wax in the formula will make the mascara waterproof while also working to protect the eyelashes. The polymers work as binding agents that allow the product to stick to the lash hair. Finally, the last component is pigments that give the product it's colour.

The table ahead contains these components, along with a brief description of their functions:

Component Properties Examples
Water Its proportion varies depending on the type of mascara.
It is the main ingredient in water-based mascaras and it’s not as present in water-proof products.
Waxes Waterproofing effect, protection against outside agents, increased lash density.
These benefits combined provide flexibility and product adhesion.
Carnauba, candlelit, rice, jojoba, bees and ozokerite.
Oils and silicones Protect against humidity, add brightness, accelerate drying, facilitate product application. Paraffin, palm oil, cottonseed. Derivatives of dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, dimethiconol.
Polymers and resins They aid with adherence and enhance the curvature of the eyelashes. Hydroxyethylcellulose, acacia gum, polyvinyl alcohol, quaternary polymers, vinyl acrylic acid derivatives, vinyl pyrrolidone derivatives.
Ingredients with specific actions Variable: provide volume, lengthen the eyelashes Multiple.
Pigments They give the mascara its colour. Iron oxides, pearlescent pigments.
Perfume They provide a pleasant fragrance. Multiple.
Auxiliary substances They make the product last longer, as well as helping prevent damage to the eyes or skin. Preservatives, antioxidants, pH regulators.

When referring to active ingreadients, these are the most common and important ones:

  • Keratin: protects, hydrates and strengthens the eyelashes.
  • Panthenol: adds volume to the eyelashes.
  • Amino acids: hydrate and strengthen the lashes.
  • Mucopolysaccharides: hydrate and strengthen the lashes.
  • Vegetable sugars: brings extra moisture and hydration to the lashes.
  • Ceramide R: regenerates and restructures the lashes.

What types of mascaras are there?

Mascara formulas have come a long way since the first mascara was invented. The beauty industry has helped these products evolve, mascaras today come with specific properties and varied purposes. The most basic formula is water-soluble and it has most of the general aesthetic benefits we have mentioned throughout this guide, i.e: it darkens, lengthens and gives volume to eyelashes.

One of the most popular mascara presentations, apart from the basic one, is waterproof mascaras. Some other favoured presentations include coloured mascara, which tints the lashes with bright and bold colours. The table ahead contains the most well-known types of mascaras available at the moment.

Type Properties
Basic Gives volume to the eyelashes, darkens them and defines them. Soluble in water.
Waterproof Insoluble in water, it remains intact with moisture (sweat, tears, water). More difficult to remove.
Lash extension Has a specific applicator to provide more length to the eyelashes.
Volume effect It consists of an applicator designed to give the lashes more volume.
Coloured Mascara in various colours. They give a casual and fun look.
Lash separator It incorporates a special applicator that works to prevent the lashes from clumping together by promoting more separation between them.
With humectants They provide nutrition and hydration to the eyelashes.
Curlers They provide a more curved or curly shape to the eyelashes to open up the eyes more dramatically.

What is the proper method for applying mascara?

Even though it may seem like putting on mascara is simple and intuitive, it is not. Moreover, it is actually crucial for the application to be done correctly in order to achieve the desired results. In this section, we outline the basic method for applying mascara step-by-step. To begin, open the mascara, take out the brush once and remove any excess product.

Next, start by applying the product to the upper lashes, do so by placing the brush at the base of the lash line and move it slightly from side to side to grip the individual lashes. This also ensures the whole lash — from base to tip — is properly coated. Then, work the brush towards the tips of the eyelashes with a swift, upward movement. If necessary, you can repeat these steps to apply a second coat of product.

Nice, delighted, caucasian, charming, pretty, aged woman applyin

Mascara can drastically impact your gaze and the power of your look.
(Source: Samborskyi: 91651626/

To coat the lower lashes, use only the tip of the applicator brush and go from the water line downwards. If you happen to get some mascara on your eyelids or below the eyes, remove the product using a damp Q-tip. If clumping begins to occur, you can use a clean mascara brush to remove any lumps. If you follow these simple steps correctly, you will have stunning looking lashes in minutes.

How often should I wear mascara?

Even though some people think that using mascara daily can damage the eyelashes, it is in fact the misuse of a product (leaving mascara on overnight) or using a poor quality or expired product that will cause the most damage. We have access to quality products that actually work to treat and protect the lashes. So, if you’re adequately using a quality product, you can wear mascara every day.

Did you know that in some countries, mascara is referred to as “Rimmel”? - After Eugene Rimmel, who technically invented the first mascara.

Are there any negative side effects from using mascara?

As mentioned before, a good mascara should be safe and innocuous. Whatever product you choose, should be tested and meet all health and safety standards and regulations. However, we should note that even the best quality mascara can sometimes produce unwanted reactions. The eyes are one of the most delicate and sensitive organs of the body.

Some mascaras can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the eyes and surrounding areas. People who wear contact lenses or those who suffer from dry eyes, eyelid conditions and sensitive skin are prone to have negative interactions with some mascara products. Still, more often than not, these problems can be prevented by choosing quality cosmetics and checking the list of ingredients.

Woman shopping in a beauty shop

Mascara is an essential product in any makeup routine.
(Source: Bertolli: 42252386/

Last but not least, if you want to enjoy all of the benefits that come from wearing mascara, make sure not to use a product 3 months past its expiry date. Experts also advice that eye makeup products should never be shared with other people. It never hurts to look for products which are backed by reputable brands and consumer reviews.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mascara?

Just like with any cosmetic product, the use of mascara can also ha e both pros and cons. It is without a doubt a very practical tool that has a big impact on your beauty routine. However, it’s always to consider any possible risks and disadvantages. This next table summarises the possible dualities of this type of cosmetic products:

  • More voluminous lashes
  • Longer eyelashes
  • Darker or coloured eyelashes
  • Hydration and nutrition of the eyelashes
  • Possible eye irritation, infection and allergic reactions

Purchase Criteria

As you shop for your next mascara, try to keep in mind all of the information we have given you throughout this guide. Lastly, we wanted to include one more set of criteria for your consideration. These are relevant aspects one should always think of before buying any cosmetic product.

Eyelash type

When buying a product for your lashes, you should probably consider their characteristics. You will be able to get the best possible results if you opt for a product that works with and makes the most of your natural lashes. As an example, you may have short and thick eyelashes, or have thinner and longer ones, whatever the case, choose a product that works to enhance and complement their natural qualities.

If on the one hand, for example, you have short lashes, it is advisable to choose a mascara that lengthens and defines the lashes, this will make them look longer. One the other hand, if you have long and thin lashes, you should opt for a volumising mascara that will add thickness to each eyelash.

Volumising mascaras will work to add length and thickness to naturally flat and dull lashes.

Skin type

Most people fail to consider this one very important aspect when buying mascara. Keep in mind that eyelashes are fully surrounded by skin and pretty sensitive skin at that. The characteristics of your skin may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the product.

For instance, oily skin tends to produce more sebum, meaning that when the product comes in contact with the skin, the oil will transfer to the mascara, making it smudge and stain. For people with this type of skin, experts recommend the use of waterproof mascara.

Persons with normal to dry skin can use any type of mascara without any worry. On the other hand, those with sensitive skin particularly should always look for products that don’t contain any irritants such as synthetic perfumes or any other harsh chemicals.


Certain mascaras are made with active ingredients that will nourish your lashes.
(Source: Borodin: 24948945/

Desired results

It should go without saying that the results you’re looking for will also help you determine the type of product you should buy. For instance, if you want longer lashes, opt for a mascara with lengthening properties. If you want lashes that hold their curl, look for a product that enhances and helps hold the curl.

If you want to wear makeup to the beach or a pool, then you should definitely opt for waterproof mascara. For everyday makeup, just go for a product that is flexible and that you can wear comfortably all day. Last but not least, for some special events you can even opt for coloured mascara. In short, whatever your need or occasion, you’re sure to find a product suited to meet any and all of your expectations.


Always keep in mind that the individual active ingredients of each mascara will largely determine their specific functions, properties and benefits. These components will also play a role in any possible negative impact any given product may have on your health.

Some of the active ingredients will include components with volumising effects or those that lengthen eyelashes. Some of the compounds will work to hydrate and nourish your lashes. Whatever the case, look for a product that has the ingredients that will help you achieve your desired outcome.

Last but certainly not least, make sure that the mascara you chose doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that could pose a risk to your health. This is particularly important if you suffer from allergies or any other sensitivities or skin conditions.


Ensuring the product you choose is of good quality or is backed by a reputable brand, is essential when looking at products that will be used super close to one of the most important and sensitive organs in the body. The eyes are especially susceptible to irritations and infections of varying severities. The best way to prevent any possible complications is to ensure you buy a product that has been tested for quality and safety.

If you’re unsure about how to choose a quality mascara, you can start by checking if the product has been dermatologically and ophthalmologically tested. Moreover, everyone should always make sure to check the list of ingredients to make sure the product doesn’t have harsh chemicals or irritants. Choosing a reliable brand is always a good option, and when all else fails, you can always seek expert advice.


Today, you can find a sea of mascaras that offer a myriad of benefits which go beyond the expected aesthetic ones. There are safe and affordable products that not only work to quickly strengthen and highlight your gaze; they are also effective tools to care for and nourish your lashes. Whatever your eyelash needs are, there is a mascara out there that is perfect for you.

So, are you looking to add depth, intensity and personality to your gaze? Would you like for your eyes to stand out in a natural yet captivating way? The simplest way to open up and brighten your eyes is with beautiful and long eyelashes. With the touch of a tiny magic brush, you can give your lashes the nourishment, volume, body, and length you desire. A good mascara will that it is the smallest details that make the biggest difference.

If you found the information in this guide useful, share it on your social networks or leave us a comment with your thoughts.

(Source of the featured image: Marctran: 82915634/