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My Favorite Splurge Mascaras

Best splurge Mascara

As obsessed as I am with mascara, I don’t mention my favorites on the site often enough! I have a serious mascara buying issue. I have a drawer full of mascara. For reals. And recently I’ve been buying more and more splurge mascaras. Some of which won’t get worn more than once. Sad, but true. For whatever reason I can’t use those mascaras again.

But, today I want to share the best of the best! These are mascaras that I have repurchased (or even hoard) and have more than lived up to my expectations. I was a bit surprised how many there were once I counted them out, but really… these are my favorites!

Overall Great Volume and Length

1. My Go-To is Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (buy it from Sephora, Nordstrom or Bobbi Brown): I go through so much of this mascara! It grabs every lash, makes it look like 10, adds length and doesn’t smudge or clump. I stock up on the rare occasion that it goes on sale as well.

2. Even more Dramatic is Bobbi’s Eye Opening Mascara (from Sephora, Nordstrom or Bobbi Brown): Pretty similar to Smokey Eye, but with even more length and volume. Because of the size of that brush (it’s very large), it is much harder to reach the base of my lashes, and Eye Opening clumps more. I mostly use Smokey Eye, but for dates with hubby, I go for Eye Opening and I keep a lash brush handy during application.

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (at Sephora, ULTA or Too Faced): This is one of my go-to mascaras and really does a great job! There’s a waterproof version as well, which is great for low-water situations, but not for swimming.

Extra Dramatic Volume

These mascaras add length and volume (I can’t go without both!) but are more volume than length.

4. It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara (at Sephora, ULTA or It Cosmetics)

5. Chanel Le Volume Mascara (at Nordstrom, Chanel or Neiman Marcus)

6. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking (at Sephora or Neiman Marcus)

Problem Solvers

7. For Smudging try Blinc Mascara Amplified (at Sephora): If your mascara smudges no matter what, you need to try a tubing mascara. They are totally different than normal mascaras, actually creating little sleeves of mascara over your lashes! They’re much more resistant to being dissolved, which is basically what is happening when your mascara runs/smudges all over the place (what’s dissolving it? Tears, rubbing your eyes, your eye cream if the lashes touch your skin at all… you get the idea). So, try a tubing mascara. My favorite is the Blinc one, and they have this updated version that gives a fuller, more voluminous look than their previous mascara, which was pretty natural. I go for volume and length!

8. For Layering, try Ciaté London Triple Shot Mascara (at Sephora): This mascara is fine on it’s own, but really the brush is where it’s at! The long plastic bristles help pull apart any lashes that might be stuck together, but still add product to the lashes. I love to layer it over my Smokey Lash, but I only do that when I’m wearing contacts, my lashes smudge the inside of my glasses when I do it!

9. If Application is Hard, try Lancôme Grandiôse Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara (at Sephora or Nordstrom): Personally, I’ve noticed that I have to be careful to apply my mascara equally to both of my eyes. The reason is angles. I’m right handed and my left eye always looks better than my right eye. I have to really think about it when applying to my right eye! The bend in this mascara wand takes all of the thought out of it.

10. For Waterproof, try Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara (at Nordstrom, Chanel or Neiman Marcus): We put in a pool at my house this summer. I’m one of those moms who spends a lot of time in the pool with her girls, mostly doing handstands in the shallow end with my 5 year old! So, I need a truly waterproof mascara. This is my favorite after trying about 20 different mascaras. I can spend hours in the water and my lashes look exactly the same afterwards.

Mascara Tip Guide
Read more about mascara, mascara primers and lashes in my Mascara and Lashes Guide

Product Sent for Review, I Bought It, Affiliate Links
The Too Faced and It Cosmetics mascaras have both been sent to me by PR in the past, though strangely enough it was after I had already bought them with my own money! Everything else I’ve bought on my own. Over and over.

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 8.13.17
    Nancy said:

    For some reason, this post from January just showed up on my feed, but I am so glad it did! A couple of years ago, I needed three surgeries and skin grafts to reconstruct my eyelid after a skin cancer appeared on my lid. Since then, I have had very wimpy eyelashes- tried numerous mascaras- none looked good at all. So I gave up on ever wearing mascara again. But when I read this, I ran over to Sephora and bought the number 1 on your list. Never paid that much for mascara, but OMG! It was worth every penny and more! Love it! Had a wedding to go to, I finally felt right. I am thrilled!

    • 8.14.17
      15mins said:

      Yeah!!! I’m so happy it worked for you. I’ve been through about 10 tubes of that mascara, I just ordered another last week 🙂

  2. 1.14.19
    Arzice said:

    Hi Doc,

    I was trying to find a blog you may have already posted about pregnancy safe mascara? Thought to ask if ingredients in Almay Thickening Mascara is safe during pregnancy?

    Aqua (Water), Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Glyceryl Stearate Se, Ozokerite, Pvp, Polybutene, Oleic Acid, Cera Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) (Carnauba) Wax, Isopropanolamine, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Quaternium-22, Simethicone, Quaternium-15, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea. may Contain: Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492, 77499), Ultramarine Blue (Ci 77007), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Carmine (Ci 77470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (Ci 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288), Black 2.

    Thank you!

    • 1.16.19
      15mins said:

      Please refer to my post on pregnancy safe makeup. Mascara isn’t something you need to worry about, it sits on your lashes which can’t absorb anything.

      • 1.16.19
        Arzice said:

        oh okay, thank you!