best mascara according to editors

The Best Mascaras of All Time According to 14 Editors

The proof is in the pictures.

By: Katie Becker
Photography: Alec Kugler

People are very particular about their mascara. While we might have vague likes or dislikes about a highlighter or a lipstick, mascara for some reason feels extremely personal. One woman’s “clump” is another woman’s “volume.” Plus, we’re just fixated on the feature (is it the windows to the soul thing?)—think about what lash extensions, and now lash lifts, have done for the world! We gathered a bunch of our staff together to show their favorite formulas in a before-and-after (on the right and left, respectively) for the camera.



Lauren Gonzalez

“I use the new Benefit Badgal BANG! Lash Volumizing mascara. The brush is small and narrow, but it does a great job of combing my lashes while coating them with mascara. No spider lashes here. I don’t use an eyelash curler or anything, and I find this wand really pumps up the volume and opens up my eyes. When I only have mascara on one eye, my eyes appear to be two different sizes—it’s nuts!”



Samantha Sutton

“I only recently started using Dior Diorshow Pump‘N’Volume Mascara, but man—I am addicted for life! Whatever’s in this tiny tube really packs a punch, and my lashes look about 10 times longer and fuller after just one coat (so I like to put on two). Even my coworkers were shocked at the before-and-after results, since I rarely wear eye makeup to work. I’d say this mascara is perfect for those days when you want to wow everyone or you need a little (read: a lot of) something extra.”



Caryn Prime

“I love Benefit Badgal Volumizing Mascara in Rich Black because it works—it’s volumizing, not clumpy, and truly all I do is one or two swipes, and I am set. And if I put it on in the morning, I don’t have to worry about unwanted raccoon eyes/unsolicited bottom-lid eyeliner by day’s end. I’ve been using it for a very long time, I think since 2008. Sometimes I will try others, just to test the waters, but I always come back to this one.”


Daniella Deutsch

“I am always looking to incorporate more organic beauty products into my routine. As an intern, one of the perks of running to show rooms was scoring free samples. The team at RMS introduced me to the RMS Mascara, and ever since I have been hooked on this guy!”


Hannah Baxter

“Mascara is a crucial step of my makeup routine, since my lashes are stubbornly blonde and without it I look half-asleep. I also prefer a formula that lengthens and maintains the curl, rather than thickening, for a doe-eyed effect. CoverGirl Peacock Flare Mascara features a feathered fan brush with short, spiraled bristles that separate my lashes and help apply the product evenly. No clumps makes me—and my sensitive eyes—very happy. It’s my new everyday mascara that, in my opinion, totally stands up to other luxury brands at a fraction of the cost.”


Jordan Guskind

“I’ve been using Benefit Roller Lash for about two and half years now, and I’m completely obsessed. It makes my lashes incredibly long (sometimes people even ask me if they are fake or lash extensions). My lashes are always clump-free, and I never have to use a curler because the curved brush does it all for me.”


Stephanie Mark

“What I really like about the NARS Audacious mascara is how long and separated it makes my lashes. I do one coat for the day and two coats at night for drama.”


Leah Faye Cooper

“I’m not loyal to any one brand of mascara because there are so many good ones—Dior Diorshow, Too Faced Better Than Sex, the classic Maybelline in the pink packaging; I horde and use any and all that come across my desk. However, I discovered L’Oréal Voluminous X Fiber last month, and I think I’m in a committed relationship now. The formula has two wands—one for thickening and one for lengthening—and makes my lashes look really dramatic. It’s also really easy to remove, which is very important, given that I don’t like to use anything but Dove bar soap on my face.”


Laurel Pantin

“I’ve never been a makeup loyalist, except to Benefit They’re Real Primer in brown. It looks super natural but makes my eyelashes look more defined and perkier. I’m always going for the no-makeup look, and this does just that.”


Madeleine Bokan

“I have a rather fair complexion and, for whatever reason, used to wear lots of dark eye makeup—up until about a year ago, when I tried a sample of Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer. I fell in love with how the mink-brown tint defines my lashes but keeps them looking natural. It’s now my go-to everyday mascara.”


Tara Gonzalez

“Mascara is my favorite part of my makeup routine and the one thing I can’t leave the house without putting on. I’ve been using Rimmel Lash Accelerator for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I’ll ever switch it up. It gives my lashes length and volume, and it stays on for the entire day. When I want to play up my eyes more, I actually use the excess mascara left over and dab the tip of the brush into little dots underneath my eyes for a Twiggy eye effect. I’ve been doing it a lot recently (and getting all of the compliments), and the dots I make with this mascara last even longer than when I try to use eyeliner!”


Katie Becker

“Because I have fine blonde lashes, my mascara makes a huge difference, and I’m really picky about whether a formula clumps (which I feel like SO MANY mascaras do!). Tom Ford Extreme mascara gives me long, inky, full lashes quickly, so I don’t have to use lots of coats. And you know how a mascara can be awesome the first time you use it, and by the time you’ve used it for a week it goes to hell? Not so with this top-notch formula.”


Maddy Lyon

“I have this horrible fear of an eyelash curler pulling out my precious and ‘limited’ number of eyelashes. That’s why I love MAC Instacurl Lash Mascara, which curls your lashes naturally with their adjustable wand. Voilà! No scary tools necessary.”


Meg Gegler

“I’ve been using Benefit They’re Real Mascara since my senior year of high school (more than 5 years). I’ve always had naturally long lashes, but when I wear this mascara, I’m asked, well, if my lashes are real. This mascara is perfect for lengthening without clumping. The brush is also great at coating every single lash, and especially for those stubborn bottom lashes.”


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