mascara for flirty lashes

My 5 Favorite Mascaras for Minimalist But Flirty Lashes

Join my quest for the perfect Bambi eyes.

By: Hannah Baxter

Since I’ve tested upwards of 100 mascaras in my time as a beauty editor, I’ve grown more and more picky with my favorites. The combo I seek is a tricky one—it has to give lift and curl without looking too thick or va-va-voom. Those types of formulas I save for my weekends, when I want to resemble a disco princess (complete with glitter eyeshadow and oodles of highlighter). It can’t melt down my face by 3:00 PM or flake off and land in my newly Lasik-ed eyeballs. My lashes should look flirty without being the main focus on my face—that’s reserved for my brows. Am I high-maintenance? Perhaps. But minimalist lash fanatics know what I’m talking about, and trust me, those mascaras do exist. These five are a few of my current go-tos.


Saie Mascara 101, $24

I hear the words “clean mascara” and typically assume the formula will make my lashes droop and straighten by noon. But Saie has created a mascara so good I rarely even qualify it as a clean option—it’s just a good product that also happens to be clean. This holds my beloved curl all the way until I wash my face at night, and it keeps my lashes feeling hydrated, thanks to the quackgrass extract (real name, you can’t make that up).

Le Volume Stretch de CHANEL Mascara, $35

CHANEL mascaras always seemed to be the pinnacle of getting pretty lashes, and you know what? It’s true. The secret in this case is the 3-D printed brush, which has micro bristles and a hollow core to stretch and curl your lashes to your heart’s content. I get all the length I crave from a mascara without over-fattening the individual lashes.

L’Oréal Paris Bambi Mascara, $11

From the get-go, I knew this mascara would be a staple for me because it has my eyelash icon in the title: Bambi. Say what you will about that deer having the most tragic of all Disney plotlines, the lash game was on point. My eyes look wider, more open, and framed by the most delicate of eyelashes. The brush never holds too much product, either, so it’s great for getting those little baby lashes on the bottom as well.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, $31

Achieving enough separation between the lashes is one of the most difficult things to do with a mascara, but I never feel like I have to fight the brush with this Bobbi Brown formula. Just a few swipes gives me that lifted effect without any of the chunky residue that’s often considered “volume.” And for girls with blond lashes, like me, this actually coats down to the root so your entire lash line is darkened.

M.A.C. Extended Play Perm Me Up Mascara, $24

M.A.C. mascaras are a makeup-artist staple for a reason—they just work. I never, ever travel without this formula because one coat gives me the minimalist look I want for daytime, but a second makes it appear as though I have extensions. It holds a curl like a dream, and I never have to worry that I look like a raccoon halfway through the day.

Part of the series: