our edit of the best formulas on the market


In every make-up bag up and down the country you will find a mascara. It is arguably the most used make-up product in the beauty kit. Think about it: you have tonnes of base choices – the very best foundation, cracking bb creams, five-star tinted moisturisers – there are blushers and bronzers to add depth to your complexion, and you’ve got moisturiser balms or statement-making lipsticks. But mascara is the only constant – there are no alternatives to boosting your lash length, opening your eyes and making them pop. With the world we currently live in – Zoom calls aplenty and face masks a must-have accessory – it’s even more important that we find the best mascara.

What to look for in one of the best mascaras

You really need to know what you want to get our of yours ahead of buying it. Consider the look you’re after – defined, natural-looking lashes or big volume to add drama? Once you’ve decided, this will help you choose the right wand. Plastic combs and brushes are better at defining and elongating lashes. They’re often thinner and less chunky in size. Traditional bristles are key to adding volume and fullness, they’re plumper and apply more product to the lashes.

Colour is also important. Black is the most popular, but it can wash paler skin tones out, so it might be worth considering a brown or navy? Do you want your eye colour to stand out? Pick a colour that accentuates. Purple and blues make blue and green eyes pop, browns highlight hazel.

And then of course, do you need a long-wearing, hardy waterproof formula?

We’ve trialled and tested so many that we’ve since lost count. From Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara – a cult classic – to Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Push up Lashes, that has taken the industry by storm, we’ve done our fieldwork. And what we can definitively say is that the best mascaras really do have transformative effects.

Make the most of your mascara

No matter which you choose, here’s a tip from make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury on the best application technique: ‘As you drag up from the base of your lashes, zig-zag the wand from side to side. This creates more volume, as you are depositing more product onto your eyelashes.’

As for your bottom lashes, turn the brush vertically. ‘The thinner end will help you control your application with more precision.’

And of course, to magnify the results, always go for a second coat. But resist the urge to pump the wand up and down in the tube. ‘Your mascara will dry out quicker as you’re pushing too much air inside. Slowly twist the brush around the tube instead.’

Don’t forget to check our Marie Claire vouchers site before you shop for the latest offers and discounts from your favourite brands – think, LOOKFANTASTIC, Cult Beauty and Boots.



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