5 Recommended Drugstore Mascaras (plus an amazing lash primer)
What are your top 5 mascaras for under $12? thanks. :)
It was harder than expected to nail down 5 mascaras under US$12 specifically, as prices vary so much internationally, so I will just stick to recommending drugstore mascaras that I’ve personally tried and loved over the years.
If these happen to cost more then US$12 where you are located (like me), I’m sorry about that!
1. L’oreal Voluminous: You’ve heard it before. This is the drugstore version of Dior Show mascara with a smaller, easier-to-handle brush. I stockpile this (both the regular and Carbon Black versions) because they’re not sold in many parts of Asia, and I can’t imagine not having this mascara. Some people find it clumpy but I’ve never had any issues. These are my absolute favorite for giving fluffy, feathery, full lashes that don’t look like burnt-twigs.
2. Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara (non-waterproof in pink tube)
This works quite like Rimmel Sexy Curves, but is a bit better for people with sparser lashes. Separates and builds quite quickly for a more dramatic look, but I find it does not give the wispy “born-with-it” lashes L’oreal Voluminous gives me.
3. Bourjois Volumizer Mascara
Many people either love or hate this. I’ve found people who hate it haven’t quite gotten the knack of working with it. You can use the Step 1 brush as a primer and then layer on Step 2 for killer volume, but the way I personally like to use it is actually to apply Step 2 FIRST, and then separate and sweep off clumps with the Step 1 brush. This is like L’oreal Voluminous on steroids.
4. Revlon Grow Luscious (Original)
This dried out very fast for me, which is my only beef with the formula. I did enjoy it very much, as it also gives you feathery, natural-looking lashes. The bonus is that it conditions them as well, but I wouldn’t say it actually makes your lashes GROW longer. The brush is quite similar to Dior Show but if you have problems with keeping mascara off your lids, then this mascara is not for you as it’s huge and dense. But for many people outside of the US and UK, Revlon Grow Luscious is available and Voluminous is not.
5. Shiseido Lash Expander Frame Plus
This fiber mascara lengthens by applying tiny fibers onto the tips of your natural lashes and creates natural-looking temporary extensions. As someone who HATES the look of clumpy or obviously unnatural lashes, this was a staple before I got into Bourjois and L’oreal mascaras. I did not list it as part of the main list because outside of Japan (and occasionally on eBay), the mascara costs an arm and a leg. In Japan, it only costs about US$10 while local buyers in Singapore have to shell out a ridiculous US$20-21 (SGD$25.90), which is the price of high-end mascaras in the West.
But this mascara is for a specific purpose; building believable length. If you have sparse lashes and need volume, this will not do it for you.
PLUS!! Lash Primer of choice:
Ardell Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator
It might sound unlikely but this coats your lashes and works as the best primer if you don’t like those chalky-white lash primers that give you lash tips that go helter-skelter. It protects and conditions your lashes, works as a primer, AND costs US$2. (It’s more expensive than that in other parts of the world, but still incredibly cheap.)
An important thing is to make sure that you get a tube that is cloudy white; not yellowish or orange as those would have “turned”. Sometimes drugstores don’t get rid of old stock, so it’s important to be careful when it comes to products that go on your eyes and skin.
[Pic source: http://www.makeupandbeautycare.com]