Provides a wealth of volume without causing clumps or feeling heavy. Doesn’t smudge, even if eyes tear. Removes easily without leaving residue. Does a good job volumizing and lifting lashes, making them appear longer than they are, particularly for those with short lashes.
May produce minimal flakes throughout day.
Wand easily separates lashes to prevent clumping and is conveniently curved. One tube has a long lifespan, up to 3 months worth of use. Reliable – won't flake throughout the day. Conveniently sold by Amazon as a 2-pack.
After extended use, eyelash curl will begin to decrease.
Organic formula is one wearers can feel good about, while ensuring volume and desired results. Hypoallergenic formula is perfect for those with sensitivities to chemicals. Easy to remove with cleanser and does not clump.
Provides wonderful volume but doesn’t aid in lash thickness as much as others on our list.
Brush design of this mascara makes it easy to separate lashes to prevent clumping while adding volume. Formula provides dark and velvety appearance on lashes, giving them a full look. Once on, it lasts all day.
Tube contents thickens and dries over time, so may not last more than a month or two.
Has an impressive brush that makes it easy to apply mascara without clumping, even if applying several coats. Comes off easily at the end of the day with water. Dries on lashes quickly and flake-free. Volume and length are long-lasting.
May smudge if exposed to moisture.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Who doesn’t love lush lashes? For some of us, the pursuit is neverending, which is why volumizing mascara is such an important piece in a makeup collection.
Volumizing mascara does a lot more than darken and define your lashes. It has a specific formula that adds length and thickness through a special coating. You’ll probably notice that volumizing mascara feels thicker than regular mascara; it tends to be slightly viscous rather than watery or runny.
Regular mascara might work for natural looks or minimal definition, but volumizing mascara is the right choice if you want every wink and blink to be dramatic. If you’re a contact lens wearer and worried about applying such a heavy mascara, rest assured there are plenty of lightweight formulas that won’t irritate your eyes.
Ready for your lashes to live their best life with a volumizing mascara? Keep reading this buying guide. In it, we compare your choices and check out the top formulas.
To maximize the results of volumizing mascara, you must master the application method. This means angling the want to strategically coat every lash and choosing the ideal number of coats to add thickness without clumping.
With that said, you’ll need to tweak your application technique with every volumizing mascara. The wand shape and size, formula, and even barrel shape all affect how you put it on, so if you’re going to be adventurous and try new varieties, be prepared for a learning curve.
Volumizing mascara is chock-full of unique ingredients that pump up the volume. Some contain collagen, a naturally occurring protein that thickens and strengthens lashes. Others utilize wax to boost thickness and prevent water from diluting or bleeding the formula.
It’s also common to see volumizing mascara with infused vitamins and nutrients that coat lashes while nourishing and strengthening them. If you’d prefer a formula with fewer chemicals and fragrances, there are many non-GMO and vegan choices. There are also some volumizing mascaras that are free of parabens, oils, sulfates, and formaldehyde.
Volumizing mascara can be waterproof or non-waterproof; each type wears differently. Non-waterproof mascara will run when exposed to water, moisture, and tears. These formulas wash off easily with minimal tugging, which translates to less redness and irritation around the eyes.
Waterproof mascara is often sweat-proof, tear-proof, and smear-proof. Some formulas allow you to go swimming without fear of losing coverage. You’ll need to call in reinforcements when it’s time to take this makeup off, however — usually in the form of a heavy-duty waterproof makeup remover.
The most common regular mascara colors are black and brown. Some beauty brands sell them in other colors, such as purple or blue, which complement certain complexions and eye colors.
With volumizing mascara, black and brown are most common. The deeper color encourages dimension and definition. These formulas also boast better pigmentation, making them photograph much better than other colors.
A mascara wand, sometimes called a spoolie, consists of fine bristles that navigate lashes for even application. To stay on the cutting edge, beauty brands experiment with various shapes to achieve the best results. The most popular shape is cylindrical. However, there are also wands shaped like slender trees and wands curved like half-moons.
The jury’s out when it comes to the best wand shape for volumizing mascara. It comes down to preference and ease of application, both of which are subjective. Densely packed bristles do create a greater surface area for the formula, which in turn makes the transfer to the lashes much easier.
Waterproof makeup remover: The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
Remove all those coats of volumizing mascara with a waterproof makeup remover. This soothing formula from The Body Shop effortlessly takes off stubborn makeup. It’s fragrance-free, color-free, and alcohol-free. It’s even safe for contact lens wearers.
Mascara primer: tarte Opening Act Lash Primer
Why not maximize your results by picking up a mascara primer? We like this one from tarte, whose plant-based conditioners masterfully prevent pigment from flaking. This primer comes with a sample size of volumizing mascara so you can begin experimenting right away.
Volumizing mascara is available at every price point, so no matter what your budget is, you can enjoy the benefits of luscious, winkable lashes. Expect to spend between $6 and $40 per barrel.
Inexpensive: Most drugstore volumizing mascaras cost between $6 and $12. In spite of the low price, most of these products offer impressive results when compared to regular mascara.
Mid-range: Volumizing mascara from premium beauty brands costs $15 to $25 per barrel. These formulas are usually infused with nutrients and contain premium ingredients like collagen or retinol.
Expensive: You can expect big results from volumizing mascara by luxury beauty brands. Priced between $25 and $40 per barrel, these deliver the most dramatic results and photograph the best.
If you’re looking for a lightweight formula with big results, consider Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara. This ink-like volumizing mascara defines every lash to deliver fullness and drama. You’ll love the soft, flexible wand bristles that make it easy to apply mascara to lashes near the corners. Best of all, it comes in blackest black for extreme results — just as the name implies.
If you want an excellent non-clumping formula, check out Lancôme Grandiose Extreme Mascara. In addition to adding volume, this formula curls and lengthens lashes so much, you can kick your curler to the curb. It’s specially made for effortless layering, so no matter how many coats you like, your lashes remain defined and luscious.
Q. How often should I replace my volumizing mascara?
A. A good rule of thumb is to replace your mascara every four months. This will help prevent eye infections caused by bacteria growth. If you plan on investing in a high-end mascara, you might as well use it on a daily basis until you run out. If you end up saving it for special occasions only, you might not get your money’s worth inside of four months.
Q. Can a volumizing mascara pump up sparse lashes, or is it too heavy?A. Yes, you can use it to pump up your lashes. To choose the best formula for short or sparse lashes, look for a volumizing mascara that lengthens without clumping. If you’d like to further define lashes, line your top lid with an eyeliner of the same color.
Q. I keep getting clumps with my volumizing mascara. What’s going on?A. If you have an older barrel of mascara, it could be that the formula has begun to dry out and you need a new one. There’s also the possibility that you’re applying with horizontal strokes instead of vertical ones, which sometimes results in dragging lashes together. If you don’t think either of these issues are causing the clumps, it’s probably time to try a new product.
Q. Is volumizing mascara too heavy for a daytime look?
A. Not at all. Volumizing mascara gives lashes major thickness and length without the overdone, artificial look of false lashes. If you’d like to achieve a slightly less intense appearance, though, you can stick to a couple light coats of your regular mascara.
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