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Top 5 Rated Mascaras of 2023

Mascara is undeniably a personal beauty item, influenced by numerous factors determining its appeal. Your lash type, desired look, formulation, and other considerations contribute to finding the perfect mascara that meets your specific desires and requirements. However, the vast array of available mascara options can make it quite daunting to identify the best choices.

To simplify this task, we conducted thorough research and meticulously examined the market to compile a list of the most popular and adored mascaras. Our testing process involved trying out 33 different mascaras at our laboratory in NYC, where we assessed them based on their ease of use, longevity, performance, overall appearance, and ease of removal. Each mascara received a star rating in each category, and we present here the ones that earned the highest rankings, impressing us the most.

Continue reading to uncover the finest mascaras currently available on the market.

1. COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Uncensored Mascara

This option is worth considering if you're searching for a drugstore mascara with impressive volume. It can be layered, resulting in a striking fullness effect on your lashes. Additionally, we appreciate the inclusion of coconut and jojoba oils in its formula.

When we tried the Extreme Black shade, we were thrilled by the intensely jet-black appearance it gave to our lashes. The formula held up remarkably well throughout the day, showing no signs of smudging, transferring, or clumping. These qualities make it a great purchase from the drugstore. Although a few online reviewers mentioned some minor flaking, we firmly believe that the advantages of this mascara far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

2. CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara

When you browse through the makeup aisle of any drugstore, it's almost inevitable to come across a display featuring this beloved mascara. Despite the countless new formulations that have emerged since its release, this mascara has consistently been revered as a top-tier volumizing option. Its reputation stems from its ability to provide definition and thickness to each lash without clumping or smudging.

We can confidently affirm that it lives up to its clump-free promise. It effortlessly enhances the lashes, delivering a complete and voluminous look while maintaining a natural appearance. Moreover, its formula strikes a balance by not being excessively thick or goopy, making it particularly effective for defining the lower lashes.

However, we acknowledge that it has a noticeable paint-like smell, which could be a drawback for those sensitive to fragrances. Nevertheless, this minor inconvenience should not detract from its overall performance if you aren't overly affected by scents.

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

This mascara has undeniably earned its iconic status—it lives up to all the excitement surrounding it. It boldly promises to provide intense black volume while lengthening, curling, and separating the lashes—and delivers on every front.

The mascara effortlessly builds up to deliver clump-free volume, and we were particularly impressed by the hourglass-shaped brush, which contributed to achieving beautifully separated lashes. It adds just the right amount of thickness without crossing into overly dramatic territory. We were pleasantly surprised by how easily it could be removed, making the whole process hassle-free.

While we encountered no issues, it's worth noting that some online reviews mentioned that the formula is slightly wet. If you struggle with messy mascara application caused by wet procedures, we suggest wiping off any excess product from the wand before applying it. It's an excellent choice for everyday wear if you prefer a bold lash look. Furthermore, it is a reliable option for glamorous or event makeup looks.

4. Tarte Tartelette Tubing Mascara

When achieving elongated lashes, tubing mascaras excel—this one goes above and beyond. Its unique formula forms "tubes" that envelop each lash, resulting in superb separation, definition, and length. While it also imparts a touch of volume and curl, the remarkable lengthening effect genuinely sets it apart.

We admire this mascara's thin, plastic wand, as it effortlessly coats even the hardest-to-reach areas, such as the inner corners of the lashes. This mascara's length is imposing, and we were delighted to find that it lasted flawlessly throughout the day without any smearing. Furthermore, its effortless removal process was a definite bonus.

5. Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer

Mascara primers are fantastic for enhancing lash separation and thickness before applying mascara. However, carrying an additional tube in your makeup bag can sometimes feel excessive. Enter this brilliant 2-in-1 product, which not only conditions and prepares the lashes but also delivers length and volume—all without adding unnecessary weight or clutter to your collection.

The narrow brush, adorned with short plastic bristles, effortlessly reaches each lash, ensuring thorough coverage. The formula works its magic, providing a natural-looking boost in length and volume. Enriched with nourishing jojoba esters, it cares for the lashes, while the primer component helps extend the mascara's wear while conditioning the lashes.

We were highly impressed by the gorgeous lash look it created. However, one minor drawback we noticed was that the grip on the primer side was relatively short. This made it somewhat challenging to maneuver without accidentally smearing the formula on the skin surrounding the eyes.

Critical Considerations for Mascara Selection


Choosing the best mascara depends on the natural state of your lashes and your desired outcome. If you already possess long, curled lashes, opting for a volumizing mascara like the COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume Mascara may be the most suitable choice. For those seeking to simulate longer lashes, focus on formulas that emphasize lengthening benefits. If you desire a combination of length, curl, and volume while maintaining a natural look, the ILIA Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara is an excellent option.


Both the formula and the wand play crucial roles in mascara effectiveness. While a procedure may be lightweight, silky, and nourishing, its application depends on the wand's efficiency. Some rods feature spoolie-like bristles that are long and densely packed, while others utilize plastic or rubber bristles for a more uniform application. For instance, if you have long, curled lashes, a giant mascara wand will provide you with dramatic and fluttery lashes. Conversely, a long, slender wand type rubber wand will enable easy gripping and coating if you have shorter lashes. Experimentation may be necessary to determine the wand-type that suits you best, so don't hesitate to try different options.


While black mascara is a timeless choice, alternative options exist. Brown mascara can yield a more subtle finish, ideal for creating a no-makeup makeup look. For those interested in enhancing their eye color or exploring creative looks, colored mascaras offer an opportunity to switch things up and add a touch of uniqueness to your style.


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