A star that is set to sway even the most dubious of mascara snobs
Wide, curved and flexible comb wand
Not much volume
Some drooping and flaking
Maybelline Lash Sensational is known as one of the top budget mascaras on the market - but can it really beat spendier rivals? Admittedly, when we’re trying to scout out the best mascaras on the scene, most of us will lean towards sparkly high-end splurges, convincing ourselves that the luxe packaging and implausible claims will give us the lashes we have, in some cases, spent years striving for.
But research into the best cheap mascaras and you’ll come across the top-selling Maybelline Lash Sensational. This sub-£10 mascara has made its name as one of Amazon’s bestselling beauty products, gaining the moniker of Britain’s number-one mascara for its market-topping sales. With a lash-multiplying effect that hinges on its signature Layer-Reveal brush, the budget buy will give you lashes worthy of any premium mascara.
Maybelline Lash Sensational: Our summary
Waterproof version available: Yes
Mini version available: No
Added extras: Layer-Reveal brush
A stretchy inky formula and inclusive nimble brush come together in sweet harmony to create a beautiful, even lash look with this one. It’s a modest offering that has somewhat transformed our opinion of luxe mascaras as, while we won’t be giving up our luxury go-tos quite yet, it has convinced us to delve more into what’s available at the lower end of the price spectrum.
Of course, like anything, it does have its weaknesses. It doesn't have the lift and staying power of some of our other favourites (both high-end and budget) and we would like a little more volume after a few coats. But pair it up with any of our best lengthening mascaras and you’ll have a multi-tasking marvel on your hands.
Unfortunately, the tube of the Lash Sensational does betray its price tag. We do like the pretty blush colour and the chubby figure, which reflects the rounded lash shape you get from using the product, but it’s made of cheap hollow plastic.
It’s not a dealbreaker by any means – in fact, it just means that your makeup bag weighs a little lighter.
Formula and ingredients
Maybelline mascaras are known for their dark and silky mascara formulas, so if that''d what you like then this one is for you. It claims a low wax blend as the secret behind its inky black hue and smooth texture, which layers on to lashes without clumping to leave behind the dreaded spider-leg effect. It glides on to lashes seamlessly – no drying in sight.
It’s not as robust as some others that we’ve tried because, although lashes are lifted to start with, they do start to droop after a few hours of wear. We also did notice a little bit of flaking throughout the day, but luckily the texture of the formula meant that the flakes were easy to just dust away without leaving any telltale smudges on the skin.
Ease of application
Although humble on the outside, the shining glory of this mascara comes when you lift the wand out of the tube. The wide curved wand is so soft that it doesn’t bother the lash line whatsoever, even when you work right down from the root of the lashes. And when you touch the wand to your lashes, it’s flexible and feels like a bespoke creation made solely for the shape of your own eyes. The delicate arch of the comb hugs each and every lash as you swipe up, leaving each one fully coated after just one swipe.
The product’s signature Layer Reveal brush also features mini inner bristles that are designed to capture even the tiniest of lashes on your eyes and amplify them for a fuller and more even look. The silky texture of the liquid also allows for ample layering without the comb getting caught in spiky lashes as they’re drying. We’ve tried a lot of mascaras in the past and, we have to say, this application process was one of our favourites.
What's it like to wear?
This purse-friendly buy sure does give the big players in the game a run for their money. From the first swipe, you get a feathery, lengthened and defined fanned-out look with a delicate curl, which could almost pass for a natural flutter. Further coats just cement the pretty fluttery look, with a micro dose of volume along with each layer.
It’s not the heftiest pick when it comes to volume and drama – even after a few layers, you don’t get the drama you might expect from its claims. However, we love the lash-multiplying effect you get from the mini bristles on the comb, and if you do want any extra volume, the formula is smooth enough to pair with another more dramatic option like Too Faced Better Than Sex or L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise.
Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.
Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).
But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.
When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).
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