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 drugstore mascaras and you’ll come across the top-selling Maybelline Lash Sensational.
The 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.
- Price: £8.99
- Waterproof version available
- Layer-Reveal brush
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.
If you love dark and silky mascara formulas, 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.
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 microdose 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.
Maybelline Lash Sensational verdict
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 mascaras for adding length and volume and you’ll have a multi-tasking marvel on your hands.