The best Maybelline mascaras that lengthen, volumize, and curl lashes—at affordable prices

These huge-selling Maybelline mascaras are loved by beauty editors and bargain hunters alike

The best Maybelline mascaras
(Image credit: Maybelline/Future)

If you’re looking for impressive results at budget-friendly prices, then look no further than Maybelline mascaras.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that will serve up a better selection than a #1 makeup brand with a global footprint in 120 countries, which is why Maybelline has a reputation for making some of the best mascaras in the business. They constantly push the envelope when it comes to brush technology and formula innovation, providing something to suit any lash line, weather forecast, and bank balance. 

Much like their equally impressive offering of some of the best foundations on the market, Maybelline's range of mascaras is vast, albeit potentially a little overwhelming. There are a staggering 40 (!) options to choose from, all of which deliver specific results—be it adding volume and length, or working well for sensitive eyes.

The Best Maybelline Mascaras

We’ve tested them all, and sifted through the online reviews (so that you don’t have to) to create our essential edit. Whether you’re looking for volume, definition, lift, curl, or a long-lasting finish, these are the Maybelline mascaras that our beauty editors and fellow shoppers alike recommend adding to cart, stat.

Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift

(Image credit: Maybelline)

1. Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift

The best all-around Maybelline mascara

Specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Formulation call-out: Ophthalmologist-tested, suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lenses
Reasons to buy
+Double-curved mascara brush that volumizes and lengthens lashes from the root+No flakes or clumps+Smooth application+Easy to remove
Reasons to avoid
-Some reviewers say you need more than one coating for the dramatic false lash effect

The ‘mascara that does it all’ continues to wow the beauty industry. That said, while the search for this unicorn product is far from over, the glowing reviews for this multi-purpose pick show how close it has gotten to clinching the title.

Its hourglass-shaped, double-curved brush adds length, lift, and volume, while its fiber-infused formula adds depth and intensity in one fell swoop. No wonder it became the fastest-selling mascara of 2020 and the number-one makeup bestseller on Amazon, with customer reviews singing its praises. 

"I am always buying new mascaras trying to find the ‘one’ and I have finally found one that ticks all the boxes!!," writes Aji. 

While Tamalyn says, "Absolutely love this mascara. One coat goes from bland to lush lashes. And add extra coats for a glam going-out look."

Maybelline Lash Sensational

(Image credit: Maybelline)

2. Maybelline Lash Sensational

The best Maybelline mascara for lift and volume

Specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Formulation call-out: New liquid formula, with a low wax count created the perfect "black" pigment
Reasons to buy
+Features rosehip oil, which helps lashes look supple and not feel weighed down+Separates individual lashes from root to tip, so they don't look "spidery" +Brush design eliminates the need for multiple coatings—dramatic effect is achieved with just one coat+Unique wand shape+Long-lasting and lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Some reviewers say it could do a better job at lengthening

This mascara’s curved brush boasts six different lengths of bristles, and has been lauded for its ability to instantly make eyes look more awake. For the dramatic false lash effect, this Maybelline media darling leverages a unique brush design, which adds layers and dimension. And you could even wear it with your best eyeliner for an extra impactful look.

Not surprisingly, it’s the number-one mascara in the United States and Britain, with reviewers loving how it volumizes with minimal effort (no extra coats needed), and how its lower wax formula maximizes chances of a clump-free finish. 

W&h beauty editor Fiona McKim is a huge fan of this mascara too, saying, "One of my top three all-time favorite mascaras thanks to its fluttery, non-spidery lash lengthening powers. The curved brush picks up every tiny little hair right into the corners, fans them out, and gently coats them in a glossy formula that won’t clump or go all dry or chalky."

See our full Maybelline Lash Sensational review

Maybelline Snapscara Mascara

(Image credit: Maybelline)

3. Maybelline Snapscara Mascara

The best Maybelline mascara for easy removal

Specifications
Waterproof version available: No
Formulation call-out: Glossy gel-ink formula provides a smooth, clump-free finish; wax-free
Reasons to buy
+Curved brush design "glides" onto lashes for easy application+No clumping or smudging; formula holds all day+Wand adds volume, length, and definition to individual lashes
Reasons to avoid
-No waterproof version available-Some reviewers say there's some fallout-Layering can get messy

Trying to find the best mascaras for sensitive eyes can be particularly tricky if you’re not sure what causes your irritation.

If, however, you know that your particular trigger is eye makeup removers or excessive scrubbing, this mascara might offer the solution you’ve been looking for. Its wax-free formula means that it can be taken off using only warm water and a cotton pad or muslin cloth. This unique formula is also highly pigmented, meaning your lashes will literally look pitch black, no exaggeration. 

Clearly, Amazon shoppers agree that this is a great option for a natural look, with Jey saying, "The wand is perfectly shaped for applying mascara. I personally find it grabs all lashes without leaving clumps."

Blue wrote, "This is the best mascara I have EVER used. When you take the wand from the tube, there is no excess product. It goes on very smoothly and nicely to eyelashes. Makes your eyelashes look amazing and long. Very easy to remove and no excess mascara remains on eyelashes."

Maybelline Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara

(Image credit: Maybelline)

4. Maybelline Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara

The best Maybelline mascara for definition

Specifications
Waterproof version available: No
Formulation call-out: Unique styling formula holds the lifted wing look in place
Reasons to buy
+Angel-wing brush combs the formula through the lashes+Curved wing shape hugs the lash line, lifting lashes from the root+Clump-free and easy application, great for curling
Reasons to avoid
-No waterproof version available-Lashes may "flatten" after long-term wear-Some reviewers say it could do a better job at thickening lashes

Thanks to this mascara’s comb-like brush, you needn’t worry about pesky clumps affecting your handiwork. It’s received high praise for its precision (especially along the lower lash line), and also makes light work of short lashes. We'd like to think of it as a coveted push-up bra, but for your lashes.

The results are fluttery and natural-looking, perfect for days when you want your eye makeup to look more understated or low-key chic.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara

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5. Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara

The best Maybelline mascara for condition and care

Specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Formulation call-out: Contains a luxurious oil-infused formula that makes lashes soft and supple
Reasons to buy
+Liquid ink formula offers full coverage coating to all sides of lashes+Layered bristle brush +Removes easily with soap and water
Reasons to avoid
-Some reviewers say it makes lashes look stuck together-May look clumpy with multiple coatings

This mascara’s arch-shaped brush makes it adept at coating corner lashes for a more even and fanned-out finish. Simply swipe through, and then turn it around to take the volume up a notch and fine-tune your work.

What’s more, it’s enriched with a blend of oils (rose, safflower, and Argan) for an extra boost in treatment. 

Another addition to the Lash Sensational range, and another glowing review from w&h beauty editor Fiona McKim, who says, "I didn't think it was possible to improve on my favorite Maybelline mascara, but I was so wrong. This caring version offers all of the flutter with extra glossiness and only a tiny bit less smudge-proof action in return. Great for daytime."

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara

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6. Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara

The best Maybelline mascara for volume and fullness

Specifications
Waterproof version available: No
Formulation call-out: Collagen enriched formula that delivers both volume and definition
Reasons to buy
+Large, wavy bristle brush coats individual lashes for thickness and volume+No flaking or smudging+Easily removable
Reasons to avoid
-No waterproof version available-Some reviewers say it could do a better job at holding lash curl and preventing "drooping"

As the name suggests, this fully loaded mascara packs a punch in the volume department.

Its super-sized brush offers lashes a mega coating from root to tip, and despite its thickening formula, reviewers are quick to point out that it’s refreshingly panda-eye proof—meaning it holds well and doesn’t smudge too easily. 

Over 199 customers have reviewed Colossal Big Shot on Boots, and many agree that it is their go-to formula for mega volume, with Sophiemai21 saying, "I love it! I do have quite long lashes but they don't have much of a natural curl and tend to stick together with most mascaras."

But this one catches all the tiny lashes, separates them and creates a super volumized look. My lashes look ten times better with this mascara and I will be buying it again!"

Maybelline Rocket Waterproof Mascara

(Image credit: Maybelline)

7. Maybelline Rocket Waterproof Mascara

The best Maybelline mascara for waterproof wear

Specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Formulation call-out: Tested under ophthalmological control and suitable for contact lens wearers
Reasons to buy
+Large circular brush features hardened inner core and soft bristles that carefully comb through lashes for volume boost+Great for lengthening and creating dimension+Highly pigmented, long-lasting color+Easy application, clump-free
Reasons to avoid
-May be difficult to remove after long-term wear-Some reviewers say it makes lashes look "spidery"

While Maybelline offers a wide range of waterproof mascaras, many of them have mixed reviews across the web. This particular one, however, seems to have the most consistent track record in terms of testimonials on Boots, Superdrug, and Amazon. 

Big on volume, length, and longevity, it has become a vacation staple for many, thanks to its impressive staying power. 

In the words of happy shopper, Lauren2904, "This is the best waterproof mascara. I have been through over ten bottles and have not used any other since. I have stick-straight Asian eyelashes, so this is the only product that actually keeps a curl. The mascara stays on in water so you don’t get panda eyes."

Honorary Mentions

We’d be remiss if we didn’t pay homage to other fan-favorite Maybelline iterations, which have rightfully earned our stamp of approval: 

For high volume and dimension from root to tip: Maybelline Sky High Washable Mascara Makeup 

For a tried-and-true classic solution that won’t let you down: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara 

For tear-proof, waterproof protection: Maybelline New York Total Temptation Waterproof Volumizing Mascara

For long-lasting length: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Washable Mascara

Which key features should I look out for in a mascara?

When searching for mascaras, it's imperative to consider your eye shape, wand preferences and overall design, your eye sensitivities, and specific call-outs, such as whether the mascara lengthens, volumizes, curls, or achieves all of the above. 

You'll also want to factor in your lash type, as different formulas work better with certain types of lashes. Fine lashes, for example, need buildable formulas that create volume and fullness.

And while not usually common practice, it's also equally important to examine a mascara's ingredients. Some ingredients work better than others at eliminating flakes and clumps, all while lasting throughout the day and night. This consideration is especially crucial for those with eye sensitivity, as certain ingredients are more irritating.

Are Maybelline mascaras waterproof, gluten-free, oil-free, vegan, and hypoallergenic?

Waterproof: Some iterations feature waterproof formulas, while others do not. Waterproof formulations generally prevent mascara from running down; however, they may be difficult to remove, even with a makeup cleaning balm and/or oil. (Ed's note: We have some tips on how to remove waterproof mascara to help ease the process!)

Gluten-free: This company does not have a statement about gluten-containing ingredients in its products; so if you're particularly sensitive to gluten, you may want to opt for an option that doesn't include gluten grain ingredients.

Gluten-free mascaras are formulated to prevent itchy and watery eyes and general discomfort throughout the day. They also tend to contain natural and eco-friendly ingredients.

Oil-free: Many Maybelline mascara formulas do not feature added oils, which often erode volume, color, and hold especially if you have lash extensions. Oil-free, water-based mascaras typically have fewer additives and chemicals, making them a great alternative to those with sensitive eyes.

Vegan and cruelty-free: At the time of publishing, Maybelline is not cruelty-free and vegan. The brand is owned by L'Oréal, which is not cruelty-free and tests on animals.

Hypoallergenic: Many Maybelline mascara formulas are hypoallergenic, containing nourishing ingredients that do not irritate eyes and skin.

Do Maybelline mascaras feature parabens and propylene glycol?

For context, parabens and propylene glycol are commonly used by most major cosmetics brands. 

Parabens: Maybelline mascaras are formulated with parabens. According to Medical Daily, parabens are "preservatives in cosmetics that prevent bacteria from growing in mascara." And while the prevention of bacteria growth is great for extending shelf life, parabens have been been found in some studies to disrupt estrogen in the body. Parabens may also irritate your complexion. 

Propylene Glycol: Maybelline mascaras are formulated with propylene glycol, a chemical compound deemed safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . Propylene glycol may cause skin irritation and itching.

How often should I replace my mascara?

Compared to other beauty products, mascaras have the shortest shelf life, so it's important to replace them two to three months after opening. Over time, your mascara brush will collect bacteria and germs, which may cause irritation, discomfort, and even infection if not properly discarded.