The Best Drugstore Mascaras For 2020, According To Moms On Budget

14 Drugstore Mascaras That Will Quick Change Your Morning Beauty Routine

November 18, 2019 Updated May 22, 2020

Mascara

If there is ONE must-have drugstore beauty product in your morning makeup routine, it’s mascara. Even for the no-makeup mamas, a quick curl of the lashes topped with a brush of mascara changes your whole game-face. This is the difference between looking fresh out of bed versus freshly put together and ready for the day. This is what says “I am awake and ready for y’all”!

The other thing you need to know about mascara is that it should never cost a lot. Seriously, we mean it. As little as $5 is really all it takes when it comes to mascara. Years of working with models and makeup artists on fashion photo shoots has taught us that Maybelline Great Lash, costing just $5, has been a celeb favorite for decades.

Related: How To Make A Stress-Free Household Budget And Actually Stick To It

What’s new in the world of mascara is the different applicators. The shape of the brush and length of the bristle makes all the difference. If you have thin lashes, you need a thick brush to bulk them up. If you have straight lashes, you need a curling brush. And if your lashes are just lack-luster, you need a multi-shaped brush to add intense color.

See here our guide to the 14 best drugstore mascaras of 2019. Whether you need something waterproof, easy off, no smudge, or with a pop of color, we’ve got your curly and straight lashes covered. Give your morning routine a quick change and while you’re at it, throw out that old mascara you’ve been using for too long. One year is the max shelf life for most beauty products.

Essence Volume Stylist 18-Hour Lash Extension With Fiber Mascara

Ballin’ on a (five dollar) budget? Right this way. We’ve got your beauty bases covered with a long-lasting (up to 18 hours of volume) and cruelty-free mascara from Essence Cosmetics. The brush is perfect for reaching those small, hard to reach lashes that are often prone to smudges. If “almost falsies” is the look you’re after, then the performance and price of this—dare we say—underdog mascara can’t be beat. At just five dollars a tube, this is one mascara we won’t mind replacing often. One Amazon customer weighs in, “Not only is it inexpensive, but it holds better than most of the waterproof brands that I’ve bought. I have horrible allergies and my eyes water constantly. This stays on even during the worst watery eye days. I haven’t experienced any flaking or raccoon eyes either.”   

$5 AT AMAZON



theBalm Mad Lash Voluminous Mascara

Fact: We go to crazy lengths to obtain gorgeous red carpet-worthy lashes that make us look (and feel) more fabulous and pulled-together. When falsies and a lash lift require too much maintenance, keep things on the DL with a miracle-working drugstore mascara that won’t break the bank. Behold, theBalm to the rescue with a seriously out-of-this-world mascara featuring an injection molded wand that will quite literally bring your lashes to life. True to their “beauty in five minutes” philosophy, this unsung hero sets out to deliver maximum impact with each coated lash. We love the rich black shade for a look that says “I’m awake!!” even when you’re only going on a mere three hours of sleep. If you’re in the market for a holy grail beauty product, then the reviews are in. One happy customer on Amazon claims that it’s the best mascara she’s ever used. It “leaves my lashes beautifully separated and well defined, without irritating my very sensitive eyes!”  

$18 AT AMAZON

Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara

When it comes to testing out new and noteworthy mascaras, there’s only one rule: You’ve gotta catch ’em all to find out which one works for you. Amazon just so happens to be a treasure trove for under-the-radar beauty brands that you may not necessarily stumble upon elsewhere. Take this super dynamic Japanese mascara (watch out K-Beauty) from Heroine Make for instance. With a strong four-star rating and no shortage of glowing reviews, it’s recommended for those seeking out length and all-day curls. Pro tip: If you have super straight lashes, use a hair dryer and an eyelash curler for a bit of extra voom-voom. The water-proof formula contains a super guard polymer that’s made to withstand sweat, water, and tears. Still not convinced? This Amazon customer had a few words: “What is this sorcery? Who made this? Who invented this mascara that curls, lifts, separates, volumizes, lengthens, *and* stays on, even in muggy Miami weather?” Girllll, we STAN.   

$11 AT AMAZON

Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara

Great Lash Waterproof Mascara has been revered by famous artists and trusted by celebs for longer than we’ve been around. Want a one and done? This is it.

$5 AT AMAZON



Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara

When you want volume, this is the winner. Get the brush deep at the base of the lash line and move it back and forth to add volume and depth.

$7 AT AMAZON

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara

Now that Birchbox offers featured products at Walgreens stores, you can try brands like Marcel IRL. This curved brush curls your lashes while spreading them horizontally for a wide-eyed look.

$15 AT WALGREENS

L'Oreal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Two-Position Wand Mascara

Just when you thought those teeny, tiny corner lashes were out of reach, L’Oreal comes into your life with a two position wand. Use it straight for the easy to get lashes then bend inwards to point into the eye corners. Comes in a washable and waterproof version.

$10 AT AMAZON



Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara

Coconut oil gives a creamy, whipped texture to this mascara leaving “coated” lashes looking thick and full.

$11 AT ULTA

Covergirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara

You can skip the lash comb (yes, it’s a thing) with this clump-free mascara. The fine bristles do the separating for you and even those crazy lashes trying to go their own way will be brushed into place.

$8 AT TARGET

Maybelline Snapscara Washable Colored Mascara

If you want a little change or have an event that warrants a little something extra, this mascara adds intense, wax-free color for your lashes. Keep your simple nude or shimmer shadow, but pop with Ultra Violet or Black Cherry for a new look.

$6 AT TARGET



Honest Beauty Mascara & Lash Primer

This two in one mascara has a primer (the shorter brush) to get the lashes ready for the mascara (the longer brush). It’s like using an organic base layer pre-makeup that is paraben, silicone, and paraffin free.

$17 AT AMAZON

Tetyana 4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara

When your natural lashes just won’t do, try a silk fiber mascara like this one. It adds fibrous layers to thicken your lashes giving them a much fuller, darker look.

$18 AT AMAZON

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Boosting Primer Mascara

This is your first layer of mascara, it’s called primer. Just like moisturizer goes on your face first, this coats the lashes getting them ready for the color of choice. It conditions, thickens, and tames the lashes and can even be used solo.

$7 AT AMAZON



Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara

Mascara that lengthens and helps the lashes grow is a double yes as far as we’re concerned. No clumps, no flaking, and no overpaying for product, either.

$8 AT AMAZON

Looking for other beauty deals? Check out our beauty guide.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
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Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara
$5
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara
$7
Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara
$15
L'Oreal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and...
$10
Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara
$11
Covergirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascar...
$8
Maybelline Snapscara Washable Colored Ma...
$6
Honest Beauty Mascara & Lash Primer
$17
Tetyana 4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara
$18
L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Boosting P...
$7
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara
$8
Essence Volume Stylist 18-Hour Lash Exte...
$5
theBalm Mad Lash Voluminous Mascara
$18
Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
$11