Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite drugstore mascaras of the moment.
Makeup can be an expensive habit. But when it comes to mascara, you don’t always have to pay a premium price for a quality product. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with splurging on the latest celebrity launch. However, it’s always a bonus to save some coins. Luckily, the drugstore has always been the place to find a great tube. From volumizing to lengthening formulas, the best drugstore mascaras can’t be beat. For starters, there are the classics, like L’Oréal’s Voluminous Original Mascara, which has developed a cult following over the years. But there’s formulas made with the same innovations typically used by prestige brands. To sum it up: the options are endless when you’re in the makeup aisle.
You’ve probably amassed a sizable collection of your own over the years. But when you’re on the hunt for a new favorite, the wall of products can be daunting. You could spend hours searching TikTok and YouTube for recommendations, or you could save time by sifting through TZR editors’ picks. There are a range of options to fit every desirable lash look. If you like a bold and dramatic lashes, opt for NYX’s Worth The Hype, which pumps up volume in one swipe. For an everyday mascara, check out CoverGirl’s beloved LashBlast formula.
Ahead, the 10 best drugstore mascaras to stock up on. With an affordable price point, why not buy them in bulk so you never run out?
“Is it weird that I remember the exact day I first bought and tried L'Oréal's Telescopic mascara? Every YouTube guru absolutely raved about it, and once I wiggled the extremely skinny brush through my lashes, I fully understood the hype. The firm plastic teeth comb out every individual hair for long, separated lashes that feel very natural-looking and a little doll-like too. I must have gone through at least 10 tubes since that fateful day in 2013.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR
“I reach for this NYX tube whenever I'm in the mood for a dramatic look. It darkens, lengthens, and volumizes while simultaneously curling and defining lashes. One coat is enough to trick everyone into thinking you have extensions, but you can pile this formula on for maximum impact without it clumping or flaking. Needless to say, the results live up to this mascara's name!”— Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR
“I've sworn by Maybelline mascara for years, and this one has been a favorite of mine since it launched. It gives instant ‘falsie’ lift and also delivers volume — to the point that people actually ask me if I'm wearing fake lashes! It also doesn't bleed onto my lids and is super easy to clean off at the end of a long day. Win-win!”— Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR
“I'm a big proponent of drugstore mascara, it truly is the only kind that stays on without smudging or smearing after application. What I particularly love about Max Factor's 2000 Calorie mascara is the inky black pigmentation that isn't shiny and reflective, and the long-lasting wear of the formula. It's my tried-and-true favorite.”— Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR
“I picked this tube up on a whim last month and haven’t been able to stop using it. The whipped formula is super soft and glides through my lashes with ease. But I also really enjoy the flexible brush which has tiny combs that thoroughly separate the hairs and magnify even my lower lashes. It’s become my go-to mascara for every day, and I often layer it overtop of black formulas when I want more drama.”— Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR
“I've been using L’Oréal’s Voluminous Original Mascara for years, and it never fails me. It's the ideal mascara for an enhanced natural look, providing long, full, fluttery lashes without clumping or smudging. I keep it in my bag for an on-the-go pick-me-up at all times!”— Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing
“I know this one is totally obvious, but it’s a classic for a reason! Whenever I’m out of whatever mascara I’ve been testing at the moment, I know I can rely on grabbing this one in a pinch and getting the fluffy, full-bodied, and deep black results I’m looking for.”— Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor
“Before I was allowed to wear makeup, I'd watch my mom apply CoverGirl's LashBlast Volume Mascara. So, the second she allowed me to experiment with products, I went straight for this wallet-friendly formula. All you need is two coats for seriously long, voluminous lashes.”— Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR
“There's a lot to love about this truly universal Maybelline mascara. There's the staggered bristles in various sizes (the key to thick, sultry volume), and there's the no-smudge formula that wipes right off with micellar water, but my favorite thing about the Sky High line is how many different colors it comes in. Often, drugstore mascaras in bold shades can veer a little too bright or cartoonish, but Maybelline's deep burgundy and electric cobalt feel so elevated.”— Ross
“I will never get into using lash curlers, but I love the lifted look they deliver. That said, this tube has become a staple in my makeup bag. The handy curved brush expertly separates my lashes while subtly curling them, and the formula locks them in place all day.”— Fields
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