8 Best Drugstore Mascaras That Are Makeup Artist-Approved — And Under $10
Target runs aren't aptly named. It's a truth universally acknowledged that nobody actually "runs" into Target for one item without leaving with a basketful of snacks, a pair of leggings, a cute sweater dress (on sale!), and a couple of new beauty products in tow. Nothing beats a good mascara haul, though. Some of the best mascaras are from the drugstore, and the proof is in the numbers.
According to a 2013 study from Mint, a woman spends $15,000 on beauty products in her lifetime. $3,770 of that cash is spent on mascara. And really, it's with good reason: A couple swipes of the right formula doesn't just transform your eyes and make you look more awake — it changes your entire face.
Mascara matters. That doesn't mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars in one visit on it... and all of the pros know it, too. Andrea Tiller (who's worked with Ashley Tisdale), Gita Bass (who works with Tina Fey), makeup artist Mirna Jose, and Neutrogena Cosmetics brand ambassador and celebrity makeup artist Amy Oresman gave TZR the scoop on the favorite budget formulas that are constant staples in their kits. See them ahead of your next Target run... or, uhh, marathon.
"The formula gives your lashes intense volume without the clumps," Tiller says. "The amazing brush separates your lashes beautifully!"
"You should only be applying one or two coats of mascara," Tiller says. "Anything more will weigh the lash down and create the 'goopy' effect. If you want more coats, work fast before the product dries — that can also result in clumps." Another good trick from Tiller is leaving your mascara to dry for a full minute after application. Then, take both middle fingers and push up your lashes horizontally, as you look downward. "This will help them stay up and open up your eyes more," she explains.
No lash gets left behind with this washable formula. The brush is specially crafted to separate them, making sure that each one gets a generous swipe.
Jose recommends this mascara for the consistency of the formula, and makeup artist Suzy Gernstein once told TZR that Voluminous Original has been her number one drugstore choice for years, hands down. “I love it because the formula is super lush, coats every single lash, and never flakes," she says. "The brush is soft and malleable yet firm enough to get right into the root where you want to deposit pigment most. Lastly, the shade is the blackest, most velvety rich pitch black." Fun fact: Mario Dedivanovic, who works with Kim Kardashian and Gabrielle Union, counts this as a favorite, too.
The brush fan of Lash Sensational spreads your fringes out to make them more voluminous, bold, and full. Jose's application tip? "Take the mascara wand or brush and place under warm running water to remove the product," she says. "The brush will feel brand new."
If you like dramatic length, the carbon black pigments make lashes look 60 percent longer than normal, according to the brand.
"Neutrogena's Healthy Volume Mascara is my absolute favorite mascara," Oresman, who works with Neutrogena, says. "It comes in two beautiful colors: glossy black, and a deep espresso brown. It’s unique because of the olive oil base, which makes this formula uniquely glossy and silky."