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Cheap Mascara: How to Get the Best Lashes for Less

Mascara is one of the most essential makeup products that can instantly transform your look. Whether you want to add volume, length, curl, or definition to your lashes, there is a mascara out there for you. But do you have to spend a fortune to get great results? The answer is no. You can find amazing mascaras at affordable prices, as long as you know what to look for and how to use them. In this blog post, we will share with you some of the best cheap mascaras on the market, how to choose the right one for your lash type and desired effect, and how to apply and remove them properly. Plus, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about mascara, so you can get the most out of your product.

The 11 Best Cheap Mascaras of 2024

We have scoured the internet and tested dozens of mascaras to find the best ones that won’t break the bank. Here are our top picks for the best cheap mascaras of 2024, based on their performance, wear, ease of removal, and customer reviews. All of these mascaras are under $15, and some are even under $5!

  • Best Overall: Flower Beauty Warrior Princess Mascara. This mascara delivers intense black volume while lengthening, curling, and separating the lashes. It has a creamy formula and an hourglass-shaped brush that helps to achieve separated lashes. It lasts all day without smudging or flaking, and it is easy to remove with warm water.
  • Best Lifting: e.l.f. Cosmetics Big Mood Mascara. This mascara lifts and curls the lashes with its unique curved brush and volumizing formula. It coats every lash with rich black pigment and adds drama and dimension. It is also vegan and cruelty-free, and it comes in a sleek black tube.
  • Best Lengthening: Essence Cosmetics Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara. This mascara gives you the look of false lashes without the hassle. It has a conical fiber brush that lengthens and separates the lashes, creating a dramatic and eye-catching effect. It is also smudge-proof and long-lasting, and it has a cute princess-themed packaging.
  • Best Defining: Maybelline Sky High Mascara. This mascara defines and stretches the lashes to new heights with its flexible tower brush and lash-sensational formula. It reaches every lash from root to tip, giving them a natural and fluttery look. It is also infused with bamboo extract and fibers, and it is ophthalmologist tested and suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
  • Best Color Selection: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara. This mascara is a classic that has been loved by many for decades. It has a volume-building formula and a fluffy brush that thickens and separates the lashes. It also comes in a variety of shades, from blackest black to cobalt blue, so you can choose the one that suits your mood and style.
  • Best Vegan: CoverGirl Clean Volume Mascara. This mascara is part of CoverGirl’s clean beauty line, which means it is made with vegan ingredients and without parabens, sulfates, talc, or mineral oil. It has a volumizing formula and a soft bristle brush that coats the lashes with a glossy black finish. It is also hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist tested, and it has a recyclable tube.
  • Best Buildable: L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara. This mascara has a lengthening formula and a precision brush that allows you to build up your lashes to your desired level of intensity. It extends and separates the lashes, giving them a defined and elegant look. It is also clump-free and flake-free, and it has a sleek gold tube.
  • Best for a Natural Look: Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara. This mascara is designed to nourish and strengthen the lashes with its vitamin E and olive oil-enriched formula. It has a large brush that gently coats the lashes with a natural-looking black color. It is also safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and it is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.
  • Best Tubing Mascara: Milani Highly Rated Tubing Mascara. This mascara is a tubing mascara, which means it wraps the lashes in tiny tubes that slide off with warm water, making it easy to remove without rubbing or tugging. It has a volumizing formula and a tapered brush that lifts and separates the lashes. It is also smudge-proof and sweat-proof, and it has a chic black and gold packaging.
  • Best Waterproof: Black Radiance Waterproof Mascara. This mascara is specially formulated for women of color, with rich black pigments that enhance the beauty of dark lashes. It has a waterproof formula and a curved brush that curl and lengthen the lashes. It is also cruelty-free and paraben-free, and it has a simple black tube.

How to Choose the Right Mascara for You

With so many options available, how do you know which mascara is the best for you? Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices and find your perfect match.

  • Know your lash type and desired effect. Different mascaras have different formulas and brushes that cater to different lash types and effects. For example, if you have short and sparse lashes, you might want to look for a lengthening and volumizing mascara with a thin and tapered brush that can reach every lash. If you have long and straight lashes, you might want to look for a curling and lifting mascara with a curved and fluffy brush that can hold the curl. If you have thick and unruly lashes, you might want to look for a defining and separating mascara with a comb-like brush that can comb through the clumps. Think about what you want to achieve with your mascara, and look for the one that suits your needs.
  • Consider the formula and ingredients. Different mascaras have different formulas and ingredients that affect their performance and wear. For example, if you have oily eyelids or live in a humid climate, you might want to look for a waterproof or smudge-proof mascara that can resist oil and moisture. If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, you might want to look for a hypoallergenic or ophthalmologist-tested mascara that can minimize irritation and inflammation. If you care about the environment or animal welfare, you might want to look for a vegan or cruelty-free mascara that is made with natural or plant-based ingredients. Read the labels and descriptions of the mascaras, and look for the one that meets your preferences.
  • Experiment with different colors and finishes. While black is the most common and versatile color for mascara, you can also experiment with different colors and finishes to spice up your look. For example, you can try a brown mascara for a softer and more natural look, a blue mascara for a fun and bright pop of color, or a metallic mascara for a glamorous and festive touch. You can also layer different mascaras to create your own custom blend. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to play around and have fun with your mascara.

How to Apply and Remove Mascara Properly

Once you have chosen your mascara, you need to know how to apply and remove it properly to get the best results and avoid any damage to your lashes. Here are some steps to follow for a flawless mascara application and removal.

  • Curl your lashes. Before applying mascara, you might want to curl your lashes with an eyelash curler to give them some extra lift and shape. To curl your lashes, place the curler at the base of your lashes and gently squeeze for a few seconds, then move it to the middle and the tip of your lashes and repeat. Be careful not to tug or pull on your lashes, as this can cause them to break or fall out.
  • Wipe off the excess product. When you take out the mascara wand from the tube, you might notice some excess product on the tip or the sides of the brush. This can lead to clumping and flaking, so you might want to wipe off the excess product on a tissue or the edge of the tube before applying it to your lashes.
  • Apply mascara in a zigzag motion. To apply mascara, start from the base of your lashes and wiggle the wand in a zigzag motion as you move it to the tip of your lashes. This will help to coat every lash evenly and separate them. You can also rotate the wand as you move it to create more curl and volume. You can apply one or more coats of mascara, depending on how dramatic you want your lashes to look. Just make sure to apply the next coat before the previous one dries, to avoid clumping and stiffness.
  • Comb through your lashes. After applying mascara, you might want to comb through your lashes with a clean spoolie brush or a lash comb to remove any clumps and define your lashes. This will also help to distribute the product evenly and prevent flaking. You can also use the tip of the mascara wand to reach the inner and outer corners of your eyes and the lower lashes, for a completer and more polished look.
  • Remove mascara with a gentle makeup remover. At the end of the day, you need to remove your mascara with a gentle makeup remover that can dissolve the product without irritating your eyes or damaging your lashes. You can use a micellar water, an oil-based cleanser, or a makeup remover specially designed for the eyes. To remove your mascara, soak a cotton pad with the makeup remover and gently press it on your eyes for a few seconds, then swipe it downwards and outwards. Repeat until all the mascara is gone. Avoid rubbing or pulling on your lashes, as this can cause them to break or fall out. You can also use a cotton swab to clean any residue from the corners of your eyes or the lower lash line.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mascara

Here are some of the most common questions that people have about mascara, and our answers to them.

  • How often should I replace my mascara? You should replace your mascara every three to six months, or sooner if it starts to smell bad, change color, dry out, or clump. Using an old or expired mascara can increase the risk of eye infections, irritation, and inflammation, as well as compromise the quality and performance of the product.
  • How can I make my mascara last longer? You can make your mascara last longer by storing it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. You can also avoid pumping the wand in and out of the tube, as this can introduce air and bacteria into the product and make it dry out faster. Instead, twist the wand gently as you pull it out of the tube, and wipe off any excess product on a tissue or the edge of the tube. You can also use a mascara primer before applying your mascara, as this can help to extend the wear and prevent smudging and flaking.
  • Can I use mascara on my lower lashes? Yes, you can use mascara on your lower lashes, as long as you are careful and precise. Applying mascara on your lower lashes can help to balance out your eye makeup and make your eyes look bigger and brighter. However, you should use a light hand and a thin brush to avoid clumping and smearing. You can also use a waterproof or tubing mascara on your lower lashes, as these are more resistant to oil and moisture and less likely to transfer or run. You can also use a different color or finish on your lower lashes, such as brown, blue, or metallic, to create some contrast and interest.
  • Can I use mascara on my eyebrows? Yes, you can use mascara on your eyebrows, as long as you choose the right color and formula. Using mascara on your eyebrows can help to fill in any gaps, add some color and definition, and keep them in place. However, you should use a brown or clear mascara, rather than a black one, to avoid looking too harsh or unnatural. You should also use a mascara that is not too wet or clumpy, as this can make your eyebrows look messy or sticky. You can also use a spoolie brush or a brow gel to comb through your eyebrows after applying mascara, to distribute the product evenly and remove any excess.
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