While lash extensions are loved by many, having them applied can be daunting with an upkeep routine requiring a lot of effort. Not to mention, they can be a royal pain if you have sensitive eyes or skin. 

If you’re not quite ready to go au naturel, why not opt for a trusty mascara wand? Thanks to the numerous types of available formulas there’s a lash-lengthener out there to suit every need but where to start? 

If you have short lashes, then your best bet is a lengthening mascara made with small fibres – such as Glossier’s Lash Slick. Those with thin lashes should opt for a thickening formula like ZOEVA’s Graphic Lash Mascara, which won’t weigh the lashes down and keep them curved and springy. And for those with stubbornly straight lashes, mascaras that are designed to curl are ideal – try Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. 

There are also some extra-gentle formulas, including La Roche-Posay’s Respectissime Multi-Dimension Mascara, that are specially created to suit sensitive eyes without any irritation. 

Here are some wonder wands that will help you achieve full and stand out lashes in just a few strokes.

Glossier Lash Slick

Since launching in the UK at the end of last year, Glossier has quickly become a staple in all beauty-lovers make-up bags with its range of millennial-focused products. The label has launched its first ever mascara this year, revealing on Instagram that it took 248 formulations and 18 months of product testing to get it right – and it really does live up to the hype. The mascara enhances your natural lashes in one fell swoop, lengthening without clumping. The formula is also water-resistant but not waterproof ensuring that it is not challenging to remove, yet it remains long-lasting.

£14 | Glossier | Buy it now

La Roche-Posay Respectissime Multi-Dimension Mascara

A gentler option for delicate peepers, this fragrance-free mascara is packed with purified pigments and reconstituted lacrymal liquid for maximum comfort. The formula also contains arginine, which helps to strengthen lashes and adds to the appearance of density. We instantly fell in love with the lash-hugging brush and so will you.

£16 | Escentual | Buy it now

ZOEVA Graphic Lash Mascara

Zoeva is hugely popular for its expertly crafted makeup brushes, but the brand also has an impressive mascara in its range, too. It does everything you need for fluttery-worthy lashes – thickens, lengthens and volumises. Fragrance-free, the formula is luxuriously creamy yet doesn’t weigh your lashes down. Win-win.

£9 | Beauty Bay | Buy it now

Green People Organic Mascara 

Anyone embracing organic beauty should leap for this knockout by Green People. Have you ever noticed women with full but feather-light lashes that look both natural yet impossibly separated and fanned? We can’t say for sure they’re all wearing this mascara but surely some of them must be. 

£16.50 | Green People | Buy it now

Barry M Lash Vegas 2 Mascara

This spiral-shaped wand is specially designed to separate and define the smallest of lashes, whilst creating stand-out volume. You only need one swoop to achieve a plumped-up effect, but the brush is great for layering. Also vegan-friendly.

£4.99 | Superdrug | Buy it now

Maybelline Lash Sensational Intense Mascara

Full, thick and fluttery lashes can be all yours with this total bargain of a Maybelline mascara. Royally approved by Meghan Markle, the liquid ink formula provides intense pigment but doesn’t make the lashes stick together, creating a beautifully fanned out look. The curved brush also makes it a breeze to cover each lash from root to tip.

£8.99 | Look Fantastic | Buy it now

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

Panda eyes are an age-old problem, but no more thanks to this long-wearing waterproof mascara by Bobbi Brown. It’s designed to curl and lengthen without clumping, flaking or smudging. We especially like how the patented brush delivers the right amount of formula for great volume from just one stroke. It can even be layered over any regular mascara to make it instantly waterproof.  

£22.50 | Look Fantastic | Buy it now

Benefit BADgal BANG! Volumising Mascara

Ready for lash lift off? Benefit has upped the ante with a revamped version of its BADgal mascara – which contains special aero-particles, one of the lightest known materials derived from space technology. Just one stroke of the streamlined ‘Slimpact!’ brush delivers eye-opening volume and intense pigment that can last for up to 36 hours. Not only did its lengthening power make us want to ditch the falsies, but also banished the need for an eyelash curler. Apply two coats for serious drama.

£21.50 | Benefit | Buy it now

Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara

Rimmel has created the first-ever mascara with a patent-pending shaker system, which allows you to refresh the formula when needed with a slight shake. It features a flexible oval-shaped brush that combs easily though lashes to lift and lengthen. After applying two coats, each and every tiny lash was fattened and completely clump-free. It stayed fresh-looking for most of the day with minimal amount of smudging. 

£8.99 | Superdrug | Buy it now

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes

The iconic makeup-artist has done it again with a lash-lengthening product with benefits. Its creamy formula is a blend of waxes, Tamanu oil and Marine Glycogen – a hair tonic known to stimulate the growth of the hair follicle. The skinny ‘flutter’ brush is perfect for those with shorter lashes. Apply 2-3 coats for a larger-than-life finish that will last till dawn.

£25 | Charlotte Tilbury | Buy it now

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara​

It might not be better than sex, but its power to catch and embolden every last lash makes it one of our top choices. Its curved wand, which is inspired by the curves of a woman, creates a gentle curl and provides extreme separation of lashes for a super-sculpted look. In intense carbon-black, the naturally nourishing formula is made with collagen and hydrating Acacia Senegal Tree Extract for healthy lashes.

£19 | Debenhams | Buy it now

Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara

Part of the cult Double Wear range, this ultra smudge-proof mascara has a lightweight aero-fibre formula with a staying power of up to 15 hours. The long wand is easy to work with and grabs every hair for corner to corner coverage. Its black colour isn’t as intense as the shades of our other picks, but its sky-high lift is enough to make a dramatic statement.

£23 | Feel Unique | Buy it now

Sisley Mascara So Intense

If there’s anything better than fluttery length, it’s strong lashes that are less prone to breakage. This fortifying mascara from Sisley is created with rice phytoceramides to strengthen and vitamin-rich Peptide to promote growth within two weeks. Thanks to its double-coated pigments and skinny comb brush, lashes appear darker and beautifully separated. The formula is also gentle enough for those with sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Other shades available.

£38.50 | John Lewis | Buy it now

PUR Cosmetics Fully Charged Magnetic Mascara

With magnetic technology to maximise the smallest of lashes, PUR’s Full Charged mascara certainly lives up to the hype. The anti-ageing mascara is packed with vitamins that strengthen and condition the lashes, while carnauba and beeswax set the lashes to keep them in place for as long as you need. It’s also cruelty free.

£17.50 | Beauty Bay | Buy it now

Lancôme Grandiose Mascara

Lancôme has switched things up with the very first ‘swan-neck’ mascara. Its extreme-black formula emboldens timid lashes, while uniquely curved shape of the brush gives you full control and makes it easier to apply on the inner-corner lashes without smudging. 

£26.50 | Boots | Buy it now


While each of the products listed provided a great level of volume to lashes, Glossier’s newly launched Lash Slick lived up to the hype with a long-lasting formula without clumps. It is also housed in a stylish millennial pink case and is a breeze to apply whether you’re at your dresser or on the tube.

ES Best product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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