Best Mascara: Department Store Results, Drugstore Prices

By Mussarat Bata

We’ve all fallen victim to the makeup counter curse. With all the products arranged in such a pretty display and professionals armed and ready to help with your every cosmetic need, it’s hard not to end up leaving with a slew of new goods, even when all you needed to do was replace your three-month old mascara. And while the gorgeous new blush you get home with is likely lovely, for those times when you want to avoid temptation, we recommend you head to the drugstore instead of the department store for your mascara fix – especially since you can get the same flirty, fluttering lashes, without the high price tag.

First decide what kind of mascara fits your lash desires. Are you looking for an every-day formula that won’t clump or flake? Or do you need something to boldly finish off a smoky eye?

Learn how to do a perfect smoky eye!

For some serious length, try Maybelline Lash Stiletto ($7.49) or CoverGirl LashBlast Length ($7.79). Both are great every day staples that will not only add significant length to your lashes but also layer lusciously with L’Oreal Lash Architect Mascara for added drama, and maybe even the lashes of your dreams.

Need to amp up wimpy lashes? L’Oreal’s Telescopic Explosion Mascara ($9.49) will do the trick. The spherical brush reaches even the wispiest of lashes to make your eyes stand out and look bold. Another option is Maybelline Define-A-Lash Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara ($14.99) with its vibrating wand that is able to work your lashes in ways even the most talented hands can’t.

Get gorgeous brows to match! See how here.

To give your smoky eye the dramatic finish it needs, use L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara ($10.95). The combination of the white basecoat and black mascara gives you the appearance of false lashes, without the hassle of glue and adhesives. Add a couple coats of any volumizing mascara and you’ll be set for your big night out!

With these affordable versions you can play up your eyes anyway you want and change your look with a flick of a wand and the blink of an eye.

Do you know what eye makeup looks best on you?