Best Mascara: The 2023 List Beauty Awards

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We've known that lashes are an important part of our look, and mascara is the key to making them pop, but there's more to mascara than meets the eye –– no pun intended. President and creative director of Anastasia Beverly Hills, Claudia Soare, told Today"Mascara enhances the eyes in a number of ways. It not only darkens lashes, but can lengthen and volumize for brighter, bigger-looking eyes. Fuller-looking lashes can help to give a more youthful appearance to the eye area." 

Of course, our 2023 Beauty Awards wouldn't be complete without awarding the best mascaras on the market.

When it comes to lashes, not everyone's looking for the same thing. Some want to look doe-eyed, while others are aiming for a sultry cat eye. Some folks want to pop on a bit of mascara and go, while others are aiming for a dramatic product that they can pair with thick eyeliner and false eyelashes. Consequently, there's no single "best" mascara out there. Rather, there are a few products that deserve a try depending on your natural lashes and your goal lashes. From a mascara that stays put for 24 hours to one that eliminates the use of an eyelash curler in just one swipe, our favorite mascaras have been tried and tested, and it's official: they make all our eyelash dreams come true.

Read more about the 2023 List Beauty Awards methodology and all the top picks here.

Best overall: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara

One mascara does rise above the rest in terms of its overall success and ease of use. From its look and feel to its staying power and unbeatable price tag, as far as we're concerned, the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara is the one to beat. You've likely heard of this product before, even if you haven't tried it, as many fans call it a dupe for the popular but expensive Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. While this mascara has basically anything you could want, it's less than $10, proving that we lash aficionados really can have our cake and wear it too. 

This mascara has got it all, and more importantly, it comes without the many other issues that so many high-end and drugstore brand mascaras, alike, can't seem to overcome, like smudging, flaking, and transfer. Ultimately, this mascara is just easy and effective. With a few swipes, you'll have lashes that are long and thick, yet free from flakes or clumps. While many other mascaras smudge or leave dark spots and residue down below as you go through your day blinking and rubbing your eyes, this mascara stays exactly where you put it all day long. It works if it's the only makeup you're wearing or if you want to use it to blend your natural lashes into your falsies. Basically, this mascara will likely give you what you're looking for, no matter what that may be. 

Purchase the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara at Amazon for $9.76.

Longest lasting: L'Oreal Telescopic Original Lengthening mascara

If you venture onto the TikTok beauty scene you've probably heard of the L'Oreal Paris Makeup Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara, and you're likely wondering if this mascara is actually good. Well, while this product won't magically make false eyelashes appear, it is, in fact, some incredibly good mascara, and it has one very valuable trait that stands above the rest. If you're looking for a mascara that will stay all day ... and night ... and the next day, boy have we got the product for you. Even if you go to bed while wearing this mascara (which we don't advise), it won't budge. 

One persistent problem with most mascaras is how they smudge and transfer over time. This is what makes L'oreal Telescopic so uniquely good for long days, big events, or any day that you'll put your makeup through the wringer but need it to stay in place. Of course, if you want the rest of your makeup to stay along with it, that may be a tall order, considering how tough this product is. So, you should also invest in some good setting spray like the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist

Purchase the L'Oreal Paris Makeup Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara at Amazon for $10.61.

Best lengthening: Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics

If you're in search of a mascara that gives your lashes the illusion of longer length by physically adding curl to your lashes, there's one clear pick for you. Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics definitely takes the lead when it comes to curling your lashes and, consequently, making them look much longer. You'll notice on Roller Lash's super-cute vintage-inspired packaging that there's an image or an eyelash curler with a big cross through it that says "bye-bye." Well, Roller Lash really does live up to the claim that it eliminates the need for that particular beauty tool. If you, like many, prefer not to clamp your lashes into an eyelash curler but still want the lengthening, eye-widening effect of curled lashes, this is your pick. The main thing that sets Roller Lash apart is its curved applicator that immediately curls your lashes and keeps them that way. Of course, whether or not you typically like to have your lashes curled, it makes a big difference in how prominent your lashes look without having to add anything extra.  

Roller Lash's unique applicator definitely works wonders, though it is possible that the specific shape it gives your lashes isn't for everyone. If you love big, fanned-out lashes and looking like your natural lashes have a perfect curl to them sans using any extra tools, Roller Lash is definitely the pick for you. 

Purchase the Roller Lash by Benefit Cosmetics at Amazon for $24.58.

Best for a natural look: IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara

For plenty of people, mascara is the only makeup product they sport on a normal day. Whether you're one of those people or you just like having a mascara in your makeup bag that can look flawless while flying solo sans eyeliner or a heavy makeup look, this is the mascara you should invest in. As its name suggests, the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara has arrived to save the day. This mascara will do everything to your lashes that you're hoping for and more. Your lashes will look longer and more fanned out, while also appearing thick and bold, and this effect is long-lasting. This mascara is also nicely buildable, so you can easily alter the boldness of your lashes depending on the type of makeup look you're going for. 

If all of that isn't enough, this mascara has a bit of a secret weapon. Unlike most mascaras, this one doesn't just make your eyelashes look better and bolder while it's on. It actually strengthens your lashes as you wear it. There are proteins and peptides in the product's formula that will make your lashes stronger and healthier. Consequently, as you wear the mascara over time, it will end up looking even better on you. Call this one an investment mascara, if you will.

Purchase the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara at Amazon for $28.

Best for a glam look: Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift mascara

Most mascara-wearers are in search of a mascara that will make it look like you're wearing falsies without the hassle and drama of an actual pair of falsies. Well, it's clear based on the name that Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift mascara set out to achieve this effect, and as far as we're concerned, it rose to the occasion. This is a great mascara to swipe onto your lashes and go. It doesn't require many coats, but it can be layered without clumping to give a more dramatic effect. 

The applicator has an unusual hourglass-like shape that allows you to easily access the base of your lashes and give them a full coating from root to tip without a struggle. Consequently, it really does give your lashes a "lift" as the name suggests. While the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara may be best for folks who are creating a simple, natural-looking makeup look, this is a great option for folks who are looking to go full-glam. This may not be the tube of mascara that we pull out for a trip to Target, but it is what we'd sport to a wedding or event, or even to pair with our actual false lashes. That said, if you're ready for a particularly glamorous Target trip, give your lashes a lift, and you'll definitely be happy that you did.

Purchase the Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara at Amazon for $9.96.