What You Should Know Before Buying Drugstore Mascara

Mascara is known as the makeup queen, the essential item one needs in their makeup bag. Having fuller and longer lashes can transform a look completely, which is why trends like lash extensions are so successful. For those of us who don't want to use false lashes or get extensions but do want that bomb lash look, it's important to have the perfect mascara.

But with all the different brands and types out there, how do you know which mascara to get?

It really all depends on what you're looking for, how you like your lashes, and how much you're willing to spend. Price aside, the question is: What is the real difference between inexpensive drugstore mascara and high-end mascara?

Why is high-end mascara so much more expensive?

While not always the case, high-end makeup often contains better ingredients, packaging, and tools than drugstore makeup. In terms of mascara, the brush could make one more expensive than another despite the formula being the same. If a company has spent more on the design of the brush it could be priced as more expensive to a comparable formula mascara pairing a different application brush.

According to makeup artist Aleksandra Ambrozy and cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson, high-end mascaras are "far more superior to the drugstore ones" (via HuffPost). Wilson explained that pricier mascaras benefit from being able to use "high-end ingredients that drugstore mascaras cannot afford." She added, "The fibers used in high-end mascaras may adhere to the lashes better because [those brands] can either afford to add more of them or a combination of fibers to give the desired effect."

However, drugstore brands can also "very effective," she says. An easy way to know what you're getting is to simply compare the ingredients. <="" span="" style="font-weight: inherit;">Some high-end brands like Lancôme are parented by drugstore known brands like L'Oreal, so formulas and ingredients across these brands could be the same, cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski explained on his website, The Beauty Brains.

It's important to check what type of brush the mascara has

Not only is the formula very important with mascara, but so is the shape of the brush. Depending on the shape of the brush mascara can help dramatically in lengthening, thickening, or separating lashes. 

According to makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, "Brushes come in lots of shapes and sizes, pick up different amounts of mascara, have bristles that are more or less densely packed, or have varying degrees of flex. The results you get absolutely depends on the wand" (via Allure).

While many drugstore brand mascaras have basic brushes, some brands like Covergirl and L'Oreal have curved brushes that allow to curl lashes. The length of the bristles on the brush also make a difference, so it's important to select the right brush for the look you're trying to achieve. The longer the bristles the more pigment can go onto the lash, Glamour reports.

Whether you want to buy a $10 drugstore mascara or $30 high-end product, the choice is yours. Some may feel there is a difference in mascara quality, but in the end it's all about preference. Experiment with different drugstore brands to see what works for you. Be sure to read reviews and look at the ingredients. While not all can compare, many drugstore mascaras can compete with high-end products.