The Best Mascaras For Thin Lashes

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According to Newsweek, thick, dark, and long eyelashes are perceived as most attractive. But let's face it, not all of us were blessed with abundant lashes. While you could try to augment your lashes with expensive serums or extensions, a more budget-friendly option is to go with a trusty mascara that you can use on a daily basis.

When choosing mascara for thin lashes, it's best to look for an option that adds volume while still being lightweight. That's because if your lashes are thin, they're more prone to being weighed down and looking droopy, according to Who What Wear. You'll also want a mascara that adds curl without clumping. And if you're one of the many people with fine, sparse lashes (no shame here), you're likely looking for some of the best mascaras to add thickness and volume that will trick people into thinking you have lashes for days. Read on for some of our favorites.

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

This fan-favorite, budget-friendly mascara from L'Oreal Paris (available on Amazon for less than $10) comes with over 200 soft bristles for a creamy texture, per Byrdie. According to Allure, it has a thick formula that's great for thin lashes, but is not too thick to weigh things down. It also dries quickly and allows you to build without the pesky clumping that is all too common in many mascaras, per Byrdie. The space between bristles grabs every lash evenly and glides on easily for thicker, darker lashes with lots of volume, the write-up continues. And if you need more peace of mind, this product has racked up a whopping 58,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon.

"This L'Oréal mascara is hands down the best one I've EVER owned, and I will never try another so long as they keep making this one! No clumps, makes them full with one application, and doesn't flake," one satisfied reviewer wrote.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

If you want a mascara that can grab your lashes from the root, you can't go wrong with this bad boy from Maybelline (available on Amazon for less than $7). Its curved tip is great for adding massive volume to your lashes, especially if they're on the thinner side, according to Who What Wear. The brush comes with a whopping 10 layers at the bristles (per Byrdie), which is ideal for getting a lengthy, fanned-out look. Its mineral-coated formula also gives your lashes a natural-looking, separated effect that creates added thickness, the write-up adds.

"This is a dream come true for mascara junkies like me. The applicator brush (the key to everything for me) is perfectly designed, from the firm plastic bristles that coat and separate lashes with just the right amount of product, to the curve of the brush that enables you to (finally!) reach every last little corner lash (no, really!), to the smooth formula allowing me to layer several heavy coats without it clumping or turning to spider eye," one enthusiastic reviewer wrote.

Benefit BADgal Volumizing Mascara

According to Who What Wear, if you have thin lashes and would like to augment them, it's best to look for a mascara that can layer on multiple coats without creating the heaviness found in many other products. That's where this volumizing mascara from Benefit (available for $27 at Ulta) comes in. It boasts a lightweight formula that creates a full, voluminous look without weighing down your lashes or causing unsightly flaking — and Benefit claims that the effect will last for up to 36 hours. 

As Byrdie stated, Benefit BADgal Volumizing Mascara boasts a matte finish that is ultra-pigmented, rich, and thick. The brush is designed to access those difficult-to-reach corners of the eyes, and also allows for lengthening and definition along with its mega-volumizing formula. Although this option may be priced higher than drugstore mascaras, its long-lasting and dramatic effect may warrant the extra cost.

Milk Makeup KUSH High-Volume Mascara

CBD has been all the rage, and hopping on the trend is this vegan mascara from the innovative brand Milk Makeup ($26 at Sephora). This particular product is infused with hemp-derived cannabis oil that not only adds significant volume, but also claims to condition and moisturize for healthier lashes overall (via PopSugar). The mascara's most unique feature is its "heart-shaped fibers," which allow the formula to stay on all day while giving your lashes plenty of long-lasting curl (via StyleCraze). Milk Makeup KUSH High-Volume Mascara also has a creamy texture that glides on with ease, so you won't need to apply an extra primer before using it, the write-up adds. 

Keep in mind that this mascara has a large, thick applicator, which can be a learning curve for beginners (per PopSugar). However, it's a great choice for those who prefer mascara with a thicker brush.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara

This versatile mascara from Stila (at Stila Cosmetics for $25) is called "extreme" for a reason: It gives your lashes some major curl and lift. Depending on how many coats you choose to use, you can go for a subtle, natural look or a bolder, more dramatic effect. According to PopSugar, Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara has dense bristles that separate lashes the ideal amount to create definition. But perhaps the most notable characteristics of this product are its super dark black pigment and its melded wax formula, which can build up lashes without causing those unnatural spider-like clumps we all want to avoid (via Who What Wear). It also boasts a glossy finish and is made from nontoxic ingredients (via StyleCraze). The brush is a little bigger than average, but it's effective at packing on the thickness.

"This is by far my favorite mascara. Without mascara, I look like I have no lashes at all. I can use this without even curling them and actually have people comment on my beautiful lashes ... the volume I get for my thin lashes is fantastic. I had to get used to the large applicator, but totally worth the results," one reviewer raved.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Despite the rather risqué product name, it's not hard to understand why this item ($28 at Sephora) is one of America's best-selling mascaras, according to the Too Faced website. The special hourglass shape of the brush is ideal because it coats all lashes and suits all eye shapes, according to Who What Wear. The heavy brush provides a lot of control of the application process, and just two coats will achieve a long, voluminous look without clumping, the write-up said.

You can even layer up to a whopping five coats without having to worry about flaking (via Byrdie). It's also formulated with peptides for healthier lashes and tree extract for some intense volume. You can also purchase a waterproof version that will stay on all day smudge-free (per Who What Wear). Although the price tag isn't particularly modest, the influx of rave reviews indicates it may be worth the investment.

Christian Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara

If you're looking for a quality mascara from a reliable designer brand, you likely won't be disappointed with this option (around $31 on Amazon) from Christian Dior. Described as a "cult favorite" by Byrdie, Iconic is ideal for those who want to give their eyes a glamorous look with plenty of lift and curl, without clumping. The brush has a special oblique shape that reaches every lash, making it easy to achieve significant thickness and curl. Additionally, its long-lasting formula claims to last for 24 hours. Keep in mind that due to its extra hold, it can be a little difficult to remove (per Byrdie).

"Love, love, love it!!! Makes your lashes super long AND super thick. Does NOT flake, smear, or even run too much if you happen to cry. The PERFECT mascara!!!!" one Amazon reviewer noted about the Christian Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes

This mascara from Tarte (available at Sephora for $24) is made with all-natural ingredients, including plant extract that nourishes your lashes. According to StyleCraze, it is "clinically proven" to add volume in just one coat, so you won't have to apply multiple layers upon layers like you would with many heavier mascaras. It also comes with short, dense bristles (via Allure), which makes it a great choice for covering those hard-to-reach lower lashes. And thanks to its lightweight formula and waxy texture, you'll never have to worry about dealing with that uncomfortably stiff feeling on your lashes (via PureWow). Plus, its formula is free of chemicals, including parabens, gluten, sulfates, and dyes, per Sephora. Choose from classic black or brown colors.

"I love this mascara! It's my go-to for work and every day when I want my lashes to look defined but don't want to look like I'm too done up. It's buildable so I can add a few extra coats before heading to happy hour after work. I actually think it gets better as it dries out and it doesn't look clumpy!" one reviewer raved.

COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume Mascara

This classic drugstore mascara from COVERGIRL (on Amazon for less than $6) may be a throwback to high-school days, as a Who What Wear reviewer claimed. But it is beloved by so many for a reason: It works. According to Allure, you'll only need two coats for a thicker, more curled look. It also has a wand that resembles a comb, achieving significant separation and definition, Good Housekeeping noted. And even though it isn't waterproof, it will stay on for hours without smudging. You can choose between many variations of black and brown colors, depending on whether you want a more natural or dramatic effect. This mascara is also cruelty-free, which will appeal to animal lovers (per Amazon). And even though it's budget-priced, many agree that it outperforms many luxury and high-end mascaras on the market.

"This was the first drugstore mascara I tried that actually transformed my eyelashes. I have tiny short lashes and this LENGTHENS a lot while also giving volume," one five-star reviewer wrote.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Now, back to the designer end of the mascara spectrum. According to Allure, this dramatic mascara from the iconic Marc Jacobs has a super-thickening formula that amps up even the thinnest of lashes in just one coat. The name "velvet" is fitting, as the finish has a glossy, luxurious effect that is true to the Marc Jacobs name. One beauty writer even said that despite the intense formula, it lasted from morning to night without smudging (via Allure). And if you're not looking to spend an arm and a leg, you can't go wrong with the $9 mini version of Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara that can be found on Amazon.

"This is some of the best mascara I have ever purchased. One coat makes lashes luxuriously long and thick. Two coats and you are ready for a party. LOVE IT!!" one enthusiastic five-star reviewer wrote on Amazon.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

If you want a subtle, natural effect, then we recommend looking elsewhere for a different mascara. However, if you're looking to make your thin lashes intense, bold, and dramatic, this product from Lancome (at Sephora for $27) is definitely for you. What makes this mascara unique is that it comes with a wand that varies the sizes of its bristles (via Allure). This feature allows you to work the applicator in multiple angles to reach every lash, including the tiny corners, so nothing goes neglected. It also boasts a super-rich black color for inky, pigmented results. One beauty writer on Allure even said she believed it almost doubled the thickness of her lashes, to the point where it almost mimicked the look of "falsies."

"I have tried many, but for my thin lashes, this one plumps up my lashes the best. And it lengthens too. My go-to fave," said one reviewer on Sephora.

Pat McGrath LABS FetishEyes Mascara

If you're up for a splurge, this $32 mascara from the makeup legend Pat McGrath will not disappoint. The high-end brand's first mascara, which launched in 2019 (via Byrdie), is much more than just its racy name. Not everyone with thin lashes wants to trick people into thinking they're not wearing makeup — some people want a mascara that packs a serious punch and can be seen from a mile away. With its ultra-thick wand crafted with densely packed bristles, and super-saturated and pigmented formula, it creates some major volume in just one stroke (per Byrdie). Pat McGrath LABS FetishEyes Mascara is perfect for evening wear during a night out on the town, because the words "subtle," "natural," and "casual" are not in its vocabulary.

"This is my favorite mascara by far. It's so lengthening and pretty and gives me that perfect fluffy long separated eyelash look, but it's still very dark so my eyelashes are fully defined," said a reviewer on Sephora.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Jumping on the scandalous name bandwagon, this $26 mascara from the trendy Urban Decay promises to deliver some mega-volumizing results. One thing that stands out is the creamy and hydrating texture of its formula, as PopSugar commented. While some mascaras can be too wet and goopy or too dry and flaky, the write-up noted that this particular product is the perfect in-between, which is an often difficult feat. Similarly, the brush is large enough to create impressive volume, but not so large that it can't get under every lash from root to tip. You can choose between the non-waterproof or waterproof version (both at the same price at Sephora); however, Byrdie notes that the waterproof mascara can be a struggle to remove.

As one Sephora reviewer wrote, "I love the look of fat, thick lashes and this one delivers! My lashes are a bit wimpy, but with Perversion, they look full. The brush makes all the difference in the world. I apply one coat for a daytime look and two coats for a dramatic evening look."

Essence Lash Princess False Effect Mascara

Although this mascara may be the most budget-friendly on our list — priced at just $5 on Amazon — you may be surprised by the results it can achieve. If you want to transform your thin lashes with a thick, fluttery effect, look no further than the Lash Princess False Effect Mascara from Essence, one of the best drugstore brands out there. According to Byrdie, this item boasts a smooth formula that adds some major fullness and separation. With more than 178,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, much of the world seems to agree.

"Lash Princess is by far the best mascara I have ever used. I went from spending $100 a year to $15 on mascara!! My lashes look so beautiful, it's the only makeup I wear daily. It gives me fabulous volume control, I have been asked several times if I have lash extensions," one Amazon reviewer commented.