The Definitive Mascara Power Rankings, According to Celebrity Makeup Artists

Photograph by Amy Troost; Styled by Max Ortega; Makeup by Hannah Murray . Hair by Tina Outen at Streeters; Manicure by Michina Koide for Essie at Art Department. Casting by Edward Kim. Model: Naomi Chin Wing at IMG Models.

One of the most transformative beauty moments in the makeup application process takes place when mascara is applied. A good mascara can be the beautifying catalyst to finalize a look: giving sensuality, power, and femininity all at once. Incidentally enough, February 19 has been named National Lash Day—and to celebrate, we’re taking a look back at some of the greatest mascaras of all time; as well as sampling the newest releases that have come out in the past few months and are worthy of recognition.

The All-Time Greats

Dior’s Diorshow Iconic Overcurl

No eyelash curler required after applying this one. Reintroduced last year, the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl will give a polished, ultra-feminine look while strengthening lashes with its unique cotton nectar formulation. A favorite go-to for iconic celebrity makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani (Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie and Sandra Bullock are clients) who loves buildable, volumizing attributes of the mascara. “What makes the mascara stand out for me is, because of the formula and the curled brush, it’s one of the few mascaras that has beneficial ingredients for your lashes and makes them look both longer and thicker,” Bedrani says. “Another important factor for me as a makeup artist is that we often have to take our clients for a day of press to red carpet or evening events, so it’s important to be able to go from a daytime makeup look to nighttime, and the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara is perfect for that, as it’s buildable. I can start the day with one coat to open up the eyes and add a few more for a more dramatic evening look.”

Armani Beauty’s Eyes That Kill

This is quite possibly one of the best lengthening mascaras ever created, as it lengthens each lash while also separating and avoiding any messy clumping. Even when applying several layers of the cult favorite formulation, there’s no flake-off and it lasts from early morning well into the late evening, sans any heaviness. Mélanie Inglessis, the renowned celebrity makeup artist, says the mascara’s no fuss, user-friendly application is the ultimate boon. “In just a few sweeps, this mascara coats lashes in an impactful dark black,” she adds. “As an artist, I love the full brush—I can get into the lash line easily with just a flick. I also love that it adds volume and lengthens for that lush lash look. The texture is creamy and doesn’t clump or look fake. I keep a few in my kit, and one in my own makeup bag at all times.”

Maybelline’s Great Lash

Can homage be paid to mascara without mentioning this lash-resurrecting gem? We think not. Since its creation in 1971, this product has not veered from its promise to deliver strong, bold lashes. On the makeup tray of every beauty junkie around the world, the formulation glides on and gives a strong, painted lash with undeniable wow factor.

Jones Road Beauty’s The Mascara

One our favorites to launch in 2020, The Mascara delivers a striking look without having to apply and reapply layers. The applicator wand’s curved shape also makes it super easy to paint the corner lashes and give them life. Also noteworthy is that the formulation has a conscience—it’s cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan.

Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara

If you’re a true mascara buff, this one is worth stocking your makeup shelves with—there’s a reason why it’s the #1 selling prestige mascara in America and the UK. Simply put, this mascara delivers bold, beautiful, and dramatic lashes in one coat (really, one coat) without over-drying or clumping.

L’Oréal Paris’s Air Volume Mega Mascara

This transformative volumizing mascara launched in November 2020 by L’Oréal Paris was created with a unique air-whipped formula, which provides a weightless, perfected application each time. Prominent makeup artist Sir John (who has worked on the faces of Beyoncé, Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Graham) is a longtime fan of the mascara, using it to give an unforgettable, defining look. “This is my go-to affordable mascara,” he tells W. “The short bristles catch and load lashes deep at the roots, while the long bristles dispense the intense black formula evenly for fully blown out lashes. The formula is also super lightweight and doesn’t weigh down the lashes, which is a game-changer.”

The New Players

Lancôme’s Lash Idôle

Released this past December with a worldwide launch in January, Lash Idôle is the newest mascara to be released form Lancôme. The instant eye-opener has a 360 micro bristle curved applicator that grabs onto every lash from root to tip, producing clump-free lashes. Thanks to the unique gel formulation, the mascara glides on and feels feathery-soft, not weighed down or flaky.

Sisley’s So Stretch Mascara

Launching in March, the latest release from Sisley extends lashes while nourishing—using Damask rose extract, castor oil, arginine, and synthetic ceramides for a dramatic, fanned-out effect. Celebrity makeup artist Jo Baker who is responsible for the red-carpet makeup looks of Lucy Boynton, Salma Hayek, and Natalie Portman relies on the mascara. She particularly likes the uplift effect the mascara provides. “I love the design of the So Stretch mascara brush, it contours the eye shape so well and gives me another way to dazzle my clients lashes and bring a different kind of pulled up attitude to their last looks,” she says.

Kevyn Aucoin’s Indecent Mascara

Launched earlier this month, this mascara fortifies lashes, promoting growth with mung bean and red clover extracts. The formulation glided on nicely without any signs of clumping and was easily buildable when layering for different eye looks. A favorite lash go-to for celebrity makeup artist Megan Lanoux, (Sienna Miller and Bailee Madison are clients). “It’s truly great in that it thickens and lengthens lashes and I never have to worry about fallout or transfer during the day,” Lanoux says.

They’re Real! Magnet Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics

Armed with distinctive technology, this newest mascara by Benefit, which dropped on February 18th, uses a magnetically charged extender brush that pulls the lashes out with a magnetically fortified, mineral-rich formulation to give a strong, impressively defined lash look. Zig-zag bristles that penetrate through the lash lines give an elegant, open-eye look that is smudge-proof, waterproof, and humidity proof. This magnetic formulation promises to make lashes 40 percent longer and lasts for a total 36 hours.

Related: The Runway-Ready Products Celebrity Makeup Artists Keep in Their Kits