If I had a pound every time someone asked me to recommend them a mascara, I might actually be out of my overdraft for once.
It seems we're all on the look out for that elusive 'one', the problem is however, our ideas of a perfect partner are all completely different.
Personally, my main non-negotiable is clumping. Nothing makes me want to rub my face in fury more than a formula that mattes my lashes together into a thicket of black weeds.
Next is length. I want a mascara that does a Stretch Armstrong on my stumpy eyelashes. This doesn't mean I don't want volume because I do, but in my experience too much volume = clump city.
I need some kind of lifting/curling ability, note that is a need and not a want. Without it my lashes are nothing more than a veranda above my eyes.
Finally, my tendency for leaking means I need a formula that doesn't smudge or flake because my eyes expel make-up by their own accord, so I don't need a mascara that adds to the problem.
Based on my very low maintenance demands, these are the three that I recommend the most and that reside in my make-up bag most often.
I do however just want to give a shout out to the three that didn't make the cut. The first being Item Beauty's Lash Snack which has become my all-time favourite thanks to the tiny brush. The problem is you can't buy it in the UK, so if anyone wants to fly me out to Sephora in the States I'd really appreciate it.
Next is Rare Beauty's Perfect Strokes Universal Volumising Mascara which surprised me as how impressive it made my lashes without any clumping.
Finally, Pat McGrath's FetishEyes Lengthening Mascara is the only formula I bend the rules for. I don't apply it on the bottom lashes because it smudges on me, but on my top lashes it gives me inky black eyes that are, I dare say it, sexy.
Shop My 3 Ride Or Die Mascaras:
I'm A Seasoned Beauty Editor And These Are My 3 Ride Or Die Mascaras - Grazia 2022
Word of warning here that once you use Glossier's Lash Slick it's really, really hard to go back, as every other mascara just feels like a clumpy mess in comparison. Despite being a writer, l cannot improve on Glossier's own "baby extensions effect" slogan because it truly does just that. Weightless, non crispy and although it's definitely more lengthening than volumising, it makes your lashes appear thicker thanks to its ability to comb and define every single hair.
Do you know what, I was going to put Maybelline's Sky High in here instead, but you just can't go wrong with Lash Sensational. It really is the perfect mascara and there's literally nothing not to like about it. If you ask me for a drugstore recommendation, it will always be this and I love that the curved brush fans out my horizontal lashes even when I forget my curler. Not only that, but it never smudges or flakes on me.
One of my most recent discoveries, but one that's already been inducted in my hall of fame. With MACStack you choose between two brushes: Mega and Micro. Micro is my favourite because it gets every lash, including those tiny inner corner ones that you can never normally reach. The 'Stack' name comes from the fact you can build layers of this mascara without any clumping, something I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't tried it myself. Whereas Glossier is definitely a day time mascara for me and sometimes I need something more dramatic for evening, this works for both as I can do one coat for a light effect or build up for a more impactful look.