Mascara Formulas 101

Not all mascaras are created equal. They perform a number of different duties, from lifting to lengthening to volumizing to thickening.

Varying mascara wands and formulas result in different effects, and it all depends on your desires. Whether you’re after wispy, delicate eyelashes like Elle Fanning’s or thick falsies-like ones similar to Barbara Palvin’s, L’Oréal Paris has all the options covered. Ideally, you should be working toward a mascara wardrobe so that you can switch up your look according to the occasion. We all have multiple eyeshadows and lipsticks, so why stick to only one mascara?

If you’re looking for eyelash lifting, look no further than L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Mascara. This brilliant mascara features an ingenious bending wand, inspired by the makeup-artist hack of bending the mascara wand to reach the smallest of lashes. Its tapered mascara brush allows for precise application on those hard-to-reach inner and outer corner lashes so no lash is left behind. This flake-free formula is also ideal for delicate lower lashes, which tend to be the first to smudge and flake away. This best mascara for short lashes comes in Blackest Black as well as a waterproof version for those rainy or snowy days.

When it comes to lengthening, L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara is a superhero. Its formula, available in both Black and Blackest Black, is infused with ultra-lengthening polymers and nurturing oils for a smooth and even application, without flakes or those pesky smudges. Don’t be fooled by its delicate two-sided patented wand; this no-clump mascara will lengthen your lashes up to 60%. Use the flat side of the brush to extend the length and the comb side to separate individual lashes for beautifully smooth results.

For an occasion that calls for luxurious, feathery lashes, you need a volumizing mascara. Need inspiration? Think Elle Fanning’s full but natural look. With its smooth-glide formula, L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara will have you fluttering your lashes with pride. This mascara’s brush features over 200 soft, wavy bristles designed to catch every lash for a full fringe effect, leaving lashes delicately soft to the touch instead of hard and rigid. Available in Black Brown, Black, Blackest Black and Mystic Black—a different shade for every mood.

If you’re looking for lashes so voluminous that they can rival even the best falsies, you should add a primer to your routine. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Superstar Mascara comes with a brilliant two-sided brush: one for the primer and one for the mascara. When priming the lashes, make sure you coat every single lash and then apply the Super-Extending Mascara on top for a striking look. It’s available in classic Black, as well as Blackest Black for extra drama.

For extreme volume, reach for L’Oréal Paris Voluminous x Fiber Mascara which provides seven times more volume and 20 times more length than Voluminous Superstar. This is not a mascara for the faint of heart, as it is only available in Blackest Black. Again, one side of the two-sided wand features a primer, only here it is black, adding drama from the get-go. Once you apply the mascara, the show-stopping result will have you throwing your falsies away for good. Who needs them, anyway? This is hands-down the best mascara for volume.

There’s a reason why L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara is considered a cult classic. This reliable mascara is the best for thickening, as it builds up lashes from their natural thickness. A mainstay in many women’s mascara wardrobes, the Voluminous Original features a Volume Maximizing Brush, which thickens lashes smoothly and evenly, leaving no room for flakes, smudges or clumps. It’s available in classic Black Brown, Black and Blackest Black, as well as fun hues like Deep Burgundy and Cobalt Blue for when you’re in a more playful mood.

If you’re looking for a smoother application, L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Curved Brush Mascara is mistakeproof: Its curved brush is designed to match the shape of your lashes for even distribution. Like the original, this clump-free mascara formula provides five times the thickness of your natural lashes, without flaking or clumping. Both formulas are fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers—what can be better than that?

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