These are the lengthening mascaras MUAs want you to know about

Brow-skimming lashes? Yes pls


best lengthening mascara

A lengthening mascara is one of the most transformative cosmetics you’ll find in your makeup bag. In just a few swipes, it will lift your lashes and awaken your eyes – and who doesn’t want that?

For many, a mascara is considered a ‘can’t live without’ beauty product so, due to its popularity, there’s a continuous stream of new launches piling onto our shelves. With many to pick from, finding the right formula that will lengthen without clumping can seem like a never-ending task.

Luckily for you, I know my way around a good lash-lengthening tube and know of a few celeb MUAs who can spill the beans on their favourite formulas – from Dior to Diego Della Palma.

What should you look for in a lengthening mascara?

When you’re scouting out the options, a certain mascara will stand out depending on your budget or style – but there are a few finer details you should be aware of when finding the best one for you…

The formula

If you’re on a mission for longer lashes, Buster Knight – celeb MUA, with clients including Milly Bobby Brown – suggests looking for a mascara with a waxy formula. “Anything that’s too wet will print on the eyelids and won’t hold a curl,” he says. So, find yourself a thicker formula (that’s non-clumpy) that will grip onto each lash and lift them up to their full potential.

The wand

The magic doesn’t just lie within the formula – the size and thickness of the wand also make a difference. “I like a thicker brush with a fluffy texture,” says celebrity makeup artist Amanda Grossman.

“This gives you more control over the look you want to create. You can achieve a natural effect by applying the product with a light hand or go in with a second coat to get an evening look,” she adds.

Also, pay attention to the material of the wand. Silicone wands tend to have bristles which are further apart and will do a good job at separating the lashes (I also find they’re less likely to flick product onto your browbone). However, I will also back the corner of some soft bristles which do a sublime job and lengthening and defining too.

How should you apply mascara?

“We all look for a mascara that will lengthen and thicken our lashes. In my opinion, the way you apply mascara has more of an impact and gives you the results you want over what brand of mascara you choose to buy,” says Amanda.

The best way to apply mascara depends on the look you want to achieve. “For thicker lashes, I tend to wiggle the mascara at the root of the lash, but for lengthening, I suggest combing the lash with a mascara from root to tip, above and below the lash lash line,” says Buster. “This coats the lash whilst ‘stretching’ the hairs,” he adds.

Mascara tips you need to know about

  • “The most important part of creating a thick, long lash is to always curl your lashes before applying mascara. I love Kevyn Aucoin lash curlers,” says Amanda.
  • “I really recommend lash serums, like Revitalash, as they prevent breakage and therefore create longer, stronger eyelashes,” says Buster.
  • “It’s also worth creating a ‘tight line’ liner [along your upper lash line] to help make your lashes appear longer without looking overly made up,” he adds.

If you’re now itching to get your hands on a tube with some serious lifting power, behold the best lash-lengthening mascaras that MUAs swear by – and that I rate, too.

The best lengthening mascaras…

Lash Slick
Best lengthening mascara for a natural effect

Glossier Lash Slick

Credit: Glossier

My love letter to Glossier is a long one – and it starts with Lash Slick. If you want to create the illusion that you naturally have long, separated lashes, this is the one to go for. It doesn’t clump or smudge, but leaves an effect that looks like ‘baby lash extensions’ – as Emily Weiss likes to call it.

And if you really want to emphasise the look of your natural lashes, try the brown shade which is just *chef’s kiss* 😘.

Lash Clash

Best lengthening mascara for serious volume

YSL Lash Clash

Now 15% Off

Credit: Look Fantastic

Looking at this wand, you’d expect it to be a great volumiser rather than a lengthener. Somehow, it masters both. The fluffy brush coats each strand in the jet-black formula which lifts, but adds some epic volume, too. It lasts all day without touching up, but it does have a (small) tendency to smudge under your eye. It’s a little bit dramatic, but who doesn’t love a drama queen from time to time?

My Happy Toy Mascara
Best lengthening mascara for intensity

Diego Dalla Palma My Happy Toy Mascara

Credit: Look Fantastic

This mascara isn’t just a pretty face and a cool name (who else is obsessed with the bright-pink packaging?), but it’s also one of Buster’s all-time favourites.

The curvaceous wand grabs and separates your lashes to lift them to new lengths while coating them in a jet-black formula that adds drama and glamour. There’s no clumping, no smudging, just seriously good and sultry lashes.

Telescopic Lift Mascara
Best mascara for lifting

L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara

OGs will know alllll about the Telescopic Lift Mascara. In case you need filling in, this product reached TikTok fame last year after Mikayla Nogueira posted a video showing her jaw-dropping results. However, soon after, sceptical viewers started to accuse Mikayla of wearing falsies.

After testing for myself, I can 100% confirm that it won’t miraculously give you the look of false lashes. But, what it will do is elongate your lashes to create a lash-lift-like result. Wiggle from root to tip to encourage the delicate bristles to separate and define.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

Best luxury lengthening mascara

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

Now 20% Off

Credit: Boots

Both Amanda and Buster recommend the Diorshow mascara – so once you get past the initial sting of the splurge, you can trust that it’s a good one.

Thanks to a fibre-infused formula and fluffy wand, the mascara swoops up your lashes into a beautiful curl and locks them in place. The overall result is a fluttery, wispy fan that looks oh-so natural – and you won’t be battling with clumps either. If you’re gonna invest in a designer piece, let it be this.

Lash Building Primer
Best mascara primer

Clinique Lash Building Primer

Credit: Look Fantastic

Using a lash primer before you go in with your mascara can make a huge difference – a good one will separate and define your lashes while helping to lengthen too.

This one from Clinique does exactly that and more: it also helps to add volume and create the illusion of thicker, bigger lashes. Plus, it has conditioning properties, helping them to grow longer and stronger.

Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
Best overall lengthening mascara

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

Credit: Cult Beauty

This mascara is one of my all-time favourites, so when Amanda said it was hers too, it kind of felt like I’d won at life (a bit of a geeky moment on my end TBH).

The push-up effect it gives is almost good enough to qualify as falsies, plus it delivers some epic volume and supreme length, too. It will take you from your office meetings to the dancefloor without smudging, but won’t have you scrubbing with micellar water to remove it at the end of the night.

Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara
Best budget mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

Credit: Sephora

It would be a bit offensive to not include one of the best lengthening mascaras you can find on the high street (I’m claiming it). Sky High is a true cult classic for creating brow-skimming lashes.

The power lies within its sturdy, silicone wand which separates and adds major length. You’ll also discover it has some serious staying power that not even a sad film or sweat sesh could budge. And if you love the whole Sky High family, try the primer as well for the perfect pairing.

Clean Lash
Best mascara for a flutter effect

Merit Beauty Clean Lash

Credit: Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty is the definition of quiet luxury. Its Clean Lash mascara not only looks incredibly chic, but the formula elevates the length of my lashes while adding definition and a subtle tint.

The fluffy bristle brush clings onto each hair to create a fluttery effect, and while delicate in nature, the formula hangs on without flaking or smudging. This is a great way to add some elegance to your makeup bag, without the designer price tag to match.

My Mascara Volume & Length Black
Best mascara for separating lashes

Sculpted by Aimee My Mascara Volume & Length Black

Credit: Boots

It’s not every day that you come across a mascara that costs less than £20 and creates lashes that literally defy gravity. The Sculpted by Aimee My Mascara has a curved wand which picks up each lash to lift and curl and does so without clumping or splashing your eyelid with product.

After a couple of strokes from root to tip – and a bit of wiggling to coat in between – you’ve created brow-skimming lashes, all with minimal effort. Obsessed.