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Staff tested: The best mascaras

The latest trend in mascara is all about brush technology. New innovations are offering lots of separation with no clumping. These six staff-tested smudge-proof mascaras are the best for long and lovely lashes

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Gosh Amazing Length’n Waterproof Mascara in Black ($12)

"I’m a big fan of waterproof mascaras and this one didn’t disappoint me. It went on clump-free and dried really quickly. The only downside was that it was hard to remove (makeup remover is an absolute must!)"


—Stephanie Han, Art Director

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L’Oréal Paris Bare Naturale Mascara in Blackest Black ($15)

"I love this new mineral mascara. It goes on smoothly, and lasts all day without flaking off or darkening under my eyes. I’m fair-haired, and though Blackest Black was okay, the next tube I buy will be one degree lighter."

—Bonnie Munday, Editor

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CoverGirl VolumeExact Mascara in Brown ($9)

"With its plastic-y brush, this makes my lashes long in just one move and doesn’t clump. I love the chunky handle; its non-slip grip helps when you’re applying it while half asleep! I prefer brown for a natural look, so this worked well on me."

— Kat Tancock, Web Editor

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Dior Diorshow Backstage Make-up Mascara in Plum ($31)

"At first the fat, bristled brush seemed a little unwieldy, but two carefully applied coats gave my lashes extra length, curl and mega volume. Plum shades are trendy and this one is dark and subtle."

—Jennifer Masseau, Assistant Editor

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Maybelline New York XXL Curl Power Volume+Length Micro-fiber Mascara in Soft Black ($11)

"I was skeptical that the primer on one end would do anything for my stubby lashes, but it did lengthen and curl them. And the black mascara didn’t smudge at all throughout the day."

—Jennifer Walker, Senior Content Editor

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Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black ($24)

"I liked this. The cone-shaped brush was perfect for my fair, long lashes—depositing more on the outer lashes and less on the inner ones. It’s a volumizing mascara, but it pumped up my lashes without a hint of Tammy Faye."

—Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor

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Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black ($24)

"I liked this. The cone-shaped brush was perfect for my fair, long lashes—depositing more on the outer lashes and less on the inner ones. It’s a volumizing mascara, but it pumped up my lashes without a hint of Tammy Faye."

—Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor