11 Drugstore Mascaras for All Your Lash Desires
We rounded up the best budget-friendly formulas for volume, drama, and more—all available at Canadian drugstores.
Ask any makeup lover what their desert-island product is, and many of them will say mascara. Even women who aren’t super into makeup will probably have a tube kicking around in a bathroom drawer. That’s because other than a swipe of lipstick, nothing gives that instant “I’m awake! I swear!” result like mascara. And while there are lots of great higher-end brands out there that we love, you don’t always need to spend a ton to get the lashes of your dreams.
To find the best mascara for you, you need to consider the look you’re going for. Are you aiming for length? Volume? Do you like a natural look or are you going for more of a dramatic “Are-those-real?!” vibe? Are you planning on crying a lot (hello, wedding guest!) or wandering around in the rain (hi, Drew!) and need a waterproof pick?
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll want a formula that doesn’t smudge or weigh down your lashes and can be removed relatively easily—and we can help. Here are our picks for the best mascaras you can find in the aisle of your friendly neighbourhood drugstore.
Best for Length and Volume: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara
TikTok lost its collective mind for this light-as-air mascara when it launched in 2021, and for good reason—this affordable lash lifter is 100 percent worth the hype and has expanded its original offerings to include black-brown and waterproof versions. The comb-style wand coats every lash and the eerily lightweight formula never weighs them down.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, $16, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Highest-Rated: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Mascara
This bestselling tube is also the cheapest on our list, but don’t let the low price—or teeny bopper feeling of the brand—fool you. While all of Essence’s mascaras are popular, Lash Princess False Effect gets the most love. Its superpower: Giving even the shortest lashes some extra oomph.
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Mascara, $5, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best for Natural-Looking Lashes: Burt’s Bees All Aflutter Multi-Benefit Mascara
Burt’s Bees has forever been all about natural ingredients, and that stays true with their All Aflutter Multi-Benefit Mascara, made of 100 percent ingredients of natural origin, like moisturizing jojoba oil and beeswax. Because of its barely-there look, it’s the perfect daytime mascara.
Burt’s Bees All Aflutter Multi-Benefit Mascara, $14, well.ca
Best for Lifted Lashes: Revlon So Fierce! Eyes Wide Open Mascara
If you want your eyes to look as big and innocent as an anime character, then be sure to tuck a tube of this volumizing mascara in your Sailor Moon bag. Cannabis sativa hemp seed oil in the formula conditions lashes and its special extra curvy brush is designed with six different product reservoirs, so it’s easy to get mascara on every single lash—even the tiniest ones. Comes in a waterproof version, too.
Revlon So Fierce! Eyes Wide Open Mascara, $16, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best for Lengthening: L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara
An oldie but a goody—this mascara promises your lashes will look 60 percent longer. While that may be a bit of a not-so-humble brag, the flexible plastic, comb-style brush makes it famously easy to coat each and every lash
L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara, $18, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best for Volume: E.l.f Cosmetics Big Mood Mascara
The hourglass shape of E.L.F. Cosmetics’ Big Mood Mascara wand combined with its volumizing jojoba-wax based formula means that this baby gives you curled, fluffy lashes for days. It comes in brown, blue and dark green as well as classic black, and there’s a waterproof version, too.
E.l.f Cosmetics Big Mood Mascara, $10, elfcosmetics.com
Best for Bold Lashes: CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara
The well-known Lash Blast mascara by CoverGirl boasts a formula that gives you volume and length and a clump-free finish. Extra perk: Its silicone brush makes grabbing lashes from root to tip a breeze. Comes in a waterproof formula, too.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara, $12, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best for a Clump-Free Finish: CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara
The non-clumping power of this vegan and cruelty-free formula is derived from the conditioning power of argan and marula oils. The regular formula lasts all day but if you’re really worried about sniffling your way through that “feel-good” movie there’s a waterproof version, too.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara, $7, amazon.ca
Best Waterproof Pick: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
Maybelline’s not playing—once this stuff dries it stays put like glue. You’ll want to use an oil-based makeup remover or cleansing balm to truly get it off without tugging. But if you want to look glam while sweating or crying without worrying about turning into a raccoon, this is the mascara for you.
Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara, $13, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Best Non-Smudge Pick: Rimmel Wonder’Luxe Volume Mascara
This super-conditioning formula is juiced up with four different kinds of healthy oils—argan, maracuja, marula, and camellia— goes on super smooth. While it’s not waterproof, it keeps the smudges at bay.
Rimmel Wonder’Luxe Volume Mascara, $8, walmart.ca
Best for Fluffy Lashes: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara
This classic drugstore buy has been bringing thick and fluffy lash realness since 1991. If you’re looking for something beyond basic black, try one of their groovy shades like cobalt blue, maroon, deep green or purple. The waterproof version (only in black or brown, sadly!) are winners, too.
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara, $7, amazon.ca