The Best Mascaras Under £20

The Best Mascaras Under £20

Technical innovation and next-generation formulas mean high street mascaras now perform pretty darn well. Here are 13 SL-tested options, all of which lengthen, lift and thicken without breaking the bank…

3INA Make-Up The Lash Tint Mascara, £15.96

With a thin wand and jet black formula, this layers nicely, offering fuller lashes after just one sweep. Expect a natural finish that’s not overly dramatic – perfect if you prefer length over volume. It also contains carbon pigments which, over time, gradually tint lashes for subtle definition – ideal for blondes or those with fair lashes. 



Clinique High Impact Mascara, £20

Just a single coat of this gives lashes length, volume and a fluttery effect that doesn’t smudge. Wear just a few coats for everyday, or layer it up for more impact in the evening. The lightweight and not-too-wet formula means you never have to worry about black, panda circles either.



Collection Lash Surge Mascara, £4.99

Collection do some of the best budget-friendly make-up out there, and this cult mascara is no exception. One of the highest rated products on Amazon thanks to its dense brush, it delivers plenty of drama with little-to-no effort. The wand itself is thin, too, so it’s easy to manoeuvre for seamless application. Finally, it melts away with regular make-up remover, so you don’t have the faff come night-time.



E.L.F. Eye Enhancing Mascara in Black, £4.50

With an improved formula and new brush head, the swirl-shaped applicator grabs every lash right at the root for even distribution. The formula is completely smooth, so you never get clumping or flaking, and also contains light reflecting particles for a glossy sheen that looks expensive.



Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara & Primer, £19

Made to lengthen and define – rather than thicken – this mascara still provides even the wispiest lashes with extra volume. The in-built primer works to create an even base and enhance the mascara’s longevity and impact – sweep this on first, wait for 10-20 seconds, then follow with the mascara. It’s a bit of a faff, but worth it for the results.  



Isehan Heroine Make Long & Curl Black Mascara, £12.44

Never judge a mascara by its cover. Fans call this Japanese mascara the ‘holy grail’ and it’s affordable, too. Its cult status comes down to some pretty impressive results: it can hold a curl for hours and lengthen even the flattest, shortest lashes. Plus, it’s non-smudge, with a deep black shade for extra depth and inkiness.



L’Oreal False Lash Superstar X Fiber Mascara, £10.99

A go-to product for better volume, this mascara contains a rich, thickening formula that uses 20 times more fibres for a more intense finish. Each little bristle latches onto lashes to lengthen and strengthen, with an in-built primer that nourishes each hair. Two coats, and your eye area will open instantly.



Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, £11.99

This does exactly what it says – offering wide-eyed lashes that look fuller and longer straight away. The brush itself is quite large, but that makes it even better for boosting thickness and density. Perfect for days or nights when you want some drama. 



Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara, £9.99

Dubbed as a ‘lash lift in a tube’ this new mascara adds definition, curl and volume, while the wavy brush reaches every single lash for a full effect. Polymers and flexible film formers act like glue, to stretch and lift for a long-lasting result – you won’t find any smudging here. 



MILK Kush High Volume Mascara, £10.25

This is the mascara for full, fat lashes. With a CBD oil-infused formula, it glides on without any stickiness or clumping, and lasts the whole day without a single smudge. One swipe will cover all your lashes, or just keep going for a more amped-up look.



NYX Professional Make-Up Super Luscious Lengthening Mascara, £3.75 (was £7.50)

When it comes to wearability, this one from NYX scores high. It doesn’t smudge or flake – even after a full gym session. If lifts, volumizes and enhances length while conditioning with keratin, collagen and vitamins. The double-sided brush also allows you to play with the type of finish you’d like – one side uses smaller bristles for a fresh, tinted effect, while the other has longer, flexible bristles for bigger impact.



Smashbox Superfan Mascara, £18

One of our favourite mascaras of all time, you’d be hard pushed to find any negative reviews here. Helping to hold lashes in place for hours – just like a good lash curler would  – expect mega-volume without the clumping, and a jet-black colour that adds impressive depth. The compact, oval shape of the brush also makes adding mascara to your lashes mess-free, with no loose bristles touching the skin or eye area.



Eyeko Rock Out & Lash Out Mascara, £19

As with most Eyeko products, this curved wand lives up to the hype. Promising longer, clump-free lashes, it has serious staying power, while the bulkier tip allows you to add depth and length at the inner and outer corners.


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