The Best Mascaras Under £20
The Best Mascaras Under £20

The Best Mascaras Under £20

Quality ingredients and next-generation formulas mean high-street mascaras are now giving their more expensive counterparts a good run for their money. From Maybelline’s latest launch to the £4 buy that consistently earns five-star reviews, here are the best under £20.
By Rebecca Hull
Photography: ISTOCK/WEKWEK

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

NYX Make-Up On The Rise Liftscara, £8.40

Best For: Separating Lashes

Why We Rate It: NYX has an incredible range of mascaras, but we really rate this one’s ability to separate and lengthen lashes. The wand has tiny bristles to latch onto every lash, while the rounded applicator head allows you to get into the corners and edges. With a glossy black pigment, it has an expensive-looking finish that lasts – plus, it won’t become clumpy or flaky by 4pm. 

Available at

No7 Lash Extender Fiber Mascara, £7

Best For: Speedy Volume

Why We Rate It: One tube of this mascara sold every 20 seconds on the day it launched. Now Boots’ bestselling mascara, we can confirm it’s worth its hype. Bamboo fibres latch onto lashes for extra volume, length and definition, while the chunky wand coats every single lash for even, intense results.

Available at

Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara, £8.79

Best For: Long-Lasting Results

Why We Rate It: Created with something called a ‘Memory Curl Formula’, Maybelline’s new mascara promises to keep lashes lifted and lengthened for up to 24 hours, with a lightweight, wax-free texture that never feels heavy. Better still, it has a wet, inkiness that’s easy to layer and build up for extra intensity. Once it sets, it really does stay put – you won’t get any smudging or flakes.

Available at

Make-Up Revolution Big Lash Reloaded Volume Mascara, £6

Best For: Ease of Application

Why We Rate It: The chunky wand makes this one a dream to apply. Just a few sweeps will thicken lashes and separate them for even, clump-free results. Despite the price, the quality of the formula feels very high-end. Better still, it doesn’t flake off under your eyes as the day goes on – once it sets, it sets fast. With that in mind, it’s best to work fast with this one.

Available at

MAC Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash Mascara, £16

Best For: Effortless Removal

Why We Rate It: Even those with the most poker-straight lashes can benefit from using this tubing mascara. In-built fibres attach to every lash to add volume, lift and curl for fuller, natural-looking results. The formula is completely smudge proof too – though it’s easy enough to remove with warm water. Just two layers is enough to have impact and the brush is thinner, so it’s ideal for those wanting more fluttery, defined results. A great daytime option.

Available at

Kiko Luxurious Lashes Volume Brush Mascara, £8.99

Best For: Sensitive Eyes

Why We Rate It: Ophthalmologically tested, this has gone through rigorous trials to ensure it’s gentle enough for sensitive eyes – including those who wear contact lenses. It has a really chunky brush with a spiral shape that hugs your lash line. The result? Even application and better definition. Use the pointed tip of the mascara wand to flick out the lashes at the outer corners for an elongated effect – it’ll really enhance the shape of your eyes.

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Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, £15.20

Best For: Conditioning Lashes

Why We Rate It: Loved by industry insiders – including make-up master and SL contributor Zoe Taylor – this is a cult classic. It has an impressive tubing formula that never budges, while the colour is deep and intense. With added keratin and shea butter, you’ll find it strengthens lashes, while preventing them from becoming hard and crispy. Extra points go to the supersized bristle brush which allows for maximum volume. 

Available at

1999 Beauty Lash-Tint Mascara, £14

Best For: A Subtle Effect

Why We Rate It: This is designed for women of all ages, whether you’re after defined, longer lashes, or prefer to layer your mascara up for a more dramatic look. It feels incredibly lightweight and doesn’t smudge halfway through the day. Plus, it’s water resistant (not waterproof) so it comes off just with warm water – ideal for those who like to remove their make-up in the shower. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

Available at

17 Extreme Extension Lengthening Mascara, £4

Best For: A False Lash Look

Why We Rate It: Not for the fainthearted, this delivers serious volume and impactful results. Often compared to Maybelline’s Sky High formula, it is affordable – at just £4 – with a slick, almost wet texture that’s easy to layer and build up. Just a single layer will yield the best results. It’s also available in black and brown – the latter of which is perfect for a more everyday look.

Available at

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