Of course, a mascara’s formula is crucial to the overall lash look, too. Without brushes, though, mascara would hardly be mascara as we know it and speak about it. Who among us hasn’t proclaimed allegiance to a certain bristle type? Perhaps you’re a “fluffy brush” kind of person; maybe you balk at big ol’ bristles in favor of a lithe, flexible plastic fringe? Below, standouts mascaras for every brush preference.
Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume & Curl Mascara
The brush type: Curved
Good for: Curl, lift, and a fluttery, fanned-out effect
In addition to its subtle curvature, this brush features staggered bristles designed to swerve among each and every lash.
Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara
The brush type: Tapered and curved
Good for: Separation, needlelike precision, and length
Inking those itty-bitty-inner-corner lashes can quickly become a bother (drat!—dotted the side of your nose with ink yet again!). A tapered tip mascara accounts for lash length—from outer corner to inner—by delivering most pigment at the outer edges and just a dab for the little ones in the corners. Bonus: The curved wand can be used for precision work along the lower lashline.
Find a similar brush on Thrive Cosmeceuticals Liquid Lash Extension Mascara, which delivers a natural doe-eyed look that’s ideal for daytime wear.
BITE Beauty Upswing Full Volume Mascara
The brush type: Hourglass, fluffy
Good for: Va-va-voom volume
Mascara mavens may immediately conjure images of Too Face’s Better Than Sex Mascara—a classic example of loaded lashes done right, thanks in part to an hourglass brush. This one from Bite Beauty boasts a similarly boisterous silhouette.
Urban Decay Lash Freak Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara
The brush type: Triangular or flat-edge
Good for: Hugging the upper waterline; a push-up effect
On the subject of clumping, I’m a bit of a contrarian: I really, truly don’t mind when my lashes appear over-inked. Lash Freak unapologetically delivers. Its brush hugs lashes, which translates to a more-is-more look. To articulate the bifurcated prism brush is a challenge; it truly is in a class of its own.
Similar-yet-different is the brush on the Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift, and Curl Mascara. Like Lash Freak, it also features a flat-ish edge, allowing for brush-to-root contact and maximum lift.
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
The brush type: Comblike, flexible
Good for: Extreme separation, an ultra-natural lash look
Similar to how a comb nixes knots, a comblike mascara brush has the power to cut through clumps. This one certainly does; fans love the “no-makeup-makeup” results. Side note: the formula itself is notably gentle and non-irritating for contact lens wearers, too.
Hourglass Curator The Lash Instrument
The brush type: No brush at all
Good for: Makeup artists, people who have some extra time on their hands
Okay, so this one is a bit of a niche item—but given its unique bristle-free form, it’s simply too special to overlook. Instead of combing through lashes in the way most mascaras do, it intends to paint each individual lash. Bound to look sleek on any vanity, it’s arguably eco-friendly, too, thanks to its reusable packaging.
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