Not all mascara is created equal. But with so many out there, it’s hard to know which ones really work and which aren't worth the hype.
One secret to figuring out which formulas get the job done? Reading customer reviews and bestseller lists. On sites like Birchbox, for example, customers can sign up to receive monthly boxes full of beauty samples to discover new products and brands—or re-order full-size versions of their faves when they’re running low. Birchbox subscribers tend to be quite vocal with their thoughts on the products they get in their boxes, so the reviews on the site are a great way to see which ones you might want to try.
According to Birchbox, the number-one bestselling mascara on their site in 2017 was Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara ($24; birchbox.com)—and our before-and-after shot, above, is a pretty good explanation as to why. If you need more evidence, you’re in luck: there are over 34,000 reviews on the site singing this mascara's praises.
"I'm no makeup queen," says one reviewer. "I don't spend a lot of money on my products, but I received this as a sample and now I don't use anything else. No other mascara compares."
"I actually got this as a Christmas gift and absolutely looove it," writes another 5-star review. "[I]sn't clumpy, doesn't flake or come off throughout the day. [I] would definitely recommend and [is] worth the price in my opinion."
It’s clear that Benefit knows what they’re doing when it comes to a good lash formula. Not only is They’re Real beloved by many, but their latest product release, BADgal BANG! Mascara ($24; birchbox.com) is breaking the Internet as beauty lovers share dramatic before-and after photos while wearing it on social media. To make sure their customers get the chance to try this new formula, anyone who subscribes to Birchbox or buys a full-size Benefit product on National Lash Day (February 19) will receive a free sample of BADgal BANG! to try out for themselves.
Interested in testing out other bestselling formlas? Check out the rest of Birchbox’s top-rated mascaras for lush lashes below.
Stila Cosmetics HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara ($23; birchbox.com)
"This is my new favorite mascara," writes one satisfied customer. "I’ve never received compliments on my lashes until wearing this stuff. The lightweight formula is meant to be flexible and clump-free, as well as totally smudge-proof."
Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara ($15; birchbox.com)
"I have sensitive skin and it's always difficult for me to find something that does its job and doesn't cause an allergic reaction," reads one review of this hypoallergenic mascara. "This one ticks all of the boxes. YAY!"
MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara ($23; birchbox.com)
"This mascara is amazing. It does not clump up, and it makes your lashes look naturally long and thick without looking like a spider! 10/10 recommend," writes one customer.
Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Super-Curling & Lifting Mascara ($24; birchbox.com)
"This mascara goes on smooth without clumping, helps separate and build up volume on my sparse lashes, and adds some serious lift to them as well," writes a fan of this Benefit mascara. "I've never had any problems with this mascara smudging or flaking and it is non-irritating (I wear contact lenses, so this is vital).”
ARROW ENDURE Water-Resistant Mascara ($18; birchbox.com)
“I do not usually wear makeup—I subscribe more for the skin care samples—but decided to try this on a whim before work," writes one customer of this waterproof (and vegan!) formula. "I’m a nurse who works 12-hour shifts, and this mascara held up beautifully. I got literal compliments on my lashes from my coworkers."