Drugstore vs. High End Mascaras: Which is Really Better?

The age-old beauty question: is the more expensive makeup worth the money or are the cheaper versions just as good? I’m a firm believer that it depends on the product and the brand, and there are some great drugstore beauty products out there. Mascara is no different, as there are some great and awful high-end products as well as drugstore. So when it comes to examining mascara, what are the absolute best products? What’s the best drugstore mascara and the best high end mascara, and which of those is truly the best?

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Ever wonder what's the best drugstore mascara and how it compares to the best high-end mascara? I'm sharing the best mascaras I've tried and how they compare to one another so you can be prepared before you spend money on a mascara that you won't like.

Mascara Comparison

1: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara – This is an above-average mascara. It makes my lashes darker and curls them, but it doesn’t make them significantly voluminous as the name states. It’s a perfectly good mascara, but I would choose another one over it.

2: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (BTS) – I love this mascara so much. It makes my lashes voluminous and darker; people actually ask me if I’m wearing false lashes. I got a small tube at Sephora for $12, which isn’t bad for high-end.

3: Lancome Definiciles Lengthening and Defining Mascara – This mascara is not worth the money to me. It does separate lashes nicely and makes them darker, but I barely look different with this than I do without mascara. That may be because I have dark lashes, so it might be perfect if you have light ones, but I don’t think that this is worth the Lancome price.

4: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – Such a good mascara! It curls my lashes and makes them much larger. I’d say that it’s a dash below a dupe for the BTS, meaning that it isn’t exactly as good as BTS, but that it’s like a notch below it if I were to rank these mascaras.

Drugstore vs. High-End Mascara: Which Is Really Better?

How To Decide What To Buy

Figuring out what’s the absolute best mascara is (in my opinion) so dependent on personal preference. If you have really blond lashes and just want to look like you have lashes, then you’re going to like a different mascara than someone who wants their lashes to look bigger. So you need to ask yourself these questions and go from there:

  1. Do you want your lashes to be longer?
  2. Do you want to add some color to your lashes without any other changes?
  3. Do you want voluminous lashes or just a bit bigger than your normal?

When it comes to deciding whether to go with a drugstore or higher-end mascara, though, each brand varies wildly. I really dislike the Benefit They’re Real mascara and don’t think it’s worth the price, but I love the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, which I think is worth it. Similarly, that famous Maybelline mascara in the pink and green bottle does almost nothing and I don’t consider it worth the couple dollars it costs. Again, though, this is personal preference. You need to think about what you’re looking for and also how important mascara is to you. If I don’t wear any makeup except concealer and mascara, it’s important to me that the mascara is good and makes a difference in how I look.

If you’re interested in trying a higher-end mascara, I suggest checking to see if wherever you buy makeup has travel or mini sizes so you don’t fork over the cash when you’re not sure if you’re going to like it. That’s what I did with BTS – I was roped into it by all the makeup by the registers at Sephora and I haven’t looked back.

Best for Me

The best mascaras out there, both drugstore and high-end.

Too Faced Better Than Sex – This is the best high-end mascara and the best one overall in my opinion. I didn’t think very highly of this for a while, but I tried it again and changed how I applied it and fell in love with it. When I use it, I hold it for a short bit at the base of my lashes before moving the want to the end of my lashes.

Maybelline Lash Sensational – This was my favorite mascara overall for years before I tried BTS. Part of what makes this great is the wand, which is curved to help curl your lashes without needing an eyelash curler. If you don’t want to spend the cash on BTS, I strongly suggest getting this mascara instead.

What’s your favorite mascara?

Check Out:

Why You Should Be Buying ColourPop Makeup, My Everyday Makeup Routine, Inside My Makeup Bag

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  • Reply Lauren

    I’ve tried a bunch of mascaras from high-end brands and some mid-range ones at Sephora, and I always come back to Covergirl’s Lash Blast Fusion! I definitely have to try BTS, that’s one of the only popular picks I haven’t picked up from Sephora yet.

    Lauren | Boston Belle

    March 24, 2017 at 9:51 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      I strongly recommend it! But, like I said, everyone is different and I didn’t love it at first. So be prepared for it to take a couple tries to find the application method that makes it awesome!

      March 25, 2017 at 8:01 am
  • Reply shannon

    Great reviews! Lash Sensational is by far my favorite mascara, it’s so good and you certainly can’t beat the price!

    Clothes & Quotes

    March 24, 2017 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Exactly! It was my favorite before I tried Better than Sex, but it’s also awesome, especially if you don’t want to splurge on mascara.

      March 25, 2017 at 8:01 am
  • Reply Chelsea Jacobs

    I love having a high-end and a drugstore favorite that work! They’re Real is my favorite overall mascara, but I love lash sensation too!!

    March 25, 2017 at 8:32 am
  • Reply Cece @Mahogany Drive

    I’ve alternated between Lancome Hypnose and Maybelline. I will say that I haven’t found a better mascara for me than Lancome, but I’m also not a huge make up person so Maybelline will do.

    April 6, 2017 at 3:52 pm
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