The 6 Mascaras Byrdie HQ Tried and Loved in 2018
It's easy to forget how personal a thing mascara is. After all, it's a lash-catching brush laced with inky black goo (for lack of better word—it's a Monday morning). Thus, all mascara formulas set out to accomplish the pretty much the same goals: length, definition, curl, volume… all of the above.
But that doesn't mean every person's lashes have the same needs. My lashes, for example, are naturally dark, long, and straight, so I pretty much steer clear of formulas that are too heavy, yielding gloopy or saggy results. Instead, I look for lightweight formulas that lengthen and volumise (I'm addicted to any tube that will make my lashes look like extensions) while also giving a bit of curl.
However, some of my fellow editors have different mascara requirements—dramatic thickness, waterproofing, a wide range of hues (aka not just black), and so on. Turns out finding the perfect mascara is a heck of a lot more complicated than you'd think. Luckily, 2018 was a year rich in new mascara launches—some we honestly loved and some we admittedly didn't. (We'll ignore that latter category today.)
Ahead, see the six mascaras team Byrdie loved, worshipped, and swiped on above all others.
Nars Climax Mascara ($35)
"Beyond the sexual-looking tube, I was immediately attracted to the Nars Climax mascara for the thick, fluffy brush. I know my lashes, and my lashes love this type of brush. Sure enough, after I curled my lashes and swiped the formula through, I was happy to see instant volume after just one coat. But one is never enough, so I kept applying and applying and applying. This stuff does not clump, no matter how many layers you apply. I probably applied about 10 layers before my arm got tired, and still, my lashes looked nice and airy and not at all spidery." — Faith Xue, editorial director
Model Co. Fiber Lash Brush On Lashes ($29)
"While other brush-on fibre formulas have either weighed my lashes down or resulted in a sprinkling of noticeable fibres all over my eyes and cheeks—not cute—ModelCo's antidote is 100% mess-free and definitely one of the best mascaras I've ever tried. First, you layer on the Extension Mascara (which looks gorgeous on its own, by the way) before following it up with a healthy coating of the white Fibre Lash Extensions. Then you finish the look off with yet another coating of the Extension Mascara. And if you want to be a true rule breaker (like me), you might even layer the brand's Lashxtend Mascara on top of that. Whenever I'm wearing it people, ask me if my lashes are real—which I love." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
La Roche-Posay Respectissime Extension Mascara ($30)
"This drugstore gem is a newer addition to my everyday makeup routine. The spoolie separates my lashes perfectly, and in just one coat, I have super-voluminous lashes. I like to go for the natural look with the rest of my makeup and go dramatic with my lashes. I'm all for the falsie effect achieved from this mascara, which draws so much attention to my eyes and brows. I don't have time to apply multiple coats to my lashes in the morning. In about 30 seconds, my lashes look on point, and it's all thanks to this mascara." — Maya Allen, assistant editor
Mac Cosmetics Upward Lash Mascara ($42)
"Makeup artist Emily Wright put me on to this mascara earlier this year, and I've been hooked ever since. She did my makeup for my 26th birthday and absolutely slayed my face. It was this magical little wand that gave me the fluttery lashes of my dreams in 10 seconds flat. Emily was saying how amazed she was because it lifts and lengthens lashes so fast. She was right. On a daily basis, I stick to coating my upper lashes only to avoid the mess that is raccoon eyes after a long day of fallout with my lower lashes. This teeny bristle is made especially for curling your upper lashes. In short, it saves me in the morning when I have zero time to do my makeup." — Maya
L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($25)
"I've heard celebrity makeup artists tout how incredible this formula is for ages and finally got around to trying it last month. (It's technically a 2017 launch, though.) I didn't look in the mirror much after applying it, so the first time its lengthening, volumising prowess really jumped out at me was when I went to wash up at the end of the night, ironically. As I bent over the sink, I was stopped in the mirror by how lengthy and full my naturally short and sparse lashes looked. An added bonus: I didn't have those annoying black flecks of product I'll get from some mascaras underneath my eyes." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
Eyeko Beach Waterproof Mascara ($37)
"When it comes to mascara, water-resistance isn't just the ideal for me—it's a non-negotiable, thanks to my hopelessly sensitive eyes, which tear up in a gentle breeze. But the issue I've faced with many waterproof mascaras is that they're ultra-clumpy, near-impossible to remove (read: I lose a few lashes every time I wash my face) or both. That's why I was immediately hooked on Eyeko's Beach Mascara when it was released earlier this year. It's ultra lengthening but goes on so lightly, the effect is very natural but noticeable all the same. And while it definitely stays put (even during quick dips in the ocean, hence the name), an oil-based cleanser is all I need to remove every last bit of residue." — Victoria Hoff, wellness editor