Best Better Than Sex Mascara Dupes: 9 Options to Try

Latest posts by Crystal Schwanke (see all)

The best Better Than Sex mascara dupes are found across several brands and price points. Have you avoided Better Than Sex mascara because you can’t stomach the price ($27.00 for mascara is a lot!)? Or did you try it and find something about the brush or formula that made it not quite perfect for you?

Either way, your best solution is probably on this list. As a makeup lover and beauty and fashion writer, I’ve spent over a decade trying and reviewing products, and mascaras are always at the top of my list. I love them more than any other type of makeup.

My favorite mascaras are the inky black ones that lengthen and thicken at the same time. Long gone are the days of layering two mascaras (a lengthening one and a thickening one) to get the look you want–it can all come in a single tube.

Bottom Line Up Front

You can find Better Than Sex mascara dupes at much lower prices. The best one–the almost identical one–is L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise.

Other options exist, too. Suppose there was something you didn’t like about Better Than Sex (like smudging or flaking). In that case, you may be able to find one that performs even better on you but gives your lashes the volume and length Better Than Sex mascara provides. I’ll tell you all about those too.

My Top Picks at a Glance

  • Best all-around: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise
  • Best dupe with extra length and separation: (Tie) Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High and Benefit They’re Real
  • Best inky black, thickening and lengthening: Tarte Maneater
  • Best on a budget: (Tie) Essence Lash Princess and Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara
  • Best with a slightly more natural look: (Tie) Maybelline Full & Soft and L’Oreal Voluminous Original
  • Best long-lasting: Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara

Selection Criteria

mascara

I’m sharing mascaras that live up to the promises Better Than Sex mascara makes. They:

  • Lengthen
  • Thicken
  • Give dramatic impact
  • Assist with curl or lift

I also added mascaras that come in additional colors, since Better Than Sex only comes in a deep, glossy black. I love mascaras like that, but I know that’s not what everyone wants, even when they wish for thicker, longer-looking lashes.

No mascara will be completely smudge-free, clump-free, and flake-free on everyone. Still, I tried to stick with the ones I’ve had good experiences with and/or those with a good reputation for staying in place all day.

The 9 Best Better Than Sex Mascara Dupes I’ve Found

If I had to choose one single makeup product to have for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. I swear, I’ve tried almost all of them. Better Than Sex is great, but have you tried…

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

This is the most similar dupe to Better Than Sex mascara I’ve found. I can’t get enough, and the price is so much better. I love how easy it is to find, how inexpensive it is, and how it performs as a Better Than Sex mascara dupe. The pink tube looks so similar.

That’s what drew me in at first. My brain immediately associated it with Better Than Sex, so I bought it to try. I wasn’t disappointed.

Pros

  • It’s a lot cheaper than Better Than Sex (about $10.00).
  • You can get it at the drugstore.
  • The packaging is just as cute.
  • The brush also has the hourglass shape that makes Better Than Sex work so well, though the shape is more subtle.
  • The effects are nearly identical–length, volume, and color.
  • It’s available in other colors, so if dark black mascara isn’t what you want, but you like the effects otherwise, this one makes a good option.

Cons

  • It may clump, but Better Than Sex tends to do that sometimes, too.
  • It may flake. This is also true of Better Than Sex, though.

Essence Lash Princess

Essence Lash Princess

Here’s another one that’ll deliver pretty similar results (and it’s super cheap!). I don’t know if it was the tube I got or if they’re all that way, but mine had a drier formula than Better Than Sex. If you prefer that, this one will be perfect.

Pros

  • It costs even less than Lash Paradise–about $5.00.
  • Makes your lashes look so long and thick, you might just be wearing false ones.
  • Not clumpy

Cons

  • My tube seemed drier than I’d like, and I don’t mind dry formulas. I use all kinds.
  • It’s harder to find (but you can get it at Ulta and some Target locations).
  • Flaked on me. Usually, mascaras just smudge on me, and flakes aren’t an issue.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

This is the one that made me text my mom, my sister, and a few friends. It’s not as perfect of a dupe as L’Oreal Lash Paradise, but the end result’s similar. You may get a little more length and a little less volume with this one. I looked like I was wearing quality fake lashes.

This and Lash Paradise are my absolute favorites lately. I haven’t felt the need to buy another tube of Better Than Sex.

Pros

  • Lots of length with substantial volume
  • Deep, inky black color
  • Another cute metallic pink tube
  • Available in three shades of black and one brown

Cons

  • It’s one of the more expensive drugstore options on the list at around $12.00, but it’s still less than half the cost of Better Than Sex. Plus, you may be able to find BOGO or BOGO 1/2-off coupons and save.
  • Rarely smudges or flakes on me.

Tarte Maneater

Tarte Maneater

If it’s the inkiness and slight clumpiness (I know, some people will cringe at that word in relation to mascara, but sometimes a little is just what you want!) you love about Better Than Sex mascara, Tarte Maneater is the one. Really, the “clumps” serve to make your lashes look thicker here, not tacky.

Pros

  • Such an inky black color! (But it also comes in brown for those who prefer a more natural look or have lighter hair.)
  • Wetter formula than many options on this list, which may not be a pro for everyone.
  • It’s water-resistant.
  • It’s available in a mini size if you want to try it before you commit to a full tube.

Cons

  • It can be hard to remove.
  • Clumps worse than others on me (but it still looks good)
  • The spiky brush isn’t like the fluffier, hourglass one and could hurt if you aren’t careful.
  • Smudged a little on me.
  • It only costs a few dollars less than Better Than Sex

Benefit They’re Real

Benefit They're Real

Here’s another long-time favorite of mine, and you’ll love it if you liked Better Than Sex but found it too clumpy. This does the lengthening and volumizing (it’s a bit stronger on the lengthening front), plus it separates your lashes.

Pros

  • It lasts a long time without smudging or flaking, but it’s still pretty easy to wash off.
  • You can get a trial size before you commit to a whole full-size tube.
  • It comes in black or brown. The black is intense.
  • Gets every lash due to the brush design–spiky, with a domed tip.
  • It’s truly an all-in-one mascara that does just about everything you could want one to do.

Cons

  • It’s $27.00.
  • The spiky brush can hurt if you’re not careful (I’ve poked my eye a couple of times, and it feels worse when it happens with this kind of brush!)
  • It may separate your lashes a little too much for your liking. It makes this mascara better at lengthening than thickening, but the overall effect is still impressive.

Maybelline Full ‘n Soft

Maybelline Full 'n Soft

This is an oldie, but goodie. It’s one of the first mascaras I ever used and one I repeatedly bought for years. I still buy it sometimes. This one gives a slightly more subtle effect than Better Than Sex. Lashes have less of a sheen, and they look fluffier than they do with Better Than Sex. The volumizing and lengthening effects are there.

Pros

  • It makes lashes look soft and fluffy.
  • It’s easy to remove.
  • It’s cheap–under $10.00.
  • You can find it at drugstores, grocery stores, big-box stores, Ulta, etc.

Cons

  • The color isn’t as deep as Better Than Sex mascara.
  • They don’t make it in many colors anymore (all I see is black).
  • It’s not as dark as other options.

L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara

L'Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara

This was my favorite go-to mascara for probably a decade. I still buy this one, too. I especially love the Carbon Black shade, but I like mixing it up when I run across a blue or burgundy one.

It really set the stage for the Voluminous Lash Paradise option that came years later. This one isn’t quite as intense as Better Than Sex (or Lash Paradise). Still, the fluffy, traditional style brush and happy-medium (not too wet or too dry) formula perform well.

Pros

  • You can get a straight or curved brush.
  • It comes in different colors, like black, carbon black, black-brown, navy blue, cobalt blue, deep violet, and burgundy.
  • It’s around $8.00.

Cons

  • It may smudge.
  • It seems to get thick and messy along the tube opening after a while.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara

Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara

You’ll want to try this one if you love the intense lash look. It’s a wonderful budget pick you can find at Target, Walmart, and on Amazon. It comes in extreme black and waterproof black.

Pros

  • It’s one of the best budget picks at about $6.00.
  • It provides an intense effect
  • It thickens, lengthens, and darkens

Cons

  • Only available in black.
  • May flake.
  • It could weigh lashes down in some cases.

Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara

Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara

I have a love-hate relationship with Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara. I was so excited to get it, and the results were good. However, my eyes are just not big enough to handle that brush. I flinched, poked my eyes with the bristles, and generally just scared myself with almost every application.

Pros

  • A mini size is available to try.
  • It’s designed for 24-hour wear.
  • Delivers long, thick, extremely dark lashes.
  • Dramatic effect

Cons

  • The brush may be too big. It’s easy to poke your eye or make a mess of your lids.
  • It’s as expensive as Better Than Sex mascara.
  • It can be hard to remove.
  • Only the black shade is available.

FAQs

Question: What is the dupe for Better Than Sex Mascara?

Answer: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise is the best dupe for Better Than Sex mascara.

Question: What makes Better Than Sex Mascara so good?

Answer: It lengthens, thickens, and darkens your lashes without clumping (much), smudging, or flaking. The hourglass-shaped brush works miracles and seems to reach every lash.

Question: Is Better Than Love mascara the same as Better than Sex?

Answer: They’re the same. You can learn more about why the same mascara has two names for the same mascara at Insider.

Question: Which mascara is best for length and volume?

Answer: Too Faced Better Than Sex and L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise tie. I would call Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High and Tarte Maneater mascaras runners-up, though.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

My top recommendation for a Better Than Sex mascara dupe is L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise because it’s the closest match in every way.

If that one doesn’t work for you, my next choice would be the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara, which performs almost as well, but may add a bit more length and not as much volume. It also does an excellent job of separating and curling your lashes.

Finally, I’d say the Tarte Maneater option would be third place, especially if you don’t mind one that’s hard to remove. You’ll need a good eye makeup remover, but it may be worth it for the dramatic results.

Others on the list above get close to Better Than Sex’s results and provide length, intense color (if you want it), and volume. Some separate and curl better than others, though I didn’t experience particularly remarkable separation or curl when I used Better Than Sex, anyway. Those, to me, are additional benefits of some of the dupes on the list.

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