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Maybelline mascaras are some of the best affordable options on the market, but they have so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose. In this best Maybelline mascara guide, I’m considering length, thickness, separation, color, curl, and lift. I’ll also look at wear time, flaking, formula options, and ease of removal.
How I Chose the Best Maybelline Mascaras: Guide to Lush Lashes
Not everyone wants the same things from their mascara, so one person’s “holy grail” product may not be the same as someone else’s, based on the effect you want and the type of lashes you’re starting with. I’ll compare the mascaras against their claims (so a lengthening mascara won’t be judged on volume, for example) and discuss any benefits or drawbacks for each formula.
The Rundown of Maybelline Mascaras. If You Want…
Find the best Maybelline mascaras that you really want. Whether you are looking for curl and lift, or the darkest shade possible, here are my favorite selections of Maybelline mascaras you need to choose!
More Volume Than Length
Choose: Volum’ Express Colossal is your best bet. Full ‘n Soft probably won’t disappoint, either.
More Length Than Volume
Even though you’ll also get volume from it, Lash Sensational Sky High gets my vote here. The original will also be good for this. I’d say Great Lash deserves a third place here.
Curl and Lift
Choose: Volum’ Express The Falsies or Lash Sensational (original).
Flirty, Fanned-Out Lashes
I recommend the original Lash Sensational for separated, long, flirty lashes.
The Darkest Shade Possible
Choose: Great Lash has the best range of dark, inky shades of mascara. The original Lash Sensation is a close second.
A Color Other Than Black
You’ll have the best luck finding what you’re looking for in the Great Lash lineup (sometimes, they even have blue!).
A Natural Glossy Effect That’ll Also Work on Your Brows
Grab a clear Great Lash (this is also perfect for young teens who want to use makeup but don’t want anything too obvious),
As Much Drama as Possible (False Lash Effect)
You guessed it—Volum’ Express The Falsies will have your lashes looking glam and dramatic. You can’t go wrong with Lash Sensation (original or Sky High), either.
One That Does Everything but Can Still Look Natural (or Be Buildable)
Get Great Lash or Lash Sensational Sky High or Full ‘n Soft.
As long as you steer clear of Great Lash (or at least test it when you’re home and able to wash it off if it starts to run), you can’t go wrong with any of the Maybelline mascaras in this guide.
Choose waterproof formulas may be better for you than washable across the board (at that point, the Maybelline mascara world is your oyster and you can choose the one that gives the effects you’re most after). if your allergies are especially bad. Just be sure to pick up the right eye makeup remover while you’re at it.
The Best Maybelline Mascaras: The Full List
Here are some of the best Maybelline mascaras on the market right now.
Lash Sensational® Sky High
Lash Sensational Sky High is one of the newer additions to the Maybelline mascara lineup, and it’s already sold out four times, so it belongs on this list, but my fellow Glamour ‘n Glow makeup reviewer, Stephanie Jensen didn’t really love it as much as the rest of the beauty influencers out there. For the price, the brush is a little flimsy, but one thing she did say was that it is definitely waterproof, so if that really matters to you, this could be a good choice. You can check out Stephanie’s full Lash Sensational Sky High review here and see if you agree with her findings!
Claims: Washable, lengthening, volumizing
- Lashes do appear longer, slightly thicker, and separated but not to the extent of other mascaras in this price range
- Blackest black color available
- Doesn’t run or flake
- Easy to remove
- The formula is not too runny or dry
- Is definitely waterproof (not that easy to remove either)
- A little expensive for a drugstore mascara
- The wand is a little flimsy and separates more than thickens lashes
- Only available in Very Black and Blackest Black
- Not as volumizing as some might like, though it does provide a boost
Lash Sensational® Mascara
Before there was Sky High, there was this mascara, which has a curved brush and ten layers of bristles to fan out your lashes.
Claims: Separated, fanned out lashes that don’t droop, length, volume
- Lightweight formula
- Does curve with the shape of the eye in a way that helps create the fanned lash look
- Dries quickly
- Volumizes well and does add length
- Dark Midnight Black shade
- Thicker formula than some may be used to
- Some say the thicker formula weighs their lashes down and removes the curl
This one has cult classic status for a reason. It’s been well-loved for decades and is an Allure Readers’ Choice and Best of Beauty award winner. This one comes in washable and waterproof formulas, as well as clear (great for taming brows). I like using the washable formula to blend my natural lashes with false lashes (just one coat will do).
Claims: Full lashes, washable
- Buildable, doesn’t clump
- Blackest black is one of the inkier, darker shades of black mascara I’ve ever used
- Comes in lighter shades, too
- Lashes look long, thick, and separated
- May smudge or run (in my experience, if you have trouble with watery eyes, this isn’t the best formula to use)
- Thin, runny formula that’s great for layering but takes a little longer than usual to dry
Full ‘n Soft
Here’s another oldie but goodie. It hasn’t quite achieved the status of Great Lash, but it’s been around for decades and has proven itself to be one of the best Maybelline mascaras.
Claims: Soft, fluttery lashes with volume and length
- Washes off easily
- Gives some length and a lot of fullness
- Doesn’t clump
- Nourishes lashes
- The formula can be drier than others
- It May be harder to find than some of the newer mascaras
Volum’ Express® The Falsies®
This is a winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty award (2019) for its ability to create dramatic-looking lashes that make the perfect finishing touch to a glamorous smoky eye (or your favorite everyday look with a little something extra).
Claims: Lush, thick lashes that look like they could be falsies, an 8X increase in volume, lift, separation
- Loads of volume
- Provides some length, even though it’s not one of the claims for this mascara
- Wet formula, which allows you to build up your lashes more easily
- Only comes in Very Black and Blackest Black
- The flexible wand may feel odd to some people, creating a learning curve for applying this mascara well
- May clump
Volum’ Express® Colossal
It’s hard to miss this bright yellow tube as you peruse the makeup aisles at the drugstore.
Claims: 9X the volume in one coat
- Volume, volume, and more volume
- Doesn’t smudge
- Not clumpy
- Easy to remove (quick note: the waterproof one is not always easy to remove)
- It May not actually live up to its 9X-the-volume claim (it’s hard to measure that one!)
- Some users report an apparent change in the formula that has decreased its performance
- Has a strong smell (not necessarily unpleasant, but noticeable)
Main Differences Between Washable vs Waterproof Mascaras
The Main Differences Between Washable vs Waterproof Mascaras are:
A lot of Maybelline mascaras come in washable and waterproof versions, but is there that much of a difference? Let’s look at the differences between washable and waterproof formulas in general:
- Washable mascara doesn’t necessarily smudge at the slightest hint of moisture, but it may smudge if your eyes water or you cry, whereas waterproof mascara is very likely to stay put no matter what the day throws at you.
- Washable mascara washes off easily with a face wash and water, whereas waterproof is both will require a dedicated makeup remover (possibly one specifically for waterproof products) to get it all off.
- Washable mascaras are more likely to nourish your lashes, while waterproof mascaras are tough on lashes and could cause drying and breakage (this isn’t always the case, though, so check ingredients, claims, and reviews if you’re concerned).
The Main Differences Between Maybelline Lash Sensational® Sky High Mascara vs Great Lash Mascara
Two of the best Maybelline mascaras in this guide are Lash Sensational Sky High and Great Lash. They both create stunning results and are immensely popular, but they’re very different. There’s room for both in your makeup collection, but do you need or want both formulas? Let’s take a look at how they differ:
The Stories of the Two Mascaras
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara is new to the game (though it’s sold out four times so far) and a spinoff of the original Maybelline Lash Sensational, whereas Great Lash mascara has already stood the test of time (it’s been around for 40 years) and inspiring spinoffs like the “Lots of Lashes®” version with the heart-shaped brush.
Formula and Brush
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara’s formula isn’t particularly wet or dry and has a newer, flexible rubber brush style, whereas Great Lash mascara has a very wet formula and the brush is more traditional and not flexible. The wetter formula of Great Lash runs more easily if you have allergies or something makes you cry, even though they’re both washable formulas.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara comes in Blackest Black and Very Black, whereas Great Lash mascara comes in Blackest Black, Very Black, Brownish Black, Dark Brown, and Clear. Because Lash Sensational Sky High mascara does not come in clear, it’s unlikely to become a quick and easy replacement for a brow product, whereas Great Lash in clear can help you control your brows in a pinch (or every day, if you really like it!).
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara has an eye-catching metallic pink tube, whereas the Great Lash mascara has the iconic pink tube with the green lid (however, some tubes of Great Lash have black lids and clear Great Lash comes in a clear tube).
Why Choose a Maybelline Mascara?
Maybelline knows their mascaras. They’re some of the best-selling mascaras on the market and, in many cases, they outperform more expensive department store formulas. I’ve been a Maybelline mascara fan for over 20 years. I’ve tried almost all of them and they rarely disappoint.
There’s a formula for everyone, whether you’re looking for thickness, length, curl, definition, or all of it. They’re inexpensive, so buying more than one to layer or achieve different effects won’t necessarily be out of the question.
All of the mascaras come in black, but if that’s too dark or dramatic, there are lighter options, as well. Personally, Maybelline is the first place I look when I need a new tube of mascara. They’re always coming up with something new and interesting to try.
Question: Which is the best mascara from Maybelline?
Answer: Great Lash (the pink and green tube) has achieved cult-classic status, but Lash Sensational® isn’t far behind.
Question: Which Maybelline mascara is best for long lashes?
Answer: The Falsies Lash Lift and Lash Sensational Sky High mascaras are some of the best Maybelline formulas when it comes to lengthening lashes.
Question: Is Maybelline Falsies mascara good?
Answer: Yes, it’s good for providing volume and lift. It’s not my favorite (I prefer Lash Sensational Sky High), but it works well and different lash types will get different results.
Question: Which is better, Maybelline or Covergirl mascara?
Answer: Though Covergirl has some standout mascaras (Lash Blast, especially), Maybelline has more best-selling formulas.
Question: Is Maybelline Lash Sensational good?
Answer: Maybelline Lash Sensational is one of the best mascaras you can get at the drugstore.
Question: How long is mascara good for?
Answer: You should toss your mascara after three to six months.
Question: Which mascara looks like false lashes?
Answer: The Falsies Lash Lift mascara adds volume and lift for a look that lives up to its name.
Question: What is the blackest Maybelline mascara?
Answer: Formulas marked “Blackest Black” are the darkest ones available. There’s also Midnight Black in the Lash Sensational formula that’s worth a try when you want the darkest Maybelline mascara possible.
Question: What is the best mascara for short lashes?
Answer: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara is one of the best for short lashes. You can also try Great Lash or The Falsies Lash Lift.
Question: What is the #1 selling mascara from Maybelline?
Answer: Maybelline Great Lash is the top mascara from Maybelline.
Conclusion: The Best Mascaras by Maybelline
My personal favorite is Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara in Blackest Black. Every time I wear it, I get compliments on my lashes. They look longer, defined, and like falsies, but somehow still natural, too. It’s the mascara that does it all without looking too dramatic for everyday wear, natural makeup looks. It’s also right at home with more dramatic looks, though I’d probably choose Volum’ Express The Falsies or Volum’ Express The Colossal if I really wanted my lashes to make a strong statement.
This formula isn’t the absolute best out there for volume, but I get enough from it to make this my top mascara, knocking L’Oreal Voluminous and Covergirl Lash Blast to second and third places, respectively. It doesn’t flake, smudge, run, or put up too much of a fight when it’s time to wash it off.