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Drugstore Mascaras

The mascaras giving department store brands a run for their money.

We're all familiar with the downfalls of drugstore browsing. You know, you pop in to pick up prescriptions/a bottle of water/whatever, and twenty minutes later you're walking out in a daze, weighed down with three September issues, a candy bar, two concealers in a shade other than your own... there's just something about the pull of those immaculately merchandised shelves and shiny new packages, right?

Conspicuous consumption aside, beauty-wise, drugstore brands have significantly upped their game and well, they deserve a little recognition. The one area where they're really reigning supreme? Mascara. And so, here is our shortlist of the tubes that are—gasp—taking the spots once reserved for their department store equivalents (we're not naming any names, okay?)

First up? L'Oreal's Voluminous Mascara, in virtually all of its incarnations, all the way from waterproof to Carbon Black. This one's a winner in every way—we're talking lengthening, thickening... imagine an overall Bardot-ing of your lashes. With a formula that manages to be both thick and inky without ever getting gloopy, it makes for the perfect layering mascara. Just a heads up? You will decidedly need to wipe off excess before applying. Trust us.

While Revlon Lash Potion is kind of a newbie, it's sill a goodie. While you may need to layer this one with something that offers a little more in the thickening and volumizing department, as far as length goes, Lash Potion is ideal. The best part? No spider lashes.

Next up? Maybelline Volum' Express. Yes, we're talking about a Maybelline mascara that's in a pink-and-green tube, okay? Though Great Lash will always have a place in our heart as one of our earliest beauty purchases, Volume Express—sorry, Volum'—is the one that we find ourselves picking up on impulse drugstore runs, time after time. As for which is our favorite of all the formulas? We're especially into The Rocket and The Colossal, which, aside from sounding like characters from a Marvel franchise, both have super-fluffy and thick wands that add plenty of volume.

And finally? Almay One Coat Triple Effect, which is different from our other drugstore contenders in that it has a dual-sided wand that allows you to sort of, for lack of a better term, art-direct your lashes. Use the shorter, stubbier side to add thickness and weight, and employ the side with longer bristles to comb out and add actual length to lashes.

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