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Best Lengthening Mascara

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Who doesn’t want longer lashes? One of the key benefits we expect from mascara is extending our eyelashes to frame and open up our eyes. The longer, the better — and a bit of volume or curl doesn’t hurt, either. 

We don’t think there’s a mascara out there that fully rivals false lashes, but we’ve curated a list of lash extension mascaras that come pretty close. There’s a mascara in here for you, no matter your budget or lash length goals. 

Best lash extension mascara overview:

How we chose the best lash extension mascaras

To compile this list, we scoured social media and makeup retailers to create a short list of the most popular lash-lengthening mascaras. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, photos, videos, ratings, and reviews to find the best lash extension mascara for each category.

Our picks for the best lengthening mascaras

Best overall
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High

What we love

  • Dramatic length and volume
  • Flexible brush
  • Reasonably priced

What we don’t love

  • Can get clumpy

Maybelline’s mascara game is strong, with a vast range of high-performing mascaras at affordable prices. The one for really lengthening those lashes is Lash Sensational Sky High, which has become a worldwide obsession after going viral on TikTok. 

This mascara has a flexible, rubbery brush with long bristles that grab and coat the lashes thoroughly. It delivers a lot of length and volume while still keeping some separation. Lash Sensational provides a dramatic look in just one coat, but you can always add more if you want extreme length. That said, overdoing it can lead to a clumpy or spidery look. 

Even though the formula is washable for easy removal, reviewers consistently raved that it doesn’t smudge or run, even on sweaty days.

Shades: Very Black, Blackest Black, Cosmic Black, True Brown | Waterproof: No (but it comes in a waterproof version)

Best budget
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Mascara

What we love

  • Builds well
  • Slim, easy-to-use nylon wand
  • Intense volume and length

What we don’t love

  • Can smudge
  • Not very separating

If you’re on a tight budget, Essence has you covered. Lash Princess is an incredible lengthening mascara that costs less than most drugstore options. It has a slim, dense nylon wand that’s easy to work with and provides effortless volume, though it doesn’t offer much separation.  

It builds up well, with two coats striking the right balance between length and volume. The one drawback is that despite Essence’s longevity claims, it can smudge a little on sweaty days. If that might be an issue for you, you may prefer the waterproof version.

Shades: Black | Waterproof: No (but it comes in a waterproof version)

Best for extension-like lashes
Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara

What we love

  • Lash extension-like effects
  • Lash-separating rubber wand
  • Smudge-resistant

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Unless you’re naturally blessed with long, full lashes, no mascara will actually fool anyone into thinking you’re wearing falsies. But They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara comes close, providing the combination of length, volume, and separation that we’d look for in a dramatic pair of false eyelashes

The wand is firm, rubbery, and tightly packed with spiky bristles, contributing to its separating effects. The little spiky ball at the tip makes hitting those small corner lashes a breeze. Compared to our pick from Maybelline, it offers a little more separation and less volume, but it’s a subtle difference. We also love that although it’s not waterproof, it resists smudging.

Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best tubing
Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

What we love

  • Lengthens dramatically
  • Smudge-resistant
  • Easy to remove

What we don’t love

  • Not as volumizing as traditional formulas
  • Pricey

Tubing mascaras are a bit of an obsession for us. They’re made with polymers that form a tube-like film around the lashes, which is excellent for length. Once a tubing mascara dries down, it’s smudge-proof and water-resistant, but at the end of the day, you can take it off with a bit of warm water and gentle rubbing (perfect for those with sensitive eyes). It tends to hold up well against oiliness, too. 

What we love about Thrive’s tubing mascara is that it offers serious length and a respectable amount of volume in just a couple of coats. It’s not as volumizing as traditional mascara but surpasses many other tubing options.

Shades: Black, brown, blue | Waterproof: No

Best waterproof
CoverGirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara Waterproof

What we love

  • Extremely waterproof
  • Fiber-infused formula boosts volume and length
  • Helps to separate lashes

What we don’t love

  • Hard to remove

When it comes to waterproof mascara, CoverGirl nails it with formulas that are genuinely resistant, even to intense sweating or a dip in the pool. 

Super Sizer contains fibers that adhere to the lashes for better lash extension and volume. The mascara has a slim, rubbery brush that captures and coats the lashes and prevents the fibers from clumping. 

The actual base formula is similar to Lash Blast, one of the most impressive waterproof mascara formulas we’ve tried. You can expect all-day wear, but make sure to use a quality makeup remover when you eventually want it to come off. 

Shades: Black | Waterproof: Yes

Best 2-in-1
L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes

What we love

  • Includes volumizing primer
  • Top coat lengthens without clumping
  • Tubing formula is water-resistant but easy to remove

What we don’t love

  • Can weigh down straight lashes

Who doesn’t love a 2-in-1? With this mascara, you also get a built-in primer, which helps to amp up the lashes. The first base layer creates the initial volume and length, and the second layer adds darkness and extra extension. 

The mascara portion has a tubing formula, meaning it doesn’t run or smudge but comes off easily with a bit of warm water. Unlike other tubing mascaras, the addition of primer means it provides some extra volume. But it can be a little heavy, so it may not be ideal for straight lashes.

Shades: Black, blackest black | Waterproof: No, but water-resistant

Best splurge
Lancôme Définicils High-Definition Mascara

What we love

  • Excellent length
  • Defines and separates
  • Looks natural

What we don’t love

  • Not very volumizing

This glamorous mascara from Lancôme creates defined, lengthy lashes. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants a subtle enhancement rather than over-the-top drama.

This mascara is designed with a slim nylon brush — what Lancôme calls a “hedgehog pattern.” The bristles are packed tightly but leave some gaps for thorough separation.  

It’s not as dramatic or volumizing as our top pick from Maybelline, but that just means it offers a more natural-looking length. Reviewers also loved how well it held up throughout the day.

Shades: Black, deep black, brown | Waterproof: No

Best natural formula
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara

What we love

  • 99% naturally-derived ingredients
  • Lengthens and volumizes
  • Excellent lash separation

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

If you prefer natural or clean formulas, Ilia Limitless Lash is another splurge-worthy choice. This mascara delivers all the length you need without any controversial synthetics. It’s made with 99% naturally-derived ingredients, but its results are on par with mainstream formulas. 

It creates both length and volume, with a unique dual-sided wand that allows you to adjust your application for either separation and length or curl and volume. Even though it’s not waterproof, reviewers noted that it wears well throughout the day.

Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best separating
L’Oreal Telescopic Original Mascara

What we love

  • Super lengthening formula
  • Creates separated, fluttery lashes
  • Small brush is easy to maneuver

What we don’t love

  • Can be a little messy at first
  • Can smudge

Telescopic’s brush may be small, but it manages to create massive length. This mascara features a buildable formula that makes your lashes look long and fluttery but still natural. It offers a bit of volume too, but nothing too extreme. The plastic wand ensures lash separation, and its small size makes it easy to reach those corner lashes. 

Be aware that the formula can be very wet when newly opened, which may lead to a messy application. The problem subsides once the formula dries down a little, so until then, be careful to wipe off the excess from the brush before using it. Additionally, the non-waterproof version can smudge. According to reviewers, this was more of an issue with the original Black shade and less so with the Carbon Black shade.

Shades: Black, Blackest Black, Carbon Black, Black-Brown | Waterproof: No

Best Lifting
Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

What we love

  • Maintains curl and lift
  • Extremely waterproof
  • Natural length

What we don’t love

  • Hard to remove
  • Not very volumizing

Sometimes you think you need lengthening mascara when all you really need is a lifting and curling mascara. Longer lashes don’t have the same eye-opening impact if they point downwards. 

If your lashes are naturally straight or not great at holding a curl, this Japanese mascara will help lift them up for an open-eyed look. It also offers a nice amount of length but not a lot of volume, so it’s better for a more natural look. You can pair it with a more volumizing mascara to get the best of both worlds. 

The formula is exceptionally smudge-proof and waterproof, so it’s a solid option if you get sweaty. That said, it’s tough to take off, so you’ll need a powerful makeup remover.

Shades: Various, including black and brown | Waterproof: Yes

Bat your lashes 

If you’re after the longest lashes imaginable, there’s no shortage of options. Our top pick, Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High, delivers a dramatic combination of length and volume at a budget-friendly price. 

But there are plenty of mascaras out there that provide different effects, whether you want a more natural look or prefer separation over volume. Either way, one of these mascaras should fit your needs. Just remember that how you apply your mascara also significantly affects the results.

How to pick the right lengthening mascara for you

Even within the lengthening category, there are a few types of mascara. Here’s how to find the best lash extension mascara for you based on criteria like effect and longevity. 


  • Length and volume. Look for mascaras with thicker formulas and densely-packed nylon brushes. Our pick from Essence fits the bill, but watch out for clumping. 
  • Length and separation. Separating mascaras don’t offer as much volume, but they help give a fluttery, natural look that’s still dramatic. Plastic and rubber wands are usually best for separation, like L’Oreal Telescopic and Benefit They’re Real!
  • Length and curl. Waterproof mascaras tend to work best at holding a curl, like our picks from Kiss Me and CoverGirl. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t think rounded wands necessarily help in the matter. 


  • Washable. Washable mascaras will smudge if you get caught in the rain, but they’re much easier to remove at the end of the day, which is better for sensitive skin or eyes. 
  • Waterproof. Waterproof mascaras won’t move or smudge, even after a dip in the pool. They’re tougher to remove, though. 
  • Water-resistant. Water-resistant mascaras will hold up against a bit of water, but they may not resist heavy rain or extreme sweat. They’re a good option if you want some longevity but easy removal. They may still smudge if you have oily eyelids. 
  • Tubing. Tubing mascaras hold up against oily lids or a bit of water, but they also come off quickly with warm water and a bit of rubbing. They’re excellent for sensitive eyes. 


What’s the best mascara to extend eyelashes? 

Our top pick is Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High is our top pick for extending the lashes. It offers incredible length with a buildable formula and a flexible wand. 

What mascara gives the most length?

Most of the mascaras on our list offer comparable lengthening effects, with varying secondary effects like volume, curling, or separation. That said, our top picks from Maybelline and Benefit both create intensely dramatic length in just a few coats, so they’re a safe bet for lengthening lashes.

What’s the No. 1-rated mascara?

With over 200,000 five-star ratings across different review sites, our budget pick from Essence is the number one mascara for lengthening. Our best overall pick from Maybelline is a close second, boasting over 100,000 five-star ratings.