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I Tried Lots Of Cheap Mascaras To Find The Best Ones Because I Am Frugal

Sound the alarm, because these mascaras are under $10 and they're GREAT.

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Hi hi, I'm Lauren! I recently tested drugstore eyeliners and since I found a few new faves, I decided to try drugstore mascaras as well (because extra cash means extra frickin' pizza hollaaa).

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I have very stubby, downward-facing lashes that are nearly nonexistent, so mascara is MY LIFE because otherwise I look like a prepubescent boy (JK, even they have longer lashes than me). I love my current Benefit They're Real! Mascara but it's $24 and to use it every day is just crapping money down the toilet.

Here are my top eight nominations that ARE worth your hard-earned money:

1. Maybelline Volum' Express: The Falsies Mascara ($4.99)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

I am so surprised by this mascara. I remember using it years ago and not liking it at all. But it perfectly coated each lash while fanning them out, kept my lashes curled, and gave my sad little lashes incredible length and volume. It is clumpier than other mascaras, but hey, if clumps give me more volume, I’m totally down with it. This mascara? A+++++.

😉 Best for: adding volume

2. L'Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara ($5.29)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

This mascara is a go-to for many of my friends, so I just had to try it, and needless to say I was not disappointed. It lengthens and adds volume, and I think it could look really awesome if paired with just a lengthening mascara (like the L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara). It is a little quick to clump if you don't take your time with it, but otherwise it is a stellar mascara.

😉 Best for: adding volume and lengthening lashes

3. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara ($6.29)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

I remember using this mascara exclusively in high school, and can't figure out why I stopped using it! It may have been because, for me personally, the brush is too thick, but otherwise this mascara gets the job done. I like how it looks, and while it is primarily volumizing, it is also still lengthening, which I love.

😉 Best for: adding volume

4. L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara ($6.59)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

Oh ma damn I loveeee this mascara. My friend Alex was looking fly as hell one day and I noticed her lashes were especially on point – she had this $7 baby on. So I had to try it, and yes. This is awesome. I know it's not super volumizing, but I love how lengthening it is and how flirty my eyes look with this one. It also holds my lash curl VERY well, which is important for me because it adds dimension to my very flat face.

😉 Best for: lengthening lashes

5. No7 Extreme Length Mascara ($8.99)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

This mascara is so lengthening, I love it! It's not clumpy at all, and gives your lashes a very natural look (it's a very "my lashes but better" vibe). The brush is awesome — it coats each of your lashes evenly, even the short outer lashes!

😉 Best for: natural lashes

6. L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara ($7.99)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

Yessss. This brush is AWESOME. It's super conducive for separating each lash, curling, and it makes coating the lashes at the outer ends much easier. When I hear "butterfly" I think fluttery, which is exactly the look this mascara achieves. It does flake a little, but otherwise this mascara is so great.

😉 Best for: fluttery, fanned-out lashes

7. Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara ($4.99)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

This mascara felt so good on my lashes — I don't know how to explain it, but you know how sometimes your eyes feel either watery or sting a little after putting on mascara? Maybe...? Well, that happens to me, and this mascara didn't irritate my eyes at all, so it is an awesome pick for anyone who has dem ~sensitive eyes~ like me. But it did smudge a little by the end of the day, so I had to take some points away.

😉 Best for: sensitive eyes

8. NYX The Skinny Mascara ($6.99)

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

I like this a lot! It doesn't clump, the wand easily coats the whole lash, and the brush is small enough that it would actually be a perfect mascara for defining the lower lashes.

😉 Best for: lower lashes

Here are the other mascaras that I tried, but found they just weren't worth it:

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

1. CoverGirl So Lashy! blastPRO Mascara ($11.99)

This mascara had a very thick brush that LOOKS cool but does very little. Application was pretty messy, and the mascara itself wasn't very lengthening.

2. Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Big Shot Mascara ($6.99)

While this mascara was super buildable in volume, it got very clumpy and almost too spidery. It also didn't hold the curl well, and I just wasn't a big fan.

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

3. NYX Cosmetics Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara ($9.03)

This mascara wasn’t very volumizing and it didn't give me that “doll eye effect” that it said it would. Also, it was really hard to remove, so I’m over it.

4. Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara ($3.60)

IDK y'all... I know this is a very popular, timeless mascara but it did nothing for me. I don't get the hype. Maybe you need to already have long lashes for this to do anything but I think my lashes look shorter if anything lol.

Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

5. Maybelline New York Full 'N Soft Mascara ($5.64)

I was so excited to try this Lauren Conrad favorite but was sorely disappointed. It didn't add much volume or length, but I can say that I've tried the waterproof version in the past and absolutely LOVED it — that one is great for short, Asian lashes like mine!

6. e.l.f. Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara ($3)

You know what, this one is actually surprisingly awesome for the price. $3? That's a freaking steal. You can see that it lengthens and separates the lashes really nicely, but unfortunately the product itself dries out pretty quickly so it's more worth it to buy a different mascara for a little more $.

The results are in and the winners are...

Alice Mongkongllite / Lauren Han / BuzzFeed

L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara ($6.59) for Best Length

Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara ($4.99) for Overall Best Mascara

L'Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara ($5.29) for Best Volume

These are the three winners that I felt were best for my eyelashes, and that I'll definitely be using on a daily basis. These mascaras made me forget why I previously spent so much money on mascara at Sephora...goodbye VIB status, hello awesome drugstore lashes.

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