Best Mascaras: Our Ride Or Die Picks for 2024

Welcome to Shop The Street, FLEETSTREET’s beauty review series. Our editors curate collections of new + noteworthy products (and let you know why you should add them to your shopping list). Today on our list: the best mascaras in Canada. 

The best mascaras we keep coming back to, again and again.

All makeup aficionados have one. Maybe you discovered that lime green and hot pink tube of Maybelline at 12, swiped from your mom’s cosmetics bag, or maybe you found a Benefit mascara you adore while experimenting with Sephora samples in college. And sure, every once in a while you try something else, like a mascara made by a cool, millennial-pink brand with minimalist packaging, or a blogger-recommended luxe version with a hefty price tag, or a crunchy brand that touts lash growth with a side order of spiritual awakening. Maybe you even went the lash-extension route, only to abandon it during the pandemic, for both its expense and required human interaction. 

Regardless, you always come crawling back to that same mascara, sounding like a total Ross—we were on a break!. And your old flame always takes you back to the world of precisely-fanned, voluminous, buildable lashes. 

As journalists, we’ve had the chance to test out our fair share (ahem, hundreds) of different mascaras. From formulas for short lashes to straight lashes, from Wet N Wild to Lancôme mascara, from drugstore to specialty boutique brands. Here are the best mascaras and why we always come back to them.

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Glossier Lash Slick Lift and Lengthening Mascara, $24

Best Mascara For Defined Lashes

Admittedly I’m not interested in faux lashes or any thing that would make my natural self feel inadequate. I want to look like myself but amplified. And this mascara does just that. If you keep on reading you’ll learn that I love tubing mascara, and I always have had a hard time finding anything that even compares to my fave Kevin Aucoin (more reasons why below). And after trying anything and everything at the Sephora and drug store beauty counters, I finally found the perfect “day mascara.” This lengthens, defines and gives me smooth, long lashes. No clumps. No weird stickiness that glues two or three lashes together. Instead, eyes look bigger and wider with a clean mascara look.

Stila Magnum is a thick tube of black mascara with a curvy bristle brush that's best for straight lashes. It's shape conforms and coats lashes.
Stila Magnum XXX, $28

Best Mascara For Straight Lashes

I can’t think of the last time I went without mascara. Yep, even during COVID. I may not change out of my sweats for six days in a row, by my lashes get done every damn day. My go-to? Stila Magnum XXX Mascara Intense Black. Don’t be fooled by its super dramatic, porn-ishy name. Underneath all that aggression is a workhorse formula that delivers long, thick lashes without stiffness or clumping.  It has something called Curl Flex that helps with lift, which makes it perfect for straight lashes, and a definite bonus for keeping you looking awake during your Zoom calls. 

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Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara comes in a tall metal tube and is best for sensitive eyes. The brush has short thick bristles to really coat each lash, so the mascara easily slips off when needed.
Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara, $28

Best Mascara For Sensitive Eyes

It is official: I’ve reached the age when how easily my mascara washes off is just as important as how pretty and long my lashes look. Ever since a trip to Japan, I’ve been obsessed with tubing mascara. Essentially it’s a category of mascara with jet-black formulas that coat the lashes. It slips off in “tubes” when you wash, instead of dissolving into a black mess. This type of mascara is very underrated, and not many cosmetic brands offer it. Except for a few luxe cult brands, like Kevyn Aucoin (best mascara at Sephora, imho). While “volume” is a funny descriptor for this one, as it doesn’t fan out lashes. But I love how it makes each individual lash longer and thicker, without clumps that you might expect from a typical volumizing mascara. Plus it slides off my lashes with just water, like little crumpled spider legs (sounds grosser than it actually is). Other mascaras dry my lashes and sometimes even weaken them from having to rub them clean. This is the best mascara for sensitive eyes – so gentle, it’s self-care.

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Also a curvy brush, Too Face Better Than Sex is more shaped like an hourglass instead of a pear. This mascara is best for volume, as the brush fans out the outer edges for wider eyes. The tube is shine and the logo is embossed.
Too Faced Better Than Sex, $36

Best Mascara For Volume 

Got straight or thin lashes? The Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara can help. Although the name has an ambitious claim, this formula thickens, lengthens and curls with just one coat. Inspired by the curves of a woman’s body, the hourglass-shaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximize the performance of this collagen-fuelled formula. The wand is a bit thick but it’s great for combing through so you don’t get clumps. I am also kind of a sucker for the name and the packaging – can you blame me?

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Cheap and chic. Multi tasking too. Esssence Double Trouble Mascara features a two sided brush (one is a comb and the other is bristles, making it our best drug store mascara.
Essence Double Trouble Mascara, $7

Best Drugstore Mascara

Did you know you’re supposed to replace your mascara every three months? Yeah, it’s a thing. Not to gross you out, but the 12-week rule applies because basically your tube of mascara turns into a petri dish. Everytime you swipe, you contaminate the wand and, over time, those germs create bacteria in the tube (bacteria love dark, moist spaces), potentially leading to problems like styes or pink eye. For a budget-conscious person like me (OK, tightwad!), I find it hard to justify high-end purchases when I have to replace them so frequently. Hello, drugstore beauty. I’ve been experimenting with a few brands and have recently landed on Essence’s Double Trouble, so named because it promises to pump up the volume thanks to a double-sided brush: an elastomer brush for volume on one side and a fibre brush for boosted length and definition on the other. Available in waterproof or regular formulas.

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Trish Mcevoy High Volume Mascara, $39

Best Mascara for Jet Black Lashes

As I mentioned above – and to anyone who talks to me about mascara – I’m obsessed with tubing mascara. In addition to the reasons above another huge benefit to this type of mascara is the intensity of the colour. This is my pick for best mascara for jet black lashes. It’s the darkest I’ve seen on my eyes. And if you’ve bought and tested an array of mascaras for the darkest black lashes, you’ve likely come into this side effect: racoon eyes. Dark mascara transfers, and even if it’s water-proof, many are too thick and goopy. Not this one, though. Each swipe coats lashes with intense black pigment smoothly. And just like other tubing mascaras, it comes off like a dream in the shower. It has what you really want from a jet black mascara formula.

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L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara, $16.50

Best Mascara for Length

The hashtag #lorealtelescopic on TikTok has over 84 million views. It is truly impossible to scroll the app without seeing girls singing about, reviewing or swiping on the $16 mascara that gives you the longest lashes I’ve ever seen. It comes in a plain gold tube and has a tiny brush, as opposed to pastel packaging and a brush with bells and whistles (good packaging can sometimes make you feel like bigger is better). The main reason I love L’Oréal’s Telescopic Mascara so much is that it has the smallest brush. Telescopic checks all those boxes, and the brush really works to grab and elongate every single lash on the eye – even the very inner corners. Since the wand is flexible, it’s able to move with your lashes to curl and separate them, and the tiny end makes coating lower lashes much easier.