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The eyes are the windows to the soul—as they say—and if there’s one makeup product that can instantly transform your look, it’s mascara. It takes just one coat to brighten your eyes and awaken your face. However, if your lashes lean more straight and flat than naturally full, you know that just any old mascara—even one that claims to volumize and lengthen—isn’t going to cut it. And sure, you could get lash treatments like extensions or lifts, but there's a less expensive and non-permanent alternative: curling mascara.
In general, curling mascaras are thicker than other formulas and more likely to contain filming polymers. These polymers coat the lashes and contract as soon as you apply them, causing the lashes to lift and curl. Genius, huh? Usually, curling mascaras come with a brush that expertly separates your lashes so that the polymers can coat and curl every single lash. In other words, they’ll make your real lashes appear fake, even though they're 100% yours. Another pro tip? Reach for a waterproof version to take things a step further—these formulas tend to hold a curl much better than regular ones.
Since not all mascaras that claim to curl deliver on their promise, we did the work for you and found 10 formulas that do. Ahead, we’re breaking down the best curling mascaras for achieving that long-lasting, full, fluttery fringe you desire—all in just a few swipes.
How We Found The Best Curling Mascaras
To round up this list, we turned to the help of our unbiased algorithm. This unique tool finds and ranks the best products on the web by factoring in best-seller lists, editor recommendations, rave reviews, and more. From drugstore dupes to a cult-favorite that's purchased every 7.5 seconds, scroll on to shop the Top 10 curling mascaras that made the cut.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Brow Lamination Kits. Opening image: @covergirl
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara
WHAT IT DOES: This mascara has a unique wand with spiky bristles that evenly distribute mascara onto each lash.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Covergirl’s Clump Crusher Mascara is a great affordable option. You’ll instantly see volumized, separated lashes, and as its name suggests, clumps will be a thing of the past.
Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Coming from the luxurious House of Dior, this iconic mascara is inspired by professional curling irons—the curved brush catches every lash from bottom to top.
WHAT IT DOES: This mascara contains high-precision ingredients that provide intense definition and hold without clumping or smudging to ensure glamorous lashes.
Tarte Surfer Curl Volumizing Mascara
BEST FOR OILY LIDS
WHERE TO WEAR: From hot days to gym workouts, look no further. This long-wearing, smudge-proof, and sweatproof mascara has you covered.
WHAT IT DOES: This weightless mascara provides effortless, lash-lifting volume to bring your lashes to the next level.
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara
WHAT IT DOES: Discover lashes you didn't know you had. With staggered bristles, this brush reaches the roots and boosts length and volume significantly. Bonus: it can curl even the tiniest of lashes.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: The glossy, jet-black formula gives you lush, silky lashes that are long-lasting and won't clump, smudge, or fade.
Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: From Rihanna herself, this all-in-one mascara is designed to amplify, lift, lengthen, and curl lashes instantly. Plus, it’s water-resistant.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This product is also cruelty-free and gluten-free.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This cult-favorite mascara boasts an intensely black, volumizing formula for the sultriest, most defined lashes possible.
USER REVIEW: “This mascara is hands down, one of the best mascaras I have ever tried. I loved how much bigger it made my lashes look without weighing them down or clumping.”
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
BEST FOR SENSITIVE EYES
WHO IT’S FOR: In true Ilia fashion, this mascara is specially made for people with sensitive eyes.
WHY WE LOVE IT: "A mascara that truly lifts, lengthens, holds a curl, and separates with precision? Enter this product! This is the only mascara that really does stay on throughout the day. The best part? It washes off in seconds. Raccoon eyes no more!"—Jamie Chandlee, CEO
Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Full Fan Effect Mascara
WHAT IT DOES: With a wand that’s at a curved angle and has 10 layers of long bristles on each side, this mascara provides length and volume without clumping to give lashes a supple, separated, and fully fanned look.
USER REVIEW: “I have tried cheap mascaras, I have tried extremely expensive mascaras, and in my 45 years of wearing makeup, this is without a doubt the absolute, hands down, BEST MASCARA AVAILABLE.”
Tarte Maneater Mascara
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This best-selling mascara provides massive volume and flutters every lash.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This formula contains jojoba oil, an ingredient that hydrates, protects, and strengthens the lashes.
Lancôme Lash Idole Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara
WHAT IT DOES: With an extended lasting power of up to 24 hours, this mascara has a curved wand that fans out lashes that brightens your eyes.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This mascara has 360 micro-sized bristles that grab and lengthen every lash (even the tiniest ones), while the lightweight gel formula leaves lashes feather-soft without flaking, clumping, or smudging.