Out of all the makeup products I’m asked to recommend, mascara comes up the most. It makes sense: Even the least enthusiastic makeup consumers wear mascara, and there are so many of them on the market, but finding one that lengthens and volumizes but doesn’t flake, smudge, clump, or irritate your eyeballs is trickier than it seems. We all want our lashes to look luscious and lifted (it’s an easy way to look instantly more awake and put-together), and while lash extensions and lifts are a way to achieve that naturally bright-eyed effect without having to apply makeup every day, they’re costly and not super convenient for everyone.
So what mascaras available these days can create a lifted, healthy lash look without it seeming like you’re wearing a ton of makeup? That’s where this list comes in. Scroll along to shop my 12 favorite mascaras for faking an extension effect (plus a few mind-blowing application tips I’ve learned over the years that will seriously change your life).