13 Affordable Mascaras That Won’t Leave You With Racoon Eyes

Is there a more frustrating challenge than trying to find a mascara that gives you bomb lashes but doesn’t smudge and smear and leave you looking like a raccoon by lunchtime? Check out one (or a few) of these affordable options available on Amazon.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (Deluxe Mini) – $11.98

Probably my favorite mascara ever, this mini is easy to pop in your bag and won’t break the bank. (Note that there’s a full-size version available of this for roughly $22, but the mini is cheaper obviously and lasts quite a while). Combined with a lash primer, it leaves my lashes looking STACKED.

Vivienne Sabo Cabaret Premiere Mascara – $12

This is a dramatic volumizing mascara that gives you lashes that look long, separated, but really amazing. Better yet, the product is cruelty-free, and for $12, I couldn’t be happier with the results.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Curved Brush Mascara – $5.84

Mama loves a curved mascara wand. It really helps give my lashes that little uptick that looks all coquettish and cute, and it really is volumizing. Better yet, it stays put all day even when I accidentally rub my eyes when I forget I’m wearing mascara.

L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara – $8.97

I especially love the brush on this one, which helps me reach those stubborn little corner lashes that other brushes miss out on. Also, the way the brush is formed, it really fans the lashes out a bit wider, almost creating a false lash look (if you put on enough layers, heh).

Natural 4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara – $17.99

This is one of the more expensive picks on the list, but it’s super worth it. If you can’t afford lash extensions (the upkeep is EXPENSIVE!) or you just don’t fancy laying on a beautician’s table for hours on end, get the same effect with this mascara. Seriously, it’s that good.

essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara – $4.99

Admittedly, the results on this one aren’t as good as the 4D mascara listed above, but for $5, it does a damn good job of giving you fuller, fancier lashes. If I need to pick up a drugstore mascara and I’m short on budget, I always grab this one.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara – $6.37

I almost feel like Maybelline is my favorite drugstore mascara maker – their offerings are just that good. This mascara won’t give you a full lash effect, but it WILL make your lashes look SUPER long and very delicate so I really like it for gentler, prettier, less dramatic looks.

Poppyo Voluminous Mascara – $10.09

This is another one of those mascaras that is more about lengthening than it is about creating volume or bulk. In other words, it’s perfect for a no makeup makeup look because it’s super natural but still really pretty.

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara – $14.14

One of my first Asian beauty products, this has been a must-have in my makeup bag in the years since I first discovered it. It’s AMAZING. It goes on like a dream and it STAYS on. Literally, if you don’t use waterproof mascara remover, it will be on your lashes until next Christmas.

Honest Beauty Extreme Lenth Mascara + Primer – $14.99

I love and fully believe in the benefit of lash primers. If you get a good one, they can really boost your mascara’s effects x 1000. This mascara from Honest Beauty (what up, Jessica Alba?) offers two in one and I really love this.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Washable Mascara – $6.94

If you like a mascara with a FAT brush, this is the one for you. It’s massive! It really does add bulk to your lashes, though it can get a little clumpy if you keep it for more than a month or two. If you wear mascara every day, however, that likely will never be an issue.

L’Oreal Paris Million Lashes Mascara – $6.74

L’Oreal advertises this as smudge-proof, so you know they mean business. The good news is that they actually deliver on it. It doesn’t move throughout the day but it does wash off easily enough at the end of the day.

Maybelline The Falsies – $5

This is a total classic that needs no explanation. If you haven’t tried it, do it soon. You won’t be disappointed.

Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.