We tried 3 pharmacy brand mascaras and found the only brand worth buying

The INSIDER Summary:

  • We tried three popular mascara brands (CoverGirl, L’Oréal, and Maybelline) sold at drugstores.
  • The goal was to find out which gave our lashes the most volume.

Drugstore mascaras often make wild claims like “ten times the volume,” and “millionize your lashes.”

But which brands actually live up to their packaging?

We tested volumizing formulas from three well-known brands — CoverGirl, L’Oréal, and Maybelline — to see which one gave us the most luscious lashes.

Keep scrolling to see our verdict.

Our three contenders: L'Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes, Maybelline Lash Sensational, and CoverGirl Lashblast Volume.

Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

All three mascaras were around $20.

Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

L'Oréal had a chunky brush with long, fluffy bristles.

Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

CoverGirl's brush was also chunky, but the bristles weren't as long and soft. They were shorter and more rubbery.

Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

Maybelline had the most unique brush. It had more of a pear shape with short, rubbery bristles.

Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

We tried CoverGirl's formula first.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

The chunky brush made for easy application, and the formula was just wet enough to slide right on without getting clumpy.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

I managed to leave no residue on my eyelid -- which is unusual for me. The formula added noticeable volume to my lashes.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

Next up was L'Oréal.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

This formula was wetter than CoverGirl's, which made it slightly harder to apply multiple coats.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

And while it definitely lengthened my lashes (and curled them at the tip), it didn't seem to volumize my lashes like CoverGirl did.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

Maybelline came last.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

This was undoubtedly the hardest formula to apply thanks to the oddly-shaped brush and fairly wet formula.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

That being said, Maybelline's formula provided my lashes with the most volume.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

It was a tough choice between Maybelline and CoverGirl, but in the end CoverGirl wins. The formula perfectly coated each lash, while also separating and volumizing them.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

If you don't mind spending a little more time on your mascara, Maybelline is a good bet. And if you want length over volume, go for L'Oréal. However, the all-around champion is CoverGirl.

Sophie Claire Hoeller / INSIDER

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