A beauty writer’s favorite mascaras of 2022 so far

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It sounds like a curse from a beauty writer, but I’m a recent convert to the mascara church. For literally a decade, I thought it was completely unnecessary to have a makeup routine that sometimes involved two highlighters. But I’ll test pretty much any beauty product that comes my way, with a few exceptions related to allergy and skin sensitivity.

Below you will find a breakdown of how and why I learned to love these four mascaras.

All-time favorite: Yves Saint Laurent Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara

the best mascaras of 2022 so far

If you take one thing or product recommendation from this piece, it’s that YSL’s new Lash Clash mascara is one of the best beauty products I’ve tried in the last few years. Although I’ve included a photo to illustrate, it doesn’t really do it justice. Lash Clash makes me look like she has more lashes than she actually has. Also, it makes my lashes soft and full; to me, IRL this mascara almost looks like I’m wearing (thin) false lashes. I am totally obsessed.

The best daily choice: the Byredo astronomical mascara

the best mascaras of 2022 so far

I admit I tried Astronomical Mascara for the first time because I love Byredo fragrances and I am obsessed with the sculptural packaging of their entire makeup line. So, I was slightly surprised when I tried the mascara, loved it and started taking it regularly. I like the subtlety and everyday use of this mascara; the result is an eyelash effect but better. In addition, the curvature of the brush and the thin formula make it super workable even on the lower lashes.

Left: wearing the Byredo astronomical mascara. Right: wearing YSL Lash Clash.

Best for dramatic lashes: Mac Macstack Mascara

the best mascaras of 2022 so far

Mac recently launched Macstack, a mascara rumored to be layered or stacked indefinitely, as the name suggests, and quickly took TikTok by storm with over 17 million hashtag views. The promise of endless stacks seemed too good to be true; I was skeptical, to say the least. With a typical mascara, I can usually do two coats, maybe a third before it just feels crunchy and lumpy. I went through about eight stacks of this mascara and only stopped because I was tired, not because it was becoming impossible. This is by no means a subtle mascara, this is a very visible mascara.

However, I have a couple of problems: the first is that, being a person with sparse lashes, I had to regularly use a pair of tweezers to gently separate the lashes from each other. Also, I think it works by creating immense drama and visibility at the expense of volume.

Best long-term option: BareMinerals Maximist Phyto-Fiber Volumizing Mascara

the best mascaras of 2022 so far

BareMinerals is among the pioneers of growth serum-infused brow gels and this mascara likewise helps with lash growth over time, as well as immediately visible benefits. The thing I like most about this mascara is the softness of my lashes, even after the mascara has dried. I didn’t feel any of that stiffness or roughness that almost every other mascara I’ve ever tried has had. While you could probably get at least three coats of Maximist before running into consistency issues, I like to do a very intense, purposeful layer that leaves me with camel lashes.

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