The best black mascaras for luscious lashes

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‘What is the best black mascara I can buy in the UK?’ It’s a question my twenty-something self should have asked the experts in one of London’s dazzlingly light, bright beauty halls. Knowing it sooner would have saved me a lot of time, money and panda eyes. The perfect black mascara is the holy grail of make-up, and the item with the subtlest of variations: at the heart of every tube is a black formula and application wand. That’s it. But finding the mascara that suits you best? Not as simple.

How to choose the best black mascara

There are many excellent black mascara options out there but in compiling this article, I found that the same brands and products came up again and again. It’s understandable. Once you discover the most brilliant black mascara, you’re committed for life (and god help you if it’s discontinued…)

You need to think about what you want from your mascara before you start your search: we’ve assumed black in colour, but are you after lashes with more volume? A mascara that delivers curled lashes? A mascara with a natural look – basically your own lashes, but better. Does your mascara need to last all day (and night) or be as waterproof as can be?

best black mascara chanel

Image: Chanel Beauty

Once you’ve thought about its must-have credentials, the next thing to consider is choosing the right mascara for your lash type. Working out whether you have long or short lashes, thin lashes or stumpy lashes, straight or curvy lashes will help you determine which mascara is best. It’s not dissimilar to choosing hair products; unfortunately, there’s no one-mascara-that-suits-all. Some pros even suggest a separate mascara for upper and lower lashes – which goes some way towards explaining why Cult Beauty, for example, stocks more than 100 different tube-and-wand combos. (‘No matter how late you’re running, you’re never too late for a coat of mascara,’ it says confidently, knowing that, for many of us, this is absolutely true.)

Luckily for you, most brands have given their mascaras names that signpost their USP. From there, it’s up to you (a certain amount of trial and error is unavoidable) to see if words like waterproof, lengthening, volumising and natural deserve their place in a mascara’s name. As gorgeous as the tubes and packaging can be, we urge you to do a bit of homework and read the blurb about a mascara to make sure it ticks your boxes before parting with any money. Unlike spur-of-the-moment clothing or shoe purchases, makeup can’t be returned if you change your mind once you’ve tried it.

best black mascara chanel

What are the benefits of using mascara?

For iconic make-up artist Pat McGrath, “a really good mascara is such a must-have and I rarely leave the house without it!” And for the equally legendary Charlotte Tilbury, mascara was a game-changer. “When I was 13 years old a beauty editor gave me a mascara,” she says. “I had such fair lashes and mascara really framed my eyes. I suddenly found that the world reacted differently to me when I had it on.”

Eyelashes come in many lengths, colours and textures but one thing is for sure: the reason we love mascara is that it makes our lashes appear darker, thicker and longer. The best mascaras all boast excellent formulas, rich pigments and well-designed wands and they tend to be long-lasting, easily buildable, gentle on your lashes and not flaky. Really good mascaras also have vitamins that protect and nourish lashes.

How important is a mascara wand?

chanel mascara

Most people tend not to think as much about the wand, or brush, as they might about a brand name and the qualities promised by the packaging but the formula and the wand work hand in hand to give your lashes the end effect you’re aiming for. We’ll name no names but a new mascara I recently ordered seemed great until it transpired the wand was far too sizeable for my insubstantial lashes (and of course, it can’t be returned…). Applying the same mascara with different wands produces different results and this is what makes the wand something you should consider when shopping for mascaras.

The best way to apply black mascara

Application of mascara is crucial: doing it properly can make the difference between keeping or ditching a new mascara. We love this mascara application technique tip from Charlotte Tilbury: “As you drag the brush up from the base of your lashes, zig-zag the wand from side to side. This creates more volume as you are depositing more product onto your eyelashes”.

For your bottom lashes, turn the brush vertically because “the thinner end will help you control your application with more precision,” Tilbury adds. To magnify the results, always do a second coat but don’t ever pump the wand up and down in the tube. “Your mascara will dry out quicker as you’re pushing too much air inside. Slowly twist the brush around the tube instead,” Tilbury explains. 

The best all-round black mascara

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes! Mascara


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Chanel Noir Allure mascara


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The Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes! mascara is raved about by everyday devotees and pros alike. Beauty journalist Nadie Bagott praises, in particular, the flattened brush/comb applicator, “You can apply the juice while separating and lifting the lashes. Seeing is believing, but for me, this is the best mascara launch of recent years. It lengthens and adds volume but rarely, if ever, clumps, and even then the comb removes them with ease.” Chanel Noir Allure, meanwhile, in its typically elegant and understated way, promises volume, curl, definition and length in one slick tube.

The best black mascara for volume

Dior Diorshow Pump ‘n’ Volume mascara


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Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara


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Looking to add volume to short, thin lashes? Beloved by many, including Davina McCall who cites it as her all-time favourite, Kevyn Aucoin The Volume mascara has impressive thickening and separating abilities. However, it’s the unique ‘tubing’ effect, which means it washes off easily and completely with warm water, that has won over so many. No eye makeup remover required.

Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume also promises a lot. Try it for yourself to see if this mascara, made from 90 per cent natural-origin ingredients, really enhances your lashes ‘with XXL volume’ for 24 hours. It coats lashes with an intense ink and, in a single stroke, fans them out with ‘outrageous volume and a no-transfer finish’.

The best black mascara for length

Benefit They’re Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening mascara


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Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara


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Lengthening mascaras usually contains nylon fibres that help to create the appearance of long lashes and, if you have straight or short lashes, this type of mascara may well be for you. Too Faced has won over millions with its memorably named mascara: it has a collagen-fuelled formula to thicken, lengthen and curl after just one coat and an ingenious hourglass-shaped brush. If you plan to have a pretty epic night out that spills into the next morning, Benefit’s Magnet mascara is for you. It promises 36-hour lengthening thanks to an Extender Brush with a magnetically charged core ‘that draws out lashes… making them look 40 per cent longer’.

The best waterproof black mascara

Byredo Tears in the Rain mascara


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Skin In Motion Lift It Waterproof Mascara


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For those with an oily skin type or very busy schedules, waterproof mascara is a smart choice to prevent smudging or smearing. “You want a waterproof mascara to really stay in place and be truly gorgeous at the same time,” says Nadine Bagott. “The Skin In Motion mascara delivers on both counts, has a great curved brush, adds volume and length and doesn’t budge until you want it to.” Likewise, Byredo’s cult Tears in the Rain formula is designed to take you from gym to shower to office and out on the town, no reapplication necessarily.

Read more: The best red lipsticks for every skin tone

The post The best black mascaras for luscious lashes appeared first on Luxury London.

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