What are the best brands for mascara

The best mascara

The human eye has at least 200 eyelashes, and the selection of mascaras in all price ranges is just as extensive. In order to choose the best, we asked experienced make-up artists and beauty experts about their favorite products, applied the favorites to our own eyes, tested them over a longer period of time and removed their make-up again. Between us: the differences are not big - but they are fine.

Washed eyelashes give the eyes more radiance. We want them to be longer, more voluminous and denser. The requirements that we place on mascara are individual, have a lot to do with the texture of your own eyelashes and yet remain a matter of taste. Would you like more volume or length, more curvature, a clear definition or everything together? It is not only the texture of the ink that is responsible for the result, but also the shape of the brush.

Our conclusion: good mascara doesn't have to be expensive. Some drug store products are good value for money. For everyday life, aspects such as durability, tolerance and the behavior of the mascara when removing make-up are important. Volume, length and curve are literally in the eye of the beholder.

Brief overview: Our recommendations

Test winner

Benefit They're real! Mascara

Has a lengthening and lifting effect, gives volume and separates the eyelashes. This mascara neither smudges nor dries out.

You are real! Klimperwashern that can do without the torture tool of eyelash curlers. The classic They’re real! Mascara a perfect look. Volume, length, curve, everything we want in a good mascara can be - and lasts all day. The rubber brush is relatively thin, straight and does not convey too much ink out of the tube. It can withstand tears of joy, spontaneous raindrops or sweating while exercising, even though it is not waterproof.

Good as well

Artdeco All in One Mascara

Solid mascara for every day. Nice length and separation for a single application. The two eyelash brushes in one do a good job.

One for all: The All in one not only makes the lashes look thick and defined, this mascara conjures up a beautiful curve plus volume at the base and length in the lash tips. The spiral-shaped synthetic fiber brush is responsible for this twist. The ink contains carnauba, a wax that cares for the eyelashes and makes them supple. A solid product that does what it says on the tin and is easy to remove in the evening.

Good & cheap

Trend it up by dm Eyeppearance Mascara Volume & Curl

Long lashes in strong black, easy to apply, does not dry too quickly. Very good value for money. The only thing missing is the perfect separation.

Eyeppearance Volume & Curl from dm’s own brand Trend it up is proof that women don’t have to spend a fortune for proper mascara. A total of 12 milliliters of the extra black mascara should provide "exceptional volume and intense swing". In fact, we cannot complain about these points. The only thing missing is the clear definition of the individual hairs.

For the sensitive

Avène Eau Thermale Couvrance Highly tolerated mascara

The mascara from the pharmacy ensures long, defined lashes with curl. The absence of parabens, fragrances and preservatives guarantees good skin tolerance.

Contact lens wearers and the sensitive: Couvrance, the hypoallergenic mascara from Avène is very well tolerated and is gentle on sensitive, dry eyes. Nevertheless, she separates the lashes very precisely with her rubber brush and brings momentum to the lash line. The eyelashes look very natural and long without clumping. Volume isn't her greatest strength, so she's primarily for fans of swing, length, and definition.

When money doesn't matter

Mac Extended Play Gigablack Lash

Little ink for a lot of ash. The fine brush, which conjures up extra-long, defined eyelashes, scores for this. Forbidden to cry!

The MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash is a so-called tubing mascara based on polymers. The eyelashes remain soft and flexible. The brush is relatively small, hard and slim. After one layer the result becomes natural, a second layer without fly legs provides more drama. The manufacturer promises a shelf life of up to 16 hours. Caution is only required if it comes into contact with warm water, which should also be used to remove make-up.

Comparison table

Tips for the perfect look

Glued fly legs à la Twiggy have been history since the 1960s at the latest. Yesterday as today, washed eyelashes are one of the basics when it comes to eye make-up. A lot has happened on the market in the last few decades and the selection of mascaras, care products that have been added and disruptive substances that have been left out is gigantic. In addition, the variety of brush shapes has increased enormously.


Simply blackened eyelashes are no longer enough these days. Longer, thicker and healthier, we would like the delicate hairs on our eyes and the cosmetics industry has a wide range of selected ingredients ready.

The more natural the nutrients, the better the mascara is tolerated

The more natural the nutrients, the better we can tolerate the mascara, avoid irritation of the sensitive eye area and take care of our eyelashes over the long term. The list of ingredients is endless.

While ceramides, vitamin E and cashmere strengthen, keratin and plant waxes nourish the eyelashes. The palette of optical "fat makers" ranges from aluminum to silk and mohair. Provitamin B5 and chitosan have a moisturizing effect. Silicones and polymers, on the other hand, are responsible for shine and durability.


Expired mascara can damage your eyes. Since mascara is primarily based on water, this makes it susceptible to the accelerated multiplication of bacteria and germs. Most products have a shelf life of around six months.

Expired mascara can be harmful to the eyes and should no longer be used

The PAO symbol on the packaging indicates how long the mascara can be used after first opening. Anyone who can no longer remember it with the best will in the world can tell by its consistency (tough or dry) and smell (rancid or tranquil) whether the mascara has to be disposed of. When buying, it is essential to ensure that the hygiene seal, if any, is closed. In this way you can see whether the mascara has already been opened and whether it is contaminated with bacteria. For those who want to enjoy their mascara for a long time, we recommend cleaning the brush at least once a week.

Brush shapes

There are also differences between the brushes; their shape determines the effect the mascara has on the eyelashes.

Thin, straight brush: It separates the individual eyelashes better and extends them. Suitable for all eye and eyelash shapes.

Straight brush tapering towards the end: Perfect volume plus separate hairs. The lower eyelashes can also be precisely covered with the thin tip.

Curved brush: It adapts perfectly to the lash line and creates the curl effect. Lends curl to straight eyelashes.

Voluminous, thick brush: The bristles are usually a little shorter and support the natural shape of the eyelashes. Suitable for everyone who naturally has full, long eyelashes.

Hourglass shape: Reaches the length of the outer lashes and creates volume in the middle.

Apply Masacara like the professionals: Here's how it works

Applying mascara correctly has to be learned. It works with these tips:

  1. If you want to do everything right, straighten the eyelashes of the upper eyelid with an eyelash curler. But please never pinch already inked eyelashes - risk of breakage!
  2. Then the mascara is used: it is applied right at the bottom right on the lash line. With slight zigzag movements, the color is now applied to the tips. This movement can be carried out several times and ensures that the hairs are properly separated. The distribution up to the tips ensures extra length!
  3. Those who succeed in coloring the skin between the hairs (upper eyelid) when applying the mascara will be rewarded with additional volume and expression.
  4. If you want to ink the eyelashes of the lower eyelid, you should only use the tip of the eyelash brush or a very thin brush, such as the Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara from MAC. Gentle dab movements are usually sufficient. An underlaid cosmetic tissue protects against mistakes.
  5. If you finally touch up the tips of the upper lash line again, you will get the maximum volume out.

Dos & Don’ts

In the case of the fly leg alarm, there was probably too much ink involved. A clean eyelash brush removes the excess color and untangles the stuck hairs. The cleaned brush of an used mascara can do this job.

A clean brush will remove excess paint

You can really get the last out of an almost empty or clumped mascara by placing the closed tube in a glass of warm water or placing it on the heater. A few drops of contact lens fluid should also help make the color smooth again.

A preheated eyelash curler (e.g. with a blow dryer) works like a curling iron and the lash curl lasts longer.

Do not wipe off any residues that are attached to the brush before you wash it on the edge of the bottle, as this will increase the clumping of the mascara.

Please do not re-dip the brush into the bottle several times after pulling it out for the first time. In this way too much air gets in, so that the brush is not evenly moistened and at the same time the mascara dries out faster.

Waterproof mascara has some advantages, especially in summer. In fact, most women prefer to use "normal", smudge-proof mascara. Especially owners of brittle eyelashes should avoid "waterproof" and resort to an alternative with nourishing ingredients.

Anyone who has brittle eyelashes should do without "Waterproof"

Stay away from mascara and eyeliner if you have an eye infection! Conjunctivitis, for example, is triggered by bacteria that continue to do mischief in the mascara bottle. Therefore, dispose of it!

That's how we tested

In the beginning I applied the twelve mascaras one after the other to my bare eyes (no eyeliner or kohl that could have falsified the result), removed the make-up and photographed each time so that I could compare them directly with one another.

The brush shapes are very variable and everyone probably has a certain preference. Personally, I get along particularly well with narrower brushes, preferably made of silicone, and I mess with them less.

In the following days I washed my left and right eyes with two different mascaras in the morning and observed changes over the course of the day, such as the durability of the swing, smudge resistance and tendency to crumble. In the evening I removed the mascara with one, if necessary several, cotton pads and an eye-friendly micellar water.

My eyelashes are relatively normal. Not excessively long, not particularly dense. My skin is rather dry, especially around my eyes. The dreaded drooping eyelids, which long eyelashes like to touch, are still kept within limits. Personally, I appreciate a natural look with neatly separated eyelashes during the day. Fly legs and panda eyes are a horror to me.

For most of the products I would have liked a little more volume. Fortunately, you can cheat a lot with little make-up tricks, some kohl, eyeliner and eye shadow. This leads me to the presumptuous statement that the strengths of a mascara are very much in the eye of the beholder and hardly sting the other person at first glance. Exceptions are those who are naturally blessed with a lush lash line. You can also envy them a bit. And so it is ultimately important for everyone to find out their personal mascara favorite.

Test winner: Benefit - They’re real! Mascara

Most women want volume, length and curve in a good mascara. The classic They’re real! von Benefit is our test winner because, in our opinion, it masters all of these requirements with flying colors. It's gratifying that you can create a wonderful curve without the need for an eyelash curler, which also lasts from morning to evening.

Test winner

Benefit They're real! Mascara

Has a lengthening and lifting effect, gives volume and separates the lashes. This mascara neither smudges nor dries out.

The rubber brush is relatively thin and straight in shape. The tip of the narrow applicator looks like a small sea urchin, with the tip of which you can easily reach even fine hairs, for example on the lower eyelid. The brush lies comfortably in the hand and can be easily pulled out of the applicator. In doing so, she brings a sufficient amount of ink to the daylight, which has a light consistency and is deep black.

Two layers are enough for the perfect look, including elongated, beautifully separated eyelashes that do not stick together and a slight increase in volume. It can withstand tears of joy, spontaneous raindrops or sweating during sports, even though it is not waterproof.

Like most, this mascara is best removed with micellar water.

Benefit - They’re real! Mascara in the test mirror

There are no official reviews of our test winner yet. As soon as that changes, we will add the results here.


The Benefit - They’re real! convinced us the most in the test, but that doesn't mean that you won't be happier with someone else. Therefore we have further recommendations here.

Also good: Artdeco All in One

The All in One from Artdeco not only makes the lashes look thick and defined, this mascara conjures up a beautiful curve plus length on the lashes. My first impression when pulling out the brush is that there is far too much ink on it. However, it seems to be the right amount, which can be evenly distributed thanks to the spiral-shaped brush shape with different synthetic fiber lengths. However, it shouldn't be too many layers, otherwise fly legs threaten.

Good as well

Artdeco All in One Mascara