The best mascaras to make you look like you’ve got salon lashes

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When it comes to make-up products that we just can't live without, a good mascara is top of the list. Whether you’re in need of a volume boost, a false lash effect or just a lengthier look, there’s a mascara for that.

Sometimes, finding the perfect mascara that stays in place all day and doesn’t leave your lashes looking flakey and clumpy can be a real task.

In a bid to find the best of the bunch, the OK! beauty team have tested out the latest curling, lifting and volumising mascaras to find the products worth parting with your pennies…

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PROMISES… LIFT

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push up Lashes! Mascara, buy it here for £23

The newest addition to the Pillow Talk range, this has an innovative paddle-shaped brush to push lashes up from underneath.

Beauty director Lynne says: “I was instantly wowed by just how pushed up this made my lashes look – it was like wearing the mascara equivalent of a Wonderbra. The brush really lets you get into the root of the lashes and hoik everything skywards, and the formula is deliciously dark as well. However, I did find that it smudged slightly under my eyes as the day went on.”

PROMISES… LENGTH

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara, buy it here for £29

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Promising to imitate the effect of lash extensions, this forms a film of fibres around each lash, stretching them up and out.

Beauty ed Laura says: “If it’s length you’re looking for, this is the mascara for you. It perfectly coats, separates and stretches each lash to eyebrow-skimming lengths, and the ‘tubing’ formula means it will not smudge one bit, even during the sweatiest or rainiest of days. I do find these types of mascara a little awkward to remove though, as they come off with a splash of warm water and a gentle tug with fingertips, rather than a traditional make-up remover.”

PROMISES… INSTANT VOLUME

Urban Decay Lash Freak Mascara, buy it here for £21

Urban Decay claims this unusual shaped wand is the secret to delivering a very specific 23.6 times more volume and 40 per cent more length for high impact lashes.

Laura says: “This is the first mascara I’ve ever used where I have to read the instructions first, which are as follows: comb the product through with the bristled side, use the rounded tip to coat individual lashes, then finish by pushing them up with the flat side. The result is a little clumpy and flaky but definitely dramatic, in a spidery 60s-style way à la Twiggy.”

PROMISES… CURL

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, buy it here for £28

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Dior has reformulated its Overcurl mascara to now deliver 24-hour wear and lash-caring benefits – plus its original lifting, curling actions.

Lynne says: “This formula, delivered via a curved lash-shaping brush, does a great job of lifting. I find some curling mascaras can leave lashes a bit starchy and spider-like but this one gave a soft, feathery finish, akin to Ardell’s pretty ‘wispies’ fake lashes. My only niggle is that it’s not the darkest mascara I’ve ever tried.”

PROMISES… FALSE LASH EFFECT

NARS Climax Extreme Mascara, buy it here for £22

NARS has taken its best-selling Climax mascara to thrilling new levels, with more volume than ever, less chance of smudging and an even deeper colour of black.

Lynne: “This mascara might be called Climax but it’s far more about faking it. It hits all the sweet spots – masses of volume from a single coat, lashings of length, midnight black pigment – to reach a spine-tingling false lash effect. I’ll be coming to this one again and again.”

PROMISES… BUILDABLE VOLUME

Guerlain Mad Eyes Mascara, buy it here for £28

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Not a Harry Potter character but Guerlain’s latest mascara, which claims to deliver 112 per cent more volume instantly, plus a formula that can be layered up without clumping.

Laura says: “The first thing I noticed is that the wand is short and stumpy – this does allow for more control, especially when wiggling deep into the lash roots, but having your hand so close to your face also creates the potential for smudging make-up. The formula is thick and light like mousse, and clings to hairs giving quick volume. It layers well, although you may find that one coat is enough.”

PROMISES… ULTRA-DARK LASHES

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Radical, buy it here for £28

With a new formula and a new brush, this mascara promises bold, ultra-black lashes, thanks to a ‘carbon black’ formula, and instant volume.

Lynne says: “It takes a bit of layering to get the full effect but once I’d applied three coats, the colour at the root of my lashes was so dark it looked like I was wearing eyeliner. I thought it was better at lengthening than thickening my lashes as it gave a defined and separated effect.”

PROMISES… CONDITIONED LASHES

Burt’s Bees Nourishing Mascara, buy it here for £12.99

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A 100 per cent natural formula made with moisturising jojoba oil and glycerin, and being free from parabens, petrolatum and fragrance, it’s suitable for sensitive eyes too.

Laura says: “This has quite a dry formula which needs really working into the lashes to coat them all, but the end result is natural-looking, pretty and softly feathery. It layers up quite well, and thanks to its conditioning formula, the lashes feel soft rather than crunchy. It isn’t the blackest of blacks, but this makes it all the more suitable for a subtle everyday look.”

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