The holy make-up grail: finding a mascara that doesn’t clump, smudge or irritate but does deliver fluttery lashes that are lifted, lengthened and volumised. Not much to ask is it?! As part of our ask-the-team series, the editors open their make-up bags and share their favourite fool-proof mascaras, including one that’s great for sensitive eyes (hello hay fever season) and another that promises to add dramatic volume, without a clump in sight…

Lydia Mansi

Beauty and Lifestyle Editor

I have super sensitive eyes and suffer from hay fever, so finding a mascara that won’t irritate, or end up halfway down my face by noon is a tough ask. The two I trust and use on rotation are:

La Roche Posay

Respectissime Mascara, £16.50
La Roche-Posay Respectissime Mascara For Sensitive Eyes - Volume 7.6ml

Great for sensitive eye sufferers and contact wearers alike - it gives a lightweight, natural looking volume with ceramides and arginine to strengthen lashes. A really rich black shade and comfortable to wear all day. The only downside is it’s not a ‘high drama’ lash look - but great for every day. 7/10. Buy it here.


High Impact Mascara, £24
High Impact™ Mascara Copy

For a more dramatic evening look I love the Clinique High Impact Mascara. The ophthalmologist-tested formula is gentle on eyes but amazing at lifting and separating lashes. 9/10. Buy it here.

Lucy Abletshauser

Shopping Editor


Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, £26.35
Le Volume De Chanel Mascara, £25.50

I don’t wear much makeup day-to-day, but mascara is one thing I cannot go without. This is a firm favourite. Non-clumpy, doesn’t smudge and gives good length. 9/10. Buy it here.

Nancy Alsop


Charlotte Tilbury

Legendary Lashes, Vol 2, £26
Legendary Lashes, Vol 2, £25

I’m currently using Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes Vol 2 - I really like it. It gives excellent volume but isn’t at all clumpy. It’s quite an intense black, which I like, but neither does it look OTT. 9/10. Buy it here.

Bobbi Brown

Smokey Eye Mascara, £31
Smokey Eye Mascara, £26 Copy

The blackest of black mascaras. I love the brush, it really grips at the root and distributes the mascara all the way to the tip. The tapered end is really great for catching those corner lashes, too. 8/10. Buy it here.

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Charlotte Tilbury

Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara, £26
Mascara Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes

When first launched, this gem of a mascara had a huge wait list courtesy of social media hype and beauty editors in a frenzy. This is Charlotte Tilbury’s third mascara, and it turns out, was worthy of the fuss. Buy it here.

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

Beauty Pie

The Perfect Waterproof Mascara, £12 for members
Mascaras Beauty Pie Perfect Waterproof Mascara

I’ve learned late in life that waterproof mascara is the answer, and I haven’t found a better one than Beauty Pie’s in Superglossy Black. A little goes a long way and leaves a natural, lengthened lash that lasts all day. Buy it here.

Arabella Dymoke


Victoria Beckham Beauty

Vast Lash Mascara, £30
Mascara Victoria Beckham VASTLASh 1

I'm a big fan of Victoria Beckham Beauty, her Satin Kajal Liner is iconic and Vast Lash is another product that's found its way into my make up bag. It has staying power, doesn't clump or smudge and is easy to remove. As Victoria says, “The look is not polite, it’s major! It’s dramatic, it’s directional. When I was testing Vast Lash, people quite often thought I was wearing eyelash extensions. It’s that good. It’s really going to elevate your look.” Buy it here.

Plus: Three Lash Serums To Treat And Lengthen Lashes

If you don’t want to rely on mascaras, false lashes or extensions to give your peepers a boost, lash serums contain strengthening and conditioning ingredients including proteins, peptides, hyaluronic acids and nourishing oils to encourage growth. While not an overnight fix (a lash’s life cycle is around 90 days), when used regularly and consistently as part of your evening skincare routine, lashes have been clinically proven by brands to improve in length and thickness.


Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, £129
Mascara Edit Revitalash Serum

Boots No. 7

Lash Serum, £17.95
Boots No. 7


Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £40

By Lydia Mansi
Updated September 2023