Trend Report: Best Lash Enhancers Under $20

Every girl longs for thick and luscious eyelashes, but not all are willing to endure expensive extremes like prescriptions or professional extensions. Fortunately for those on a budget, all you need is a trip to the nearest drugstore to find award-winning eyelash enhancers under $20.

For an everyday mascara choice, my favorite is Cover Girl LashBlast Volume-Blasting mascara (in the orange tube) because for only $8, it lives up to its promise to give “big, bold, look-at-me lashes.” Allure agreed, bestowing the mascara with a highly respected Best of Beauty award for 2009. Another great option for an everyday mascara is Great Lash, Maybelline New York’s classic in the pink and green tube. It’s inexpensive at only $6.50, and the recipient of many beauty-industry accolades, including a 2009 Glammie award from Glamour magazine, an Allure Best of Beauty award in 2008, and a Reader’s Choice award from Teen Vogue in 2007.

For times when you want to amp up your lashes and give them an extra boost of drama, try Maybelline New York’s The Colossal Volum’ Express mascara. Just under $8, it instantly pumps up your lash volume with just one stroke and leaves lashes virtually clump-free. It was also the recipient this year of an Allure Best of Beauty award. Another drugstore find that provides great eyelash volume on a budget is L’Oreal Paris Voluminous mascara, also just $8. Even professional make-up artists rave about this mascara and it was featured as one of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys for 2009.

To get the most out of any mascara, remember to add some vital tools to your arsenal: An eyelash curler and a lash and brow groomer are key to make your lashes look full and clump-free. Start by curling clean lashes. Spread curler handles and carefully align your upper lashes between the top and bottom pads of the curler, positioning it at the bash of your lash line. Squeeze and hold for 5-10 seconds before carefully opening the curler. Never pull your lashes while they’re squeezed in the curler; they’ll pop right out! Beauty editors and make-up artists worldwide recommend the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $19 at department stores, and a drugstore alternative that is nearly as effective is the Revlon Lash Curler, $4. Once you’ve curled and applied mascara, use the comb end of a lash and brow groomer (like the Sonia Kashuk Lash and Brow Groomer, $7.99 at Target) to comb through your lashes, removing extra mascara and clumps.

By Ali Straka, University of Missouri


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