Beauty Q&A: Mascara Drugstore Dupes

Dear Megan,

What are some cheap mascaras that work? I don’t want to spend $40 on a mascara!

– Sara B.

Let me start this by saying, I spend a ridiculous amount of money on makeup: I am currently VIB Rouge member at Sephora (i.e. I spend way more than I should). So suffice to say, I have no problems splurging on high end beauty products that work, but there is one staple product that you don’t necessarily need to spend more than $10 on: mascara.

As I explained in an earlier blog post what really makes a mascara is the wand. Mascaras aren’t like skincare products–they’re pretty much all doing the same thing the same way. That is to say that mascaras generally have the same formula (although I find that Benefit’s “They’re Real!” sticks out as a very sticky formula), so the wand is where the magic happens (pun intended). Because of this it is very easy to find quality drugstore dupes for less than half the cost! Wouldn’t you much rather put that money towards a new eyeshadow palette, liquid lipstick or say… a Farm to Face product? Yeah, I thought so.

Here are some of the best dupes I have found for high end mascara!


Benefit “Roller Lash” ($24) vs CoverGirl “Full Lash Bloom” ($7.99)

CoverGirl makes some of the best drugstore mascaras, and the Full Lash Bloom is no exception. This is my current everyday mascara and it’s perfect. It’s light, doesn’t clump your lashes together or flake off throughout the day. It’s everything you could want in a basic mascara. Plus it’s a fantastic dupe for the very popular Benefit Roller Lash (but at a fraction of the price)!

Both Roller Lash and Lash Bloom have very similar, silicon brushes with spiked bristles. Benefit’s bristles are just a touch shorter, and the tip of the wand itself is curved. I find that this wand is actually more difficult to use and takes a bit more effort to get the desired lash look.

So not only are you saving $16 by going with CoverGirl you’re also saving time in your makeup routine as well.


Too Faced “Better Than Sex” ($23) vs. Rimmel “Scandaleyes” ($5.99)

If you drank a shot every time a beauty guru on YouTube used Too Faced “Better Than Sex” mascara–or maybe even every time that I mention it–you would die of alcohol poisoning. It’s that popular. Which is understandable considering the unique cushion brush and naughty name (people, sex sells)!

Even though the wand is unique compared to other higher end mascara, it doesn’t make it one of a kind. I was able to find a similar looking wand with Rimmel’s Scandaleyes mascara. The wand on the Too Faced mascara is much more dense than Rimmel’s. However, the end results are pretty much identical.

Rimmel Scandaleyes is not only a perfect dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, but it also won’t make you blush every time you say it.


Dior “Diorshow” ($28.50) vs. Neutrogena “Healthy Volume” ($6.79)

I like big wands and I can not lie! Seriously, I am a sucker for a mascara with a fat wand and tons of bristles, which both of these bad boys have. I find that bigger wands give the best volume with a minimum amount of clumps.

But why spend $29 when you can spend $7 and get the same results? Exactly.

So there you have it: just a few of my favorite mascara drugstore dupes. What are your favorites?


Shop These Affordable Drugstore Dupes Below:

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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