I feel like I’ve been on a never-ending quest for the holy grail of mascaras for the last fifteen years. There’s never one mascara that offers it all, but there are a huge number of worthwhile purchases that can at least tick a box or two when it comes to creating the perfect flutter; I’ve become a double-mascara addict, relying on the combination of two (and sometimes more) individual products to deliver the collective result I’m after. Some formulas are great at lengthening, others are great at volumising; some bottles contain the perfect primer, while some effortlessly separate for a super natural finish. These are the five mascaras that have earned their place within my collection and are definitely worth giving a go as we step from one year to the next: regardless of what kind of impact you’re after, there will undoubtedly be something to whet your appetite.

1. No7 Velvet Lash Mascara (£13.50)
I’ve already featured this soon-to-launch mascara in a post about a new trend in beauty for 2016 (hint: it’s all about velvety soft lashes!) but it’s worth featuring once again as a stand-alone launch. The premise of this is that lashes are boosted without being overloaded, providing a really natural finish. The formula glides on and builds incredibly easily, thanks to the
concave shaped brush that delivers enough product to lashes to make a
difference. Not only does this mascara offer a serious amount of volume,
length and definition, but again lashes are left feeling almost as soft
as they are in their natural state. It’s been one of my go-to mascaras over the last couple of months and I can see me replacing this as soon as it’s run out.

2. Mavala Eye-Lite Waterproof Eyelash Treatment Mascara (£9.25) 
Who knew nail care brand Mavala also had an expansive makeup collection on offer? I would never have looked twice at this if it hadn’t have been for an overly enthusiastic recommendation, but the results are surprisingly good. The slightly curved and full brush helps to layer and lift lashes, providing a voluminous result that’s not at all clumpy. Although the packaging is a bit naff, the silk enriched formula simultaneously conditions and protects your lashes by hydrating and nourishing for a healthier looking flutter over time. This isn’t only a good mascara, but a treatment too! A great all-rounder that’s incredibly affordable too.

3. Seventeen Long Lash Mascara (£6.49) 
Launching into stores today, this latest launch from the Boots-owned budget beauty brand features a specially designed mini brush that easily coats the lower lash line, corners of the eye and even the tiniest of lashes that other wands can’t touch. The result is lots of volume and a little length too; although this doesn’t provide a ‘false lash’ effect, it does make the most of your natural flutter and is a great daytime product for when you don’t want to overdo it. Seventeen are fab at creating affordable and effective mascaras: this is no exception. The long-wearing formula doesn’t flake or smudge either, but it is easy to remove at the end of the day. 

4. Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer (£18.50) 
Although I’m not a fan of the original They’re Real mascara (one of the most divisive makeup products I think I’ve ever come across,) I genuinely love this primer alternative. Worn alone, this gives lashes a natural look that just helps to enhance their colour and texture. However, when worn as a primer it boosts your mascara’s performance to provide you with a voluminous and rich lash line that’s not achievable without the first layer. I love the multi-functionality and the way it integrates into any routine with ease; it’s an additional product, but one that doesn’t require any further time investment. It’s minimal faff for a maximum result.

5. Diego Dalla Palma GoGo Mascara (£17.00) 
If you’re a beauty box addict then you may have stumbled across this brand in the last couple months; they’ve definitely been upping the ante and trying to get their name established amongst a sea of competitors. A rather understated tube hides a mascara that instantly provides more volume, taking promises back to basics. There’s no faff with this – if you want more volume, it’s great. If you’re after more length or a touch of curl, then this won’t deliver. It’s great at one thing and one thing only, but the result is very easy to achieve.

What have your favourite mascaras of the last twelve months been? Are you excited to try any of these five current favourites in 2016?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Alysha Paulsen
    January 1, 2016 / 12:36 pm

    I had the diego dalla palma one for Christmas and I cannot wait to try it out but I have so many mascaras that I do not want any to dry up to soon so I am waiting to try it but I think I will really like it. I am the same I have to use more than one mascara to get my desired effect.

  2. Sheila Reeves
    January 1, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Am always on the lookout for the "perfect" mascara, will definitely be trying the No 7 out soon – thanks for the reviews

  3. Samantha Brooks
    January 1, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    The Velvet Lash mascara sounds amazing! Definitley something I'll have to try this year.xSmall&Blonde

  4. Andrew BeautyandTheBoy
    January 1, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    I didnt even know there was a primer? wow if its better than they original then ill give it a go

  5. Jasmine Stewart
    January 1, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    I really like the Seventeen Long Lash mascara at the moment 🙂 I think I'll check out the No7 one next – sounds interesting xx Jasmine Talks Beauty

  6. Ally Dowsing-Reynolds
    January 2, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    I struggle to find mascaras that don't end up on the rest of my eyes by the afternoon…apart from waterproof ones

    • C Leiper
      January 5, 2016 / 3:21 am

      I too have the same problem with mascara, my favourite at the moment is the Kiko waterproof mascara, and my second favourite is the Max Factor Masterpiece waterproof x

  7. Becky Smith
    January 3, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    I think the most exciting mascara I've tried this year has been the They're Real tinted primer. I'm a very big fan of the original They're Real mascara and love the new primer version x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  8. sampan_27
    January 5, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    I have just bought the No7 new one, so I am looking forward to trying it out now! I have been using NARS Audacious mascara, as it makes my lashes look so great, and is easily removed! Happy New Year Hayley! Loving the new design! :)

  9. All Things Ash
    January 5, 2016 / 4:58 pm

    I've always loved 'They're Real' but found it expensive for everyday wear, I'll definitely give the 'Seventeen Long Lash Mascara' a try! 🙂 thanks. All Things Ash Louise x

  10. Fiona Abbey
    January 5, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    I love the They're Real primer and really want to try the No7 Velvet Lash mascara as it sounds great. I'm still in love with Rimmel's cucumber mascara – it's amazing. Fiona xx | Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

  11. serene sparkle
    January 7, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    they all look great…..:) xoxo

  12. Wendy Perez
    January 7, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I have several favorites as well! So you're not alone haha 😉 I live the Too Faced Better Than Sex for my top lashes on an everyday basis because it makes them look so fluffy. For my bottom lashes I love the L'Oreal Telescopic because the combination of the wet formula & the thin wand make my lashes look incredibly long. And lastly, I enjoy the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes when I'm going to be jumping in the pool :)Wendy |

  13. Zya and Daizy
    January 8, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    I really love Benefit makeup but never actually tried a mascara! *slaps hand* Definitely need to get my hands on some soon! Amazing post

  14. Angela Cruz
    January 8, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    I agree with your double-mascara standard, haha! I also read an article today about how 30 short strokes on your lashes give you that crazy-full, plush lash look.

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