Summer is the launchpad for new mascaras, and this season's crop is stretching the bounds of beauty to new lengths.
No doubt a reaction to the first FDA-approved lash growth drug that has been all the rage this past year -- Latisse -- many of the new mascaras like LashFood's Conditioning Drama Mascara and Anew's Transforming Lash Mascara and Serum blend emollient ingredients with traditional mascara for an application that leaves lashes both dramatized and healthier, which can lead to stronger growth and thickness.
Revlon's new Grow Luscious Mascara even rides the trend with its name, and a formulation that claims to enhance the natural growth cycle of lashes -- though it does not contain the active prescription ingredient of Latisse.
Meanwhile, luxury mascaras like Lancôme's Définicils Precious Cells Mascara and Clé de Peau Beauté's The Mascara combine high-end skincare ingredients like Swiss apple extract and argan tree oil to deeply condition and replenish lashes with every mascara application, much like a daily anti-aging skin care regime.
And dramatic formulas continue to launch in a market where consumers perpetually demand lusher, fuller, longer. Fiber extensions, cleverly designed brushes and even a pure dusting of crushed diamonds all mark the newest mascaras with results that border on false-lash land.
When wielding these heavier formulas, you'll want to use a couple special tricks to make sure your lashes don't turn into weighed-down spikes.
"When you take the mascara wand out of the base, you'll first want to wipe the tip of the wand that has the large clump of mascara on it before applying! That large clump is usually what makes mascara impossible to apply because it gets everywhere and is hard to manage once on your lashes and eye lids," says celebrity makeup artist Nicole Bryl of New York City.
To find an easy-to-apply formula that will give you minimal fuss, look for a heavy color pigment, creamy consistency and evenly spaced bristles, advises Yolanda Frederick, who is Ciara's personal makeup artist.
And if you want those impossibly full lashes you see on celebs, there's a Hollywood secret that goes beyond just popping on false lashes.
"After you apply your mascara and it's still wet, quickly take a baby toothbrush and go over what you have just done to eliminate any excess clumping and separate all of your lashes. This is a great way to feather each lash and have them looking perfect! Do this right after you finish one eye and then move on to repeat on the second eye so that the mascara is still semi-wet," advises Bryl.
From the dramatic to the growth enhancers, read on to find your hot new summer mascara fling.
For healthier and lusher lashes, LashFood's Conditioning Drama Mascara contains a nano-peptide technology that thoroughly coats and conditions while adding color and volume. A semi-waterproof finish and smaller brush allows you to reach those little lashes in need of some love. LashFood also sells their original lash conditioner that helped launch the brand, but we say -- why not double task and get your conditioner and mascara for the price of one? $27, www.lashfood.com
Hard Candy's 1000 Lashes incorporates fiber extensions into a volume-building formula that adheres to natural lashes for an extension-like affect. Priced at just $6, this lash definer is a cheaper steal than even most drugstore mascaras on the market today. And true to Hard Candy's playfully punk spirit, the mascara comes in a wide range of shades from 'Heart Throb Pink' to 'Divine Purple,' and of course, the classic 'Midnight Black.' $6, www.hardcandy.com
Lancôme's Définicils Precious Cells Mascara adds stem cell technology to the French brand's number-one selling cult favorite mascara. Swiss apple extract, madecassoside plant, lipids and peptides all combine to stimulate lash growth and provide natural conditioning. The formula is as ink-black as it gets, and volumizes more than the lengthening original, thanks to the clever placement of short bristles that alternate between longer ones. $29, www.lancome-usa.com
The next time someone asks, "Are those real?" they may actually be referring to lashes. Maybelline's The Falsies by Volum' Express features a spoon-shaped brush that cups and fans out lashes with pro-keratin fibers so that gaps will be filled in for a lusher looker. Look for the drugstore steal to debut in July, in both regular and waterproof shades. $7.77, www.maybelline.com
Made with genuine crushed diamond powder, Stila's limited edition Black Diamond Mascara takes lash luxury to a new level and is a part of the brand's new Dust to Diamonds makeup collection that was inspired by Stila owner Lynn Tilton. The mascara lengthens while the diamond powder adds a shimmering brilliance to the eyes. Available in two shades, the black is highlighted with silver sparkle, while the blue is a black formula accented with blue shimmer. $24, www.stilacosmetics.com
Anew's Lash Transforming Mascara and Serum creates a two-step process for first treating lashes with conditioner and then drenching them in color and volume. The patent-pending serum features an amino derivative and tri-peptide that improves fiber bonds to add strength and anchor lashes more firmly in the follicle. Wheat protein, creatine, vitamin E, keratin, vitamin B5 and green tea extract round out the duo's seriously deep-conditioning formula. $12, www.avon.com
Sometimes a girl just wants a good ol' fashioned volumizing mascara to layer up sky-high lashes. M.A.C.'s Opulash Mascara delivers the drama, with a large brush made to grab the lash at the root and fluidly coat the strand with beeswax-enhanced color for optimum density. The makeup artist-beloved brand even claims the application enhances curl and will endure for 15 hours straight. Available exclusively at Nordstroms. $14, www.nordstrom.com
L'Oréal's 24 Hour Lash Boosting System is a starter kit for the woman serious about treating her lashes with the latest conditioning technology. The Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum uses panthenol, keratin, ceramide and plant extracts to replenish lash health from the inside out, and can be applied as a base coat to the accompanying classic volumizing mascara as well as an overnight treatment by itself. $24, www.lorealparisusa.com
Adding a touch of color to lashes is a great way to have some fun and enhance your eye color at the same time. Physicians Formula's Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Mascara Duos feature a classic black with a touch of pearlescence on one side, and a luminously brightening shade on the other. The brand suggests that blue and green eyes pick the corresponding shade duo, while brown-eyed girls should go with purple and hazel eyes should pick pink. $10.95, www.physiciansformula.com
Luxury brand Clé de Peau Beauté is launching The Mascara, which combines high-end skincare ingredients with a buildable, dramatic mascara. Argan tree oil, hyaluronic acid, rosa roxburghii and green tea extracts all combine for one fancy, deeply conditioning formula that applies with a lustrous finish. A special round brush aides in a smoother and more exact application. $50, www.bergdorfgoodman.com
Almay attempts to cut down on the time-consuming multiple coats of mascara that many women sit through in order to achieve a dramatic look. One Coat Triple Effect Mascara deposits more color in a single run-through due to a lusher brush, and boasts a patented gel formula that conditions lashes with aloe and vitamin B. $8.19, www.drugstore.com
Rimmel London stakes the eyebrow-lifting claim that their new Max Volume Flash Mascara creates 14 times more volume. Enriched with collagen and keratin, the formula fattens lashes with a super-sized brush made of flexible hollow bristles. And good news for smudge-istas; the formula is a quick-set color that Rimmel claims will dry in ten seconds or less per coat. $7.19, www.rimmellondon.com
Napoleon Perdis' paraben-free and natural ingredient-focused brand, NP Set, is a Target store exclusive. New for spring, Glamorista Mascara is inspired by the Hollywood "It Girl," and blends a polymer-based volumizing formula with vitamins E, B5 and ginseng extract for intensive lash conditioning. $15, www.target.com
CoverGirl is delivering what women want -- everything -- with their first mascara that purports to both volumize and lengthen in the same formula. The brush is also CoverGirl's largest ever, with flexible bristles that coat lashes with a fiber-rich formula that aims to plump and maximize. We find that LashBlast Fusion's formula errs on the side of volumizing, though we did see a nicely moderate change in our length too. $8.99, www.covergirl.com
To amp up your favorite mascara, Jillian Dempsey for Avon Professional Lash Booster will launch a clear gel made with fibers that latch onto lashes for a more dramatic look this July. After applying a coat of mascara, the idea is to then apply the booster and finish with a second coat of mascara for a false lash-like look. Choose from black or brown, which means the gel is paired with fibers of either color so that they blend in with your mascara. $9.50, www.avon.com