Consider the following scenario: You have less than a minute until the Uber (that’s already late) arrives. After snipping off the Net-a-Porter tags, throwing on that new Proenza midi dress and scraping hair back into a sleek, minimal low ponytail, you’re faced with a split 25-second decision: Apply , blush or a coat of black mascara? A quick poll around the Vogue offices reveals that the overwhelming answer is to save the lashes first (you can always pinch your cheeks while en route and stash a crimson red in your bag for post-dinner). And some of Hollywood’s best makeup artists couldn’t agree more.
While myriad formulas on the market promise to volumize, curl and define, only a few stealth products make the professional cut. Who better to trust for advice than experts who have tried them all, from drugstore to luxury and everything in between, and on famous lids belonging to the likes of Cara Delevingne and Charlize Theron? Here are six of the most reliable and long-lasting mascaras that celebrity pros continue to stock in their kits year-after-year. After all, those carryalls were made with rushed mornings and 14-hour days in mind.
“I like a product that creates full and fluttery lashes in just one coat,” says Adele’s makeup artist Michael Ashton. “My absolute go-to is Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Mascara; I love that it gives both volume and lift to the lashes, as well as a rich carbon-black color payoff.”
“I can build the wispiest, fullest lash with [these wands],” says pro artist Romy Soleimani, who counts Bella Hadid and Kate Hudson as clients. “I love to layer the MAC [with] Chanel Inimitable Mascara—they leave a smooth, clean finish and there are never any specks, flakey bits, or clumps.”
“I love this L’Oréal waterproof [mascara] because it’s one of the blackest mascaras on the market!” says Patrick Ta, who has worked with everyone from Kendall Jenner to Camila Alves. “The applicator really elevates your lashes to give that extra drama that everyone wants in their eyes.”
IT Cosmetics Tightline Waterproof Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer, $24
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Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara, $24
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Photo: Courtesy of ulta.com; Courtesy of sephora.com
“IT Cosmetics is my go-to for under-eye and inner lashes—when you want a no-mascara look,” says Pati Dubroff, who works with Margot Robbie and Dakota Johnson. “Also, Benefit’s mascara builds a really good fill and gives a long-lasting look. The ball at the end is great for building more product at the base.”
“Eyes to Kill is beautiful—it’s not too much, it’s just enough,” says the Kardashian family’s makeup artist, Mary Phillips. “Because sometimes it’s 7:00 a.m. and you aren’t looking for a full-blown lash after your workout, just an effect that’s way better than your own bare lashes.”
“I love how this Lancôme formula lengthens,” says makeup artist Joyce Bonelli, who works with Nicki Minaj, Khloe Kardashian, and Salma Hayek (to name a few). “The wand is great for pushing the lashes up for a curling effect, and it can take you from morning to evening!”