My Grandmother, Mother, and I All Use This $12 Thickening Mascara
Welcome to Game-Changers, a weekly series in which we reveal the holy grail beauty products we're loving now—the ones that saved our hair, cleared our skin, and, in some way, changed our lives.
There's a curse that runs in my family—thanks to my genetic lottery, my grandmother, aunts, and mother lose their eyelashes. Seriously, we all hit a certain age, and poof, the lash growth cycle comes to a screeching halt. They don't disappear altogether, but over time, the lash growth cycle shortens and results in stubbier and sparser lashes. However, because of this, we're quite adept at finding a good mascara—and there's one that's stood the test of time and has been used by my grandmother, my mother, and now, myself: Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara.
I first spotted the bold pink and green tube in the messy makeup drawers and bags of my mother and grandmother. I'd watch them do their makeup, applying first one coat then the next, until their previously sparse lashes were not only visible but appeared thicker and longer, too. I loved watching their transformations.
I was twelve years old when my mom started teaching me to do my makeup and introduce me to Great Lash. "Wiggle it at the bottom and push up," she told me. I've been hooked ever since. This mascara makes my lashes look good in a single swipe. After I've curled my lashes, I wiggle the brush at the lashline to deposit the product and then comb it through for thick, sky-high volume. They instantly look darker and fuller in just one go. Plus, I love that it has a clutch buildable formula—I love a dramatic lash.
Most mascaras will clump when you apply several layers, which I hate as they then stick my already sparse lashes together and form spikes, but Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara does not—I can apply up to four coats without ever seeing a clump or spike. Plus, the mascara never weighs my lashes down. Instead, it's able to help my lashes hold a curl all day which makes them look so much longer than they naturally are.
Everything about Great Lash's formula is perfect for my lashes, but there's also a design feature that works particularly well. At the moment, popular mascaras—such as the TikTok famous Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara—feature flared silicone brushes that simultaneously impart length and volume. All those products are great, but Great Lash's brush is shorter in length and features small, tightly packed bristles. The smaller brush allows me to be more precise in sparse areas and ensures I don't accidentally get mascara all over my lid.
When I'm ready to remove my mascara at the end of the day, I use a double cleanse method, and the product comes right off—no tugging or scrubbing required. After 15 years of consistently wearing makeup, this drugstore pick is still my favorite.