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This $5 mascara with over 9,000 rave reviews lives up to the hype

I always come back to this affordable favorite.
Kayla Boyd / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

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As much as I love makeup, I don't exactly wake up every morning and put on a full face before starting my day. On days when I'm in a hurry, a little bit of mascara and lip balm can go a long way!

However, a good mascara can be hard to come by. Many of them just aren't as dramatic as I would like them to be. Plus, a lot of the highly-recommended makeup brands can be pretty pricey. That's why when I came across a $5 drugstore mascara with rave reviews, I had to try it.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara

The Essence Lash Princess mascara is a dark black color with a "false lash effect" and I have to say, it truly looks like I'm wearing fake eyelashes. At only $5 a tube, it's beyond worth the price.

It's not waterproof, but it does last really well throughout the day. It goes on wet and thick, so you may want to take your time applying it, but it's never given me any trouble once it's dry.

According to the Essence website, the conic fiber brush is what provides the lashes with "dramatic volume and sculpted length." I definitely noticed a difference!

My lashes before using the mascara (left) and after. Kayla Boyd / TODAY

In addition to giving me great length and volume, the product is also 100% cruelty-free and gluten-free, so they don't test on animals and everyone can wear it.

When we first wrote this article in January 2019, the mascara had over 1,400 reviews on Amazon with an average of four out of five stars. In July 2020, the number of verified reviews has skyrocketed to over 10,000.

"My lashes are so fair and thin that it's hard for me to find mascara that will give me such great volume," one verified reviewer wrote. "This mascara is so good!"

Another customer remarked about its application process.

"This has became my favorite mascara," one verified reviewer wrote. "It lasts & doesn't dry super fast so you can build it as much as you want."

Yet another verified reviewer raved about how the mascara is, "totally worth the hype."

If you're looking for a new mascara, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I have used tons of different mascaras, including luxury and high-end brands, but this mascara remains at the top of my list.

This story was originally published on Jan. 24, 2019.

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