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/ Source: TODAY
By Sarah Bracy Penn

What's the best mascara? Well, over the years, as a self-proclaimed beauty lover, I’ve learned that most mascaras don't deliver what they promise.

They claim, “Megawatt Volume!" They promise, “Length for Days!” Some even shout, “Our longest lasting formula yet!”

Oh, I beg to differ.

Whenever I purchase the latest department store formulas and promising drugstore finds, I excitedly swirl the wand around, pull it from the tube, listen to the satisfying first pop and coat my lashes in hopes of greater lengths, killer volume and perfectly separated strands.

Yet, a few hours after applying, I’m usually left with lifeless lashes and a mess of crumbly black bits smeared beneath my eyes. Sound familiar?

In truth, I’ve stayed away from most inexpensive mascaras for this very reason. I decided to just suck it up and shell out almost $30 per tube for a long-lasting formula.

Then, recently, a friend said she'd found the best mascara ever — L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara — and it cost only $7.

From the drugstore? No way, I thought. But, I tried it anyway.

After three days of wearing the product, I texted: “You were so right!”

World, I've been using it since December and it is seriously the best mascara.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara, $7, Amazon

Also available at Ulta and Target.

Many of my friends compare it to the highly regarded Better than Sex mascara by Too Faced, though I've found that formula smears easily. This L’Oreal formula boasts a smooth consistency that layers nicely. It promises to pump up the volume (and does), but it also lengthens and separates my lashes to create a fuller look that lasts all day.

One tube will last about a month before drying out. And, I’m all for a $7 beauty product that goes the distance!

If you're looking for something different, try a few of my other favorites!

Be sure to catch up on a few more of the best drugstore beauty products, too.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, $23, Sephora

Also available at Amazon and Ulta.

L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Lengthening Washable Mascara, $8, Amazon

Also available at Ulta and Target.

Maybelline Define-A-Lash Lengthening Mascara, $7, Amazon

Also available at Walmart and Target.

Dior Show Black Out Mascara, $24, Amazon

Also available at Macy's and Sephora.