Mascara is the lazy girl’s beauty hero. If you don’t feel like wearing any other makeup, it is one of the few things that, when swiped on, can instantly wake up your face. It’s universally flattering and doesn’t require tricky shade matching or even a ton of complicated techniques or tools. And so having a good mascara is definitely clutch for anyone looking to up their beauty game.
The downside of mascara (besides, you know, smudging): “Mascara needs to be replaced every three months due to bacteria developing in the tube,” says Ramy Gafni, makeup and brow expert and creator of Ramy Cosmetics. It’s constantly in proximity to your eyes, and so if you’ve got gunk growing in your tube, you could be risking a gnarly eye infection. But there’s a silver lining to this quick expiration date, he says: “You can experiment with new formulas and brands until you find the one you love the most.”
If you need help narrowing down all of the options out there, here’s what five makeup artists recommend as their top mascara picks: