Why do you need the best non-clumping mascara? The answer is easy. Mascara is a staple. A basic. A must. Trends come and go, but these facts remain the same. And today’s mascara trend is lashes that are bold, thick, and pumped with volume.
But the problem with volume and thickness is that they require a lot of product, and this can lead to ugly clumps. There’s a lot you can do to tweak your own usage and application techniques in order to cut down on the clumping.
And thankfully, anti-clumping tools and formulas are a thing, and there are a lot of them out there. So how do you choose the best non-clumping mascara?
Why Does Mascara Clump?
Why does mascara do that? There are a number of reasons — and plenty of manufacturers have come up with solutions, including non-clumping mascara formulas and special tools to help you coat each lash individually and separate them as you go.
But if you look at the reasons behind clumping, you’ll realize that there’s a lot you can do yourself to prevent the problem.
You’re laying it on too thick
One reason mascara may clump is that you’re applying it too thickly. Many of today’s looks call for a bold, stand-out appearance. And this means multiple coats of mascara.
If your mascara is clumping, it may be because you’re not waiting long enough between coats. Allowing each coat to dry thoroughly can help you to avoid ugly clumps. You can also apply mascara slowly, wiggling the brush as you pull it toward the ends of your lashes. This, too, helps to prevent clumps.
The brush is too thick
A thick brush picks up a lot of product. That, in turn, puts a lot of mascara on your lashes all at once. And that can cause clumps.
The best non-clumping mascara brands come with a fine brush, or even two brushes of varying thickness, to help you to spread your mascara evenly.
The mascara is old
That mascara you’ve had in your makeup bag for a year? That’s probably going to clump no matter what you do with it.
So if your usual techniques aren’t working, a geriatric bottle of product might be the problem.
How Is Non-Clumping Mascara Different?
A quick trip down the aisle will turn up lots of different kinds of mascaras. There are volumizing mascaras and conditioning ones. There are products to give you long lashes, and products that separate and define.
Non-clumping mascaras typically have two different features: a specific formula and a specially-shaped brush. The best non-clumping mascara will have both.
If you’re specifically trying to avoid clumps, then look for formulas that are marketed as “non-clumping.” Not all of them are, and it can make a difference.
Special brush shapes
A brush that is too thick, too wide, or picks up too much mascara at once can cause clumping. Different companies have come up with different brush shapes that address the problem.
What, you thought all mascara brushes were the same? Sacrilege!
The best non-clumping mascara brushes can have a variety of shapes including one or more of the following:
- A thin, fine design
- Staggered bristles that lift, separate, and define
- Two-sided design with bristles of different widths and lengths on either side
- An “hourglass” shape that curls and lifts
How We Reviewed
We looked at the two main features that make a non-clumping mascara stand out from the rest: a special brush and a non-clumping formula. Each of our favorites has at least one of these and most of them have both.
We also tried to choose mascaras that are widely available, because nothing’s more frustrating than figuring out exactly what you want to buy, then not being able to find it. We tried to choose products at a variety of price points as well.
Finally, only products with the highest consumer ratings made our list. Because if customers don’t like it, how can it be the best?
The Best Non-Clumping Mascara Brands on the Market Today
Savvy manufacturers know that a serious problem deserves a serious solution. To that end, there are a huge number of products on the market advertised as the best non-clumping mascara. But which are the real deal?
Here are our favorites, in no particular order.
The best non-clumping mascara for a tight budget
Beauty on a budget? You bet your BB cream! If you’re looking for a non-clumping mascara at a price you can afford, we’ve got ’em.
E.L.F. Smudge-Proof Mascara
There’s a lot to love about this powerful budget mascara. First, it’s formulated to minimize clumping. It also has a dual-ended brush. One end is thicker, and one end is very fine. If that’s not enough, the E.L.F. brand is cruelty-free and vegan. Finally, it’s widely available online and in most drug stores.
Right now, the company will include free shipping and a free gift with a $25 purchase. ($25 goes a long way on the E.L.F. web page, by the way.) You can find this mascara at the E.L.F. website.
Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara
Cover Girl has recently been certified cruelty-free, and we couldn’t be happier! Why? Because their clump crusher mascara could be the best non-clumping mascara out there.
Cover Girl is a trusted brand, and you can find it almost anywhere, in-store or online. This is a volumizing mascara with a special anti-clumping formula and a brush with tapered bristles that helps to lift and separate. It’s also hypoallergenic.
The Best Non-Clumping Mascara Brands in the Middle Range
If you’re looking for something a little more luxe, there are quite a few anti-clumping mascaras that are in a moderate price range, not costing too much or being too cheap. These are some of our favorites.
Zuzu Luxe Mascara
Zuzu Luxe Mascara from Gabriel Cosmetics has a lot to recommend it. According to Gabriel Cosmetics, their special formula volumizes, curls, and lengthens, while discouraging clumps.
In addition, it comes with a special anti-clumping brush. The brush design is thin with staggered nylon bristles to help you to avoid those nasty clumps. And, what’s that? Cruelty-free and vegan? Why yes, it is.
Vivienne Sabo Cabaret Premiere Artistic Volume Mascara
Whew! That’s a mouthful! But you’ll get an eyeful of bold, volumizing, clump-free beauty from this pretty little package. This mascara says that it will give you that plump, dramatic look with just a single coat.
The special formula is aimed at eliminating clumps while volumizing and conditioning. It has a thin, flexible brush, as well. And if that’s not enough, it’s not tested on animals, either.
Mosscara. Get it? One of the main ingredients is Iceland moss. While not specifically advertised as anti-clumping, this cruelty-free mascara made Stylecaster’s list of 8 Mascaras That Don’t Clump, Ever. And that’s good enough for us.
Aveda is a well-established brand of natural hair and beauty products, with stores around the world and online.
The best non-clumping mascara brands at a luxury price
Sometimes you just want to treat yourself. And luxury makeup is a great way to do just that. Here are some of our high-end favorites.
Skin2Spirit Natural Mineral Mascara
This anti-clumping mascara has all the buzzwords. Organic? You got it. Hypoallergenic? You bet. Cruelty-free? Vegan? And even gluten-free? Yes, yes, and yes.
It will cost you, but if you’re looking to spoil yourself, this might be the best anti-clumping mascara for you. Skin2Spirit’s mascara has an anti-clumping formula and a brush that’s aimed at lengthening and volumizing.
Mineral Mascara by EVXO
If you’re playing buzzword bingo, this one’s another winner. This anti-clumping mascara is specially formulated for sensitive eyes. It’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, preservative-free, and cruelty-free.
What does it have, then? Well, for one, it has a clump-reducing formulation. For another, it has a special spiral brush.
Ubame Mascara by Milk Makeup
This is another natural, vegan, cruelty-free formulation with special ingredients to lengthen and volumize without clumps.
The magic ingredient, here, is sapphire dust. Wow — not just minerals, but semi-precious minerals.
On top of that, it has a special triple-ball brush. Milk Makeup customers love it, giving it a solid 4 out of 5 stars on the company’s website.
So, Which Is the Best Non-Clumping Mascara Overall?
As you can see, there are a lot of truly excellent products out there. For our money, though, we’ll go with Cover Girl.
It has both a clump-busting formulation and a special applicator brush. It’s cruelty-free. And, most importantly, it’s both affordable and widely available both in-store and online.
Do you have a favorite anti-clump mascara that didn’t make this list? Tell us about it in the comments!