Your hunt for the best volumizing mascara is over.

Mascara preferences are very personal. If you love a certain type of volumizing or lengthening mascara, your best friend with identical lashes might hate it. That is why to find the best volumizing mascara reviews and product descriptions were cross-referenced to come up with the top two options you can find in both the drug store and the department store. If you are wondering why you would pay more at the department store, try the best drug store volumizing mascaras first to save yourself a few dollars.

Department Store Options

Based on reviews on various forums and sites, the best brand name volumizing mascara is the Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils. Laura Mercier’s Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara comes in right behind Yves Saint Laurent thanks to a lush clean formula that women love. These mascaras are available at their respective makeup counters inside department stores and at Sephora. You can also find these best brand name volumizing mascara options at a variety of online retailers.

Drug Store Options

Based on reviews and other user feedback the best drug store volumizing mascara is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes. This formula comes in various shades intended to highlight your natural eye color. A close second for best drug store volumizing mascara is the Volume Couture mascara by Max Factor. This mascara, like many drugstore makeup products, has several variations and each one gets good reviews, though the best feedback is on the plain Volume Couture in Rich Black. With both of these brands, reviewers note that the product is not brittle and does not flake off throughout the day.

Brush Versus Formula

Any mascara is only as good as the combination of its volume and its brush. With a great volume and a bad brush a mascara is just okay and vice versa. Much of what makes a good brush and formula is personal, so one person’s best mascara ever could be a terrible option for her best friend. When asking for recommendations on mascaras, ask what your friend likes about it and doesn’t like about it specifically. This way you can figure out if it might be your best volumizing mascara option based on her reactions and answers.

Application Tips that Boost Volume

To make the most of your volumizing mascara, make sure you start applying the mascara as close to the base of the lashes as possible. If you are afraid to get the brush too close to your eye, put the bristles of the brush where you normally would, then twist the brush backwards toward your eye about one-quarter of a turn. This way you will get closer to the base of the lash without having to place the brush there initially. Make sure you bump the mascara brush into the base of the lash and then wiggle it slightly back and forth to get a good coat of the mascara on the lash. If you apply this way you should only need one or two coats to give you a voluminous lash that didn’t take you half an hour to apply.