I love wearing mascara. Without it, my eyelashes are nearly invisible. However, it takes a special kind of mascara to be able to withstand a full work day (and night out) on MY eyelashes. Between the all-day wear and the occasional watery eyes or perspiration from exercise, mascara has quite a task to undertake. I've tried some truly horrible mascaras up to this point; I've gone from one extreme to the other, trying the most expensive formulas and the most inexpensive kinds. While it is true, in regards to mascara, that you do get what you pay for, I have found a few exceptions to this rule (in the most unlikely place).
First of all, I usually only bother trying out waterproof mascaras, or anything dubbed "long wearing." It doesn't pay to try anything else, because it will just end up smearing under my eyelashes, making it look like I was crying all day (or got caught in the rain). With that said, about a year ago I found the perfect mascara for me: Clinique Lash Power Mascara - Long-Wearing Formula. It goes on quick and evenly, giving my lashes the perfect coat of darkness while also enhancing the length and volume. The best part: it stays on ALL. DAY. LONG. It has never budged from its proper place on my lashes until I take it off with eye-makeup remover (though it does take a little extra time to take it off, since it is so budge-proof). It really is amazing.
In the meantime, I've continued to test different mascaras to find at least one other brand/formula that wears as perfectly as my Clinique mascara - it's always nice to have a back-up. After lots of trials and just as many errors, I came across two mascaras (from Cover Girl, of all brands!). I was hesitant to even try them, since inexpensive mascaras haven't led to the best results. But, I opted for two waterproof formulas and decided to go for it. After a few days of testing them out, I came to the surprising result: they work! They're cheap, they're accessible, and they work!
The two mascaras I found:
Cover Girl Lash Blast Length Waterproof Mascara
Cover Girl Professional Remarkable Waterproof Mascara
Both formulas were smudge- and smear-proof. The Lash Blast mascara provided volume I could enhance with extra coats, or leave more naturally with one coat. The Professional mascara went on thicker, but not so thick that I had spider lashes. Most importantly: both made me very happy to not see dark circles around my eyes at the end of the day.
If you're in the market for inexpensive mascara, I highly recommend these. If you're looking to spend a little extra, the Clinique mascara is fantastic.