Top Three Budget-Friendly Mascaras

Whether it’s my budget or the ease of being able to find products at my favorite grocery store, which, let’s be honest, I visit far more frequently than specialty beauty stores, I love having go-to items.

Especially, when it comes to mascara.

I’ve always had a go-to grocery store brand and have generally used my budget-friendly mascara finds more often than their fancier and pricier counterparts. While I do shop online frequently, I don’t always plan ahead but I do end up at places like Target A LOT where it’s easy to grab whatever I’m low on.

And these days, there are some seriously great cruelty-free mascaras without the sticker shock.

Here are my top three picks (all of which I have personally tried) and the BEST part is they are all vegan!


#1: Pacifica Beauty – Steller Gaze Length & Strength Mascara (PETA Certified)

        Price: $14

The brand makes several different types of mascara, all of which are vegan and infused with vitamin B and coconut oil. Additionally, they are formulated without carmine, phthalates, petroleum, or silicone.

Side Note:
Carmine is an animal-derived product used for coloring made from crushed beetles and does not have known negative health effects. The other three ingredients are potentially linked to negative issues from clogging pores to lung and reproductive problems to cancer.

The Steller Gaze Length & Strength Mascara is my favorite as it comes in brown and a lovely dark blue color that isn’t too bright or funky but adds a bit of fun to your look. Also if you happen to be blue-eyed, browns and blues help your eyes pop!

If you are looking for a traditional black mascara, the Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara is the jam.

Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara
Aquarian Gaze Long Lash Mineral Mascara


Available in-store at Target, Sprouts, Whole Foods and ULTA retailers.

Available online here: 
Pacifica Beauty




#2: e.l.f. Cosmetics –  Volume Plumping Mascara (PETA Certified)

Price: $3

Personally one of my favorites for daytime and work. It defines the lashes without overdoing it. I use it anytime I’m going for a more natural look.

And the price. I mean, seriously, the price!

And it’s vegan.

There is a waterproof version though I have used the regular one on a snowy day and had no runoff issues. No regular residue under my eyes either (one of my constant annoyances)!

Another good one from this brand is the Mineral Infused Black Mascara.

e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara
e.l.f Mineral Infused Mascara




Available in-store at Target.

Available online here:
e.l.f. Cosmetics


#3: Wet n’ Wild – MegaVolume Mascara (PETA Certified)

Price $2.99

It comes in very black and makes my lashes pop (the most out of all three, I would say) but doesn’t reach the fake lash super glam look.  It’s also my favorite for volume while the other two on the list are better for length and definition. The brand has a ton of options; a mascara for every need.

This mascara is vegan; however, not all Wet n’ Wild products are. They do provide a list on their website of what is and isn’t vegan which you can find here.

Also, the price!


Wet n’ Wild MegaVolume Mascara

Available in-store at Target and ULTA.

Available online here:
Wet n’ Wild