Nordstrom shoppers say even "short, sparse lashes actually look gorgeous and full" with this buildable pick.
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My first time leaving the house with mascara after months of lockdown made me feel human again. My mandatory face mask kept the rest of my face covered, but my heavily coated lashes were free to float in the wind. I quickly realized my previous experiments with blush and lipstick wouldn’t work in this new mask-dominated society. No, 2020 would be all about mascara. 

Despite having a long list of mascaras I already adore—including my tried-and-true Buxom’s Volumizing Mascara, my clean favorite Honest Beauty Extreme Lash Mascara, and my waterproof go-to Blinc Amplified Mascara—I found myself scrolling through the mascara selection at Nordstrom, enviously eyeing the top-rated mascaras until I stumbled upon the Lancôme Hypnôse Buildable Volume Mascara ($28;

Maybe it was the world buildable in the product name or the more than 1,300 reviews, but I immediately wanted to know everything about this top-rated Nordstrom pick. A quick search revealed it was Kourtney Kardashian’s favorite mascara for 15 years—and has also been an item of envy for dupe hunters.

Despite the search, drugstore dupes haven’t managed to match the volumizing formula. That’s because the unique, soft-sculpt formula can build up to 6 times the volume on your natural lashes—and this serious drama won’t equate to flaking, smearing, or clumping. Instead, you’ll get a smudge-proof coat from root to tip that also conditions the follicle with vitamin B5. 

The buildable formula—available in brown, black, and deep black—is only half the appeal. The patented brush with over 1,000 bristles rounds out the equation with an easy-to-control design that lets you customize your look for a natural, everyday makeup or full-on glam. In fact, it’s the secret sauce for reviewers that say it’s “an amazing tool to add lift and layers without becoming caked on,” so that even “short, sparse lashes actually look gorgeous and full.”

Credit: Nordstrom

Reviewers also agree it’s the best “buildable mascara” on the market, with many calling it their “holy grail.” They say just one coat instantly creates a bit of va-va-voom, with additional coats adding the desired drama to replicate falsies. Plus, multiple reviewers confirm the darker formulas make their eyes really pop—and leads to tons of compliments. 

As we all consider what habits will change post-quarantine—more handwashing, less drink sharing—I know my daily makeup routine will also face a major change. Mascara will become my new lipstick with new varieties weaving in and out of my routine. First up: this top-rated, buildable pick.

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