good + cheap k-beauty mascaras

It’s no secret I’m a firm believer in Korean beauty. Despite my “k-beauty > everything” mentality, however, I’ve yet to completely replace a category in my makeup stash with purely Korean products… except for mascara. I don’t know what it is, but Korean mascara is just the one. They curl better, last longer, and seem to have have higher pigmentation than western versions.

Oh, and did I mention my faves are all under 10 bucks?

Go beyond saving your pennies and change your lash game forever with these incredible formulas from Seoul, suitable for literally any lash type:

nature republic — ultra mascara in “curling” ~$4-9

I’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth a second mention. This mascara is BOMB AS HELL. Aside from the fat brush that I love so much, the curling factor is out-of-this-world good. It holds all day, and has no qualms in the flakeage department.

Wipe the wand off for perfectly separated + dolly-like eyes or go straight from the tube for mega-glamourous + fluffy lashes (pictured).

There’s also a “volume” option which I’m dying to try, but I can’t imagine it being better than this version. Seriously, there’s nothing not to love about this mascara. Give it a shot and thank me later.

missha — the style 4d mascara ~$5

I’d call this my ideal “everyday” mascara. It’s not too intense, so it’s great for a look where you want less focus on the eyes. The dryer formula makes it perfect for my on-the-go days when I’m running late (every day…. literally every day….) and don’t want to be bothered doing my makeup on the train. Layering is super easy and doesn’t clump at all. It’s nice and subtle, with just enough color and curl.

Subtlety doesn’t mean it’s not effective, however; it  just works perfectly to darken my already-long, just-too-light lashes. It’s the perfect “ML(ashes)BB” effect.

innisfree — skinny microcara ~$8

Truly a skinny legend!


This wins the award for most misleading mascara wand. The ultra-thin shape of this wand may seem like it won’t do much, but oh, it most certainly does. At a baby 2.5mm diameter, this wand manages to grasp lashes I didn’t even know I had. I love, LOVE how this makes my lashes look for natural days + the extra ~oomph~ it gives them when I layer it over more dramatic mascaras.

This is super ideal for super sparse lashes, as the formula is crazy lightweight, yet manages to hold a curl + last all day.

Even if you don’t take these recs, always opt for cheap mascara. They’re usually just as good (if not better) than their designer + high end alternatives, and allow for makeup experimentation on even the strictest of budgets.

K-beauty or not — what’s your favorite mascara + why? Let me know!!



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