Need a Mascara That Doesn't Flake? We Asked Editors and Experts to Share Their 18 Faves

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Finding the right mascara can feel like winning the lottery. If it checks all the boxes in lengthening, thickening or defining your lashes, then you’ve found yourself a keeper. But even some of the best formulas are prone to flaking and clumping, so we asked a group of editors and experts to share their favorite non-flaking mascaras that won’t leave a trail of tiny specks on your face.

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The Best Non-Flaking Mascaras At a Glance

Meet the Experts

How We Chose the Best Non-Flaking Mascaras

We polled our editors, who were more than happy to share mascaras that don't flake, clump or dry out. We also tapped three makeup artists and asked for their tried-and-true recommendations that work well for their clientele. From there, we spent time researching each product's key ingredients, benefits (like lengthening, defining or curling lashes) and how they held up to their no flaking claims. Ahead, are the 18 best non-flaking mascaras, approved by editors and experts.

1. Glossier Lash Slick


As Glossier states, the lash slick mascara provides “extensions without the extensions.” It’s formulated with vegan biotin to condition lashes, polymers to boost shine and Japanese fiber technology to lengthen lashes without weighing them down. Plus, the tapered comb separates each hair, which reduces any chances of flaking later. “It doesn’t flake and it doesn’t clump. I’m a fan of natural-looking mascara that adds length without looking spidery and this one checks those boxes,” says Katherine Gillen, senior food editor at PureWow.

$20 At sephora

$20 at glossier

2. Covergirl Lashblast Waterproof Mascara


This mascara promises instant fullness—thanks to its large bristles that separates and defines your lashes. It’s designed with major volume in mind and one editor stands by it. “I love this mascara from Covergirl forever and always. It goes on with zero clumping, doesn’t flake and separates (and lengthens) my lashes like no other. Plus, it washes off with ease too!” says Rachel Gulmi, operations director of branded content at PureWow.

$13 at ulta

$13; $9 at amazon

3. Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Volumizing Mascara


Whether you’re looking for a mascara that lengthens, curls or adds volume to your lashes, this one by Rare Beauty has something for everyone. The formula features castor oil, which conditions and nourishes lashes so they don’t dry or clump up as the day wears on. It even turned one mascara skeptic into a fan. “My eyelashes are very sensitive, so I avoid using mascara altogether. But I decided to give Rare Beauty's a try since I've been loving all the brand's other products. The first thing I noticed was how long and voluminous it made my lashes without making them look clumpy—and it didn't dry them out,” raves Destinee Scott, assistant editor of sales and deals at PureWow.

$20 at sephora

$20 at kohl's

4. Chanel Le Volume Mascara


This luxury find delivers voluminous lashes that complement both simple and bold makeup looks. Featuring acadia gum and natural waxes like beeswax and carnauba, the formula curls and thickens lashes with each coat, while the bristles (a mix of long and short lengths) help to separate them so you get a flake-free finish. “While Benefit is my go-to for daily wear, the Chanel mascara has a traditional brush and a more flake-free formula that adds a decent amount of volume if you have the patience to add several coats to your lashes,” says Nicole Briese, former commerce editor at PureWow.

$40 at chanel

$40 at ulta

5. ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara


If you’re looking for a natural alternative, look no further than this mascara by Ilia. It’s formulated with a wax blend (aka beeswax and carnauba), shea butter and keratin to nourish, lift and enhance your natural lashes. “I'm obsessed with the Limitless Lash mascara! The brush makes all the difference when it comes to getting a clump-free application on both my top and bottom lashes. It has staying power, too. Huge fan here!” says Rachel Bowie, senior director of special projects at PureWow.

$28 at sephora

$28 at ilia

6. Hourglass Caution Extreme Lashes


This mascara doesn’t play around in the length department. The brand claims it can provide 400 percent more volume due to its wand design, which features 2-in-1 bristles that stretch your lashes with a single swipe. For Assistant Commerce Editor Natalie LaBarbera, it’s exactly what she’s been looking for in a mascara, “I’ve been searching for a go-to mascara for months now and I love that the Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash mascara doesn’t clump or smear beneath my eyes—even after a long day.”

$32 at sephora

$32 at ulta

7. About-Face Volumizing Mascara


Need help in the curling department? This all-in-one formula aims to lengthen and lift straight lashes to the sky. It's designed with an elongated brush to stretch and separate your top and bottom lashes. Plus, the clean formula features vitamin B5, coconut oil, castor oil and vitamin E, which moisturizes and conditions lashes. “It lengthens and lifts my lashes, while keeping the curl from my lash curler. The brush does a great job at keeping the lashes separated and not clumpy, plus the formula doesn't flake onto my cheeks or undereyes nor does it transfer to my upper lids,” shares Olivia Dubyak, commerce editor at PureWow.

$15 at ulta

$15 at about-face

8. Freck Beauty Lashrocket Mascara


If you’re looking for a daily mascara, this one should be on your radar. Infused with peptides (like panthenol and biotinoly tripepide), the formula aims to improve the health of your lashes while red clover strengthens them and promotes healthy hair growth. “I’ve been using this mascara for a few months now and I love it. It doesn’t flake or leave smudges around my eyes, and it makes my lashes look really long and lush with just one or two coats,” says Abby Hepworth, fashion editor at PureWow. “The only downside is that it’s not waterproof, but outside of wearing it when I’m working out or literally crying, I haven’t had any issues with flaking or smudging.”

$26 at sephora

$26 at thirteen lune

9. Clinique High Impact Mascara


One of the main causes of flaking is simply applying too many coats of mascara. Luckily, this pick is known for delivering results in one swipe. “I like that the spoolie is very narrow, so I can really get under the lashes without creating raccoon eyes,” says Jillian Quint, editor-in-chief of PureWow. The brand suggests starting at the base of your lashes and wiggling the wand to the tips to build volume and lift the hairs up.

$26 at sephora

$25; $14 at amazon

10. GXVE Beauty Lengthening Mascara


The formula (featuring castor oil, argan oil and vitamin B) helps strengthen, soften and thicken lashes. It’s also been known to last all day without the need for reapplication. “GXVE Beauty's mascara totally wakes my face up. I like that the rounded tip helps you reach those baby lashes in the corners of your eyes, and best of all, the mascara stays put [all day]. I've been burned by mascaras that send particles into my eyes halfway through the day, causing me to tear up in meetings and excusing myself to flush out my eyes. It’s the worst,” says Candace Davison, VP of editorial at PureWow.

$20 at sephora

$20 at kohl's

11. Vivienne Sabó Paris Cabaret Volume Mascara


Jump into the French beauty game and try out a fan-favorite formula. With over 17,000 5-star reviews, this mascara delivers on definition and volume. Although the wand is smaller and thinner than most others we've seen, reviewers say it helps with getting a precise application without creating clumps. It also gets a stamp of approval from one of our experts, “It’s made with a formula that guarantees flake-free lashes and it’s completely transfer-proof. Also, I like that this mascara isn’t too heavy, so you can easily use it to get a soft, natural look,” says Neziri.

$13 At Amazon

12. Sephora Collection Size Up Mascara


If you have thin or straight lashes, this Sephora favorite promises to beef them up. The key ingredient—cellulose microspheres—is a fiber that adds volume and shapes lashes after a few swipes. “It’s super affordable and offers the best of both worlds—volume and length—with no flakes. I also love that you can replace it regularly without breaking the bank,” says Dagdag.

$12 at sephora

$12 at kohl's

13. Tower28 MakeWaves Mascara


This Tower28 mascara is loved by reviewers and experts alike. The key ingredient, castor oil, helps to condition and strengthen lashes while the aquaflex technology (usually found in hair care products) work to define and lift every last hair. As Pagan shares, “It offers length and volume from the moment it’s applied and it’s easy to remove.”

$20 at sephora

14. IDUN Minerals Mascara Vatn Volume

IDUN Minerals

This Swedish brand only uses ingredients that are good for your skin. Formulated with shea butter and castor oil, this volumizing mascara helps to nourish lashes without causing any clumps or flakes. The creamy formula also makes it easy to remove with warm water after a full day of wear. "This mascara has truly become a mainstay in my daily routine. It has a solid and buildable tubing formula that stays put. It lasts me through many long days at work, going out with friends and even the occasional cry (though because tears are warm, it may flake a bit if you’re full-on sobbing). Also, even though it’s mainly used for volume, it’s great at separating the lashes for a more even spread and it dries quickly. I can’t speak more highly of another mascara," says Delia Curtis, assistant editor at PureWow.

$25 At IDUN Minerals

15. Grande Cosmetics GrandeDRAMA Intense Thickening Mascara


If you have thin, weak lashes, consider trying this Grande Cosmetic mascara. Infused with castor oil, the formula promises to strengthen and thicken lashes. It also has a natural wax blend (aka sunflower seed wax and rice bran wax) along with hemispherical powders to make it buildable without clumping up. "After years of searching for a new go-to mascara after my old fave went out of business, I finally tried this mascara and I'm obsessed. It makes my lashes so much longer and thicker and it stays on all day without flaking or rubbing under my eyes," says LaBarbera.

$25 At sephora

$25 at ulta

16. Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

Thrive Causemetics

This tubing mascara promises to create the look of lash extensions right at home. The water-resistant formula features flake-free technology and an orchid stem cell complex to nourish lashes while preventing any flakes or smudges. "I've tried a lot of tubing mascaras, but this one from Thrive Causmetics leads the pack. It makes my lashes super long and natural looking. As a bonus, a little water and quick wipe and the mascara slides right off the lashes without racooning," says Dubyak.

$25 At thrive causemetics

17. Sweed Beauty Cloud Mascara


This clean mascara is here to add more volume and length to your lashes. Designed with a unique wand and nourishing ingredients (like vitamin B5), its lightweight, flexible and flake-free. "This mascara surprised me! It goes on smooth and it's not clumpy. I don't have to worry about combing out bits through my eyelashes. It coats my lashes the way ink might glide from a pen. I would also say it offers great definition, [especially] if you have full lashes. If you don't, you'll need to add a few coats, but the formula still won't clog up!," says Marissa Wu, associate SEO editor at PureWow.

$30 at sweed beauty

$30 at free people

18. Caliray Come Hell or High Water Mascara


A tubing mascara is a great option to ensure no flakes at the end of the day and this editor recommends Caliray's. Its blend of argan oil, wax and the brand's tubing technology truly lengthens and conditions my lashes. I appreciate the unique wand, which helps define and separate my lashes. But my favorite part is how it lasts all day that even if I absentmindedly rub my eyes (we've all been there), it doesn't smudge in the slightest.

$24 at sephora

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Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.