I am absolutely obsessed with all things eyelashes. I’ve tried enhancing serums, heated curlers, and even had my lashes dyed and permed. Mascara is always the final step in my routine that seals in those long, curled lashes I worked so hard to achieve, but it can take forever to find my just-right formula. Some are too thick, some are too thin, and some are too expensive. But when a friend introduced me to her secret weapon for perfect lashes at a budget-friendly price, well, I had a Goldilocks-worthy “aha” moment.

Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara ($9) makes my lashes look like falsies. It’s so good that I’ve been loyally swiping it on for seven years. A girlfriend recommended it to me in college and swore that the biotin- and keratin-rich formula had boosted the length of her lashes after wearing it every day. I was convinced and scooped it up. After applying it for the first time, I was instantly hooked on how long, separated, inky, and curled it made my lashes — and it never, ever smudged (even in the ultra hot Phoenix heat where I was living at the time).

I love the look of my lashes with this mascara thanks, in large part, to the long, hard-bristled brush. It works much like a fine-toothed comb, allowing me to get close to the base of my lashes and really separate them out.

After I’ve fanned out my eyelashes, the long-wearing, super dark formula sets and locks in the lift I have from using my eyelash curler. It glides onto my lashes easily without clumping, but is still lightweight enough to bulk up after a second coat. Oh, and my friend was right — I swear, I noticed my lashes really did get a little longer and thicker after wearing for a few months. Now, several years later, I am still obsessed AF with this affordable drugstore gem.

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