Beauty Chemistry: The Three-Layer Mascara


According to the general, mascara-cocktailing public, and to our Top Shelf interview with Charlotte Tilbury, the “perfect mascara” does not exist. Instead, there are lash paints that promise MEGA, murdery, and Better-Than-Sex results, but none that have come through for length, separation, volume, and drama. Luckily, Tilbury figured out the ideal combination of existing products to get you to every great eyelash adjective imaginable (that is, until her very own holy-grail mascara becomes available on US soil this fall). Without further ado, Charlotte's all-black triple threat mascara arsenal:

Base: Chanel Inimitable—its short, thick rubber bristles are best for separation and definition.

Middle: Maybelline Colossal—the giant, fluffy, tapered applicator comes through for immediate artificial growth in both length and width. You could stop there, or you could add a...

Top Coat: Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme—the long, dense mascara wand will take you into false-lash territory.


Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Teckie

    I swear I use a different mascara-layering combo every day. A good drugstore duo is L'Oreal Waterproof Voluminous mascara followed by Rimmel Lash Accelerator. Those work for me every time.

    • latenightmoviewall

      and a good lash curler helps too! I use 3 coats of Voluminous before and after the lash curler and get the most spectacular lashes. Even makeup artists have commented on how perfect they are :)

    • Daul Be

      Drugstore mascaras are the bomb!

  • Ashly Eyler

    Friggin' GORGEOUS look! Love your fluffy eyelashes! <3

  • conni boykins

    Oooh I love me some layered mascara. My current go to is L'Oreal telescopic and Maybelline falsies.

  • Dejana S

    I layer all the time, but Maybelline Colossal is seriously amazing I got the Lancôme hypnose and L'Oreal voluminous this time around because they are my old favorites and yet I find myself missing the colossal.

  • ThoughtsofGlam

    I used to layer mascaras for the longest time and then when I did my post on benefit's They're Real! mascara, I started using that alone and it has been working great for me.

    • tabimasen

      Me too! I was thinking as I read this: why don't they just use They're Real? I have never had to layer mascaras ever again!

  • Megan Tucker

    The company Younique has 3D Fiber Lash Mascara that gives tons of length and volume! It's naturally-based too! I am absolutely obsessed with their products!

  • Manu

    Babydoll does much better by itself...

  • the makeup squid

    This looks amazing! I have been loving Clump crusher and MUFE smokey extravagant.

    Laurie M.


  • andee

    My favorite for over a year since the geniuses at Shu Uemeura were dumb enough to f__k with their Mascara Basic: a coat of Shiseido Mascara Base to hold curl, separate and give a base to 2 coats of Chantecaille Faux Cils. On the bottom, the Shiseido base is great by itself: defines without schmutz.

  • Daul Be

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Layering mascaras. My fantastic four are:
    1. I ALWAYS Starts with a waterproof base because I find waterproof formula holds the curl best. My favorite at the moment is Maybelline the Falsies Volume Express in Black Drama.

    2. Lengthening: I like to use a mascara with tiny fibers. The Maybelline one already does the trick, but since my Asian lashes can't get enough, I add another layer of Tony Moly mascara. It's a Korean brand that you can get on Amazon or eBay.
    3. You can stop at step 2 but for me, it's go big or go home. One or two coats of Too Faced Better Than Sex is more than enough to get me eyes like Bambi.

  • Sara

    I can't believe you guys don't have her mascara in the's amazing!!

    • mamavalveeta03

      I can't believe it, either, Sara! I'm dying for Charlotte's Colour Chameleon pencils that are coordinated to showcase eye color.

  • Keeks1225

    Diorshow, then Givenchy Phemonen'Eyes. Best combo I've found yet.

  • Crzydiamond5

    Best two masacaras ever which create bombshell eyes are DiorBlackout and Chanels top selling mascara....GORG!!!!

  • CreeZy

    My combo is physicians formula organic wear lash booster (black tube) followed by Clinique lash power.. Omg perfect. I get the good ingredients and the volume from the PF and the lasting power and length from the Clinique.

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I love L'Oreal! I'm thinking of pairing Voluminous with Blinc!

  • Isabelle

    Japanese brand Fairydrops as base just fluffs and separates everything for me. It's amazing and looks hyper-realistic. Then you just swipe on Maybelline's The Falsies to make it extra dark.

  • Krisella Chua

    this is such an awesome idea!

  • Laura

    What about for curl? Really - other than waterproof mascaras, which mascara(s) hold a curl the best??

    • Danielle

      Lancome Defincils, Lancome Hypnose Drama or Urban Decay Supercurl mascara... they all hold curl really well. I typically layer Defincils under Urban Decay for extra drama and then once it's dry i will re-curl my lashes with my Shiseido eye lash curler and it holds all day long (I have super short straight lashes). Also Hypnose Drama is amazing on its own, but it dries out fast. It's my favorite of the 3. None of these are waterproof!

  • StyleAble

    I am far too focused on her eyebrows. #envy


CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara
Maybelline The Colossal
Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara