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L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara
Credit: Courtesy L'Oreal Paris

I couldn't even count how many different mascaras I've tried over the years if I tried, but one thing I have learned is that when deciding to try out a new formula, I'm more likely to place the bet if it isn't going to cost an arm and a leg. Mascaras can cost upwards of $40, and so on a trip to Sephora, I'm going to snatch a tried-and-true more often than choosing a gamble. At the drugstore, however, everything is fair game. 

The whole appeal of purchasing a drugstore mascara is that if you don't love it, you can try another one without feeling bound to finishing the whole tube; and luckily there are plenty of drugstore mascaras that perform just as well or better than the expensive tubes in fancy packaging elsewhere. Despite being a L'Oréal Lash Paradise fan for years now, I was surprised to hear enough rave rumblings about one of the brand's other lesser-known formulas to call for a try—and I'm happy I did. The first day I wore it, two different people complimented my lashes alone, which basically never happens. It's become my new go-to mascara to wear every day, and it only sets me back a whopping $9 on Amazon. 

We've all seen L'Oréal Telescopic Original Mascara on the shelves for a long time now, but apparently, it's garnered quite the cult following as the best lengthening mascara on the market. After trying for myself, I'd say it lives up to the hype. Straight up spidery. To me, it acts almost like extensions on the ends of the lashes, separating and lifting along the way, for a super awake but more natural look than when I slather on something more volume-oriented like Lash Paradise. (Though I still keep Lash Paradise in rotation for when I want extra oomph, like date night or an event.) 

All in all, if you're looking for your longest lashes sans any weird clumps or flaking, L'Oréal Telescopic Original Mascara is the easiest decision you'll make at the drugstore. (Shop it here: $10.99; amazon.com, ulta.com)

WATCH: 9 Foolproof Mascara Tricks Every Southern Woman Needs to Know

Now that you're set with a new favorite tube on a budget, it's time to learn how to use it. Hint: Remember to always wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.