We all know that mascara is the backbone to a perfectly made-up eye, but most women will freely admit to being creatures of habit when it comes to beauty staples. But why stick to just one when there are so many potentially amazing products out there? If you're feeling adventurous (and you should be), read on for my pick of the best mascaras on the market.

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1.  Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $29, mecca.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

This one isn't for the faint-lash hearted! From the first stroke you reach an extreme level of volume and length. This is for the ladies who like a visible, false lash look with minimal separation. Probably the most dramatic mascara I've tried so far, its long-wearing formula means you'll need an oil-based eye remover to take it off.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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2.  Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara, $24.95, priceline.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

This has been my go-to for many years where others have failed. Its quick-drying formula means you can layer to your heart's content, and it has a 60:40 volumising to lengthening ratio, so it's a good all rounder. It's also great to layer under a super dramatic mascara for a false lash look. Long wearing, the formula won't transfer on lids either.

Rating: 4 out of 5

3.  M.A.C Haute & Naughty Lash, $42, maccosmetics.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

This is an amazing mascara - it covers both bases with two different wands - one for a sheer and natural look, the other for something much more dramatic. I adore layering this product - the pink handled wand separates the lashes brilliantly, giving them a small amount of length, while adding just a coat on the tips using the purple wand gives you extra volume and length. Tip: don't layer the dramatic wand too much, otherwise you'll be reaching for a lash comb to remove the excess. It's long wearing and non-transferring, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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4.  YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking, $55, myer.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

YSL mascaras all come infused with rose oil, which accounts for their heavenly smell - it also helps to explain their wet looking texture. This formula gives 70 per cent volume to 30 per cent length and remains quite silky and wet. Semi-long wearing, just like a Saint Laurent biker jacket, it's a dream to wear.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

5.  Lancôme Grandiose Mascara, $54, davidjones.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

The cleverly bent 'swan neck' wand that allows for a quicker, more angled application gets a big thumbs up from me. The texture is rather wet looking, which means it's not ideal for a layered application, but that doesn't matter when one sweep gives this much volume. As far as lengthening goes, you get 30 per cent lengthening to 70 per cent volume - the long-wearing formula offers a dramatic look.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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6.  Rimmel London Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara, $10, priceline.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

A fantastic budget beauty product, this mascara quickly gives you a bold lash that looks like you've had extensions. Very volumising, it offers 70 per cent volume and 30 per cent lengthening for a lash that stays quite silky and wet looking. If you crave a super-sized brush - you're in luck. The formulation may be long wearing but it glides off easily with most eye make-up removers.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

7.  M.A.C Extended Play Gigablack Lash, $33, maccosmetics.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

This is my natural and long wearing go-to mascara. Perfect for the gym, its formula lasts 16 hours and is smudge resistant - even after a 7km run! The tiny brush coats every single lash and separates and defines each one perfectly. I love defining my lashes with this and then adding a more dramatic mascara over the top. Extended Play has a drier texture than most mascaras, which allows you to quickly apply layers.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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8.  Tom Ford Extreme Mascara, $62, davidjones.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

A big name always comes with large shoes to fill, but this won't disappoint. Extreme Mascara lives up to its name, giving lashes a dramatic but very feathery look thanks to the powder-like particles in the formula. A happy medium between thickening and lengthening, I give it a 60:40 ratio of volume to length. Long wearing, but a cinch to remove.

Rating: 4 out of 5

9.  IT Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Primer, $55, available at Sephora

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

In case you were wondering - yes, a lash primer makes a huge difference to the look of your lashes! I'll admit, when I first pulled out the tiny wand from the tube, I was sceptical. But after applying a coat of this wonder product to your top and bottom lashes, I promise that your favourite mascara will look bigger and more elongated than ever before. It's also great used on its own for a sheer and separated look. Bonus: the formula contains lash building serum to boost lash growth while you wear it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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10.  Diorshow Maximizer Mascara Serum Base Lash, $48, myer.com.au

The mascara jungle: testing the best wands on the market

The latest addition to the iconic Diorshow range, this primer contains a serum that actively works to promote lash growth while you're wearing it. Don't be put off by the white looking liquid, the texture is very lightweight and invisible once mascara is applied over the top. The big brush gives extra volume as well as length, and once you see the results, you'll think twice about using plain old mascara alone.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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