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As a beauty-product-hoarder, I often debate when to spend big and when to pinch pennies. For perfume and bronzer, I always splurge. But mascaras? Save all the way! Most of my favorites come straight from the drugstore.

For lashes that pop better than your favorite falsies, try my top three steals, and keep your cash for something more worthy — like shoes!

A two-step system, L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes ($9) fully coats and deposits color without any chance of flaking. Jojoba, palm oil, panthenol and glycerin work to soften and condition for serious lash pow.

To add instant drama, try CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara ($5.50). In a patented, volume-boosting formula, each coat maxes out lashes with smudge-free, foolproof application.

Just one coat of collagen-enriched Maybelline Volum' Express Colossal Washable Mascara ($8) plumps up lashes. The thick brush sweeps through to deliver full coverage without clumping.

To avoid the spider-lash look, use a metal lash comb (when mascara is still wet) to spread formula throughout. Curl before and after application, then dab on a touch of loose powder for added thickness.

Lindsay Leff is a beauty industry veteran who created Kiss and Wear to showcase her favorite products, dissect celebrity beauty looks, and teach others how to live with style.

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