Not to Be Dramatic, but This New $5 Mascara Might Be My Favorite Ever

Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara Editor Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez
Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

Eye makeup has never been my strong suit. I have hooded, downturned eyes, and so I typically keep it minimal when it comes to products for that area. I'm especially picky when it comes to my mascara, so while I've tried plenty, there are only a few that I've actually become obsessed with and have added into my permanent rotation. I prefer mascaras that are lengthening, volumizing, budge- and smudge-proof, and easy to take off at the end of the day. Although that might sound like a tall order, it's not impossible.

One brand that always does right by me? Essence Makeup. I've had success testing its lineup of mascaras in the past, so when I had the opportunity to try Essence's latest innovation, the Call Me Queen Mascara ($5), I jumped at the chance.

Keep scrolling to read my full review of the new product, and find out why this affordable pick should be added to your "to buy" list immediately.

About the Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara

  • This is a volumizing and lengthening mascara the promises no clumps or flakes.
  • The bristle brush features an triangular shape to give lashes extra oomph.
  • It comes in one shade: black.
  • The formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.

What I Like About the Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara

Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara Editor Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

To start, this mascara overdelivers in the lengthening department. I've been using a lash growth serum for the last few months, but this formula takes my eyelashes to another level. Although the serum helps with length, it doesn't help with thickness, and this product is great for making my lashes look thicker than they actually are. I appreciate that the formula is buildable, so if I apply two layers — especially focusing on the outer corners — I can even fake the look of falsies.

I'm also a big fan of the shape of the wand. The handle is a little thicker than other mascaras on the market, which makes it easy to grasp, and the brush is almost a triangle shape — going from thick at the base to thin at the top — which is great because I like to focus more product on my outer lashes, and less product on the inner corner of my eyes.

Plus, at the end of the day or after a night out, I like that I never have to worry about flaking or product fallout. (There's nothing worse than visiting the bathroom during a date and realizing you have black mascara underneath your eyes, am I right?) But even though it doesn't smudge, it's still easy to remove at the end of the night using my regular gentle face wash. I don't need to use any special eye makeup removers, which makes everything a breeze before bed.

How to Use the Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara

Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara Editor Review
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

The brand recommends positioning the mascara brush at the base of your lashes, then wiggling the brush back and forth from the base to the tips. It suggests layering on as many coats as you want.

I always start by curling my lashes using a heated eyelash curler. (I don't actually own one that heats up on its own, but I like to use my blowdryer to get it hot.) Once I've curled my lashes, I take the mascara wand and start at the base, as instructed. I wiggle it moving up toward the tips on the first coat, but on the second coat I like to focus on just my outer lashes to create a fanned out, cat-eye effect. If I'm going for more of a no-makeup makeup look, I usually opt for one coat over all of my eyelashes evenly.

What to Consider Before Trying the Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara

If I'm being totally honest, there isn't a single thing I don't love about this mascara. I'm a fan of the formula, the packaging, and of course, the price. At $5, it's one of the most affordable mascaras I've tested, and it works just as well as some of the other luxury formulas out there.

If you've been searching for an affordable product that will get the job done, I can't recommend this one enough.

Where the Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara Is Available

The Essence Makeup Call Me Queen Mascara is available on the brand's website as well as Ulta.


Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for PS. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for the PS TikTok and Instagram accounts.