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The Great Mascara Quest of 2017

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My midget-y eyelashes.

The Great Mascara Quest of 2017

Former beauty editor alert! Since Paula’s Choice discontinued Fantastic Lash, I’m left sans go-to mascara, as I don’t care for their replacement. So the Great Mascara Quest of 2017 began, aided by Sephora’s Lashstash to Go box, which features five deluxe mascaras in black—and a voucher to come back and redeem for full size, and a free sample of Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara.

Below, in order of my favorites… I tried to take pics, but damn were they ugly. I’m trying to be less self-conscious but there’s only so far I’m willing to go posting weird pics of my eyeballz.


FAVE: Tarte – Lights. Camera. Lashes.
Allegedly: Tarte Lights, camera, lashes™ 4 in 1 mascara coats lashes to lengthen, curl, and volumize.
Reality: Easy application, cool brush, needed several coats to get any thickness but good lash separation. Very hardy, didn’t move at all during a sweaty flag football game. For an everyday mascara, this is my top pick.


Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara
Allegedly: A long-lasting, high-impact mascara, the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara in Black features a jumbo brush and a rich, carbon-black formula that intensely thickens, curls, and lifts lashes.
Reality: This is definitely a utility player; it’s a very close second to the Tarte for my favorite of this bunch.


Urban Decay’s Perversion Mascara
Allegedly: Urban Decay’s Perversion Mascara is an ultra-creamy, lengthening, and volumizing mascara for stand-out lashes.
Reality: This was my go-to mascara for a year or two, but it does tend to flake and/or smudge. Trying it again in the midst of these others, it still made my lashes look the best (biggest, boldest), but because it still flakes it’s staying in the third spot.


Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara
Allegedly: A waterproof, intensely black, volumizing mascara with an hourglass-shaped brush that separates, coats, and curls each lash to voluptuous perfection.
Reality: Waterproof is an overstatement, it didn’t hold up to an ocean dip after some sweaty volleyball (could anything? idk*). But it does have nice coverage for a casual athletic day where you want to pretend you aren’t wearing makeup but you need a little lash boost.
*actually, yes, something can: writing that reminded me to bust out my old Urban Decay Cannonball and damn if that mascara doesn’t hold up to sweaty volleyball and bodysurfing in the same day! As it should—UD founder Wende once told me she tested it while surfing and SUPing in Newport. $20 at


Buxom Mascara
Allegedly: The BUXOM® Lash Mascara features a clump-resistant formula that deepens, darkens, and thickens, while the curvy brush coats lashes from root to tip.
Reality: I don’t care for this mascara’s very fat brush, and my lashes definitely don’t feel shockingly thick or long. Still, it held up well to an average day at the office. Nothing special, topped it with UD’s Perversion for a night out.


Lancôme’s Hypnôse Drama Mascara
Allegedly: Lancôme’s Hypnôse Drama Mascara sweeps on fanned out, high-volume lashes.
Reality: Wet, wet, wet, this stuff got everywhere as I applied it. Ugh.


I’ll exchange my voucher for Tarte’s Lights. Camera. Lashes, $23, and I’ll remember to bring my Urban Decay Cannonball out of retirement for my waterproof summer fun needs.




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