I’m a Beauty Editor, and I Didn’t Think I’d Love This $8 Clean Drugstore Mascara as Much as I Actually Do

I’ve been experimenting with makeup since I was in middle school (earlier, if you count my mom letting me wear her lipstick to run errands at Walmart circa nine years old). And while my looks graduated from thick, wet glitter sticks in seventh grade to the streamlined, natural approach I take now, the one thing that has been a constant—a non-negotiable, really—in my routine has always been mascara. (OK, the mascara I wore in middle school was technically clear, but my young self considered it a staple nonetheless.)

Fast-forward and I’m now a beauty editor. It all adds up. I’ve learned to take good care of my lashes and as a result, they stay healthy. You won’t find me scrubbing them loose with washcloths or wipes, I stick to oil-based removers and I treat them with castor oil regularly. I’ve also grown to be super conscious about the mascara I use on them, choosing cleaner formulas these days and being that much more careful about ingredients. It helps that in 2018 I switched to exclusively shopping cruelty-free, which sadly narrows down my options a whole lot.

All of this to say, when I got the opportunity to try the new COVERGIRL Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara, I was 1) completely thrilled that the brand has become Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free and 2) really stoked that there was a clean mascara option for less than ten bucks. If you dabble, you know that category is normally pretty expensive, so $8 feels like a huge steal.

no mascara
Cristina Gutierrez for PureWow

For a baseline, here’s me with no mascara. Just natural lashes with an accidental dusting of COVERGIRL Simply Ageless foundation on them (if you’re curious why I use anti-aging makeup even though I’m just 30, more on that here).

one coat covergirl lash blast clean mascara
Cristina Gutierrez for PureWow

And here’s me with just one coat of COVERGIRL Lash Blast Clean. As you can see, the tube is very minimalist in a soft seafoam green color that definitely drives home the “clean” angle they’re going for. The shape seems to be a nod to the original COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume Mascara—a chunky, easy to grip design that carries over well. The bristles are also the same flexible, grip-every-lash construction that you know and love from the original, but when you dip it into the mascara itself, that’s where things change.

This clean formula is free from parabens, sulfate, talc and mineral oil, and it’s infused with argan and marula oils to help condition lashes while you’re wearing it.

two coats covergirl lash blast clean mascara
Cristina Gutierrez for PureWow

Now here are my lashes with two coats (!!). As you can see, even with these cleaner changes, the mascara still gives tons of volume. Honestly, just one coat is probably enough for some people, but I love my lashes to have some height to them, so two coats was the winner for me.

Applying both wasn’t the messy affair you might think—the mascara went on smooth like butter and without any of the gloop a lot of other clean mascaras give you. The bristles really did grab each and every hair, especially after I wiggled the wand through them for good measure. It didn’t feel wet and heavy when I first put it on, and the second coat went on just as smoothly as the first. That’s when I truly saw the WA-BAM volume come through.

After wearing it around all day, including forgetting I had it on and rubbing my eyes at one point, I truly, honestly, seriously didn’t find any flakes under my eyes. No smudging, either—granted, I am trained to wipe the corners of my eyes periodically after years of wearing mascaras that did smudge. But my fingers came off clean each time.

To reiterate—I have been mascara obsessed for years, so I know a good one when I try it on. I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised by this mascara and I would urge you, clean newbie or pro, to give COVERGIRL Lash Blast Clean a shot. You won’t regret it.

purewow mark salmon

Director, Branded Content

Cristina Polchinski is a director of branded content at Gallery Media Group. She produces sponsored content campaigns across all verticals and platforms, in addition to...