This $23 Waterproof Mascara Is the Only Makeup I’ve Worn Since March

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tarte mascara review
  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetic: 16/20
  • Voluminous: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 88/100

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at doing my makeup. I heavily rely on YouTube tutorials and luck to create the most basic looks. While some steps are still a learning process (I don’t think I found my *exact* foundation yet, and am I contouring correctly?), there’s only been one product I know for certain I’m good at: mascara.

Before quarantine, I counted on my handy Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara to give me that “no makeup makeup look” without spending too much time in the morning or to finish an eye look for a night out. Every time I was shocked by how bold it made my lashes look. I’ve tried fake lashes a few times, but I was always left wondering why I even bothered when I could get the same look from this easy tube.

But—that was all pre-March 2020, and this is now. Since I’ve been spending most of my time indoors these days, I hadn’t worn any makeup. (Nope, not even a touch of concealer for Zoom calls.) But after having a “virtual makeup party” with a friend—I rediscovered my love for my favorite mascara. Just a swipe and my lashes were curled voluminous again. It was the oomph I’d been missing all quarantine.

After spending time marveling at my lashes in the mirror, I realized I didn’t have to wait to return back to work or schedule a brunch date with my friends to squeeze in a hint of glam into my beauty routine. A touch of mascara gave me a moment of normalcy again that I haven’t felt since I stashed away my makeup bag a few months ago.

tarte mascara review1
Chelsea Candelario

FYI, it’s really hard to miss how much it changes the look of your lashes. There’s definitely a height difference which gives me the light glam I want without feeling over-the-top like I sometimes feel when I wear falsies. It’s not too thick, which makes it a go-to for daily day wear. That’s the best part.

The second-best part is that it never gets cakey or stiff throughout the day. Thanks to the beeswax, carnauba wax and mineral mixture, I don’t have to worry about feeling like I have heavy makeup on (which I’m not ready to get back into). Whether I get caught in the rain, sweat through a workout or cry at the latest reuniting-family video (seriously, those vids get me every time), this mascara doesn’t budge.

One Sephora reviewer put the waterproof mascara to the test and marveled at the results, just like me: “I love this mascara. I have long lashes and it makes them look like falsies. It never ever clumps, even when it’s on its last leg. Even if I use another mascara for volume, I top it with this one for length every time!”

I’ll be honest, at first the packaging looks weird, but I realized it only makes it easier to spot in my bag. And given that I don’t even need to use an eyelash curler to get the perfect curve, this mascara is officially a staple in my routine again—quarantine or not.

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Chelsea Candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...
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