April 25, 2013

a tale of two mascaras

Tarte versus Smashbox Mascara

Lately I’ve started to feel like Indiana Jones on a quest for the Holy Grail each time I’ve been out shopping for a green beauty mascara. I’ve become so cynical that when a sales girl tries to tell me that “no THIS one is the best one” my natural reaction is …


Right now my all-time favourite is Smashbox Full Exposure mascara because it creates a sexy false eyelash look. However, it’s only just paraben-free so being a girl who likes a beauty challenge I continued on in my quest. This time I tried Tarte’s gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara in black.

here’s what it claims to do:

  • deliver a 406% increase in lash volume and a flake-free longer wear
  • hydrate dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout.

here’s what it’s formulated without:

  • parabens, sulfates
  • synthetic fragrances & dyes
  • petrochemicals, phthalates
  • GMOs, triclosan

my review:

fan effect: my goal with any mascara is to create a ‘fan effect’ (when a product separates each eyelash) and out of the gates this mascara fell short. Not wanting to judge too quickly I applied it more carefully the next time as the brush has short bristles (in my experience this always causes issues). It seemed to do the trick, but I still had to distribute the product a bit with my finger to get rid of small clumps.

flaking: here’s where Tarte wins out over Smashbox. Once the product dries on your lashes it’s in it for the long run! I never put mascara on my bottom lashes for fear of flaking, but I have no qualms about that with this product.

lash volume: it definitely increased my lash volume, but hardly by 406%. Although I’m terrible at math so I’ll let the pic below speak for itself.

overall thoughts: I like this mascara, even though the application is high-maintenance. Is it my new all-time favourite? I’m not sure. With rms beauty developing a mascara and one on the market by ILIA Beauty there are still a few more I’d like to try before declaring a winner.

Tarte gifted amazonian clay smart mascara

  • Michaelle

    Hi Sonja!

    I’m new to your blog so I am just now reading older posts. I wanted to share and recommend my favorite clean mascara because I think its super fab! It’s a French brand called Coleur Caramel and it can be purchased on thenatureofbeauty.com! I prefer the cils long in black ( its sells out the most so I must not be alone!). It makes my lashes super soft and doesn’t clump or flake. I do have to wipe the wand off with the first several uses, but that was something I experienced even with conventional ones. It also has a very faint smell of roses but doesn’t linger and ever since I switched to it my lashes fall out way less and appear thicker and longer. The major negative of this mascara it that its hard to get bc its alwayssold out! Hope this was helpful!

    • Hi Michaelle!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment! I’ve never heard of this brand before, but definitely want to try it! Thanks for letting me know. Speaking of roses, have you tried Kjaer Weis’ mascara? It’s like you’re in a field of roses 🙂

      • Michaelle

        You totally read my mind! No, I haven’t actually tried Kjaer’s yet, but it’s on my wish list. As soon as I get close to the end of my Coleur tube, that’s my next one. I’m also curious about Ilia’s since all her other products are wonderful. So many products, so little time 😉

        • Both are must have/try brands! I’m so excited for you to experience these for the first time. Be sure to let me know what you the think! xo

  • Jimena

    I love these kinds of posts! Please continue to give us reviews on make-up products! Animated pics of Leo are always welcomed!

    • thanks for the feedback Jimena! Animated pics of Leo have been noted 😉

  • Alicia

    I laughed out loud at the Titanic GIF.

    I’m also on the hunt for a new mascara – let me know when the RMS one is out!

    • Marcelo Costa

      I LOLd as well! Came back later to rinse and repeat. I am LOLing as I type.

    • I will for sure! I’ll post it’s upcoming release date on my Facebook page

  • Margaret Ann

    Such a thorough, helpful review on the best mascara with detailed application tips!!

    • Glad you found it helpful!