Stories from Clean Beauty

This Drugstore Mascara Is the Next Best Thing to a Lash Lift

Jessie Van Amburg

Jessie Van AmburgMarch 25, 2020

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Photo: Getty/Oliver Rossi

If there’s one makeup item that I can’t fully live without, it’s mascara. It’s the easiest, most foolproof way for me to brighten up my face and look somewhat awake (take that, insomnia!) in just a few seconds with practically zero skill required. I’m so devoted to mascara that even though social distancing has me staying at home 24/7, I still put a few coats on my lashes every single day.

However, also thanks to social distancing, my beauty supplies have slowly been dwindling around the house. My normal tube is running dry, and I’m trying to save the waterproof tube I have for truly desperate times—not for any morbid reason, just because I hate waterproof formulas in general. So this morning, while digging around my makeup drawer, I found an unopened package of Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara and Lash Primer ($15) and decided to give it a flick.

honest beauty mascara review
Photo: Honest Beauty

Buy it: Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara and Lash Primer

Before I continue, there are two things I have to admit up front. One, I have always been skeptical of two-in-one beauty products ever since I was betrayed by an ex’s two-in-one shampoo and conditioner that turned my hair into straw. Two, I have never had much luck with natural or “clean” beauty mascaras—I usually wind up looking like a sad prom queen come 3 p.m.

After applying this mascara, however, each individual lash stood out on its own without looking spidery or fake. It looked like I was wearing the most tasteful false eyelashes—except these were my own. I have to give a lot of the credit to the primer, which comes out of the pink end of the mascara tube. You’re instructed to brush the primer through your lashes like you would mascara. I was a bit dismayed that it was white, not transparent, and left some small traces of residue behind. But that priming step helped coat and separate my lashes, making them ready for the mascara to swoop in and add some inky color and a massive amount of length to each individual hair.

As the day wore on, I didn’t get any mascara residue caught under my eyes, and my lashes looked as impressive at 10 p.m. before I washed my face as they did at 8:45 a.m. when I first put the mascara on. In other words, I vow to ever again will I give the side-eye to any natural beauty product before trying it. Because who knows, I might be in for another eye-opening surprise…

Looking for other lash-boosting options? Here’s what a lash lift is really like: 

Try these makeup artist-approved tricks to make your lashes look way longer. And here’s what you should know before getting eyelash extensions.

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