A lot of people say that there isn't a difference between mascaras. In general, I tend to agree as all mascaras do the same job, defining your lashes. However, if you are looking for a certain type of mascara, there are differences between drug store and high end. I think if you have normal eyes {not dry or irritated} a drugstore version will do fine, however if you have issues with your eyes, a high end option is probably the way you should go as they are formulated with a bit more care. I find that most mascaras, the higher pricetag offers a better look, texture, and longevity. While many would disagree, I only say this in how they apply to me. I have extremely irritated eyes, so products that don't dry out or flake are the best for me and so far the mascaras that prevent that are leaning more on the mid to higher end of the spectrum.

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Now, I have tried almost every mascara around but haven't found one that offers that BAM in your face look while still appearing natural {yeah, right who has real lashes to their eyebrows} and doesn't flake after 4 or 5 hours. Enter, Tarte's Lights, Camera, Flashes. I have always been a fan of great mascaras like Benefit's They're Real, Dior Show, and the Lancome Hypnose, but they all were just missing that one thing. In my opinion, Tarte's new mascara has all the benefits of the above mascaras without any of the drawbacks.

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Take your lashes to the extreme with this ultra-black mascara that lengthens, curls and magnifies for an intensified look proven to increase lash volume by 752% instantly!

Product Performance: Take your sultry, flashy lashes to the extreme with this amped up, ultra-black mascara that lengthens, curls and magnifies lashes for an intensified look proven to increase lash volume by 752% instantly! Powered by tarte’s proprietary triple black complex, this longwear, vitamin-infused formula emphasizes length and volume while conditioning lashes for a dramatic look that won’t dry out, flake or budge.

The custom-engineered, dual-molded brush boosts even the skinniest lashes for an exaggerated, voluminous look. First, the shorter, denser side of the brush delivers the optimal amount of mascara to volumize and coat each lash perfectly, then the longer, firmer side of the brush lengthens and separates for maximum volume without clumping.


Tarte literally know's their clients! The packaging of the mascara is absolutely stunning with it's gold, snake skin textured packaging. It's all smooth stitching, embossed lettering, and shiny goodness. Honestly, it feels amazing in your hands. It has a nice weight to it, definitely making you feel like it's more substantial! I find the packaging extremely attractive and when I see it, it just beckons to be touched. If you like having a product for your dressing table, this is definitely one that you should purchase. Not only does it work well, but it just looks amazing as it catches light.

tarte mascara
2. USE

One of the issues I've noticed with other reviews of this product is people complain about how to actually use the mascara due to the double sided brush. This is not, I repeat, NOT, a mascara for those who don't take their time when applying their makeup. With this mascara, there is a method for applying which is guaranteed to give you the desired result. However, if you don't follow the instructions, your eye makeup is going to go all wonky and you're going to have to start all over again.

Your first step when using this is to use the shorter, denser bristles for your first coat. This lengthens the lashes. Secondly, you will turn the wand and use the second side which has longer bristles that will max out the volume of your lashes. If you don't follow these instructions, the longer bristles are going to give you spider lashes and we all know that's not attractive.

tarte mascara

Now, I did purchase my mascara at Ulta. Mine came with the sides of the brush numbered so that you can tell which side is which. It's a bit difficult to tell without the numbers in my opinion. My mother bought hers at Sephora and hers was not numbered. So, if you bought yours and it's numberless... here are the sides for you. Holding the mascara in front of you with the back of the packing facing you, side #1 is on the left and side #2 is on the right. I would take a magic marker and just put a small mark to let you know which side is which.

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I personally love the brush. As I've stated above, a lot of people have a problem with the brush. I simply don't find it an issue and personally, I love it. With the larger handle that's textured, I find that there is amazing and precise control of the wand, allowing you to get every single lash without buildup, clumps, or mistakes.

The bristles are plastic, something that a lot of people don't like. I generally love non-plastic brushes, but there is no denying that the plastic bristles give you a better result. Now, I think if you are strictly going for a volumized look then a regular brush is great, but in the case of this mascara, I feel that the plastic brush does the trick.

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The length of the end of the brush is just right as well. For me, I can get all of my lashes in one swipe. I don't see the need to hit my lashes in sections like a lot of brushes. The brush really makes for a two swipe mascara. I would, however, recommend that you don't use side #2 on your lower lashes as the longer bristles can cause you to touch your skin with the bristles leading to racoon eyes {definitely not attractive}.

Another positive to the brush is that there isn't a lot of formula left on the end of the wand when you pull it out. I think that's absolutely amazing as I simply can't stand pulling a wand out and wiping the end of the wand with a tissue. It's just such a waste!


Removal: Many reviews say that this mascara is difficult to remove. I can see how that would be true if you are just used to using a bit of soap and water. Being a thicker formula that closely resembles a waterproof counterpart it can be more time consuming to remove but when using an eye makeup remover this shouldn't be an issue. I use the Skinn Olive and Enzyme cleanser as my base for removing makeup. It's a gentle cleanser which quickly breaks down eye makeup while still being gentle to the delicate skin around your eyes.

Staying Power: This mascara really holds it's own. Living in Florida it is constantly hot with high humidity. Temperatures like this can really affect your makeup usage, especially the eye area, causing smudging and at times drying out. I have found that this mascara can withstand 90+ degree temperatures as well as rain and sweat without moving an inch.

Smell: I've seen several people complain about the scent and to be honest, it was one of my concerns before purchasing. I am happy to say though that this mascara doesn't have any other scent except for mascara. LOL.

Lengthening and Volumizing: This mascara delivers on both fronts and it does it exceptionally well. If you're a fan of lengthening formulas such as Benefit's They're Real and the volumizing formula of Dior Show then you will be beyond pleased with this mascara. This mascara is literally falsies in a bottle.

Nasty Ingredients: The number one draw for me to this mascara was that it's gluten free as well as mineral oil free! To me this was wonderful and right up my alley. The mascara is also formulated without phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. If you have any irritations to these products, you might want to consider looking into this mascara.

Colour: This was another big one for me. I find that alot of mascaras aren't true black shades and I crave black lashes like nobody's business. This mascara is such an inky black that I just fell in love with it. As a bonus, when it dried, it stayed black and shiny. My lashes look nourished and rich, something that you don't see very often as most mascaras tend to dry to a chalky black or dull gray. So for me, this is a huge bonus.


Obviously mascara reviews vary based on your needs and preferences so what might work for you might not work that way for someone else. With that in mind, I can say this - If you take your time applying mascara then this will suit you beautifully but if you're looking for a quick application then this definitely isn't the mascara for you. If you like a lot of volume and length in your lashes then this is for you. If you aren't looking for your lashes to make a statement and just want a natural look, this isn't the product for you. But, if the above is what you're looking for then you will be quite pleased with this mascara!!

As always, thanks for reading and I will see you tomorrow! xoxo


  • arielle

    Written on July 17, 2014

    i have a sample of this mascara from sephora, but haven't tried it yet! glad to hear it's fairly waterproof though! arielle from a href="">tangled musingsa>

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