For a very long time I’ve really only ever been a mascara girl. Other makeup products have come and gone, but because I think my eyes are my best feature (and my eyelashes are pretty blonde) I’ve always been one to make sure that I never went long without a coat of the black stuff to really make them pop.
Before we jump into the actual battle of the two mascaras in this post, I just want to draw attention to the fact that not all mascaras are created equal. (And the crowd all said, “DUH!”) For a long time I dismissed the idea of safer mascara – after all, it was only going on my lashes and not on my skin, so why should it matter?
Well, according to several studies eye makeup has the potential to deteriorate your vision, cause issues like conjunctivitis, and can contain cancer-causing ingredients, neurotoxins, and other goodies that are anything but good for you. This was a great and succinct article explaining some of the issues and which brands are created with harmful ingredients. This is a list of 10 toxic chemicals to avoid in eye makeup (coal tar anyone?). And this was just plain scary – 5 POUNDS of ingredients absorbed into our bodies every year from makeup alone? YEESH. I know if that’s what my body’s doing I only want to be using safe products!
Back to the battle royale of mascaras in today’s Better Beauty post. As we’ve covered, I love mascara. I need it to perform as it’s more often than not the only makeup I’m wearing. I want my lashes to look and feel amazing, and I want the products I use on them to be safe for me.
Here’s the story: one night I was scrolling Facebook (as one does) and came across a clearly tailored-to-me ad for Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions mascara. The video was intriguing, and long story short I went ahead and forked out the $24 (with free shipping on my first order) and figured it was all in the name of research. I didn’t look much into how safe the product actually was, but I really did (still do) like the idea of the company donating a product to help another woman thrive. I’m all for that, and so I figured I’d do my research while I waited.
Today I’m going to be comparing the Thrive Liquid Lash Extensions to my personal favorite Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara. First I’m going to be looking at the actual performance of each product, the pros and cons, and then talk for a minute about how safe they actually are. I promise to give y’all the most unbiased review possible, and while my favorite won’t shock anyone I also want to make sure we all see how I got to that conclusion.
THRIVE LIQUID LASH EXTENSIONS: PROS
- True one-coat coverage
- Striking black color
- Lengthens lashes really well
- Stays on all day
- Removes easily (although this is a weird one…details to come in a minute)
- A great applicator brush
THRIVE LIQUID LASH EXTENSIONS: CONS
- Safety is questionable
- Can get really clumpy really quickly
- Removal is a bit…weird…?
Overall I loved the color and the way this mascara immediately lengthened my lashes, however I felt like it was kind of a Monet (pretty from far away, but up close it’s a big mess). From far away my lashes looked long and luscious, but up close they were stuck together and just kind of clumpy. I tried several different methods of separating them, but every single one ended in their “Fiber Potion” flaking off and turning it into an even bigger mess. The product stayed on all day, even through workouts, without smudging, but when I went to take it off it just came off in these big clumps and strings. That’s not a deal breaker, but I just wasn’t a fan. So overall performance was just OK – certainly better than some self-proclaimed “safer” mascaras that I’ve tried, but it all ended up being more work than I really wanted.
BEAUTYCOUNTER VOLUMIZING MASCARA: PROS
- The safety and transparency in ingredients is unmatched
- Fuller looking lashes without clumping
- Easy to separate the lashes if needed
- Softer black color (i.e. a more natural lash)
- Easy to remove
- Stays on all day
BEAUTYCOUNTER VOLUMIZING MASCARA: CONS
- Although I’ve grown used to it, I don’t love the brush size or shape
- Some smudging after particularly sweaty workouts
- Not as much length as I’d like
I’ll ruin the ending here: when it comes to overall performance and safety I can get over having to add an extra coat to get the length and learn to use a brush I don’t love any day. Other than waterproof mascara it’s likely that almost any mascara would smudge a little after a hard workout or a long day, so that’s not a deal breaker either. And I like knowing that I can trust that a company is transparent, batch-testing for contaminants continuously, and can still meet the performance I’m expecting as well.
NOW LET’S TALK SAFETY
The Thrive Liquid Lash Extension Mascara is not yet on EWG’s Healthy Living App, so I ended up running every ingredient through the EWG website to get an idea of what ingredients could be questionable. From what I could tell the ingredients used were mostly clean; however, they don’t talk at all about how they source ingredients, how they test for contaminants (if at all), and phrases like “vegan” and “cruelty-free” are great, but I want to make sure that those phrases extend to the entire supply chain.
The Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara has many of the same ingredients, which means that overall safety of the two products is comparable. The key difference here is that Beautycounter has an unwavering dedication to complete transparency in the supply chain, tests every batch of product for contaminants, and had (in my opinion) a much better overall performance.
I realize I’m biased, but the reality is this: I was willing to try a new product outside of the company I work for to see if it really was better. While I enjoyed the performance of Thrive’s mascara to any other non-Beautycounter mascara I’ve tried, the reality is that it just didn’t match up to what I’d really hoped. The clumping and sticking together of my lashes without the ability to separate them won’t fly, and so while I’ll probably still keep it in my rotation (I mean, I paid for it after all!) it’ll mainly be my backup mascara.
My conclusion is this: finding a great, effective and clean mascara is hard to do, and the reality is that YOU are your own advocate. Don’t just take a company’s word for whether or not they’re safe – until laws are passed that guarantee safer products for all, we have to do our own research and then determine what we’re willing to use. I’m thankful for resources like EWG, the Healthy Living App, and the internet in general to really learn more about what we put on our bodies!
So tell me – what’s your go-to safer mascara? What do you love about it?