PSA: I Tried That Viral Mascara You Keep Seeing On Instagram


I don’t know about you, but mascara is just one of those products that I’m unreasonably picky about. Like, I’ve used my favorite Glossier Lash Slick and Yves Saint Laurent The Curler for as long as I can remember, and I’m not exactly trying to branch out, thank you very much. It wasn’t until I saw that mascara video—you know the one, where a smiling blonde girl quickly coats her lashes in Thrive Causemetics mascara until they’re ridiculously long and fluffy—that I even considered adding a new formula to my tight lineup. But something about that video just stuck with me: I mean, how the hell does someone go from standard, meh lashes to a legit falsie-worthy length in a matter of seconds?

Needless to say, I was convinced enough to put my staples aside and give the $24 mascara in question a try. Keep reading for my v real, v honest review, including a couple before-and-after pics that are basically about to convert you.

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Does the Thrive mascara really work?

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara


With more than 5,300 five-star reviews on Thrive’s website, the Liquid Lash Extension Mascara is easily the brand’s most talked-about product (an unedited sampling of the comments section: “This mascara is AMAZING!!!! Seriously!!!” and “Love Love LOVE this mascara!!!” and “I never leave reviews but really felt they deserved it.” Convincing, right?).

So, what makes this mascara so special? According to the website, it “instantly creates a look of false lashes” that “won’t clump, break, or smear.” Tall claims, considering even my usual mascaras can leave flakes under my eyes. Still, the formula isn’t playing around: It’s filled with little fibers that stick to your lashes to temporarily bulk them up along with a dose of sodium hyaluronate to subtly plump and hydrate your lashes. All promising things on paper (website?), but what about on my eyes?

The application

I half expected the mascara wand to be super thick and coated, but surprisingly, the nylon brush was long and skinny with tiny bristles that were quite literally glistening. Which soon made sense, because when I swiped it on, my lashes felt wet—and a little stuck together—from how liquid-y the formula was. I had to separate the clumped bunches with my nails, but honestly, the application didn’t even matter, because once I got the hang of it, my lashes looked amazing: long, shiny, ultra black, and curled.

It was like the wetness of the product made my eyelashes so shiny, they were almost reflecting off the blueness of my eyes. And although the formula wasn’t really buildable (my eyelashes were already wet, so I couldn’t exactly get them more wet, you know?), two quick coats still made them look surprisingly long.

How it held up

Face, Eyebrow, Hair, Cheek, Lip, Skin, Nose, Chin, Forehead, Head,

On the left: My lashes loaded with the Thrive mascara. On the right: My bare lashes.

Maddie Howard

My eyelashes looked truly killer for the first few hours, but as the day wore on, they straight-up drooped. I kept pressing them upward in hopes that they’d regain their curl and volume (they didn’t), and by the end of the day, my lashes were stick-straight again.

To be fair, I never use an eyelash curler when I apply my mascara, so I’m not exactly helping myself. But still, my usual mascaras tend to make it through my full 18-hour schedule (including my sweaty-ass cycling class) without drooping or hard-core flaking, but by hour eight of my Thrive experiment, my under eyes were flecked with mascara bits. Ugh.

A major plus though? When it was time to take off my mascara at the end of the day, the formula dissolved super easily with my oil cleanser (which, for the record, is my favorite way to remove makeup—they’re way less likely to cause irritation and/or breakouts than wipes, especially when you follow up with a hydrating face wash).

The final verdict

Face, Lip, Eyebrow, Hair, Cheek, Skin, Nose, Eyelash, Head, Chin,

The final look, both eyes loaded up.

Maddie Howard

I gotta be honest: Despite my skepticism, I still had really high hopes based on that viral video, which is probably why I felt actual sadness when I didn’t fall in love with the mascara. Clearly, the formula does work for some people—just not me. I think it would be magical for anyone who has already-long, light lashes, since the inky-black formula will beef up their lashes without requiring a ton of product.

But for me, I like a buildable mascara, one that I can really layer on without worrying about flakes, and this one just didn’t check my boxes—at least, not after a few hours. Still, if you have light lashes, want a natural finish, and/or are only planning to wear this mascara for a night out, I really would recommend giving Thrive’s mascara a shot. You’re guaranteed to get a few good selfies out of it and, hey, maybe even fall in love with it like the other 5,300 people out there.

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