Tarte Cosmetics has 12 different mascaras. Why? No idea, but it sure makes it difficult to figure out which one is best for you! I’ve tried almost all of them to find the best tarte mascara so you can make the right choice! This post will help you figure out which Tarte Mascara suits your unique lash needs, as mascara can be a very individual preference. I will say Tarte mascaras are high performance mascaras that are free from many harmful ingredients. While you really can’t go wrong, I hope to help you find the BEST mascara your lashes will love! Read on for the answer to one of life’s most important questions: Which Tarte Mascara is the best?!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Learn more
Mascara is my absolute must – if I was stranded on a desert island and only had a few things to take with me – mascara would be here! As you’ve seen in my previous makeup tutorial posts – I like pretty bold lashes, and while I have good lashes to begin with – they need to be curled, lifted and thickened. I have tracked down the most effective mascara from Tarte all beautiful eyelash box reviews.
I’ve been using Tarte Mascara off and on for years. I’ve come to the bottom of the tube of most of the mascara products they offer. There are some that I really dislike, some that are good, and one that I adore. While Tarte Cosemetics, and their mascara in particular, could be a bit more natural for my tastes, their mascaras rating in the Environmental Working Group isn’t too bad, so I think Tarte is still a decent choice in the natural beauty world.
What makes a mascara the best?
Table of contents
I love a feathery false lash look, but not enough to get lash extensions. I expect my mascara to give me lash volume. I once heard that mascara was supposed to be like a push-up bra for your lashes. I would have to agree.
I also want an ultra black pigment. I have sensitive eyes so I need a formula that doesn’t irritate me. I don’t have brittle lashes, but I’m definitely looking for ingredients that condition my lashes rather than drying them out.
I am also looking for a sweat proof mascara but really don’t want a mascara that is difficult to remove. I tend to have raccoon eyes, so my mascara needs to be smudge-proof for 24 hours. It’s a tall order, so let’s see if at least one mascara fills the bill!
Are Tarte Mascaras Natural?
I originally wrote this post many years ago and only reviewed 3 mascaras – Lights, Camera Flashes (now discontinued), Lights Camera Lashes and Gifted. I liked them all, but the real winner was Gifted. I love Gifted because it makes my lashes look thick and fluttering instead of looking like spider legs. Gifted is an incredibly volumizing mascara. The problem with Gifted is that they’re one of Tarte’s only mascaras that contain propylene glycol. I draw the line with this ingredient. I need a more natural mascara for everyday use.
Propylene glycol is often derived from petroleum. The Environmental Working Group rates propylene glycol as “reasonable,” noting that it poses no cancer risk or developmental and reproductive toxicity. However, it does acknowledge an association with irritation and contact dermatitis, even at concentrations as low as 2 percent. There are worse ingredients to avoid, but my eyes are incredibly sensitive and I just won’t risk it when there are so many other alternatives.
Years later I decided to review all of Tarte’s new mascaras and was glad none of them contained propylene glycol. I decided it was time to update this post and ordered 5 new mascaras plus primer.
What is the BEST tarte mascara?
My natural lashes are not super thick, not dark and not very thick. They are also straight with very little curl. I tried each of these mascaras for a full week and didn’t use the foundation underneath unless I checked the foundation. I haven’t curled my lashes before either.
My second favorite Tarte mascara is Surfer Curl. Surfer Curl is a vegan mascara with semi-natural ingredients. I have very straight lashes and I found this mascara gave my lashes a nice shape without using a curler. It also gives me a thick lash look. As far as long lashes go, I haven’t noticed any lengthening benefits. It has an eyelash lifter wand that lifts and fans out the lashes. It’s perfect for everyday use and a good mascara if you have straight lashes. 4.1 out of 5 stars
I hate this mascara. Not sure if I got a dried up bottle or it’s not a great formula but it was difficult to apply and still didn’t give much length. I would say Big Ego made my lashes look weak and short. However, many, many reviewers rave about it. The hourglass wand gave me hope when I pulled it from the tube, but I found the mascara to be clumpy and ineffective. 4.3 starts with 5
This vegan mascara claims to be “a green smoothie for your lashes.” God knows I dig my daily green smoothie, so I was glad to see all the “green” ingredients. It has a blend of hemp, castor, coconut, kiwi, avocado and baobab as well as plant waxes and claims to nourish and condition your lashes. I’m not crazy about Lash Smoothie. I really needed to build thickness and length and it was time consuming. The end result was doable, but I’m looking for less effort, more drama. 4.3 start with 5
Lights, Camera Lashes is called 4 in 1 because it lengthens, curls, adds volume and conditions. It features a “360° magniLASH wand” for an instant lash lift with shorter bristles for volume and longer bristles for curl. Its luxurious formula makes this mascara a bang for your buck. You can wear this mascara for a day look and a night look. It’s definitely a buildable mascara, but 1 coat is a lot.
It also comes in a waterproof version which I haven’t tried but will definitely do if I ever need waterproofing. It’s my 2nd favourite. It makes my lashes look pretty long. It wears well and the brush is comfortable. 4.7 out of 5 stars
Gifted has always been my favorite but a compromise in terms of my natural beauty values. The image below is an older image, but you can see that Gifted gives the lashes a thick, fluttering look. It has a natural look that I love. It contains some nice natural ingredients like rice bran wax, carnauba wax, olive esters, provitamin B5 and even vitamin C. I just wish they would omit the propylene glycol. I have found this mascara to wear all day and the best way to add extra volume.
Without a doubt, Tarte Maneater Mascara is my new favorite. This volumizing mascara contains carnauba wax and definitely lives up to Tarte’s claim for thicker lashes and an overall dramatic look. Maneater gave my lashes a slightly feathery look as well as impressive volume without the propylene glycol. I didn’t have to keep adding layers and it took minimal time to apply. According to Maneater’s product reviews, many agree with me that this mascara is one of Tarte’s best products. A single application is sufficient for daily make-up. 4.7 out of 5 stars.
I also tried Tarte’s Opening Act Lash Primer. It also has the 360° magniLASH brush that helps create volume, lengthen, separate, curl and condition. I wonder if an eyelash primer is really necessary?
In my opinion, probably not. However, it’s really nice to be able to build thickness without worrying about the mess when the lid goes black. This primer is smooth and easy to apply and really gives my lashes a polished, thick look. If I wasn’t in a hurry most days, I’d probably use a primer daily for exactly that reason. I will say that the foundation is more natural than the mascara. In fact, on the EWG Skin Deep website, they rate Tarte’s foundation a 2 out of 8.
What I love about Tarte mascaras is that they all come in travel size options for $15 each. So it is possible to test the many Tarte mascaras and find out which is your personally best Tarte mascara! They are also great to take with you when you travel.
To answer What is the best tarte mascara?
The BEST mascara is Tarte’s Maneater Mascara.
I know there are more natural mascaras out there, but Tarte’s mascaras are free from parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances, and gluten, and they’re mid-range and easily accessible since you can find them at both Sephora and Ulta.
Also, according to Tarte, all mascaras are eye doctor-approved and safe and comfortable for contact lens wearers.
You may be interested in Tarte’s Quiz: Find the best mascara for your lashes.
More Natural Beauty Makeup Reviews