Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes. You and I Are Never Meant to Be…

What would be a perfect mascara for you? Since I have very sparse, short, and straight natural lashes, I need all the help I can get! When I heard Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes claim to be lengthening, curling, volumizing, and even conditioning, I thought it would be a very promising one to try!

The Tarte website claims the result this mascara promises is “clinically-proven.” “This is what we call a push-up bra for your lashes™ a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning) dermatologist tested mascara that gives dramatic, thick, sexy lashes and is clinically proven to increase lash volume by 424%.”

Isn’t that just amazing? I was SO excited when I received a brand new sample in a swap, and immediately put it to test.

I love the deep purple packaging, and the full-size packaging is even more glamorous. The brush, as you will be able to see in the close-up photo, is pretty regular. It is a bit on the “fat” side, but not curvy or spooly. I am totally fine with that though. Now let’s see some ACTION!

I’m sorry to report, my dear readers, that this mascara is not what it makes out to be.


1. It gives decent length.
2. It doesn’t smudge or flake, despite the fact that it is not marketed to be waterproof (however, do note I am testing this in minus god knows how many degrees weather. I don’t know yet what might happen when it gets warmer).
3. It separates my lashes very well, with minimum clumping. Also, my upper and lower lashes don’t stick to each other when I blink, which happens sometimes with waterproof mascaras.
4. It is very easy to remove, perhaps because the formula isn’t waterproof.


1. Sadly enough, the 424% of lash volume increase stays a marketing claim. I have definitely had better results with other mascaras.
2. The major turn-off, however, is the fact that it does NOT hold curls in my case. The link to the photo I am going to show you was taken right after application, and the curls were decent. However, after several hours, my lashes gradually succumbed to gravity and went back to their straight selves. Sexy lashes? I think not!

This is what I get with Lights, Camera, Lashes:

And this is what I get with my go-to Maybelline fatty tube.

I personally don’t think I see more length, volume, or curls with Lights, Camera, Lashes.

I have been too bummed out by the bad curl-holding capacity of this mascara to take a photo of my straight lashes at the end of the day. Perhaps I should, just so you can see the sad state my lashes end up in…

Bottom line: Sorry, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes, but you and I are never meant to be. At 18 dollars a pop and with all the wonderful claims you make, I really expect you to perform better. I wouldn’t recommend this to people who need a lot of help in the lash department, particularly if your lashes are not naturally curly. You might have to look somewhere else instead.

As with all the other products that don’t work for me, I would like to remind everybody who comes across this post that just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have heard people rave about this mascara, including the curl-holding aspect, so who knows? If you have the chance of trying it for yourself in Sephora you might be pleasantly surprised!

What do you think? Have you tried this one? What is your current go-to mascara?

PS: If you go to the picture of the back of the tube, you will see the international address of Tarte is located in Brussels. I am really tempted to drop by one day and figure out why we don’t have access to this brand at all here! Who’s with me? lol

Sunny xx

12 responses

  1. I feel your pain Sunny, I think a lot of asian women have the challenge to find a perfect mascara for their lashes. I always go for mascara’s with a dry texture because wet mascaras often weigh my lashes and my curl down.
    I also find that mascaras are very personal, everyone has a different opinion about it. I heard that asian mascaras are pretty awesome tho, maybe because they are specialised in our stick straight lashes?

    • Hey Teri! Yeah, waterproof mascara is usually the only kind of mascara that I use. Anything else is too wet (and risky. What if you cry/it rains?)!

      You’re right about mascaras being personal too! If you check Makeupalley, you’ll see that the majority of the mascaras don’t get more than a 3.8, while it’s a lot easier to get a 4.6 in other categories. I’m sure this works on some people, just not me! Now come to think of it I should get some Asian mascaras when I go back to Taiwan this summer. Maybe they’ll wow me, though I’m happy with Maybelline fatty tubes!

  2. I used this mascara for a little while when it came in a set that I ordered from QVC. I would never go purchase this mascara though. It’s not terrible, but it just doesn’t really do anything for me. I really like L’oreal Voluminous, Maybelline The Falsies (but NOT Black Drama, it’s too clumpy) and right now my favorite is Cover Girl Lash Blast. Get a waterproof mascara as those holds curls better. Another one I used a long time ago was Shiseido Lasting Lift was beautiful on my lashes and held a curl all day. Good luck finding a mascara 🙂

    • Hey Teenie! I like Maybelline the Falsies too. The fatty tubes are my go-to, though I’m always willing to try something else! I should try Cover Girl Lash Blast too, since I’ve heard many good things about it. Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. i like tarte products in general but i am very annoyed by the numbers they keep flaunting at us!
    (remember the 6000% moisture level increase claim of the LipSurgence??1)
    the name is quite mouthful, too. ugh -_-;

    i am sorry it didn’t work out for you. at least you didn’t pay for the full tube.
    i am sticking with the voluminous false fiber lashes wp for now, but a perfect mascara is another unicorn like perfect foundtaion, imo. 🙂

    • Hey Lena, I totally agree with you! The finishing powder claims to shrink your pores by this much percent, but I really don’t know how they got that number!

      I’m glad I didn’t pay for the whole tube too haha. Now I’ve GOT to try this voluminous one, since already TWO of you mentioned this now!

  4. I love the Estee Lauder double wear. The formula is not too wet and it lengthens well. Volumises a little, but every time I make an Estee Lauder purchase, the SA knows that I’d want the sample size of this mascara as a free gift. LOL!

  5. Hi Sunny, I have naturally curved lashes, but my problem is that every time I use mascara, it make me horrible dark circles under the eyes.
    I tried Estee lauder double wear, different lancome, etc.. and finally I bought The Falsies just because it was 50% off at Carrefour (supermarket)… And is the best mascara ever! It lasts and is easy to remove… I love it! I see I’m not the only one!
    Have you tried benefit “they’re real”? I’m curious about that one!

    • Hey Mara! I love the falsies too! I seriously think all the Maybelline fatty tubes I’ve tried work better than the high-end samples I have received. I have heard people rave about Benefit They’re Real, but since it is not marketed as waterproof I am a little skeptical (in my experience non-waterproof mascaras tend to be wet and drag my curls down).

  6. They made some pretty big claims lol its a shame they didn’t live up to them..sounded like it would be the perfect mascara.
    I like Lancome’s Definicils for it’s volume+length but find it doesn’t really hold a curl very well either. I really like Fiberwig mascara but it’s a bit hard to get a hold of especially instores, I also really like the fairydrops mascara! I think asian mascaras in general work really well with asian lashes 😛

    • Gah I know! I love Tarte, but it has this amazing way of advertising that I don’t get!

      I’ll really have to try some more Asian mascaras now! I actually have this tube of Fairydrops that has been sitting in my drawer for a while. Might as well take it out and test it out for you guys!

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