Vanity + Wearables

Mascara, revisted.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara -

It’s been more than five years since my last mascara post, and in that time I’ve bounced from Ardency Inn’s Punker (which was discontinued, and since then the brand seems to have ceased to exist completely) to Cover Girl Lash Blast to various trial-size “gift with purchase” tubes from Sephora that have all been extremely meh.

I’m pretty sure I discovered Thrive Causemetics through a Facebook ad (?!?!), because algorithms know by now that my primary interests in life are plus-size bras, dog harnesses, natural deodorant, and vegan cosmetics. I’m amazed I actually clicked over to their site from the ad, so I must have seen some comments that were convincingly enthusiastic. Anyway, however it happened, I would up reading about their founder, their giving program (and questions about the legitimacy of their giving program—which seems to be heading in the right direction), and a whole bunch of reviews.

I ordered a couple of products to give them a shot: Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara and Buildable Blur CC Cream. Buildable Blur turned out to be a total bust for me (it felt greasy on my dry skin and separated into clumps as it dried), so I was out five bucks for their “return fee,” but the mascara? The mascara was another story.

Initially, I thought I hated it. Liquid Lash Extensions is a tubing mascara, which means it forms little water-resistant “tubes” around your lashes that are easy to remove with water when combined with pressure, but otherwise stay perfectly intact for many, many hours. I’ve had disappointing experiences with tubing mascaras in the past, so I wasn’t surprised when I thought Liquid Lash Extensions was going to be another let down.

Here’s the deal: It takes practice to nail the application technique. After curling your lashes (unless your lashes are naturally curly, you lucky mammal), apply ONE coat of Liquid Lash Extensions while slightly wiggling the wand as you move outward toward the tips of your lashes. You need to move quickly, because there’s a short drying time. If you try to apply a second coat or comb out the first, you’re going to wind up with clumps and flakes. It took me at least four applications to get it right, but once I did? Love! LOVE. My lashes look full, dark, and long, with that “house centipede doing jazz hands” way that I like so much.

It holds curl well, thanks to the aforementioned short drying time. There is ZERO transference to lids (upper or lower!) throughout the day, to the point that I no longer need to use any primer on my lids. Absolutely no flaking, either, unless you vigorously rub your eyes, and even then, I feel like it’s not THAT bad. And my allergies have been atrocious this spring, too. Speaking of which, while my constantly-watering left eye (damn you, juniper pollen) has meant that I can’t wear any mascara on my lower lashes for the time being, shedding a few tears doesn’t seem to disrupt this mascara. Now, if you cry and rub your eyes, it’s going to come off—because that’s basically the removal technique.

That removal technique is my favorite part about Liquid Lash Extensions. If you’ve ever worn tubing mascara before, you know the deal. You don’t need any makeup remover with tubing mascara. Just splash some warm water on your face, and with wet fingertips, “pinch” your lashes gently and slide off the tubes. I know this sounds weird, but it makes sense in practice! All of the mascara comes off cleanly and completely with ease, and then you get to satisfyingly rinse the tiny black tubes (which you’ll be terrified are your actual eyelashes the first time!) down the drain. It’s SO nice to not have to tug at your eyes with remover and a cotton pad! I did that for YEARS as a waterproof mascara devotee.

Any questions about Liquid Lash Extensions? Feel free to ask! Have you tried any other Thrive Causemetics products? Tell me about them! I’m curious what the rest of their line is like.

FYI: Thrive has a referral program, and if I understand correctly, using this link should give you a credit of $10 that you can use toward an order of $50 or more. That’s not going to help if you just want to order the mascara, but I figured I’d include it here in case you’re interested in trying out any of their other products at the same time.

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  • Reply Taste of France April 17, 2019 at 12:35 am

    The whole tube concept is fascinating. They aren’t going to be the new microbeads, are they? All natural? Do the tubes hold up in wet conditions–you get drenched in the rain, you are sweaty, you are in a pool? (I don’t put ON makeup to work out or swim but if I have some on I don’t take it off before running or swimming either.) Despite not wanting raccoon eyes, I don’t like waterproof mascara because it is impossible to remove, even with micellar water.
    Meanwhile, if you have any recommendations for plus-size workout bras…

    • Anna Dorfman April 17, 2019 at 7:06 am

      I’m not a wet-face-in-a-pool, drenched-face-in-the-rain kind of person, but I do accidentally sweat sometimes in the summer, so I’ll have to report back when it’s not still snowing in northern New Mexico. (You might want to read reviews from others on the Thrive website for this kind of feedback!)

      I’m dubious of the term “all-natural” when it comes to things like mascara, but Thrive is pretty transparent about their ingredients and are at least a vegan company. What that translates to in terms of the fibers that build up to create the “tubes” (which aren’t literally tubes, that’s just how these mascaras behave to coat the lashes), I do not know. Again, I’m afraid I’d have to defer to someone with knowledge about cosmetics ingredients on this one.

  • Reply Kate April 17, 2019 at 12:50 am

    I haven’t tried a tubing mascara before… so I am very intrigued! I would also love to know more about your natural deodorant experience. I am just starting to think about the switch and there are so many options.

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      I’m OVERWHELMED by the options, Kate! I have major indecision. I should do a post just to get feedback/reviews from people, because the deodorant market seems to be extremely oversaturated (ewwww…) at the moment.

  • Reply Daniela Di Iorio April 17, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Hi Anna,
    I ordered the mascara immediately after reading your post. I’ve been looking for a new one to get that long, dark, and full look you describe and have never tried tubing mascara before so I’m excited about it. Love that the products are vegan as well. Thank you for sharing this!
    – Daniela D

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Let me know how you like it, Daniela!

  • Reply Karen April 17, 2019 at 7:34 am

    The juniper situation is out of control this year! (I live in Los Alamos, so we’re seeing lots of snow still too, how is that fair?!) I’m on 3 antihistamines because of an eczema flare around my eyes…anyhow, I’m just getting back to wearing eye makeup. Due to the eye situation, I was thinking I’d never be able to do mascara, but maybe I’ll try the tubing stuff. Would you say you must curl your eyelashes with it? I’m terrible at curling. ‍♀️

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Karen, my lashes are super-straight, so if I don’t curl them I wind up looking really tired and my eyes look tiny. I’d rather not wear any mascara at all then wear mascara without curling first!

      And yeah, the juniper this year is SO! BAD! And it’s really not fair to be shoveling the sidewalk while suffering hay fever.

  • Reply Abbie Mobley April 17, 2019 at 7:51 am

    OOOH a new tubing mascara to try! I’m currently swapping between Trish McEvoy High Volume Tubular Mascara but it is $32 a tube and I’m not sure if it’s better than Loreal Beauty Tubes (not vegan, filthy ingredients). I like Blinc but again, each tube is expensive and dries out quickly. I’m going to try Thrive out!
    I agree, the application is nuanced and takes time. I think the heaviness of the tubes always undos my curl. Have you tried the southern pageant trick of giving your curler a short blast w/ a hairdryer? What curler are you using? I have long lashes but getting a lasting curl is so hard!

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      Blinc didn’t work for me! It took too long to dry, and in the process pulled all of the curl out of my lashes. I use a Kevyn Aucoin lash curler, but I also like Tweezerman. They’re both good for my eye shape. I think I did the hairdryer thing once in high school after reading about it in Seventeen magazine, and I’m prettttttty sure I burned myself in the process. For me, it’s really all about fast-drying mascara when it comes to keeping the curl.

    • natasha haine May 12, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Did thrive compare to trish McAvoy well? Was it worth changing? Thanks!

  • Reply Kristina April 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Hi Anna,
    Your mother here. Your lashes look so pretty! You may remember the mascara I’ve always used called Sensai 38º. It sounds very similar to Liquid Lash Extensions. The trick to removing mine is to use pretty hot water (at least 38 degrees). I use a washcloth with hot water and hold it against my lashes for a few seconds and then pull off the mascara with the washcloth. I avoid pressing the washcloth against my skin as the hot water may be too drying at my age. The mascara rinses right off of the wash cloth, but I still use a new one every day, just in case. So far, this is the only mascara that won’t end up under my eyes; waterproof mascara has a tendency to dissolve in my under eye moisturizer. Would you recommend that I try Liquid Lash Extensions? As you know, I also have sensitive eyes, especially my left one!

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Mommy, if you’re still happy with the Kanebo mascara, then just stick with it! The only advantage I can see for you with the Thrive mascara is that the water doesn’t need to be hot. I wash my face with lukewarm water, and it comes off just fine. Maybe that makes it a little less “durable” if there are sweat or tears involved during the day, but I haven’t had any issues with it flaking or transferring to my lids.

  • Reply Traci April 17, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    I love this mascara. I have very straight and long eyelashes. I don’t like any clumping and I am very particular about a clean look. After curling, a few coats of this does wonders.

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Traci, how are you managing to apply multiple coats? Do you apply a second one after the first is dry? That’s not working for me—I feel like I can really only do one quick coat or else I get clumps.

  • Reply Joann April 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I was using Punker mascara at your recommendation and quite liked it. I needed a new tube recently and, alas, found out it is defunct. So this post is coming right in time for me! I’ll give the Liquid Lash Extensions a try. Thanks!

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      I have NO idea what happened to Ardency Inn! They’re not replying to any comments on their social media anymore, either. It’s like they vanished without removing their content. So strange.

    • Catherine May 31, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      Another Ardency Inn Punker fan at your suggestion, and I just tried to reorder and realized they have gone out of business!?! So I’m trying Thrive at your suggestion, too.

  • Reply Aimee April 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    So discouraging, no brown!

    • Anna Dorfman April 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      I thought that was weird too, Aimee! I’ve only ever worn black mascara, but surely there are plenty of people who prefer brown?!??

  • Reply Julie April 28, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    I love tubing mascara! I currently use Blinc (which is cruelty-free and paraben-free) and they have a version that you can actually build up and apply more than one coat. I’ve tried it but don’t like it as much as the original. (Blinc comes in brown too for those who need it.) I’ll have to check these guys out.

    I honestly cannot wear regular mascara. Maybe it’s my monolids or my oily skin; I always end up looking like a raccoon.

    • Anna Dorfman April 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Julie, the Thrive mascara comes in brown now! 😀

  • Reply Marianne April 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    I stick my curler under hot water and then quickly dry off. Just enough heat to help set, but little chance of burning yourself!

  • Reply Marianne April 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’m not a fan of mascara for myself, but decided to try the gel brow liner! I get more impact doing up my blonde brows than I do with mascara on my short pale lashes. It only took me 40 years to realize this as a minimal make-up wearer! Also bought the cream blush stick.

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