Not all celebrity beauty brands meet the hype, but everything I’ve tried so far from Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty has exceeded my expectations and perfectly matches the singer’s vibe: A more natural, effortless look on most days, but occasionally, she wants to build up a heavier face of makeup (hello red carpet!). I recently put one of the most popular products in the collection, Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, to the test (Selena designed it to be truly universal for every type of lash), and these are my thoughts.
The first thing I noticed is that the jet-black, vegan formula is buildable, so you can layer to your heart’s content, whether you want a more natural look or a bolder one. It’s infused with castor oil, too, which helps condition your lashes as you wear it, but it’s long-wearing and water-resistant at the same time. I can wear it all day without any bleeding or smearing on my eyelids or underneath my eyes, even when I’m sweating (mildly, not hot yoga).
I also love a big, fluffy brush—I’m not a huge fan of the spiky plastic ones—and this one delivers. Its curvy design contains a mix of long bristles that lengthen lashes and short bristles that build up volume. It does a really great job at separating my lashes, too, which is something I wouldn’t necessarily expect from this type of brush.
In an independent instrumental study of 120 people, 100 percent of users representing all lash types reported they had more length and volume; 95 percent had more lift; and 92 percent had more curl. In a different study on 58 people, 93 percent said the mascara separated and defined their lashes without clumping, and 92 percent said it created longer-looking lashes that last all day.
What It’s Free From:
How to Use It:
Apply to your lashes and build up with multiple coats for a more dramatic lash. One of my favorite tips for applying mascara is to wiggle the mascara wand at the base of my lashes before brushing it up through to the tips. It helps create a darker base on the lash line, and for those of you like me who don’t wear eyeliner daily, this helps fill in that root area for a more cohesive look.
What It Feels Like:
Lightweight, but it can clump a little if I apply too much without pausing every few coats for a second to let it dry a tiny bit. It’s also light enough that my lashes can hold a curl well if I use a lash curler.
What It Smells Like:
If you hold the brush up to your nose, there is a hint of a chemical smell (many other mascaras have it as well), but I don’t smell anything when it’s on my lashes.
The Bottom Line:
There’s also a mini version if you want to try it before committing to the full size, but in my opinion, it’s so good, you’ll wish you went straight for the big guy.
Price/Where to Buy:
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