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Beautycounter Mascara Review: Think Big All-in-One Mascara

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Beautycounter has been discontinued! Read about what happened to Beautycounter (and when it might come back) here. In the meantime, I have lots of great recommendations for Beautycounter product swaps linked in this post. Also, be sure to join my email list so you can be the first to know when your Beautycounter favorites come back.

I’m a bit of a mascara snob. I have tried dozens of brands, both drugstore and department store — Tarte, Dior, Lancome, Benefit, L’Oreal, Ilia, Honest, Two Faced, Dime Beauty, Maybelline, I could go on – but I never found one that I LOVED. And even though I love almost all of Beautycounter’s skincare and makeup, their mascaras have always been terrible. I like a dark, bold lash and it better not smudge. And the two previous mascara formulas from Beautycounter smudged like crazy and did not darken or thicken my lashes nearly enough for my taste. I’ll cut them some slack though…it’s hard to make a great mascara with clean ingredients. They say it’s like baking a cake without milk, eggs, or sugar. It’s doable, but it’s not going to be what you’re used to.

So, all that to say, I’ve always brand hopped. Most recently, I’ve been using Tarte Tartelette Mascara in combination with the Tarte Opening Act lash primer. I found that combo a few years ago, and I’ve stuck with it since then. So when Beautycounter said they were launching a new version, I was skeptical. But I’ve been SHOCKED by how good it is.

In this blog post, I’ll share all the details, some comparison photos between Beautycounter and Thrive Mascara, another popular clean mascara brand, and I’ll let you decide if you think it’s better!

Meet the Think Big All-in-One Mascara.

Here’s a quick before and after.

Beautycounter Mascara Review before and after

Beautycounter Mascara Review


Since your eyelids are super thin and prone to irritation, Beautycounter went to great lengths to make sure the Think Big Mascara contains safer ingredients AND looks great. Here’s what’s in in it (and what’s not).

Tripeptide technology: That is simply a blend of conditioners, including Biotinyl-tripeptide, to help care for your lashes so they appear longer, fuller, and stronger with continued use.

Panthenol (provitamin B5) nourishes and conditions lashes.

Rice bran, calendula, and carnauba waxes build volume with a weightless feel.

True black pigment gives lashes dramatically rich black color WITHOUT the use of carbon black. Beautycounter never uses carbon black since it’s a potential carcinogen and organ system toxin.


Gives me bold lashes without clumps

I find that getting a super bold lash often comes with clumping, and that’s one thing I really like about Thrive mascara. It made my lashes long and full without the clumps. But I actually think the Beautycounter mascara is better. Thrive was lengthening for sure, but now that I’m using Beautycounter’s mascara, I know the difference between bold and BOLD. Check out the two compared:

Thrive mascara vs Beautycounter

On the left (my right), I’m wearing the Thrive mascara (blue tube). On the right (my left and gold tube), is Beautycounter. Pretty insane, right?! I can see a stark difference between the impact of the two. And I’m not wearing a primer with either of them, which I typically do under the Thrive mascara.

Smooth and buildable application

I know moist may be a weird word to use when referring to mascara, but that’s the best way I know to describe it. When I pull it out of the tube, it feels really fresh, and when I apply it, it goes on super smooth. I don’t like when my mascara dries immediately after applying it, because it makes it hard to apply more coats (which I always do). The Beautycounter mascara is extremely buildable for this reason! Thrive was NOT buildable! The Beautycounter Think Big mascara is.

Here’s a photo of Hannah, my employee, using the Beautycounter mascara! SO full and long!

Think Big All-in-One Mascara results

Think Big All-in-One Mascara applicator

Easy to remove

Beautycounter tested it with all of their cleansers and makeup removers and all of them work for removal. I find that it comes off best with the Countertime Cleansing Oil, which is the cleanser I use daily. My employee, Hannah, uses a basic Clinique eye makeup remover and says that works perfectly as well. You could also use Beautycounter’s Eye-makeup Remover. 

Pro tip: If you shower at night, remove your eye make up after you shower! When I try to get all my eye makeup off before the shower, I ultimately always have a little left when I get out of the shower, and I use even more product to clean everything up again. If you shower first, you’ll get some of it off naturally with the water, and then you can use remover after the shower to finish.


Oil soluble formula smudges on me

Over the years I’ve learned that oil soluble makeup products smudge on me, no matter what. My eyelids are oilier than most apparently so eye makeup — even those labeled waterproof — don’t stay in place. And since the Beautycounter mascara is oil soluble, it does smudge on me. It’s not a Beautycounter issue, it’s just an issue I have with all oil soluble mascaras. That’s why I liked Thrive Mascara so much — it’s a water-soluble formula with tubes that encapulsate lashes and is removed with water, not oil. That prevented ANY smudging.

So, what I do with the Beautycounter mascara to prevent ANY smudging is I only apply it to my top lash. I typically do 3 coats. Then, I let it dry for about 60 seconds before applying one coat of the Thrive mascara to “seal” it into place. Then, I only use Thrive Mascara on my bottom lashes.

If you’re not used to using a primer or layering, it may feel like extra steps. But if you struggle with smudging with all mascaras, give it a try! Since I love how bold and full the Beautycounter mascara looks compared to Thrive, it’s worth it to me to take this extra step. It’s kind of like a reverse primer.

Bottom Line

I LOVE this mascara. And considering how many mascaras I’ve tried in order to find a mascara that I actually like, clean or not, that’s saying something.

Grab the Think Big All-in-One Mascara here!

Beautycounter Think Big Mascara Review
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