Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

Today’s post is my first review of the year! I’m going to share with you my thoughts on the mascara I’ve been using for the last month and a half: the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. For reference, I have sparse lashes that are naturally straight and are somewhat weak. They’re not particularly short, but I wouldn’t consider them long either. My ideal mascara is something that provides both lengthening and volume, holds a curl all day, and doesn’t clump my lashes together or make them look spidery.

I almost never buy high-end mascara as I think there are plenty of great choices at the drugstore. I’m not sure what got into me, but I bought this on a whim during the November Sephora VIB sale back in 2016, although I only opened it just this past December. The Lights, Camera, Action mascara retails for $30 at 7 mL and is sold at Sephora and on the Tarte website. The mascara is made in Italy (sleeve made in China, assembled in Taiwan) and is vegan, gluten free and cruelty free for those looking for those options. It is not waterproof, but Tarte does sell this in a waterproof version called Lights, Camera, Splashes.


The Claims

On the Sephora website, it says the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara is “considered a dramatic makeover for your lashes. This high-performance formula is proven to increase the appearance of lash volume by 330 percent—creating strikingly thick, sexy lashes.” Increasing lash volume by 330% is a bold claim!  The Sephora website also says that it is a ” lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning mascara”, which is where the “4-in-1” in its name comes from.

Additionally, the brand highlights four different ingredients in the formula that are supposed to be beneficial in terms of performance:

  • Rice Bran Wax: Helps lengthen lashes.
  • Carnauba wax: An emollient wax that ensures a smooth application.
  • ProVitamin B: Treats and thickens lashes.
  • Olive Esters: Condition, treat, and protect lashes.
How gorgeous is the packaging of the Lights, Camera, Lashes?
The Tarte mascara packaging, which is a black tube wrapped in a purple sleeve

The Packaging

This has a traditional mascara tube, but with a leather-like purple sleeve over it designed in a snakeskin print that fits the brand’s Amazon theme. It definitely makes the packaging more unique and stands out amongst all of the other traditional mascara tubes, as very few are housed in a sleeve like this.

The wand is quite traditional, especially these days when the more outlandish the wand shape, the more people want to try it. The shape of the wand is long and skinny, with no special curves or spikes. It is a medium size which I personally like for my own lashes, as I find with big brushes that it is harder to reach the roots and the lashes at the inner/outer corners of my eyes. The bristles don’t catch clumps of mascara, and so as a result it doesn’t leave clumps on the lashes.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Action wand

The Formula

This mascara has a very dry formula, which is what I usually prefer. However, it isn’t so dry that it can’t be built up. In fact, I felt that it one of the more buildable formulas I’ve used in a while, as my lashes tend to wilt if I try to apply more than one coat of mascara. The photo below shows two coats applied to my upper lashes, and as you can tell, my lashes haven’t drooped, clumped together, nor do they look spidery. If you are someone that applies more than two layers of mascara, this one probably won’t work well; after two layers, the mascara starts clumping together.

There haven’t been any problems with any flaking or smudging after a full day of wear (roughly 11 hours), and although my lashes don’t look exactly like they did freshly applied in the morning, it generally does a decent job holiding a curl. There also haven’t been any issues whatsoever removing it with an oil-based remover (I use the MAC Cleanse Off oil).

2 layers of the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara


Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax/oryza sativa (rice) bran cera, cyclopentasiloxane, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters, cera carnauba/copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cire de carnauba, alcohol denat., palmitic acid, stearic acid, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, triethanolamine, acacia senegal gum, panthenol, VP/VA copolymer, polyvinyl alcohol, aminomethyl propanediol, chlorphenesin, ascorbyl palmitate, phenoxyethanol, iron oxides (CI 77499). 



-Holds curl well
-Doesn’t smudge or flake under the eye
-Vegan and cruelty free
-Layers well
-Not difficult to remove


-Clumpy formula if you apply over 2 layers

Overall, I highly enjoyed this mascara. I won’t be repurchasing it soon, but I would definitely pick it up again if I was in the market for a high-end mascara. Not that we’re doing a mascara comparison today, but if we’re talking high-end mascaras, I prefer this one over the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, as this one doesn’t smudge and flake all over my under eye area and isn’t quite as dry.

Have you used this mascara, and if so, did it work for you? What’s the last high-end mascara you’ve used that you enjoyed?

16 thoughts on “Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

  1. Ha, my lashes do the same thing too if I apply too much mascara sometimes – they start wilting and the curl is barely there anymore, depending on the mascara! I like the look of the wand though as I expressed on IG 😛 I think the outcome is nice and natural. Won’t suit those who love dramatic lashes but good for everyday. I haven’t tried a high end mascara yet. Only samples here and there but not wowed by anything yet lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, our poor lashes are too weak to hold up the weight of mascara, LOL. Yes, the wand is great! Not a dramatic mascara (although this is as much volume as I can get out of a mascara – I’m sure if someone had more lashes than me they would be able to get more drama). It’s actually really tough to find a good high-end mascara! Most of them are just meh.


  2. This was my holy grail for so long! I still love it and I’ll always repurchase, I love that it’s 4 in 1. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir is my favorite right now, adds a bit more length and volume but still tartes is amazing ❤️


  3. I’ve been curious about this mascara for ages – I’m really drawn to that faux leather tube packaging for some odd reason! My favourite colour IS purple so that could be it.
    Good to know this performs as advertised! I personally prefer something more volumizing but I’m still willing to give this a whirl.
    The last high end mascara that wow’d me was the Buxom Lash Mascara – really good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is it because of the purple, or are you a snakeskin print FIEND? XD
      Ugh, this is pretty much the most volume I can get out of a mascara! There’s only so much a mascara can do for a gal when she only has like 10 lashes on each eye to begin with hahaha.
      Oooh, I haven’t heard much about the Buxom Lash Mascara. Might have to look into that!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve not tried many mascaras – I have Urban Decay’s new one, Troublemaker, on trial at the moment, but I also have that problem with heavy formulas. It seems to be anything that volumises, for me, as that usually involves thick coats and stuff. Not sure if this mascara is my cup of tea! This year, I’m determined to master my lashes! X


  5. […] I’m not a big fan of high end mascaras, but if you are to get a mascara during the sale, I would recommend this one. It gives my lashes decent volume, it separates and fans them all out, and it holds the curl well. Even more importantly, I love that it doesn’t smudge or flake under the eyes throughout the day, which is a problem I have with a lot of mascaras. I have a review of the Tarte mascara here. […]


  6. […] I rarely find mascaras that I really enjoy, but the Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes is in the Top 3 mascaras I’ve tried in the last year or two. bought this mascara on a whim last year, and didn’t get to using it again at the beginning of 2018. It’s been the best mascara I’ve used so far this year – great volume and length, with no flaking or smudging throughout the day. You can read my review here. […]


  7. […] This is an old photo because I don’t own this product anymore, but my favourite mascara discovery of the year was the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. I almost never go for high-end mascaras because I feel like drugstore mascaras can do just as well, but this one surprised me. No smudging, no flaking, and great volume and length – pretty much everything I look for in a mascara, this was able to do! My review is here. […]


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