Selena Gomez's Mascara Is the Best I've Ever Tried—and It's Only $20

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I get compliments everywhere I go.

<p>Rare Beauty</p>

Rare Beauty

If I had to leave all but one beauty product behind, it would be mascara. My lips might chap, my skin would be dry and itchy, but at least my long, dark lashes would make it look like I didn’t stay up past 1 a.m. watching Netflix. I’ve tried a number of highly-rated mascaras, many of which promise to provide intense, oversized, multidimensional, sensational, luscious (insert many more positive adjectives here) lashes. And yet none have compared to Rare Beauty’s Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara—and at just $20 a bottle, it’s one of the least expensive tubes on the market.

I was introduced to the wonders of this mascara after staring longingly into the eyes of my hairstylist during a lengthy balayage coloring session. I noticed that her lashes were evenly curled, thick (but not clumpy), and long (but not spidery). She told me that it was all thanks to Rare Beauty’s mascara, the beauty brand founded by singer and actress Selena Gomez, and I instantly added it to my cart.

For starters, this mascara is formulated without parabens, vegan, cruelty-free, and dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested. But none of those features matter if the mascara doesn’t work. Fortunately, this one does. The brush has a slight hourglass shape that’s designed with a combination of long bristles, which create length, and short bristles, which build volume. It’s formulated with castor oil, which acts as a natural conditioner for your lashes, keeping them strong and soft. And while the mascara is easily buildable, I never need more than a few strokes per eye to create a pop. Another subtle detail that I love is the tube, which has a matte, light-pink finish that’s comfortable to hold.

What’s more, the Perfect Strokes mascara doesn’t flake or smudge. I’m able to walk around the city, getting windswept in below freezing temperatures, and still show up to my office or a restaurant without looking like a raccoon. Technically speaking, it’s water-resistant, though not waterproof. In reality, that means that I can dive into a pool or watch multiple military homecoming videos without thin, watery black streaks streaming down my face. But at the end of the night, I don’t have to work too hard to wash it off either.

Once upon a time, women were told that they should wear blue eyeliner or mascara to make their brown eyes pop, or copper hues to enhance their icy blue eyes. But in the year 2023, I’m more than happy to say goodbye to bold, colorful shades and stick to the one mascara color that everyone really wants—ultra-black. Rare Beauty knows it; its one and only mascara is intensely dark and makes my brown peepers pop perfectly.

While I live for strangers on the street asking me, “are those your real lashes?” (they are), the beauty of this mascara is that it can give you as natural or as dramatic of a look as you want. One swipe is just enough for daytime but a few more coats before going out at night certainly won’t hurt. And at just $20, I don’t have to worry about using it sparingly.

To shop: $20;

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