Thrive Causemetics Review: Mascara, CC Cream, and More

Collage of products from the beauty company Thrive Causemetics with the text thrive Causemetics Review written at the top

I did a quick Thrive Causemetics review of their mascara, but since then I have tried several products from Thrive Causemetics and wanted to share my thoughts.  For those unfamiliar with Thrive Causemetics (which is impressive because each time I open Facebook or Instagram I see an ad for the brand), it is a beauty brand that is vegan, cruelty-free, free of parabens and sulfates, and that gives back with every purchase. Also do know that at the time of writing this, Thrive Causemetics does not have an affiliate program.  I purchased all items with my own money and make no profit from writing this or you making any purchases from the brand.

I had seen all the ads for Thrive Causemetics, but the reason I finally tried the brand was because of you WO2 readers.  So many of you asked about the brand or raved about their products I HAD to try it!  I started with their mascara, Liquid Lash Extensions.  Because I liked it so much, I have ordered several other products. 

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

A few years ago I started noticing that no matter what I did, my mascara would smudge under my eyes.  I was complaining about this in the bathroom at a concert and another woman said it's because as we age we lose fullness under our eyes which affects how our lashes lie, causing the smudging.  I found waterproof mascara took care of it, but waterproof mascara was causing my lashes to get brittle and occasionally break.  Doing research, I learned about tubing mascara and tried several brands.  The one I found to give me the best length, volume, and impact was Thrive Causemetics.

Two images of Alison with mascara on one eye and not the other.

If you read my review and bought a tube and didn't like it… you're not alone.  The mascara is thick, and your first couple of uses may make you look like Tammy Faye.  Try wiping the wand a bit before application.  After a few uses, maybe due to air getting into the tube, the product becomes utterly amazing.  Seriously, my lashes get compliments from strangers this stuff is so good.  No smudging, no flaking, no brittle lashes.  Thrive Causemetics mascara is amazing… until it's not.

After 6-9 weeks, the mascara stops being amazing and becomes ordinary.  And then it becomes clumpy and flaky and gross.  And it happens so gradually you wonder if that month of awesomeness was a fluke.  But it's not.  Last week I got my second tube of Liquid Lash Extensions and I am back to having fabulous lashes that are garnering compliments from strangers!

Thrive Causemetics Buildable Blur CC Cream SPF 35

When I ran out of my current foundation, I decided to try Thrive Causemetics. Lower price, higher SPF, and far more ethical sounded like a much better option.  I ordered guessing the color I needed and I chose one far too pale.  No worries, I went to the site to start an exchange, was able to return the wrong color for free and received the correct color before they even received my return! 

This is not a tinted moisturizer, it's thicker, a consistency like a thick foundation but not quite as opaque. One light pump is enough for my face; I pump it on the back of my hand, tap my finger into it and tap dots all over my face, and then blend with a synthetic brush. If I desire more coverage, I'll apply to those areas with my fingers or a Beauty Blender.  One light pump gives coverage while still letting your skin show through.  Add more, it won't get cakey, it will just provide a more opaque finish. 

Image is of two photos. On the left is Alison Gary bare faced looking directly into the camera. Second photo is also of Alison but with Thrive Causemetics CC cream applied to her skin, no other makeup.

I have pretty normal skin; it can be dry on the cheeks and along the jaw and get oily in the t-zone. I find the Thrive Causemetics CC Cream is a good match for my skin, not getting flaky or slipping away.  It seems to sit on the skin better than a lot of foundations; it doesn't emphasize my pores nor does it disappear over the day.  I do set it with a small brush and Fenty powder under the eyes to prevent creasing, and around and on the nose to keep it from slipping away or looking greasy.

The packaging is a tube with a pump and an opaque silver lid.  Sturdy, the cap stays in place when shoved at the bottom of your bag, the tube is strong. They have 18 shades to choose from – not bad considering the formulas are meant to adjust with your skin tone and they do have a range from light to dark shades, cool to warm tones. I like this product, but I am not obsessed like I am with the mascara.  I may repurchase when it runs out, but that's only if something new and shiny or well-rated by someone I respect doesn't show up beforehand. 

Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener

I'm not fully on the highlighter train.  I don't want the tip of my nose to glow like Rudolph (or Ariana) and I think it can make my over-40 skin look older. I do occasionally use this highlighter a bit on cheeks under my foundation and swear by this blurring/tinted moisturizer/luminizer but that's it.  So the Brilliant Eye Brightener didn't appeal to me until my friend Tammy said she loves it.  And there are so many reviews from women over 40 stating it was a gamechanger. So my next order I bought it to get to free shipping.  I ordered Stella (Champagne Shimmer).

thrive causemetics eye brightener review

I applied the Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener to my right eye – under the brow, in the inner corner, and along the lower lash line and waterline. Yeah, I don't really see the difference either.

Yeah, I still don't get it.  Maybe I need an application tutorial? I will dab it in the inner corners of my eyes, under my brow bone, along my waterline and… eh. It clumps a bit, I blend it so it's not clumpy and it's nearly invisible. I've dabbled a bit but I just don't know if I am the right customer for this product.  If you use it and love it, can you share in the comments how you use it? Because right now it just collects dust in my dressing table drawer. 

Thrive Causemetics Headliner Lipstick Review

When I bought the mascara the first time, I needed something else to get to free shipping and decided to try their lipstick. It was winter and their ‘Emii' (a plum mauve) looked like a nice color for the season.  Well now I own two of this lipstick, one for my dressing table and one for my purse.  It has replaced NARS ‘Pigalle' as my everyday color.  ‘Pigalle' is fantastic, but it's matte and lately, I want a bit of shine on my lips to make them look fuller and more hydrated.  This lipstick has a similar cool neutralized “your lips but better” color but a hint darker, a hint more plum, with a bit of shine and a very subtle lustre. The case is magnetized so the cap stays on even when it falls to the bottom of your bag.  The formula isn't long lasting or super hydrating but a classic lipstick that will not disappear after a cup of coffee and won't make your lips feel dry.  

First image is Alison with Thrive Causemetics lipstick in Ilene which is a pale coral-pink shade. On the right is Alison wearing the lipstick in color Emii which is a plum mauve shade.

Since I liked ‘Emii' so much I ordered ‘Ilene' which is a pink taupe. Not my thing, it's too coraly-pinky.  But I like this formula so much I would try another color in the future.

Thrive Causemetics Lip Filler Long Wearing + Plumping Lipliner

I bought this with the gloss (below) because summer is coming and a glossy lip and flushed cheeks are my summer uniform and I wondered if Thrive Causemetics would be a good replacement for my long-time use of Wet n' Wild 666 and my latest love, Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow.  I went with ‘Jesse' in the lip pencil, described as a pale rose ginger. It is exactly the same color as my lips.  I could fill half of one lip with it and you seriously can't tell the difference.  So this is great for when you don't want your lipcolor to bleed but not great if you're using it to create color on your lips.  

thrive causemetics lip liner reviewthrive causemetics lip liner review

I have Thrive Causemetics ‘Jesse' lipliner on one side of my mouth. Can you tell which side? It's my right, your left. Yeah, it's essentially the color of my lips!

It glides on easily, it feels nice, it's a quality lipliner.  It's not anything revolutionary in regard to lasting or plumping or hydrating or all the other lip product gimmicks.  It says it plumps but I haven't experienced it.  It's $20… if it's a perfect color for you I think it could be worth it for the good packaging, how it feels, and how it's not made with crap ingredients… I just am not a big lip liner person anyway and this hasn't turned me into a lipliner convert.

Thrive Causemetics Glossy Lip Hydrating Serum 

I bought the ‘Ruth' (taupe shimmer) in this product wondering if it would be a dupe for Fenty Gloss Bomb which I use regularly on its own and over lipsticks (it's great over everything from ‘Pigalle' to bright reds).  This is not the same kind of product.  This is not a traditional lipgloss.  It's truly more of a serum, it is not as sticky and more hydrating.  It doesn't dry to a matte, it stays glossy and serum-like on your lips.  And because of this, it won't last an entire day, but it wears away gently leaving a soft balm finish on your lips.  I tried it over a lip fully filled with the lip liner, on its own, and over lipstick.  I personally like the formula, especially for summer.  Hydrating, glossy, but not sticky and heavy.  It makes thinning lips look fuller and I didn't experience bleeding.  I found the longest staying power by putting the product over lips fully filled in with a liner.  Apply, wait a minute, put another layer over it.  This seems to make it adhere best and longest.

A review of Thrive Causemetics Glossy Lip Hydrating Serum

The only issue is again, ‘Ruth' is exactly the same color as my lips.  I put it on and it looks as though I just applied Carmex.  Glossy, but zero tint change. Over other lipcolors, it will give the same shine and provide a nude-ish tint (makes reds look a bit more coral, pinks look less candy, etc.) but I'm not really looking for that.  I find Fenty Gloss Bomb provides more of a color difference and far more shine and shimmer.  I plan to try this in a brighter or deeper color as I think this is a product I'll love if it's the right shade.

Thrive Causemetics Review Summary

While I have purchased some products that weren't the best for me, I do find overall that Thrive Causemetics are high-quality products in high-quality packaging and worth their pricepoints.  The customer reviews on the site are really helpful but what is also helpful is the company's easy and generous exchange policy. As I run out of products, I am likely to first go to Thrive Causemetics to see if they have a replacement, knowing what I will receive will be pretty good stuff.  A few have asked about the eyeliner; I don't plan to order that as I don't wear pencil eyeliner.  However, when I run out of my current stuff I plan to try their brow products.

Have you tried Thrive Causemetics?  Any products I should try?  Any products you didn't like?  Do share in the comments!

Outfit details: t-shirt is from Banana Republic (size L), necklace is a gift from Jenny Bird from the upcoming Modernist Monogram collection, earrings are a gift from Chico's.

18 Comments

  1. Diana
    May 20, 2019 / 8:58 pm

    Allison, are you replacing the mascara every 6-9 weeks?

    • May 21, 2019 / 8:48 am

      I replace my mascara every three months, it’s really important to as it’s a liquid that hits the air, can get contaminated, and is right against your eye. I don’t love this after about 9 weeks but the next few aren’t terrible, it’s equivalent to other tubing mascaras I’ve used.

  2. Michelle
    May 20, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    I really like Thrive. I’ve had to stop using the mascara though as my eyes become dry and itchy. I live, love, love the brow pencil and their gel. These replaced Anastasia pencil and Glossier gel. I also use the cc cream in light to med light when I have some summer sun. Can’t say enough!

  3. Danielle
    May 20, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    I hope it isn’t too impolite to ask a personal question. You have pointed out the sunspot on your cheek many times over the years. However, in these pics, it looks like it is gone now. I think I have mentioned before how I get my sunspots laser-zapped now at the vascular doc whenever they pop up. Did you have a similar procedure? (You are adorbs eithers way; I was just curious because I can’t sing the praises of laser-zapping enough. Such an inexpensive way to feel better!)

    • May 20, 2019 / 3:32 pm

      Not too personal, it went away with regular use of Vitamin C! I started using Kiehl’s and over three months it was gone. Couldn’t believe it after all the years of having it! I wasn’t even trying!

      • Danielle
        May 20, 2019 / 3:41 pm

        Oh, wow! So, when you say vitamin C, do you mean the vitamin taken orally or some kind of vitamin c you apply topically?

          • Danielle
            May 21, 2019 / 11:07 am

            Wow, that’s amazing. Definitely going to get some of that! Thanks for sharing!

      • Tori
        May 20, 2019 / 10:51 pm

        Hey Alison, do you know if vitamin c or anything else would remove moles? I have a lot that aren’t freckles, but they aren’t the big above the skin kind either. They rather annoy me, so I thought I’d ask.

        Thanks!

        • May 21, 2019 / 8:46 am

          I don’t think so, I think for them the best bet is going to the dermatologist and they can take it off super easy and insurance usually covers it!

          • Tori
            May 21, 2019 / 10:34 am

            Thanks!

  4. Barbara Wood
    May 20, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    I bought this set, and am super happy with all of it. It is the perfect color and coverage for my skin. I don’t feel like I have a made up face, but I am comfortable knowing that I have an even looking complexion. The powder is super light, and gives a nice finising touch woithout looking cakey and powdery. And…I can’t say enough about this brush!!!
    https://thrivecausemetics.com/collections/complexion-perfection/products/cc-cream-sponge-setting-powder-brush-set
    I also have the hilighter stick, but it’s not something I use every day.

  5. Emily
    May 20, 2019 / 11:56 am

    OBSESSED with the mascara. First mascara I have ever found that I can wear every day and not have racoon eyes. So in love!

  6. vicki
    May 20, 2019 / 10:38 am

    “If you read my review and bought a tube” This be me. I like it, and I’ve never liked tubing mascara before. 6-9 weeks usage life is pretty short for the cost. I’m in the habit of using a tube until it is really used up, which is usually well past the recommended safety discard date (6 months?).

    Highlighter stick – I use it under the arch of my brow, occasionally in the corner of my eye. I blend it for a subtle lightening/brightening effect. Don’t use it every day though. I look forward to the other brow product evaluations. 🙂

  7. Debbie Wells
    May 20, 2019 / 9:25 am

    You must try the eyeliner…it is amazing! I use the grey to line lower eye and black on top. It, like the amazing mascara, stays put and you don’t have raccoon eyes. I enjoyed your review as I have considered the cc cream and lipstick. I will order now!

  8. Bonnie Grove
    May 20, 2019 / 8:30 am

    I tried their mascara also and had the same results as you. It was awesome for the first month or so but then started getting clumpy. I also tried their Focus eye shadow palette which I LOVED because it’s just 4 simple, blendable colors for a natural look. I have a Naked palette which I like but there are so many colors on it, I don’t feel like I’ll ever use all of them. So I like the simplicity of the Thrive palette and will definitely order again once I’ve finished up the Naked one I have.

  9. May 20, 2019 / 7:43 am

    I’ve heard a lot about Thrive Causemetics, especially about their tubing mascara and it seems like the most interesting thing to me. I’ve always had pretty long and full lashes so mascara was completely out of my makeup routine until I started doing more glam looks and felt the need for one. I also went for a waterproof one and I loved it but like you mentioned, it’d break my lashes and that’s not something I want when I love my natural lashes so much. Tubing mascara seems like a great option and their giving back policy seems amazing, I wish more brand would get on board and do the same. I’m gonna have to check if they ship to my country and see what they have and if I run out of something in the near future, I’ll check them out as well and see if they have a replacement.

  10. Rebecca
    May 20, 2019 / 7:36 am

    Idk to me the picture with the highlighter, your eye looks open more and that side looks lighter and brighter. You can’t “see” the highlighter but it does make a difference.

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