Mascara clumps, self confidence, and the tale of “Black Beard”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried close to 50 mascaras from the time I was 14.  Everything from drugstore to department store.

You know that feeling when you open a brand new tube of mascara, it’s pristine…and your hopes are so high that THIS will be The One.

It will be perfect, no clumps, no smudging, it will make your lashes long and thick like the lashes on the commercials, and it won’t dry out like the last bottle you just had to replace…

You apply it.  And you sigh.  “Well I guess it’s ok.  I’ll stick it out for a little while and see what happens.”

A month passes, and the bottle is all cakey where the brush goes in, and you find that it’s dry, flaky and clumpy just like all the rest have been.  You debate about throwing it out, but you spent $17 on it…so you wait.

Then you remove your makeup at the end of the day and a few lashes come out…

“dang, I needed those…what’s happening?”

You use it the next day, and your eyes start to itch and water – and one of those flakes gets in your eye!

You decide it’s probably time to toss it.  But where to go from here? Within a few months you might have spent cumulatively $50-100 just switching brands to find The One.

It was hard for me to wear mascara because it made my eyes itchy, puffy and red…but I kept doing it anyway – because I felt naked in the world without it.  Then my lashes started falling out and growing in weird directions, so I only wore mascara when I “had to.”

Maybe we, as women, don’t want to admit that not wearing mascara or having bad lashes affects our self-confidence – but I know it did mine.  The same way my stubborn black hairs on my chin do.

Yep, I’ll admit it.

They’re stubborn little boogers and grow rampantly if not wrangled by my trusty pair of tweezers.

At one point my “black beard” was so bad after two days of not tweezing, that I “affectionately” named my bearded alter-ego self “MANdrea”.
No joke.  My girlfriends and I would all laugh about it.  But, why didn’t they have hairs growing out of every place on their face???

I wish it was socially acceptable for me to walk around with my sporadic spiky beard and mustache hairs (oh did i mention they grow there too!).

But it’s not socially acceptable for Mandrea to walk around.

And I’d rather people pay attention to what’s coming out of my mouth than what’s growing out of my chin.
So I pluck…and laugh.

Does it make us weak if “superficial” things affect our self-confidence?  I don’t think so.
Do I think we should love our bodies just the way they are? Of course.

But, if we’re going to wear mascara because we like they way we feel and look in this world, why not wear one that doesn’t cause us harm?

How would wearing mascara again transform your life, your self-confidence?

How would having your lashes and follicles be healthy again change the way you hold your head up?

Think of all those situations in your life when you come into contact with others – and now you get to face them with fresh, new eyes.

Not worrying about checking for smudges before the business meeting…

Not worrying about pulling off the clumps and flakes with your fingernails before the parent-teacher conference…

Not worrying about wiping the tears from your itchy eyes in front of your client – who might think you’re crying…

Maybe you don’t suffer from any of those problems…lucky you!

All I can say, is after using our prototype mascara for a year now, I no longer have to worry…

about clumps, smudging, allergic reactions, lashes falling out, squinting my eyes, puffiness, nothing.

It feels great and it looks great.
And you will too!

I’d love to hear how a great mascara would help you…
…or if you also have a beard (so I know I’m not alone)! :)


  1. says

    Just being able to wear mascara again for the first time in over 5 years or more is going to be great. I can not wait! I was so hoping the mascara was going to be out in time for my daughter’s wedding, but that was not in the cards (and that is ok, just as long as it happens lol). I feel naked without mascara (I never left the house without as least my eyes on before), as my eyelashes are blonde. My lashes are now short, missing, growing in wrong directions, etc – all that you have said and it would be so nice to feel pretty again and have my beautiful eyelashes back again or close. Thank you for all that you do for us!

  2. Lezlie Hope Morse says

    Hi, Andrea. I wasn’t going to write here because I figured there’d be plenty of good comments without mine, but then I thought, I might have a unique perspective that should be shared, so here it is.

    Way back when I was a teenager, I had all the experiences that you and thousands of other women have had with the commercial mascaras that have all kinds of nasty chemicals in them and do all kinds of nasty things to your lashes.

    Then, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and began the process of eliminating gluten from my life, including all of my personal care items. At that point, I searched out gluten free makeup, including mascara. While all the gluten free mascaras I’ve tried do not cause the nasty reactions that I had in the past, I have yet to find one that does everything I want it to do. If I find one that’s not clumpy, then it smudges and runs easily; the opposite has been true as well. There was one that was already dried up when I received it in the mail.

    It may sound like I’m being over picky or judgmental, but all I really want is a mascara that makes my lashes look long, dark and healthy, to bring attention to my eyes (good attention, not bad attention), which I consider to be one of my most striking facial features. Andrea, if your mascara ends up doing this for me, I will be eternally grateful. I have high hopes, because everything I have tried from you so far has been absolutely wonderful.

    I rest easy knowing that you and Jay do your research, and don’t put something out for sale until you are ABSOLUTELY sure it is safe and effective. I so appreciate your diligence, and look forward to giving you a great review on this mascara. I’m counting down the days! Take care, and God bless you both for all you do!

    • says

      I’m so glad you wrote here! It’s so important for everyone’s opinion to be heard!

      I’ve been there…not only have I tried all the nasty commercial mascaras…but almost all the “natural” and “gluten-free” ones as well – and SAME thing you’ve experienced. I just want a mascara that has great mascara qualities but also isn’t bad for me. So I created just that. For myself…but also for so many other women, who i know have dealt with those same issues! So hearing that from you solidifies I’m not the only one! :)

      Lots of love Lezlie!

  3. says

    Hi Angela, I have yet to find a mascara that didn’t clump and leave me with raccoon eyes.. I have worn mascara since my teens and now am in my early 60’s. While many woman my age quit putting makeup on, I enjoy putting makeup on and it just makes me feel good. I am excited to give your mascara a try and even sent an email asking when you might come out with a foundation. As for hair on my chin. No black ones but white! And in my eyebrows now.. Age has brought grey in my hair and on my face! Anyhow, I love how real you are! Thanks for sharing.. Trudy

    • says

      Hi Trudy!
      Thanks for your story!! And yep, I’ve heard they will turn white with time :) I love that you do what makes YOU feel good, and if that’s putting on makeup great, if it’s working in the garden great, if it’s spending time with family great – whatever it is – do it! Life is too short to not do what makes us feel good!
      Make sure to reach out to me after you’ve tried The Lash Project for a little while, and let me know what you think! Can’t wait to hear your “success story”!!

  4. Christie says

    I SOOOOO agree on. Mascara that irritates eyes! I have NEVER found one I can wear. I try one…wear it while my eyes burn and turn red until I need a break the. Go weeks with none. Which is awful. Your launch is my great hope!!! Can’t wait.

    • says

      I know!! And what is THAT?? It’s like wearing stilettos all day long because they look good with that dress, then having to soak your feet and wear tennis shoes for the next four days cause your feet hurt so bad, just silly! They should make stilettos that aren’t bad for your feet – and mascara that’s not bad for your eyes (oh, wait…) haha

      I cannot wait to hear what you think!! :)

  5. Katie Opitz says

    I am so ready to try yet another mascara! I too have tried many with great disappointment. Imagine a mascara that won’t make my eyes itch, tear up, pull out my lashes….can’t wait! It will feel great to wear mascara again because so many times I just chose to “skip it.” Thank you for taking the time to create a wonderful product.

    • says

      Hi Katie! I can’t wait for you to try it either! I know those days where it was just better to skip it…and having to deal with the “consequences” if i didn’t skip it! :)
      I’m anxious to hear what you think of The Lash Project!

  6. Dianne Bassett says

    I am so looking forward to your new mascara. I am naturally a redhead so am sensitive to everything and my brows and lashes are blonde and totally invisible. Like you, I have become so sensitive to eye products, especially mascara and eyeliner that I have had to go without most of the time and hate the way I look that way. I have recently realized that I have a gluten sensitivity. Just what I needed on top of all the eye problems. I am counting the days ’til I can order it. Please be my Holy Grail.

    • says

      *Fingers Crossed* that this will be your holy grail!! Please don’t hate the way you look, natural red heads are so unique (i always wanted red hair, pale skin and freckles) – you girls are just so lucky to stand out amongst the throngs of blondes and brunettes – so embrace it!! I understand though, that you would like your features to stand out against your face, and having lashes and brows that blend in don’t really allow that to happen.

      I can’t wait to hear how The Lash Project works for you, and might I suggest, trying our eyeshadow in Sugar & Spice on your eyebrows. Use a thin angled eyeliner brush and lightly tap the eyeshadow onto your brows, do just a little at first, and see if that helps them pop out and frame your eyes a bit better!

      You’re always free to email me with any questions!

  7. Sandy Schultz says

    Hi Andrea, I am very excited to receive the Lash Project Mascara, in my mail box…I too am plagued by those pesky chin hairs and I thought that I was the only one that had them…WHEW!! I am really relieved..As I have grown older my lashes have gotten shorter and thinner and just simply attributed it to my aging process. I too have worn mascara since 7th grade I believe..and that was when most all you could find was the kind in a little red box with a small lash brush included..Lol!! Don’t get it in your eyes because you would know it… but am looking forward the new lashes and feeling about them that I am hoping to experience soon!!! Tee hee hee….

    • says

      Haha, in my day it was the hot pink tube with the neon green cap! :) I’m excited to hear what you think about The Lash Project!! Your lashes will be growing naturally again in no time! :)

  8. Kathy says

    Mascara is the one cosmetic I do not want to live without. It helps my eyes to come alive and I definitely look better when I wear it. The heat in TX is a challenge when it comes to keeping the mascara on my lashes and keeping it off my under eye skin. The chemicals in mascara are another issue . I will definitely try your mascara..

    • says

      Howdy, fellow Texan!! I live in Houston, so as you can imagine, not only is the heat horrendous, but the humidity even worse! I’m hear to tell you I’ve tested it in these conditions and it does not smudge.

      I understand not wanting to live without it!! One suggestion though, in the heat of the summer, if i know i’m going to be spending some time outside – i usually won’t fully apply mascara to my bottom lashes (because they’re really long)…but try it both ways and let me know what works for you! :)

  9. says

    Andrea – you have such a fun sense of humor! I Love it!
    As a teenager I had long lovely lashes. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, follow up treatment, and lost my lashes and eyebrows, etc. It was very embarrassing. First I had permanent make up done. OUCH! But it helped my appearance for a while. Then I found a product called LeLash, a serum that made the lashes grow. Then that company quit selling product in the US and the permanent makeup wore off too. I thought tattooing would last many years and it did not. There I was again with very short stubby lashes and again embarrassed. I can’t even express how wonderful it would be to once again have healthy lashes. My eyes have been my best feature – and now they are not. It’s actually difficult for me to comfortably look people in the eyes. I feel exposed and unattractive. Your integrity and the quality of your other products give me hope that the new mascara will be all that you have said it is. It will be so wonderful to be able to smile with my eyes once again. I am extremely excited to get some!!!

    • says

      Thank you for the sweet words!! I’m so happy to see you on this side of your treatment, I trust all is well and you’re in remission!?
      Permanent makeup sure sounds painful, and i also know the frustration when a good product gets discontinued!!

      I think the word “exposed” really nails it. Vulnerable, and exposed…not to mention people ask me “are you tired? are you sick?” ugh! haha

      I can’t wait to hear how The Lash Project helps you! Please reach out after you’ve tried it for a month or so to let me know what you think!!

      Thanks Ruth!!

  10. says

    I’ve had the same trouble…too chippy, too dried out, too clumpy, makes my eyes itch. I’ve found very few I can wear…been that way since I started wearing mascara. I’d love to try yours! The price is pretty high but if it works…I’ll be happy!

    • says

      Hi Julie! I feel your pain…and I’m happy that you’re going to give The Lash Project a try!
      Keep in mind, we do have a six month return policy too, so you really have nothing to lose! If it doesn’t work for YOU, then you haven’t wasted any money! :)

  11. Gail Patrick says

    I have the same exact situation as you, Andrea. The money I have wasted on bad mascara is really sad. I have short and think lashes to begin with–can’t spare even one. I cannot wait until it comes out.

    • says

      Hi Gail! I’m so glad that The Lash Project will be able to help you, i can’t wait to hear what you think!

      And yes, if i calculated all the money I have spent on bad mascara, that i couldn’t return for a refund because i didn’t like it…ohhh man!

  12. linda suibielski says


    • says

      Hi Linda!! It’s always good to see your name! :)
      I’m so excited that you’re excited…and you know i’ll be expecting a full report on what you think after you’ve used it for awhile!

      Yep i’ll be plucking for years to come…if you ever see me and spot a stray on my neck you better speak up! hahah that’s where they get me, a super long one will grow where i’m not used to looking then one day i’ll see it and be totally grossed out! hahah so keep an eye out ya’ hear!? :)

      • Diana says

        I hope for a miracle with this mascara! My eyes are itchy and watery, and my eyelids are puffy. Part of that is inherited, most likely, but I hope to find out with your new formula that part WAS (well, I can change the tense soon) a reaction to lousy mascara. My lashes are very thin, although when I was young, they were thick and full. Now, as for the hairs popping out where they don’t belong,… Tweezers are my good friend, too. I had to laugh about the strays on the neck. I have that happen, as well, and I wonder why nobody warns me about it.

        • says

          Hi Diana, I cannot wait to hear what you think. I really hope I can help!

          I think their should be an unwritten code amongst women: we always tell each other about hairs on the neck, something in the teeth, lipstick on the teeth, and bras showing haha!
          Let’s start a movement!!!

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