Here’s a story of some lovely ladies. Who were talking natural mascara and realized they didn’t know enough. They combined info for a mascara article and realized people wanted even more info. Even those who were experts in natural products felt there was more to the story. So, they got together to test mascaras. That’s the way they became the mascara bunch.
The Mascara Trials
We got a lot of ideas from the last mascara article, but we realized that even though we had lots of information there were lots of us who weren’t sure about our mascaras or who had been burned by natural mascaras. You know where it flaked off or didn’t live up to expectations. We got a group of us together who agreed to try several different mascaras for at least 3 days each and test them out to share with our readers.
The biggest thing we learned was that we all have different needs from mascara. Some of us want a natural look and some want PA-POW! Some wanted staying power and others wanted to be sure it washes off easily. Those of us with oily skin had a tougher time finding ones that didn’t smear. No wonder women can have such a hard time finding mascaras! What you recommend to a friend may not work for her. That’s frustrating!
We Choose Natural
We ALL wanted a natural mascara without toxins, so we narrowed our list down to some solid natural choices. That meant we looked closely at ingredients lists to make sure there were nothing we felt was a deal breaker. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database helped in our research. It’s important to reduce exposure to toxins especially with the eyes. They are a very sensitive organ and a place that allows easy access for toxins. And wouldn’t you know it…mascaras can harbor lots of toxins.
According to Taylor Pakala, Beautycounter Consultant, you want to watch out for carbon black which is a chemical pigment that’s also used in tires. Other ingredients to be on the watch for are mineral oil (obtained from petroleum), parabens, phthalates, fragrance and more. “The U.S. only bans 30 harmful ingredients and Beautycounter has a list of 1500 they will never use in their products,” says Taylor Pakala. “Just because it says USDA organic doesn’t mean toxin free. Fragrance is a nasty chemical found in many products, even organic products.”
Fragrance can be a combination of many ingredients. Many contain combinations of 14 ingredients out of the over 3100 possibilities. Some of those ingredients are allergens, carcinogens or endocrine disruptors like phthalates.
Natural Mascaras in Action
We did learn that with natural mascaras you will need to apply lots of coats to get you closer to eyes that pop. The mascaras that have primers definitely had a leg up, so we also tried mascaras that didn’t have a primer with a primer from another brand. The primer helped get your lashes ready and helped the mascara last longer. Those of us who weren’t using a primer before will be looking for them in the future.
Natural mascara wearers won’t find a truly waterproof mascara. The ingredient mascaras use to make most mascaras water proof is an oil base and ingredients like dimethicone which is a suspected endocrine disruptor.
We were surprised that each of the mascaras had fans and most had a few haters. That kept the scores pretty close. It’s important to look at reviews and think of what you are looking for in a mascara to find the perfect one for you. All of these are great NATURAL choices compared to conventional mascaras. We also learned you can’t take the words natural or organic for granted. You still have to look close at the ingredients. We gave each a rating of 1-5 in five categories (1 being low, 5 being high) and here are the scores.
What we thought on 8 natural mascaras:
This natural mascara got high marks from most everyone and has an ingredient list that will keep everyone at ease. The primer really worked well for this mascara and the price for both is still lower than many high-end mascaras. Right now they have a bundle which makes the price of the primer half off.
Rachel-“Real Purity has great definition and length, the best part was both definition and length lasted throughout the day. I had minimal to no black around my eyes from the mascara. It almost seemed like the primer gave it a waterproof feel. When I did not use the primer, I did end up with slightly more mascara around my eyes. It feels natural, however overall it didn’t feel crazy natural….which in my experience with natural mascara I would prefer it not feel SUPER natural. The wear throughout the day was great. I would give Real Purity a 5/5 and I will be a Real Purity user for life, they have me SOLD.”
We tried a few different mascaras from 100% Pure including their Fruit Pigmented Mascara and the Maracuja Oil Mascara. If you have a wheat allergy check the ingredients in this line first because some have wheat protein. This one is certified organic and no fragrance. The blackberry ultra-lengthening and the maracuja oil colored from chocolate smell the best. The scent floats down from your lashes while you’re wearing them! Those of us with green or hazel eyes loved the blackberry!
Renee- “Wow! This mascara smells fantastic! When the package arrived, we passed all the tubes around to smell the blackberry and chocolate. They smelled so good. The packaging is wonderful. This mascara goes on easily with no clumps. It lives up to the ultra-lengthening name because it has lots of length!”
We tried the volumizing and the new lengthening mascaras from Beautycounter. This mascara like other natural mascaras requires a few coats but it feels good knowing all the ingredients are safe for the body. The really cool thing about Beautycounter is they are big into consumer education and advocating for cosmetics safety regulations.
Crystal- “I really liked Beautycounter. This was a great mascara for an overall natural look and feel. It was easy to remove with water and a washcloth. There was no residue left over. This is a mascara I would wear for an everyday, natural look.”
L’BRI mascara offers a very light natural look. Those of us with oily skin felt it didn’t have the staying power to make it through the day. Luckily, because it’s a light mascara the smudges weren’t too bad. This is a great natural mascara to have in the rotation.
Heather-“If I was going for a light day with makeup, I would want this mascara. It is not a heavy/wet over powering black that takes over your eye but enough to be there. This one did not have any smearing and lasted all day. I would recommend this to anyone starting off in makeup, wears light to minimal makeup and does not like anything on/ around your eye. I enjoyed the container the mascara was packaged in. It fit in your hand really nicely!”
Some people loved this one and others not so much. The primer helped a lot for those who loved it. When compiling the information, we thought jane iredale would be higher on top, But others felt it was clumpy so it landed in the middle. Some people didn’t think it was clumpy. So weird, right?
Nancy- “I love that this gives a full look without any clumps! I didn’t see the need to do multiple layers, either. I have light lashes so need a little extra volumizing. The brush and primer for this mascara were great. It’s a perfect everyday mascara without any smudging issues.”
This one had lots of likes but not enough loves to bring it to the top of the list. Hynt is great for those who are looking for a boost with a natural mascara with a natural look. The ingredient list is pretty comfortable, and so is the mascara for every day. It was easy to get off with soap and water.
Bri- “I really liked this mascara. It was a solid choice for toxin free mascaras. It’s very natural looking and easy to remove. I didn’t have any residue left over. I would definitely use this one again and when I need a little extra, I will use a primer.”
Honeybee Gardens does not claim to be lengthening or volumizing but just a truly natural mascara. This humble mascara won the Delicious Living’s 2016 Award Winner for Best Eye Makeup! Our group recommends it for those who want a natural look and a great option for teens who are just starting in make-up. Lauren loved how it made her eyes look.
Lauren- “The HoneyBee Gardens mascara was my favorite because I loved how easy it was to apply on my lashes, it is light weight and feels the most natural, I loved how thick and full my lashes looked after application (a MUST have for me), and it doesn’t smudge or wear off after a long day. Unlike other mascaras it is also easy to remove at the end of the day. I honestly think I have a found a new mascara not only that makes my lashes look super amazing but is natural too!”
If you are looking for a little more pow Rejuva might be your mascara. It looks amazing when it goes on and is great for a date night. Rejuva got really low marks from those with oily skin. It can be all over your face if you have oily skin and hard to get off if you don’t have oily skin. This one is a verified by the Environmental Working Group as a natural mascara even though some were surprised. This one has their highest approval. If you have oily skin be prepared to work a little harder to keep this one off your face.
Danni- “Very bold lashes with first coat with Rejuva Mascara. It doesn’t feel natural at all and is very bold! I just haven’t experienced a natural mascara before that is so bold with one application. The idea that this one is natural surprises me. It was very hard to take off. Had the feeling it’s not natural mascara but just regular one.”
Enhance your Beauty With a Natural Mascara
Finding a natural-mascara you are confident in is worth it. Read lots of reviews and find out what is important to you and what will work for your skin. Who knew skin would play such a part in mascara and that we all would like different mascaras for different reasons?
All of the mascaras we reviewed are definitely worth trying and will stay in at least one of the reviewers rotations. For us finding a natural mascara that is free of toxins is very important. Don’t go in expecting the natural mascaras will be the same as your toxic mascara but you can find a natural mascara that will work you. All the mascaras we tried are great options and we had fun narrowing the field.
By Dr. Patrick Flynn