Some of us like to wear makeup. And some of us like to wear makeup that doesn’t feel like makeup, especially the kind of makeup that gives you the “raccoon eyes after a night of crying at various sad pet movies” look. For example, I recently made the mistake of applying mascara and then watching Marley and Me. I looked like a cross between The Joker and Marilyn Manson when it was all over. Not so pretty!
And so, running mascara is one of my greatest fears. (You know, next to nuclear war and the end of cupcakes.) Why? My lineage is Whitey McWhite, so my un-mascara-ed eyelashes resemble something you might see on the Invisible Woman. I’m forced to wear it, and it almost always ends up running. The only brands that seem to actually stay on said eyelashes seem to be from the old-school makers like Maybelline. And who wants to put parabens and synthetic dyes on our eyelashes?
We tested some of the top organic and natural mascaras out there. And, neatly ranked from favorite to not-so-much, here’s what we found:
Mascara by Josie Maran
This is a fantastic mascara that darkens, lengthens and simply gets the job done. It doesn’t clump and it goes on smoothly. And best of all, it withstood the ultimate test: while wearing it, I watched the end of yet another pet tear-jerker My Dog Skip. (Have you seen this movie? Rent it immediately with plenty of recycled tissues.) My one beef with this product is that it is harder than others to remove. But just keep the organic make-up remover handy and you are fine. It isn’t 100% organic and does contain iron oxides, but the product is completely natural, being free of parabens and fragrance, plus it contains organic ingredients like jojoba oil, argan oil and beeswax.
This product provides great coverage, length and color. And it makes some of us look like we actually have eyelashes! It doesn’t clump and it goes on smoothly. The only downside is that it runs after a few hours – but then, most mascaras do. This product is also not 100% organic, but it is completely natural. It is made with extracts of organic jojoba and wild rose oils and is free of paraben and heavy metals. It rinses off with a mild cleanser and is vegan-approved, too!
This product is not a mascara, but a “unique formula [that] darkens lashes with non-irritating color from all natural ingredients without the harsh chemicals that cause premature breakage and irritation.” Great. But does it work? Well, I was a little slow on the uptake in realizing this wasn’t a mascara, and so I walked around wearing it as such. It does darken your lashes and it does stay on. In fact, it is a good choice if you just want subtle color as it sort of acts like “mousse” for your eyelashes. It claims to be “a perfect choice for natural looking lash definition during the day.” And I would have to agree with that. This product is paraben free and formulated with organic botanicals.
Nvey of the fantastic, best-on-the-market-organic lipsticks doesn’t quite hit the mark with their mascara. It takes several applications to go on. Thinking I had a dry tube, I emailed the company. According to the friendly Nvey rep, “our mascara is definitely a drier formula than many of the chemically based mascaras and natural mascaras on the market. However, the pigment actually instant adheres better to the lashes without a drier effect to the actual lashes, but rather a moisturizing and conditioning formula to lengthen and strengthen the lashes.” Lesson learned: if you have thin lashes like mine, this is not the product for you. But I had a thicker-lashed friend try it out, and she liked it. So there you go. This product is free of parabens, propylene glycol and sodium laureth sulfate. It contains nettle, horsetail herb and vitamin B5.
Main image: partycja