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The Best Natural Mascara:
A Review of 7 Brands

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Mascara! Natural mascara! The best natural mascara! Who knew Flower Children could be so hip?! I bet you thought you actually had to drop out of society and all it's seductive ways to save the Earth, huh? Well no doubt, that might help. But for the rest of us, we still have jobs to go to while we build our Earthships and pay off our land. And sometimes those jobs don't appreciate us looking hungover. (Just me?)

So, who has the best natural mascara. Between the ingredients, how it applies, how long it lasts, and how much it costs, a lot of factors go into deciding which to invest in.

I asked you, our lovely readers, which mascara brands you were most interested in learning about, and you replied with a long list. Of over 20 approached I approached, only 7 brands agreed to being reviewed. They each agreed to send a black, non-waterproof mascara for review.

Most of the companies taking part sent one mascara to review, but two of them sent two or more. The mascaras and links to each company are below with their review:

  • 100% Pure (submitted 4, but only one was black for review)
  • Arbonne
  • Beauty Without Cruelty (submitted 2 black mascaras for review)
  • Ecco Bella
  • Honeybee Gardens
  • Juice Beauty
  • Real Purity

Now, I'm not reviewing any of these natural mascara brands from a place of "makeup expert" (I'm not one). I'm reviewing it from a practical and sustainable outlook to find the best natural mascara for the everyday user. I wanted to know:

  • Which has the safest ingredients?
  • How well does it go and stay on?
  • How easily is it washed off?
  • What's the packaging, and even the shipping material, like (since most of you would have to order online)?
  • What's the cost, and is it worth the price?

Before I get to the review for the best natural mascara, here's a bit of background: I live in Florida, where it's hot and humid all day long. I have moderately thin lashes, which are sadly not as long as they used to be. I also have very sensitive skin and have been known to have allergic reactions to various brands of makeup. So feel happy that I took the risk of sampling all these brands to find you the best natural mascara! Again, I'm not a makeup expert, just an everyday wearer. But I am looking for something for something that works to thicken and lengthen without being full of toxins or irritants.

Each mascara was opened and used several times before making the call or creating the photos below, since they naturally change with the oxidation of a few uses. They were applied once, allowed to dry for approximately 30 seconds, and then a 2nd coat was applied.

Let me just say a couple things about these photos: 1) taking photos of your own eyeball is harder than it seems, 2) it's also a big hit to your ego to zoom in on your own skin, and 3) you're welcome.

Below I've gone through my experience with each of the brands to find the best natural mascara based on the questions posed above.

100 Percent Pure

Mascara: Fruit Pigmented Mascara, Black Tea
Cost: $21

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Green Tea), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Cera Alba (Honey Beeswax), Rubus Fruticosus Fruit Extract (Blackberry Extract), Ribes Nigrum Fruit Extract (Blackcurrant Extract), Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract (Raspberry Extract), Hydrolyzed Oat Protein (Oat Protein), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (Wheat Protein), Pantothenic Acid (Pro-vitamin B5), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (Seaweed Powder), Coconut Stearic Acid (Coconut Acid), Mica, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa Butter), Pearl Powder, Oryza Sativa Germ Powder (Rice Powder), Theobroma Cacao Extract (Cocoa Powder), Coffea Arabica Seed Extract (Powdered Coffee Beans), Mel (Lavender Honey), Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract (Oregano Extract), Thymus Vulgaris Flower/Leaf Extract (Thyme Extract), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary Extract), Lavandula Angustifolia Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (Lavender Extract), Hydrastis Canadensis Extract (Goldenseal Extract)

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Low Hazard (Green) - All ingredients were listed as having no or Low Hazard.

Application: Went on easily, slightly less messy than the others (leaving fewer spots on upper lid or under eye). Did a great job at lengthening and thickening my lashes, and didn't seem to need as many applications as som of the others, nor did I have to do any separating after applying. Smells fruity and amazing, and we could actually still smell it 30 minutes later in the car.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Excessive! Although it was a beautiful presentation, it felt a little excessive to put each mascara in plastic and then it's own cardboard tube. Also shipped in non-styrofoam, biodegradable peanuts (which are still annoying).

Was it the best natural mascara? This was definitely one of the best natural mascara brands I tried. It went on and washed off easily, smelled good, looked great. (I also tried their other colors and they all worked the same way.)

Arbonne

Mascara: It's a Long Story, Black
Cost: $36

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Water, Iron Oxides (CI77499), Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Synthetic Beeswax, Cera Carnauba/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Stearic Acid, Silica, VP/VA Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Diisostearate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Bambua Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Xantham Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Ethylhexylglycerin, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 (Polypeptide), Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 (Polypeptide, Oleanolic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Apigenin, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Glucosamine HCI

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Low Hazard (Green) - Most ingredients are listed as safe or Low Hazard, however 4 are listed as Moderate Hazard for concerns such as cancer, ecotoxicology, irritation, etc.

Application: Goes on easily and requires little to no separating after applying. Smells good too. Takes a little bit to dry and good be a little smudgy until it dried (like all of them), but then stayed on well throughout the day. One of the best at thickening and lengthening the lashes.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? The mascara's performance was great, but I'm not comfortable with some of the ingredients. I wouldn't be likely to purchase it for this reason.

Beauty Without Cruelty (#1)

Mascara: Full Volume Mascara, Black
Cost: $24.95

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Aqua/water, Iron Oxides, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera (Rice Wax), VP/VA Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-5 Laurate, Acacia Senegal Gum (Acacia Wax), Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera, Cera/copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera/rhus, Verniciflua PeelWax (Japanese Fruit Wax), Nylon-66, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ultramarines,, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Powder, Benzyl Alcohol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil,Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Biotin.

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Moderate Hazard (Yellow) - Most of the ingredients are listed as safe or low hazard, however 5 ingredients were listed as Moderate Hazard for issues such as immunotoxicity, allergies, contamination, etc.

Application: Went on easily without issue. This brush was definitely my favorite over the BWC Ultimate brush below. I had little to no separating to do. Like all the mascaras, it went on a little thinner and took longer to dry so I ended up with smudges around my eyes. Once dried I had no problems until I went to remove it.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge, and washed off easily, but it BURNED and irritated my eyes with any amount of moisture (washing, tears, watery eyes). No matter what I tried, it was really uncomfortable...like getting a chemical cleaner in your eye.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? Because of how much it burned when my eyes watered or when I washed it off, I can't rate this one well and won't be using this one again.

Beauty Without Cruelty (#2)

Mascara: Ultimate Natural Mascara, Black
Cost: $24.95

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Aqua/water, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera (Rice Wax), Vp/va Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-5 Laurate,Acacia Senegal Gum (AcaciaWax), Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Cera Carnauba (CarnaubaWax), Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera (Japanese FruitWax), Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Powder, Benzyl Alcohol,Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil,Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Biotin, Mica,Talc,Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Moderate Hazard (Yellow) - Many of the ingredients were listed as safe or low hazard, however 6 ingredients were listed as Moderate Hazard for a variety of concerns, such as immunotoxicity, pesticide contamination, etc.

Application: I definitely preferred this one less than the BWC Full Volume above. The brush seemed to clump my lashes together. I didn't find it very effective at creating length or volume at all. Like all the others, it took a little longer to dry and so I'd end up with smudges in the first couple minutes. After it dried I had no issues...again, until I washed it off.

Removal: Yes, it washed off easily, but I had the same very uncomfortable experience as the BWC Full Volume above. Not fun.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? Just as with the Full Volume, because of how it burned my eyes when I washed it off or when my eyes watered, I can't rate this one well and won't be using it again.

Ecco Bella

Mascara: FlowerColor Natural Mascara, Black
Cost: $17.95

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Purified water, carnauba wax, palmitic acid (from palm oil), clay, phenoxyethanol and iron oxides.

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Low Hazard (Green) - Most ingredients rated as Low Hazard, except for the phenoxyethanol, which scores as a moderate risk for immunotoxicity, organ toxicity, irritation, and allergies.

Application: As with the many of others, it went thinner and took more applications and longer to dry. It also clumped my lashes together, leaving them looking thinner. Didn't seem to do much for length either.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? I have thin enough lashes. The brush on this one just didn't help that. It might be fine for an everyday use, or to darken lashes, but didn't really do much for me.

Honeybee Gardens

Mascara: Truly Natural Mascara
Cost: $11.99

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Purified water/aqua, serenoa repens (saw palmetto) fruit extract, hydrogenated glyceryl abietate, brassica campestris, aleurites fordi oil copolymer, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax*, glycerin, persea gratissima (avocado) butter, triisostearyl citrate, stearic acid, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, aloe (barbadensis) leaf extract**, rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) leaf extract**, xanthan gum, d-alpha tocopherol, sodium hyaluronate, methylcellulose, ethylhexylglycerin, phenethyl alcohol. May Contain/Peut Contenir: mica, iron oxides (CI77499, CI77492) (*certified organic ingredient, ** made with certified organic ingredients)

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Low Hazard (Green) - All ingredients were listed as having no or Low Hazard.

Application: Went on easily, moderately thickening and good length. Like all the others, it took longer to dry than most conventional brands so there was some smudging until it dried. After it dried I had no issues.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? This mascara was pretty good and one I'd use on a regular basis. It wasn't the most lengthening or thickening, but it worked well for everyday use.

Juice Beauty

Mascara: Lash Defining Mascara, Black
Cost: $19

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Organic botanical extracts of serenoa repens (organic saw palmetto extract)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe extract)*, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), triisostearyl citrate, hydrogenated glyceryl abietate, brassica campestris/aleurites fordi oil copolymer, copernicia cerifera (organic carnauba wax)*, vegetable glycerin, theobroma cacao (organic cocoa seed butter)*, persea gratissima (avocado butter), methylcellulose, xanthan gum, tocopherol (Vitamin E), sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), ethylhexylglycerin, phenethyl alcohol. May contain titanium dioxide, mica, iron oxides.

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Not listed at time of publish; was able to create one which should be found here (Low Hazard - Green)

Application: I had so many issues with just opening this mascara (read the packaging notes below). Besides that it went on easily, took a little bit to dry (like all the others), but didn't smudge after drying. It was only moderately lengthening or thickening.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Non-plastic outer tube; sadly I had issues with the "scraper" for the wand coming dislodged and getting stuck in the lid. I was able to fix it, but I hope this isn't a common issue among users.

Was it the best natural mascara? Overall, I think this could make a decent everyday mascara. Not a lot of volume to it, but it worked well for a simpler look. Because of the issue with the packaging, I can't say I'll use it often though.

Real Purity

Mascara: Real Purity Mascara, Black
Cost: $15

A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com
A Review of 7 Natural Mascara Brands, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Ingredients: Purified Water, Beeswax*, Glycerin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candellila) Wax*, Cellulose, Salvia Lavandulaefolia (Sage) Extract*, Ivy Extract*, Pycnogenol, Iron Oxides (*Organic)

EWG's Skin Deep Hazard Rating: Not listed at time of publish; was able to create one which can be seen here (Low Hazard - Green)

Application: Went on easily, and like the rest took a little bit to dry. Left less all over my eyelids though, and did a good job at thickening and lengthening my lashes.

Removal: Doesn't easily smudge. Washes off easily with any cleanser; didn't take excessive washing.

Packaging/Shipping Material: Average; no issues.

Was it the best natural mascara? This one is among one of the best natural mascara brands I tried. It works well, rates well, cleans well. I think it might be among the best mascaras for sensitive eyes, as well.

My Vote for the Best Natural Mascara

First, thank you to all the companies who donated their mascara for this review!

I truly believe they are each a better alternative to the toxic and harmful brands found in the drugstore, and you'd be better off investing in any one of these natural mascara brands above.

I was impressed with how well they all stayed put throughout the day, despite the fact that they all took longer to dry. I tend to forgetfully rub my eyes and I never once found mascara all over my face, which is saying something. Despite the fact that they all stayed on well, they all equally washed off easily. Usually you can't get both of those in one mascara.

The best natural mascara for how they looked would certainly be 100% Pure, Arbonne, and Real Purity. However, I wasn't happy with Arbonne's ingredients. For their ingredients and safety, my favorites would be 100% Pure, Ecco Bella, and Real Purity. But Ecco Bella wasn't a favorite at all for how well it worked for my lashes.

Which essentially narrows down my top 2 choices for best natural mascara to 100% Pure and Real Purity.

If I had to choose my favorite for the best natural mascara, I'd probably go with 100% Pure, and place Real Purity in a very close second. I'm partial to the essential oils in 100% Pure (I've heard good things about lavender for lash health), loved the fruit extract aroma, and really loved all the colors they offer. The price is "middle of the road" and I felt well worth it.

Of course, all of these things will vary based on your own needs, your lashes, your sensitivities or allergies, and your budget. I hope this article on the best natural mascara will help you find what you're looking for.

UPDATE: I've been using the mascaras for about 6 months now, and I still love 100% Pure...it's the first one I grab for everyday use. Although I'm not crazy about Arbonne's ingredients, I do find it's what I reach for when I want the most volume (like when I've got a hot date with The Mister)!




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