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Natural Mascara Review

via Kris Carr

Hiya Bright Eyes!

If I were stranded on a desert island and only allowed one makeup item, it would definitely be mascara. That peeper potion is like oxygen—essential to my very survival. During my days in showbiz, I worshipped the classic green and pink Maybelline Great Lash. But as I wised up to the reality of animal testing and toxic chemicals, I ditched my go-to lash blaster in search of a mascara that respects animals, is safe, and actually works—a shockingly difficult combo to find. Many of the more “natural” brands lack the va-va-va-voom-ba-blam! Like me, I know you gals are on a quest to upgrade your makeup bags, so I enlisted my team to help me research, test and rate some of the best cruelty-free makeup on the market today. The results: an epic mascara review! This is our biggest deep dive yet and we really hope it helps you. Let’s get started beauties.  

How We Selected & Evaluated the Natural Mascaras

Selection process  Over the course of a year, I polled my readers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at My team collected hundreds of responses, tallied them up and chose the top voted mascaras. We also scoured beauty blogs and magazines to find the best cruelty-free makeup brands. Fourteen mascaras made the cut.   Evaluation process I combined my personal criteria and standards with what my readers asked for the most to see how each natural mascara stacked up. To evaluate their performance, my team and I tried each product over the course of several months. I even watched Terms of Endearment and Beaches as part of my rigorous scrutiny. If a mascara can stand up to either of those flicks, it’s a keeper!   Here’s how we analyzed each brand of natural mascara: EWG’s Skin Deep ratings: Since I wanted to make sure the analysis of our review was as up-to-date as possible, I asked EWG (Environmental Working Group) to update their ratings for our picks. If a mascara wasn’t rated, EWG did us huge favor by analyzing the ingredients and adding its product rating to Skin Deep. Thank you, EWG! If you don’t know about their Skin Deep database, today’s your lucky day. I use it every time I purchase a makeup or skincare product. Skin Deep contains information and online safety assessments for over 69,000 products.   Cruelty-free certification: All of the products we tested have cruelty-free sourced ingredients and most have been certified by “Leaping Bunny” and/or PETA. Keep in mind that although these are helpful stamps of approval, they are voluntary pledges. Companies that claim to be cruelty-free but don’t have PETA or Leaping Bunny labels may not have tested on animals themselves, but the suppliers of the individual ingredients may have. Leaping Bunny and PETA cruelty-free guidelines:
  • Leaping Bunny: A voluntary pledge that cosmetic, personal care, and/or household product companies make to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis.” Learn more.
  • PETA: All companies that are included on PETA’s cruelty-free list have signed PETA’s statement of assurance or submitted a statement verifying that neither they nor their ingredient suppliers conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products. Learn more.
  Animal products: We did our best to choose mascaras free of all animal products. This is tricky to determine since many ingredient names are deceiving and confusing, so we called each company and asked them about their unique formulations. I’ve noted the natural mascaras that do contain animal or bee products. Whether you choose to buy these products is a personal choice, which is why I want you to have the details needed to make an informed one.   Performance: Over the course of three months, my team and I wore so much natural mascara it was a gorgeous fest. We took each product for a spin at least 5-6 times to see if they really worked. We rated them in the infographic below based on volume (thickening & length-boosting), definition (accentuating the number of lashes) and wear (staying power). We’ve also noted the price of each mascara for your reference. Let’s meet your glamorous testers!

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