May 29, 2014

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural mascaras

Recently, I’ve had several people ask me about my favorite natural mascaras, so I figured it was time to finally reveal the notes I’ve been keeping in my Gmail drafts (yes, that’s how I roll) and share my ultimate guide to natural mascaras to date.

This will be an ever-growing post (similar to the ultimate guide to natural sunscreens and the ultimate guide to natural deodorants), so bookmark this baby to see the various natural mascaras I’ve tried, reviewed and repurchased.

A Note About My Eyes: I’ve said this before, but I have short, stick-straight, half-Asian eyelashes that point straight down. My Shu Uemura eyelash curler is my best friend, and I’m after a mascara that can 1) lengthen; 2) thicken; 3) hold a curl; and 4) not smudge on my oily skin.

Another Note: This little asterisk* indicates I received the natural mascara as a PR sample. So, yes, free stuff as well as paid-for-on-my-own stuff gets honest feedback around here!

Natural Mascaras I Will Not Repurchase

natural mascaras kimberlyloc will not repurchase

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara

While it didn’t smudge (hallelujah!), 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Mascara felt too dry and flaked off on me after a few hours. It’s extremely natural looking, too, meaning no real length or thickness added. If your lashes are already beautiful, then 1) I hate you and 2) you may want to try this (who knows if it will flake on you).

*Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara

Alima Pure’s Natural Definition Mascara smudges within a few hours of applying. The lengthening power is nice, but the black spots are not.

Benecos Maximum Volume Mascara

Benecos’ Maximum Volume Mascara hass an extremely wet formula, which leads to crazy smudging within an hour of applying — even if I’m patient and let it dry completely before doing my daily acrobatics workout (this is a joke). For the hour that it’s not smudging, it lengthens my lashes but doesn’t do much to hold a curl or thicken. This is very common for Asian lashes — we need drier formulas that don’t weigh us back down. Any wet-formula mascara is going to be an epic fail for us.

*Dr. Hauschka Mascara

Another natural mascara that’s easily available at my local Whole Foods, Dr. Hauschka’s Mascara smudges on me and offers zero lift or va-va-voom factor.

*Honeybee Naturals Truly Natural Mascara

I tried Honeybee Naturals a looooong time ago (back in my magazine editor days, circa 2008-ish), so unless there’s been a new formulation since then, this baby smudged on me, too.

Ilia Beauty Mascara in Nightfall

Ilia Beauty Mascara in Nightfall is the newest mascara in my collection (see it in this Instagram), and while I’m impressed with how long-lasting it is and appreciate that it doesn’t clump or smudge, I wish it thickened my lashes and held a curl a bit better. I have to re-curl my lashes a few hours after applying this to re-lock the shape. I will say that it has a better-than-natural look about it, so this could be an option for those days when your eye makeup is a little more subtle and you’re really doing up your lips. I could see myself possibly repurchasing this, but for $26, I’d expect it to meet all my needs.

*Jing Ai Eye Paint Mascara

I can’t tell if Donna from Jing Ai still sells her Eye Paint Mascara (I saw it for sale on a different site, but not Jing Ai’s), but alas, this super-inky natural mascara smudged like crazy on me and offered very little volume.

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

I wanted to love this natural mascara because, I mean, it’s Josie Maran, just look at her, and it’s readily available at my local Sephora, but also it smudges like whoa on my oily skin.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin FakeOut Mascara

Like its sister formula below, this natural mascara from Physician’s Fornula isn’t too bad overall, but it dries out very quickly and flakes a bit. Too bad because this could have been a winner (especially at such an affordable price). Oh the balance between being a not-too-wet and not-too-dry mascara!

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

You can read my in-depth review of this natural mascara, but the short version is that this budget-friendly natural mascara from Physician’s Formulas is clumpy and smudges by the end of the day. It’s not too bad overall (to last all day without smudging is quite a feat!), but it’s not a repurchase for me.

*Pür Minerals Big Blink Mascara

This natural mascara from Pür Minerals lengthens and doesn’t smudge, but it doesn’t fatten up my lashes unless it’s doing so by making them extremely clumpy.

RMS Beauty Mascara

I’m a bit on the fence when it comes to RMS Beauty’s Mascara. It didn’t flake or smudge, but it didn’t give me that “Wow!” look; it’s just a nice, clean, natural-looking mascara that’s comparable to Ilia Beauty’s. Quite honestly, I guess I could just copy and paste my Ilia review and stick it here (I mean, even the packaging is quite similar!). I just expect a bit more from a $28 natural mascara. I’m going to keep it in my arsenal and continue to play with it, perhaps even layering it over or under Ilia’s to see if I can create a texture and hold that I like.

Natural Mascaras I Will Repurchase

(Once I Learn To Quit Obsessing Over Trying to Find Something Better Than These)

*BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara

At first application, I thought BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara would be another “natural look” mascara. Not so. It’s extremely buildable yet doesn’t clump thanks to all the fine little lash separators in the wand. BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara really does lengthen and lift the lashes, and when applied in even coats, gives you that bit of thick, dramatic fullness.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara

To be honest, I didn’t have very high hopes for Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara when I got it in a recent Goodebox. However, I was pleasantly surprised. This coconut oil-infused natural mascara didn’t run or flake on me, and I found that because the formula is a bit drier, it helped hold the curl in my stick-straight lashes while defining and lengthening every last one of them. The thickness and volume of my lashes with this mascara wasn’t va-va-voom, but it wasn’t paltry, either; it’s actually pretty comparable to Tarte’s performance!

Perfekt Lash Perfection Gel

As noted in this makeup of the day post, Perfekt’s Lash Perfection Gel has a medium-sized brush that’s brilliant at coating each and every lash with the perfect amount of mascara that helps you achieve both length and thickness.

*Studio 78 Paris We Flirt Around: Double Effect Mascara

I’ve heard a lot of hype around Studio 78 Paris’ “We Flirt Around: Double Effect Mascara,” and it’s for good reason — it works! Marissa at BeauTeaBar sent me a sample to try, and while I’m always a skeptic, I was wowed by the performance of this natural mascara. It’s not too wet and not too try; this is another one that’s very comparable to Tarte and is almost a hybrid of Tarte and BareMinerals — but with way chicer packaging. It held my curl and didn’t flake or smudge on me. Hello for another win!

Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

I’ve repurchased Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara several times; it’s my go-to when I’m frustrated by the natural mascara hunt. You can see me wearing it in this makeup of the day post, but I’ll go ahead and tell you again that this is a staple because of the lengthening, curling, defining and thickening it offers.

What are some of your favorite natural mascaras? What do you look for in a great natural mascara? What picks in my “will not repurchase” list are on YOUR repurchase list? Tell me in the comments section!


related posts:



Powered by Facebook Comments

  • Amber Karlson

    This post is incredibly helpful! I love the Perfekt Lash Perfection Gel – I haven’t looked at the ingredients but from what I remember it isn’t 100% natural? I’ve heard good things about the Pure Anada mascara….I will be testing it out very soon!

    • kimberlyloc

      Thank you, and so welcome! Perfekt is a mainstream clean brand. I feel comfortable using it and endorsing it. Here’s the ingredients:

      Aqua/water, (CI 77499) Iron Oxide, Rice Wax/Oryza Sativa, Hydrogenated
      Olive Oil Stearyl Esters, Stearic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol,
      Carnauba Wax/Copernicia Cerifera, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Candelilla
      Wax, Acacia Gum/Acacia Senegal, VP/VA Ethylhexylglycerin, Ascorbyl
      Palmitate, Ceramide-3, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate,
      Retinyl Palmitate, Olive Glycerides, Nylon 6/12

      Pure Ananda is definitely dominating the convo. I will have to give it a try! Let me know how it works for you, too :)


      • Amber Karlson

        Thanks Kim!

        I’ve been using the Pure Anada mascara for two days now and it seems to be working well – lasts all day, no smudging and no flaking. The only thing is that it creates a super natural look. I find that I have to do 3-4 coats to get the look that I am used to with mascara.

  • Lilly

    I just purchased a refill for the Kjaer Weis mascara, and I think that you would like it too. It’s my everyday, go-to mascara because it’s organic (I like to go completely natural for my every day routine) and it comes off nicely when I remove it. It’s not waterproof, but it does not smudge nor flake. You would have to actually cry or go swim for the mascara to come off, and when it comes off it dissolves and does not leave black shadows under your eyes.

    I do agree about the bareMinerals Flawless Definition. It’s exactly what I use when I have to do something special (events, weddings and such). I use the waterproof version of that one. It’s amazing for holding the curl!

    • kimberlyloc

      How would you describe your lashes, Lilly? Yours seem so long and lush naturally! Do you have a before and after pic to share? I really want to try Kjaer Weis, I’m just a little nervous since I’ve been disappointed so many times before. You know how that goes!

  • Joana

    My sister raves about Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes Mascara, too. You just gave me the metaphorical thumbs-up to purchase it tomorrow :)

    • kimberlyloc

      Great! Let me know how you like it. It’s a staple for me :)

  • Rebecca Magee

    Was literally just googling “natural mascara” and thought I’d check your site just in case – total fate that you posted this today! Thank you a million for this list and for saving me from buying something that won’t work.

    I haven’t thought of Bare Minerals or Tarte as a truly natural though. Will have to look more into those brands. I think I might be tempted to try the Ilia one though!

    Thanks Kim!

    • kimberlyloc

      So glad you came to me! Let me know what you try. I agree that BareMinerals and Tarte aren’t the cleanest of the clean, but they’re not loaded with a ton of nasties the way that drugstore brands are. Those are my go-to brands for “mainstream clean beauty” that’s easily accessible.

      How would you describe your lashes?

  • Laura

    My favourite is kjaer weis as it lengthens and thickens and does not clump at all. W3ll isfine too.

    • kimberlyloc

      Been seeing a lot about these two … will get them on my to-try list!

  • 2ndNatureBeauty

    Great post Kimberly! I’ve found a good natural mascara to be a bit of a holy grail but I love the Kjaer Weis one, have you tried it? Great to know what to cross of the list and am definitely keen to try the Tarte mascara (it’s only just been introduced to the UK)! xx

  • beautybybritanie

    You know I am LOVING this post after we realized that we basically have the same eyelashes (haha). All of the ones that haven’t worked for you also haven’t worked for me…. except the Dr. Hauschka… I have a love/hate relationship with that mascara because it will sometimes make my lashes look very thick and other times it’s really wet and flattens them. Its the strangest thing. It’s as if it changes formula’s each time I apply it. I do find if I apply it and then curl my lashes again after applying (like you mentioned for the Ilia) that it works much much better BUT I don’t like to have to curl my lashes after I have already curled them and applied mascara because it just does not seem very good for the lashes at all. I really enjoyed the Kjaer Weis mascara at first but after a few times of wearing it noticed that my lashes looked barely visible. It also doesn’t give me much volume if any at all. I am using the Tarte mascara now but want to try the water proof version since my lashes can’t hold a curl for anything. I also need to get the BareMinerals mascara now that I know it works for you. If I could just find a natural or even semi-natural version of Lancome Hypnose or CoverGirl LashBlast mascara I would be a very happy girl!! it feels as though my mascara hunting days won’t be over for a long time…. it’s a bit of an obsession.

  • Elle

    Just catching up – thanks so much for this! My lashes are similar (though until recently I had extensions) and I can’t find anything natural that I REALLY like… currently using Tarte’s but sort of just feel meh about it. Will have to try Bare Minerals next! Have you tried the waterproof version?

  • Pingback: Green and Natural Mascaras : Andrea Bonilla()

  • Pingback: best natural deodorants | natural deodorant reviews | kimberlyloc()

  • Pingback: what are the best natural sunscreens | natural sunscreen reviews | kimberlyloc()

  • Pingback: Easy on the Eyes | This I Wear()

    Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie