What’s Your Favorite Natural Mascara?

Ladies, thank you for all the great shopping tips—keep them coming! Today Emma Pezzack from the awesome Future Natural store (another good one to check out, by the way) has us thinking about mascara.

She’s posted about her favorite clean mascaras, and it’s a great selection. But here’s our question for the natural makeup gods (or Emma, or anyone else who knows): Is it, could it ever be, can I dream of the possibility of a natural waterproof mascara? I love mascara, and frankly I’m not that subtle with it: I love glooping it on heavy—even on my lower lashes as I try in vain to imitate the Twiggy look above. But, unless you want to be a racoon, that requires waterproof!

A quick visit to SKIN DEEP reveals that the first ingredient in most conventional waterproof mascaras is isododecane, which gets a zero on their rating. That may just be on account of lacking data though. It sounds like this stuff is a solvent, that in some forms also works as a plasticizer. At any rate, I’d like to understand whether it’s the key to waterproof mascara—and hey, if it’s not so bad, maybe someone could make a semi-natch version with it.

I could live with that, how about you? Also, share! What’s your favorite natural mascara? Found any that don’t run?

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31 Responses to “What’s Your Favorite Natural Mascara?”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    My favorite is Dr. Hauschka. I don’t like the volumizing one, but I like the regular one. I’ve tried tarte lashhugger, josie maran, zuzu luxe, korres, 100% pure, aveda, and dr. hauschka remains my favorite. it can run a little if your eyes water, but i don’t have any other problems. my eyes are very sensitive and dr. h doesn’t bother them at all. It doesn’t flake either and keeps my lashes really soft and natural looking. they curl great with an eyelash curler even after I have applied mascara, no flaking or brittleness. It’s maybe not the most dramatic mascara, but it’s the best i’ve tried yet! And when I was using conventional products, Benefit Badgal was my favorite!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I like that one too (for my upper lashes). It’s great for daytime wear!

  3. Dr Hauschka totally runs, and if you have eyes that water, it sucks. I have tried all the ones @Elizabeth mentions, except for Tarte and Korres, and all have flaws (especially Aveda, it’s scented or something and kills my eyes). The Zuzu Luxe is lackluster, to me, and goes on very dry. So far Kiehl’s is my top hit (read my post here: http://www.theskindetective.com/2010/01/guinea-pig-kiehls-marvelous-mineral.html), but I’m looking for more suggestions. Anyone have an idea of how natural L’Oreal Bare Naturale or Physician’s Formula Organics are? These have gotten good reviews from my blog’s testers.

    One bonus I’ve found of switching to exclusively natural mascaras? My lashes are long, long, long. Must be all the conditioning natural oils.

  4. Trudi says:

    Based on one of the suggestions from the book, I recently ordered my first clean mascara from Amazon which was Couleur Caramel Mascara (lengthening). I actually really like it. I make sure prior to coating my lashes that I curl my lashes at least 3 times.

  5. Dorinda says:

    Other than being paraben free I’m not sure how natural Sally Hansen Natural Beauty mascara is but it has been one of the best mascaras I have ever used (and I have tried a LOT of different brands). It coats well, doesn’t flake, run or irritate my eyes. I generally don’t use the same mascara twice but this one has been great.

  6. Alexandra says:

    Isn’t it great? We have to thank Jessa for that one. :)

  7. Alexandra says:

    Well even if it’s not fully natch, good to know that it’s not irritating.

  8. Kim says:

    @The Skin Detective The loreal is definitey a brands to stay away. nothiing natural and they teste extensively on animals until the law comes in effective in 2013 in EU. I used to be a loyal customers of Loreal and a lot of thier sub brnds like Maybelline and Garnier. but i boycott them because they’re not cruelty free. I love Cover Girl Lash Blast but i have to replace it, same issue with Loreal they’re not cruelty free and I am not buyiing anything from P&G

    I have heard from a friend when sking for mascara recommedation, she told me Physician’s Formula Organics makes her eyes sting

    @Dorinda, Sally Hensen tests on animals too : ( so i probably wont get thier stuff. I’d like to try oranic mascara, but not sure with one works, i have stuburn eyelashes and poke out straight :(

  9. Jill says:

    I have been using Physicians Formula Organic mascara. It goes on nice and I like the brush. The packaging seems juvenile and I’d prefer a more “mature” container. I do get greying under my eyes by mid-day. I’m not sure if it’s the mascara or my eye moisturizer. I started both new products at the same time. Previously I was loyal to Almay one-coat for a multitude of years and then switched to a more kinder mascara, but I’m still looking for one that won’t smudge and turn my lower eye area grey. Surely some company can spring forth and conquer!

  10. sara says:

    Pretty much anything from the drugstore is junk and really not safe. Besides also not being cruelty free. I have yet to review the physicans formula on my site but plan to, as a budget option. I hope to be testing Couleur Caramel in the near future as I have heard great things. When I went green, the first mascara I ever bought was 100% Pure. To this day its is still my number one go to. Tartes lights,camera, lashes isn’t bad either. But I love 100% pures. Have not tried dr. H but heard good things. Earth’s beauty and Paul Penders are 2 other great options.

  11. Siobhan says:

    Couleur is great, my only beef with it is that I’m a trigger crier (commercials, movie previews, good news, bad news, every episode of House ever). I guess we can’t expect our makeup to perform miracles but I don’t want to look like a mess either!

  12. Hey @Kim, everything from 100% Pure is Cruelty Free. Check them out.

    @Sara, what is your blog I want to check it out!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I tried Physician’s Formula organic wear as well and it really made my eyes burn, just like Aveda’s Mosscara.

  14. Emma Pezzack says:

    Siobhan & Alexandra…

    I’m always looking for the holy grail of mascara (I’m a total mascara & fragrance freak), and the best I’ve found to date is the 100% Pure Mascara – UBER looooooooooong lashes with color coating every single lash from top to bottom and builds great volume. I’ve heard Josie Maran is amazing (passed the onion test on video) but haven’t used it. Organic Glam is great. I have yet to find the natural equivalent of Dior Show – when I do – I’ll be screaming it from the heavens!!

    Re your question about waterproof mascara, unfortunately there are none … YET. They’re all pretty budgeproof – some more than others – but until someone develops green polymers, it’ll be a while before we see one.

    CEO / Founder Futurenatural + Green Beauty Expert

  15. Siobhan says:

    From a lady who knows, folks. I’m ordering that shiz tomorrow!

  16. Mimi says:

    yayQ i’m so excited about this post, as i have been searching high and low for some natch alternatives. i’m going to try them ALL. thanks, ladies.

  17. Mimi says:

    ohhh, just did a little googling, looks like kiehl’s was recently acquired by l’oreal (who is also partly owned by nasty nestle). bummer, because i just bought a $45 cream from their acai line. :(

  18. Siobhan says:

    Mmm hmmm. You can always return it! They probably have a good return policy.

  19. Alison says:

    I have had great luck with Gabriel mascara, which you can get online and at Whole Foods. It’s a little pricey for me, compared to drug store mascara, but totally worth it!

  20. I am always searching waterproof mascara. I have heard from a friend about it my search completed because I got it. I am satisfied with it. And I think there are no alternatives optional of it.

  21. Wow so informative blog. Thanks a lot. blush: mac peaches, tarte blissful cheek stain, bare minerals warmth. peaches is perfect for a nice matte day look. blissful for a dewy look. warmth for just a nice glow.

  22. Sarah says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes! http://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-lights-camera-splashes or Urban Decay’s Big Fatty Waterproof Mascara http://www.urbandecay.com. The result on my lashes is more lengthening and natural look with Lights, Camera, Splashes!. You can layer it up and likely replicate Twiggy’s look because it starts to get clumpy/spiky on multiple coats. It works beautifully in water too. I swam in every day last summer and it didn’t budge once even in heavy chlorinated water. The other option I know of is Urban Decay’s Big Fatty Waterproof Mascara. This is what I use day to day and it provides more soft voluminous lashes. I haven’t gotten a chance to pool test it yet. If you layer it up it can give you the fake lashes look easily similar to Dior Show. Big Fatty has lasted through plenty of eye watering which I do a lot of myself. Both of them contain the ingredient isododecane, which you are unsure about, but it’s the only waterproof mascara I know of that is free of the nasty stuff that I am familiar with. I’m just starting your book so you’ll have to tell me if these have nasty ingredients that I definitely need to avoid.

  23. This Mascara is nice but the formula doesn’t go on as smoothly as regular mascara. I wouldn’t have minded that from a formula free of chemicals as long as it performed well. Unfortunately it did not. I tried it out before meeting friends for dinner. I left the house with nice thick long eyelashes. But as I checked my reflection in my car mirror after dinner, I was mortified to see major smudges under and above my eye area! Thank you so much.

  24. Elizabeth D. says:

    I am not a fan of Physician’s Formula Organic Wear, though I wanted so badly to be! I thought the packaging was kind of adorable–but the product itself was detrimental to my lashes. I could be wrong about this, but in the month or so I used the Organic Wear mascara, two or three eyelashes would fall onto my cheeks almost every time I washed my face! Maybe I let the mascara sit around on my shelf too long–and maybe I was using an older product, but in any case–in lieu of losing more lashes I switched.

    Today, I’m on Day 2 of Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. I don’t know where the volume is (maybe I need some time to build it back up!), but my lashes do look silky and healthy again, and I have experienced NO smudging at all. My eyes are pretty oiled up too with Key’s Eye Butter. So far, so good.

  25. Elizabeth D. says:

    Also, as the first Elizabeth commented, with Dr. Hauschka’s mascara, my eyelashes are not crunchy or brittle. Just the opposite.

  26. Ma Frangine says:

    I love Physicians Formula’s Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. It makes my lashes look great and give nice fullness and length.

  27. Naydja says:

    revisiting this thread as my brother’s wedding is around the corner shortly followed by my niece’s wedding and I know the faucets are going to be flowing – and updates/strong recommendations on a close/to waterproof – or at least that will let me get through a ceremony without streaks running down my face?

  28. Denise says:

    I’ve looked up all the brands mentioned above on the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database for safety, and none have scored too well. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

  29. Lucie says:

    Hey girls,
    I know this is a very old post but I was looking for a natural waterproof mascara and I think I might have found one that’s not too bad : Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Waterproof http://www.bareescentuals.com/Flawless%20Definition%20Waterproof%20Mascara/49568,default,pd.html?start=5&cgid=BE_EYES
    It’s a green 2 on Skin Deep…

  30. Laurel says:

    Thanks for all the recommendations! I have ridiculously sensitive skin and suffered from horrible reactions around my eyes for well over a year. I tried nearly every brand of makeup until discovering that I’m allergic to mica (and all the harsh chemicals found in most makeup certainly wasn’t helping). I finally switched to Cory Cosmetics which has mica-free lines a well as all natural lines with mica. The only product CC doesn’t make is mascara, however, and my eyes have been acting up a bit as of late so I’m eager to try some of these!
    Could someone recommend one that is pretty water resistant and holds curl well? Thanks!

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