Some people love lipstick; some can’t leave the house without perfectly polished brows. Me, I’m an eyelash enthusiast—a small part of my happiness is dependent on good mascara. Unfortunately, I have sensitive eyes and am prone to infection. And while natural mascara is easier on my eyes, it’s not always the most impactful.
I spent weeks testing and comparing brands to find the best natural mascaras on the market. But first thing’s first: What does natural mean? It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot, especially in the beauty world, and it can mean different things to different people—not to mention product marketers. The mascaras compiled here are free of parabens, sulfates, pesticides, phthalates and artificial fragrances. They feature naturally-derived and organic ingredients, but may also include safe synthetic ingredients. (Reminder: Everything is a chemical, but not all chemicals are bad for you.)
Because they are formulated without certain ingredients, you might find that natural mascaras don’t give the instant oomph-factor you’re used to, but they have come a long way in recent years. Below, a list of natural mascaras that actually work.
Volume Mascara, $43, well.ca.
This natural mascara may be pricier than the rest, but it’s worth it for a 100% natural formula that’s dermatologically and ophthalmologically tested and approved. It’s not tested on animals and free from preservatives and synthetic fragrances. (But it still smells fresh and floral.)
The lightweight formula goes on smoothly and creates instant impact by adding length, volume and curl. I only needed one coat. My lashes lost a bit of volume throughout the day, but they still looked great in the evening.