The Definitive Guide to Natural Mascara

When it comes to green beauty, natural mascara is a must have. Why? For the simple reason that your mascara is like your second in command – it gets even better access to your eyes than your eyeliner or eyeshadow does, so you need to be able to trust it.

Nobody wants your lovely sight to get damaged, so how do we make sure that you only get the best stuff possible?

You’ve probably guessed it already, but the best way is to only get products that are made out of entirely natural ingredients. Since it’s not got any weird, wonderful and ridiculously dangerous chemicals in there, it follows that it’s safe enough to wear around your precious peepers.

The thing is, though, when it comes to natural mascara – it can be tricky. There are some great options out there for natural, organic mascara but there are also several brands that tout products that are not-so-natural you need to be on the lookout for.

So, whether you’re a seasoned professional or you’re just getting into natural beauty, we’re going to set you on the right track. Get a notepad and a pen, because you’re about to be educated as we go through some of the mainstays (and underdogs!) of the natural mascara world. 

6 Best Natural Mascara Options

The below choices for the best natural mascara are just that: they’re the top-of-the-line, crème de la crème of the mascara world. Here’s why they rock.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara

This is probably the best organic mascara there is. 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Mascara gets its color from black tea (which we didn’t know was a fruit until now) and contains a number of different nourishing vitamins and fruit extract for stronger, healthier lashes.

It’s extremely durable and is specifically designed to prevent smudging, which means that the shock horror you get after accidentally rubbing your eye will be a thing of the past. Sadly, it’s not quite waterproof, but it can withstand a good bit of sweat and tears.

Moral of the story: don’t jump into a swimming pool with this mascara on. Other than that, you’re pretty much good. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, though, you can at least be safe in the knowledge that no matter how sensitive your eyes are, this mascara won’t sting. The chlorine might, though.

100% Pure don’t test on animals as a rule, but due to their lightweight, natural formulas there’s not much need for testing anyways. A ton of different antioxidant-rich fan favorites like green tea and cocoa butter go into this line for extra moisture and protection. Unfortunately, this isn’t vegan due to that damn beeswax again.

Extra perk? This mascara smells nice. Sure, that’s not the first and foremost thing you look for in a mascara, but still…

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)

Jane Iredale Mascaras

Jane Iredale has four mascaras to choose from, and each have a life of their own. Their Purelash extender and conditioner is great for unruly lashes that need to be whipped into shape. It gives you a ton of extra definition and it smooths out lashes that have been left to run wild. It doesn’t take much to get full-on, comprehensive coverage with enough pigment to fill a barn. The only drawback is that it has a slight tendency to stitch the lashes together which limits the volumizing effect.

Their original PureLash mascara is perfect for everyday wear. It’s not too bold so it won’t stick out too much, and it’s completely free from any sort of irritants so it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well. This one’s also remarkably clump-free and great for curls.

Their Lengthening mascara gives an all-round natural look, but it’s definitely capable of irritating and reddening eyes – especially if they’re already sensitive – so we don’t recommend this one. It’s stubborn, which is what gives it its staying power, although it’s just as easy to remove as it is to apply.

Last of all, there’s the Longest Lash mascara which is completely hypo-allergenic and pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s in the business of volumizing and it does a fantastic job, putting its weight on the ends of your lashes and creating a high-pigmented, sweeping finish.

None of these are suitable for vegans, but they’re all cruelty-free and mostly natural.

Ingredients (for PureLash): Water, Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cellulose, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Oleic Acid, May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Carmine (CI 75470) (CI 75470), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007)

ILIA Limitless Lash

ILIA’s natural mascara has curved brushes designed to fit around the eye area with a focus on the ends of the lashes to emphasize your natural curls. After the first coat, you’re free to layer it on to your heart’s content – this is one very buildable mascara.

You can be rest assured that it won’t clump together or turn your eyelashes to stone, and unless you’re tipping the whole bottle on your eyelids, it should keep a natural-looking but bold finish no matter how much you build it up.

This mascara should stay put all day no matter what you throw at it, from rush hour traffic to that gym workout you’ve been telling yourself you’ll actually do since January (it’s as smudge-proof as they come). There’s four to choose from, so choose wisely.

Only 85% of this line is completely organic, so take care in purchasing. It’s safe for vegans, though, and for people with a gluten intolerance. None of ILIA’s products are tested on animals, meaning this line is 100% cruelty-free.

Oh, extra perk – we love that this mascara’s got saw palmetto in it – you know, the natural hair growing, hair-loss-minimizing ingredient? Yeah, that one.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) Fruit Extract*, Aloe (Barbadensis) Leaf Extract*, Hydrogenated Glyceryl Abietate, Brassica Campestris, Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, CoperniciaCerifera (carnauba) wax*, Chrondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Butter, Triisostearyl Citrate, Stearic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Silica, Hydrolyzed JojobaEsters, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenethyl alcohol. May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Ultramarines. *Certified Organic Ingredients.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Natural Mascara

Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze mascara grabs you by the shoulders straight away because of its fantastic pigment. It doesn’t clump, so it can stay on a lot longer without injury. This one is definitely for showing off, giving a dramatic, up-swept look that’s best saved for nights out or old fashioned ballroom dances.

Thanks to a few different conditioning agents included in the formula, it can help to keep your lashes strong and ever-flourishing. Over time, the effects are obvious – this mascara is your one-stop journey to healthier lashes. Oh and another thing; you can apply it onto thin lashes without much hassle. Thin-lashed sisters rejoice!

It’s completely free of any irritants so it’s perfectly suitable for sensitive eyes. Pacifica claims that this mascara is hypoallergenic, and boy do they mean it. Its gentle treatment of those with allergies is another thing that pushes this mascara just a tiny bit above the rest.

Ingredients: aqua, glycerin (vegetable), glyceryl stearate se, jojoba esters, tapioca starch, stearic acid ( vegetable), copernicia cerfera (carnauba) wax, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, arabic/acacia gum, acrylates, crosspolymer, potassium cetyl phosphate, microcrystalline cellulse (plant), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, panthenol (vitamin b), cellulose gum, gluconolactone, macrocystis pyifera (brown kelp) extract, hydrolyzed oryza sativa (rice) protein, sodium benzoate, iron oxides c1 77499.

RMS Beauty Natural Mascara

RMS has two natural mascaras on offer currently; defining and volumizing. They’re both great, but each has their perks and drawbacks. Defining has the kind of creamy consistency that’s great for mascaras, though it still has a tendency to be quite clumpy. It’s oil-based, so it’s fairly stubborn and long-lasting. This is one you really need makeup remover for.

The Defining version is a little bit bolder and more dramatic than the volumizing. Even although it does stay on for most of the day, it can sometimes be a little flaky and smudge a little. Thankfully, though, the lightweight formula won’t sting or redden eyes even when it does flake off. Volumizing has the same basic ingredients, but clumping really isn’t a problem. It’s fantastic at separating lashes for that glamorous flutter we all secretly want.

RMS are pretty up-front about the fact that their mascaras aren’t organic, but claim that they’re still made from natural ingredients. It’s mainly just wax and minerals, though it’s not vegan-friendly.

Ingredients (for Volumizing Mascara): Water (Aqua), *Cera Alba (Beeswax), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Glycerin, *Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Stearic Acid, *Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch, Glyceryl Stearate, *Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil,  *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene, Geranoil, Parfum (Natural Fragrance)

W3II People Bio Extreme Expressionist

When W3ll People named their mascara range Extreme Expressionist, they certainly weren’t kidding. This mascara is bold, dramatic, and seriously glam. So glam in fact that you might want to hide it away for a special occasion; consider it your trump card.

Within a stretch, it’s suitable for everyday wear but expect to turn some heads at the office. If you are using it for normal wear, try to go for as few coats as possible. If you are, in fact, looking to dazzle, then lather it on thick and heavy.

It won’t clump whatsoever- but after a while it does flake the tiniest bit. It stays put fantastically and doesn’t smear or smudge in the slightest.

The formula isn’t as natural as it could be, but it does contain some really good natural moisturizers and replenishing agents for healthier, stronger lashes. One example is beeswax, so you know the drill. It is gluten-free though, so have at it.

Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Brazil Wax), Cera/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnuba Wax)*, Castor Isostearate (Castor Oil), Beeswax Succinate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Palm Glycerides, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Geraniol, Limonene. May Contain + / – : ci77499 (Iron Oxide); *Certified Organic

3 Mostly Natural Mascara Options

As is often the case in the world of green beauty, there are some mascara brands that claim to be all natural but their ingredients list gives us a bit of pause.

That being said, these aren’t bad mascaras. They do have several good things going for them and they are mostly natural so it’s your call to make. Here’s the roundup and their various pros and cons.

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara

best natural mascara

Honeybee Gardens mascara is great for those with sensitive eyes and skin since it contains a number of different natural anti-inflammatories like aloe vera. It’s not that greatly pigmented or comprehensive, so it takes a few coats to get good color and coverage going.

Thankfully it’s clump-resistant and soft, so you can really lather on as much as you like without ill effect. It’s also fairly tough against water, though it won’t withstand a day out at the swimming pool, so if that’s on the agenda you might want to miss out on this one for now.

This one’s gluten free but contains beeswax so it’s not great for vegans. It’s made up of mostly natural ingredients, but it does contain a potential toxin called phenoxethanol which can wreak havoc on your central nervous system if it’s ingested too much. Since about 65% of what we put through our skin sinks through our pores, it’s really something to think hard about if you’re looking to buy this mascara.

Ingredients: Purified water, 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

Studio 78 Paris Double Effect Mascara

best natural mascara

Studio 78 Paris’ Double Effect Mascara is specially designed to give proper treatment to each and every one of your lashes. With this mascara, you really are getting full coverage, and the pigment is pretty strong as well.

It goes on surprisingly smooth with no clumps to speak of and it’s a really tough little thing. It stays exactly where it’s meant to so you don’t have to worry about those dreaded panda eyes.

Instead of the classic plastic wand, it’s made up of highly accurate bristles. Those can be a little bit hit-or-miss in our opinion, but this one manages to get right to where you want it to go and thoroughly coats the lashes. This is better for subdued, natural lashes than dramatic showstoppers so keep that in mind before you buy.

All in all, the formula is 99% natural, which is pretty good in our book. It’s completely free of toxins and irritants anyhow, so you don’t have to be plagued by that extra 1%. It hasn’t been tested on animals, and it’s vegan to boot.

Ingredients: Aqua, Salvia Sclarea Flower/leaf/stem Water* Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Heptyl Undecylenate, Sucrose Palmitate, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Rosinate, Cellulose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Silica, Potassium Palmitoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Linalool. May Contain: CI 77499 *Organically farmed ingredient

Antonym’s Lola Lash Mascara

best natural mascara

Antonym’s Lola Lash line is perfect for those who need some extra volume and panache. It prevents clumps whilst working to deliver the nutrients that your eyelashes need to stay strong and hydrated. It’s designed to emphasise on the ends of your lashes to give you that flawless upwards flick that every girl secretly wants.

It manages to stay on for the better part of the day without coming off in awkward flakes that make you feel like your eyelashes are staging a mutiny against you. Because of its gentle formula, it won’t irritate or redden sensitive eyes even if it does flake off. Despite being completely smudge proof, it’s effortless to get off at night.

Fair word of warning; the ingredients list on this one reads like alphabet soup. We don’t know how on earth it managed to get a natural certificate, but we imagine some black magic was involved. Overall, there hasn’t really been any horror stories from using this product but we’d advise you to be vigilant since the ingredients seem to be a cocktail for disaster. There is some good news, though; despite everything else, this is actually perfectly safe for vegans to use. And we definitely have to give the folks at Antonym props for not testing on animals whatsoever.

Ingredients: Aqua, C77499, Candellila/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3Esters (and) Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Emulsifying/Surfactant, Copernicia cerifera cera Emollient, Glyceryl Stearate SE O/W Emulsifier, Isopropyl Myristate Emollient, Glyceryl Behenate Consistency factor, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Wax Viscosant, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides Active – Co-emulsifier, Microcrystalline Cellulose (and) Cellulose Gum Viscosity, Propanediol Solvant / Emulsifier, Glycerin (and) ethyl lauroyl arginate HCl preservative, Glyceryl caprylate Emollient, Aqua (and) Hydrolyzed linseed extract(and) Sodium benzoate Active ingredient, Sodium hydroxide (and) Aqua.

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1 comment
The Choosy Chick says March 20, 2016

Hi Ellis, This is a great overview of the natural mascaras! Our customer favorites are 100% Pure, and Honeybee Gardens – which now has removed phenoxyethanol from their ingredients – making it a great choice. Personally speaking this ingredient is very irritating to eyes. Also wondering why so many brands use sodium hydroxide in their formula – which can be caustic!

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