Top 5 Best Natural Mascaras Under $30
It’s 1:00 p.m., and after lunch, you have a glance in the mirror and notice the mascara that started out on your eyelashes this morning has made its way into the creases under your eyes. You thought you were doing the right thing for your health by choosing a natural mascara, but now you’re having to re-make your face mid-day. What to do?
Raise your hand if you’ve tried a clean mascara that has just fallen short. Whether it clumps, flakes onto your cheeks, or simply doesn’t live up to the claims on the packaging to be a lengthening mascara or a volumizing mascara, so many of the natural and organic mascara options just don’t match up to their conventional counterparts.
Maybe you have extra watery or sensitive eyes that motivated your decision to look for a mascara with organic ingredients. Maybe you’re looking for a cruelty-free, vegan mascara. Or maybe you were just tired of using the same old drugstore mascara and wanted to look for something with pure and natural ingredients.
We’re here to help. Green beauty is on the rise, and there are now better products than ever at your beauty counter. Here are our five favorite natural mascaras, all at an affordable price.
Ingredients to Avoid and Their Ideal Counterparts
You might not be familiar with the ingredients in a tube of mascara, natural or otherwise. Before we share our favorite brands, let’s look at the ingredients to avoid and what to look for instead.
Avoid: Diazolidinyl urea and imidazolidinyl urea, which are preservatives that are both “formaldehyde-releasers.” Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and irritant, and these ingredients can also exacerbate allergies and disrupt immune response. It’s not something you want right next to your eyeballs!
Also avoid parabens, which are used as a preservative in all sorts of products in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. They may be connected to certain breast cancers, although more research needs to be done. Because it’s so ubiquitous in common household products, it’s probably good to avoid them when you can to reduce exposure.
Look for: Natural preservatives like mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), rosemary extract (careful if your eyes are sensitive), and even sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are all far better choices. They’re food-grade (considered safe to eat) and don’t carry the same potential risks as parabens.
Avoid: Retinyl acetate, marketed as a moisturizer, is implicated in “organ system toxicity,” according to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), and might even be a carcinogen.
Look for: Cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, or sunflower oil, all natural or organic butters and oils. Your lashes will get great benefit without the health risks.
Avoid: Synthetic fragrances, also called parfum, which might contain irritating chemicals, including phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors and possible carcinogens.
Look for: Fragrance-free or mascaras fragranced with essential oils.
Avoid: Synthetic pigments and dyes, which can be derived from heavy metals like aluminum.
Look for: Products that are transparent about the sourcing of their pigments.
Other Things to Keep In Mind
Ideally, your natural mascara uses natural waxes (like beeswax, or candelilla wax if you’re vegan) to do the job of natural volumizers.
And remember, never use expired mascara, even the natural stuff. You could be exposing yourself to molds or other contaminants right near your eyes. When in doubt, throw it out.
Top Five Best Natural Mascaras
Whether you’re looking for waterproof lashes, extra volume, long lashes, or even nourishing lash conditioners, we’ve found non-toxic mascaras that will fit the bill.
1. W3ll People Expressionist Mascara
This lush mascara from W3ll People will hit your target metrics without breaking the bank. Coming in around $22, this formula goes on wet for a lengthening effect that takes your lashes to the next level. Easy application means you’ll achieve a pro look every time, and it will be phthalate, sulfate, and paraben-free to boot.
2. RMS Beauty Mascara
Whether you opt for the Defining or Volumizing mascara options by RMS, you’re sure to love this raw, organic mascara. Colored using petroleum-free mineral pigments and free from synthetics, you can choose from a longer, more dramatic brush in the Volumizing option, or a shorter, more subdued look with the Defining Mascara. This formula is also gluten-free and runs $28.
3. Kjaer Weis Mascara
This formula was created with health in mind (yours and the planet’s!). Kjaer Weis mascara is 99.8% organic and created by makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis. With fully recyclable packaging and refillable containers, you can use this mascara with a clean conscience. The first purchase will run you about $38, but each refill cartridge (designed to last exactly three months to avoid bacterial contamination) is about $28. It’s also surprisingly luxurious with a lash-defining wand for precision application. It comes in jet black for a dramatic finish.
4. Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara’s shade is called After Midnight, and it’s a black mascara that takes the word “limitless” seriously. This formula is designed as an answer to the toxic ingredients found in so many waterproof mascaras, promising to last all day and night. Featuring a combination of organic bee and carnauba waxes, this formula not only looks amazing, but it also conditions your lashes as you wear it. You can take home this beaut for $28. (Caveat: If you’re a strict vegan, this one won’t work for you due to the beeswax.)
5. Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara
Known for their high-quality natural products, Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara is no different. This ultra lengthening and volumizing mascara uses a fruit pigmented formula that goes on wet enough for buildable volume that will last without clumping or flaking. Grab it for $24, or start an auto-replenish service for a discounted rate.
Beauty Isn’t Skin Deep
Taking care of your face using clean, natural beauty products is about more than just the first layer of skin or lashes. It’s important to nourish your skin and the area around your eyes at a deep level, choosing products that not only offer lasting coverage, but penetrating nutrients that fortify and balance your complexion.
Feel offers an array of products that will prep your face and eyes for the best mascaras on the market. While you sleep, try Pure Anywhere Balm for deep moisture under and around your eyes. Or do a full facial prep with one of three amazing face masks: Harmony, Restored, and Brilliant. You’ll feel pure luxury as you provide deep nourishment for your skin before applying your makeup.