Shopping around for a natural mascara? We know it can be tough to find your perfect match - and if you're making the switch to green beauty, it can be even harder to "let go" of your high street mascara in favour of an organic version! But fear not, for we've enlisted our instore green make-up artist Sjaniel to lend her expert advice. If you fancy a one-on-one with her or one of our resident natural beauty experts, you can also book yourself in for a 'Detox Your Make-Up Bag' consultation instore. Now, over to Sjaniel...
The world of organic and natural mascaras is a bit of a minefield - mascara is the one beauty product that women get most attached to and often find it the most difficult to change, or to find their favourite equivalent in a "clean" version. Getting natural mascaras to have similar capabilities to commercial ones is no mean feat and something that natural brands are consistently trying to achieve and improve on using as few synthetic ingredients as possible. Sometimes, that means compromising a little on the overall effect, but if you suffer from sensitivities or want to steer clear of toxins, then this is a very small compromise to make.
After spending so much time helping ladies of different wants and likes to find their perfect natural mascara, I thought it would be good to give a guide that would divide them into categories, rather than just give them a star rating. A review is helpful, but what the reviewer wants and likes is not always what you want or rate as good! So, here is my list according to tailored preferences…
- YOU LIKE NATURAL, CLEAN LASHES
If you have a massive aversion to anything resembling a clump and you prefer a more naturally enhanced look then ILIA BEAUTY is the brand for you. ILIA’s Mascara in Nightfall has a beautiful black sheen that does not go matte once set. The brush is very good for keeping lashes separated and clump-free – also great if you have short lashes, because the brush has plastic bristles that have a long and short side, so you’re not touching your skin while applying.
- YOU HAVE VERY SHORT, CURLY LASHES
When first looking at the rms beauty Defining Mascara’s brush, people always give me a strange look. It is the smallest, thinnest mascara brush you’ve ever seen, but therein lies its magic! This little brush gets right down to the base of your lash line giving you a lot of extra lift and a good amount of product without going through the lash and onto the eyelid. I love that this mascara gives you enough product to need one straight application of lift and volume, without needing to build it up. Even though the name doesn’t suggest it, it definitely has a volumising action and works just as well on very long lashes with a wide-eyed effect.
- YOU DON’T WANT YOUR LASHES STICKING TOGETHER
W3LL PEOPLE The Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara has an ingenious brush with plastic bristles that really help comb through the lashes individually. It is a beautiful deep black and creates that stunning feathered eyelash look – a favourite of many. My other recommendation in this category would be Jane Iredale's Purelash Lengthening Mascara - it creates a volume and thickness, without lashes sticking together in a deep black lasting colour.
- YOU HAVE VERY PALE SKIN WITH RED HAIR
People with this type of complexion often struggle to find mascara that doesn’t change their look completely. If you have very pale lashes, black mascara or even brown, can often look like too much for an everyday look. Ilia Beauty Macao is a fantastic copper colour mascara that is the perfect natural complement to strawberry blonde lashes: it intensifies the natural hue of the lashes without making it overtly obvious that you’ve been ‘made up’.
- YOU LOVE THICK, SPIDERY LASHES
Do you like a bit of the ‘bed-head’ vibe and want commercial value, application and thickness? Enter Studio 78 Paris We Flirt Around! Flirt around indeed – this mascara has a good amount of product on application and makes it easy, as you just need one layer for a high volume black lash, but it's also great to layer and really thicken it up. If like me, you like your lashes more on the ‘tarantula’ side, then this is the product for you!
- YOU STRUGGLE WITH SMUDGING
You’ve tried every natural brand out there and they all end up sitting under or on your eyes – then you need the magic that is the Kjaer Weis Mascara. This mascara is the closest to waterproof that you’ll get on the natural market. Waterproof is an impossibility in the clean make-up world, mainly because what makes these products waterproof are the exact ingredients that you’re trying to avoid. Kjaer Weis has managed to create a formula that dries onto the lashes and does not smudge when touched. It stays put throughout the day and will ‘rub’ off when you remove it with water, or preferably an oil cleanser (coconut oil works a charm). This mascara is also great for layering and adding more volume without clumping – you have to work a little faster though, as it dries and stays.
- BLACK IS JUST TOO MUCH FOR YOU
ILIA Beauty has done an amazing job in formulating a varying colour range in their products. They have four different mascara colours consisting of black, brown, copper and grey. Shadow of a Doubt is a dark brown colour that is more toward a black/brown shade than a red brown and is great for a nice natural look, or when black is just too much. Asphalt Jungle has a charcoal tone and good for picking up colours in people with light coloured eyes, or complimenting grey or white hair. Macao is a gorgeous copper colour which can bee worn on the whole lash length or looks great just on the tips over Asphalt Jungle.
- GREEN LIVING IS YOUR PRIORITY
Kjaer Weis has created an ingenious packaging system, where you buy the beautiful long-lasting casing and the inside is refillable. When your mascara is empty (also conveniently smaller, so that you use it all up instead of needing to throw it away before it’s empty) you just pull out the plastic recyclable inner and buy the refill to put back into the case. No more feeling guilty about your beautiful packaging! Also, Studio 78 Paris makes there packaging from cardboard which means that it can be easily recycled.
- IF YOU HAVE VERY SENSITIVE EYES
If your eyes tend to 'water' with most of your mascaras, try the Jane Iredale's Purelash Lengthening Mascara. Most of the Mascaras we have should be fine and its hard to predict what people will be sensitive too but we've had great feedback from natural beauties who suffer from sensitivities.
- YOU ARE VEGAN OR WANT TO AVOID ALL ANIMAL DERIVED INGREDIENTS
It goes without saying that none of our products are ever tested on animals. However, if you are very strict about not using products with any animal derived ingredients, you become more limited in the mascara department. Beeswax is an essential substitute for chemicals in many of the organic and natural formulas, so most brands will contain it. ILIA Beauty and Studio 78 Paris however, have managed to bypass using it all together, so you can confidently use their mascara, if this ethos applies to you.
- LACK-LUSTRE LASHES
One of my favourite tips for those that feel they are lacking in the lash department is layer on the Jane Iredale Lash Extender and Conditioner. This works two fold - it helps condition the lashes (much like a leave on conditioner for your hair) helping to strengthen them and works as a primer, giving the natural mascaras a little help with 'stickability' if your eyes tend to water.
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