Truly Natural Mascara Options

mascaraBlessings asked: Do you wear mascara and if so what brand? I remember a blog post about mineral makeup but use maybelline mascara, and since it’s gone, I thought I would ask if you have a better brand or alternative.

Yes, I do wear mascara, and have been in pursuit of finding a truly natural alternative, but have been quite stumped. Your question got me motivated to dig deep and find the best options.

I have been surprised to see how many mascara options are available that claim to be “natural” and yet still contain parabens of all varieties. Natural brands such as EccoBella, BareEssentuals mascara, and Palladio.

Parabens (such as methyl­paraben and propylparaben) are synthetic preservatives and studies link them with cancer, endocrine dis­rup­tion and hor­mone mim­icry, developmental and reproductive toxicity, aller­gies and skin tox­i­c­ity, tissue irri­ta­tion, and tox­i­c­ity to var­i­ous organs, to name a few.

As mascara is the easiest of skin products to quickly enter and be absorbed into the body through the eyes, it is definitely something worthwhile to consider finding a safe paraben free alternative. Check out your ingredient lists carefully and always refer to the Skin Deep Database.

I have been doing various research and have found the following options to be your best choices. Please note that these natural mascaras are not waterproof.  Companies use plastics and high alcohol content to achieve this effect. Prices range from $14-18 per tube, which is actually quite reasonable since the standard brand I have bought in the past was at least $9-10 and lasts for approximately 6 months for me. Remember, the least amount of ingredients listed on a label the better, and they should be readable! ;)

Origins Lash Loving Mascara
Tarte Lash Hugger Natural Mascara
– (read reviews on this product here)
RealPurity Mascara
Earth’s Beauty Mascara
Sun Coat Naturals

The majority of these mascaras can be found online through Natural Solutions, a great source for truly natural cosmetic products.

Further Reading

How Safe is Your Mascara? - most standard mascara brands are compared

I would love to hear if any of you have tried these safe alternatives? What do you recommend? Remember…double check your ingredient list before making a recommendation!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

57 Responses to Truly Natural Mascara Options

  1. free mascara samples October 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

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  2. Kristy January 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Thanks so much for the post! I stumbled across your blog while searching for natural mascaras. After some thought and research, I bought the Origins Lash Loving Mascara. I I LOVE it!! I’m switching from a waterproof Maybelline kind, and I actually like the Origins better!! It has no smell, as opposed to the nose-hair burning scents of my last mascara. It goes on smooth, doesn’t flake, and washes off easily. It doesn’t even smudge when I’m sweating in a hot yoga class!

    Thanks again for doing the research. I’ve now bookmarked your blog!

  3. Emily June 19, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Lindsay –
    Sorry for commenting on an older post (I’m new to your blog)…

    I searched the 5 products you gave at the end of your post in the Skin Deep database, and they all had less-than-stellar hazard scores (with the exception of Origins I believe…but that didn’t get good consumer reviews :( )…The products in the Natural Solutions list also didn’t get good scores on Skin Deep, either.

    The items that WERE recommended on Skin Deep all seemed to not work well as a mascara.

    Aah! Help!

    • Lindsay June 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

      I take Skin Deep with a grain of salt because it is not always very accurate. These are good safe recommendations because if you evaluate their ingredient list they are simple, short and for the most part perfectly safe. You go with the best workable option.

  4. Susan July 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Have you checked out such natural brands as like Jane Iredale and Dr. Hauschka? Ebay has them cheap but hard for the taking.

  5. Gillian March 31, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Have you ever tried an eyelash curler? That’s all I use now. Sometimes with coconut oil and I’ll have to try the aloe vera! I really like the eyelash curler, completley natural and no more worries about smudges etc.!

  6. Allison March 20, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    I just tried using my powdered mineral eyeliner as mascara. I made my flat eyeliner brush wet, then dipped it into a tiny bit of my powdered eyeliner. It worked! We’ll see how it holds up throughout the day, but it seems like a great way to save money and keep all of the normal nasty ingredients away from my eyes. Most powders seem to have ingredients that are okay. I have been wearing Bare Escentuals, but just ordered the Everyday Minerals sample kit. I’m excited to try it!

  7. Laura March 5, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I finally got my shipment of 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented
    Ultra Lengthening Mascara, only sold at QVC. I must say I’m loving the stuff so far. And it has a really nice fruity smell. My eyes aren’t burning, which they usually do and the mascara goes on good & doesn’t clump.

  8. Rachel R. March 3, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Physician’s Formula has a rebate available this month on their new organic mascara. (And the organic one does NOT have parabens in it.) The rebate makes this a good time to give it a try (I liked it well enough – as well as any of the more chemical-y ones, anyway.), and the best part (for me, anyway) is that it’s available in stores, so there is no paying $6 shipping on $10 worth of mascara!

    • Lindsay March 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

      Where do you find this rebate?

  9. Jentree February 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    I don’t wear much makeup either…a handful of times throughout the year, I will put on some mascara or blush.

    As far as natural mascara….I just tired using ALOE VERA GEL and it worked great! I already have dark lashes, so I just put a clean brush in the gel, rubbed some off on my fingers, then applied it to my lashes! It looks really nice.

  10. laura February 20, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    i think women all women should go all “natural”, it’s the REAL way to be natural and the MOST frugal option also! There is such liberty in choosing a more narrow road, and finding a more true beauty in yourself! My husband loves that I do not wear make up, and it is sooooo much better for your skin! I try to not give into this superficial world, and follow a more pure path =) ANd as far as mascara goes, that stuff is soo un natural looking, lol.

  11. Rachel February 20, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    I use coconut oil! I just rub a little on and then brush my eyelashes up. It makes my eyelashes curl up a little, and the gloss helps them stand out.

  12. BJ WILDEY February 19, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    I use mineral make up too. Masacara has been hard for me to find because I have very sensitive skins and eyes! I just bought a tube of Maybelline Stilleto and I really like it! It doesnt’ bother my eyes, and it last all day.

  13. Katie February 19, 2009 at 6:12 am #

    I’m so sorry I called you Kim in my previous post! I meant Lindsay. Oops!

  14. Cristen February 18, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    I have been using Gabriel Color Mascara from our local Whole Foods and have really liked it. It is part of Whole Foods premium body care so I figured I could hopefully trust that. I didn’t see anybody mention this mascara and was wondering what you thought of it. Thank you, Lindsay, for all your wonderful information you share with everyone. It has truly been a blessing!

    • autumn sager February 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

      Does Whole Foods carry nail polish? I want to paint my little ones fingers, but want it to be safe.

      • Lindsay February 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

        I would assume so, but have never purchased it there before.

      • Addie March 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

        I’m not sure as to the safety, but I THINK it’s pretty safe for kiddos: There’s a nail polish called Piggy Paints and I think it’s a mineral polish, so it’s supposed to be safe for kids. Check it out, and it might work for you if you haven’t found anything else yet. :)

    • Hope February 12, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      You need to check out the skin Deep web site.

  15. autumn sager February 18, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Great post! I have the problem with my lashes falling out lately! I used always have full long lashes and i only were makeup for my husband on sat and sundays. Does anyone know why this happens, and what masc would be good from lashes that are brittle?

    • Lindsay February 18, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

      Your eye lashes being brittle may very well be a result of using the standard mascara’s. It may be best to try one of these alternative to see what happens, especially one with beeswax. That would be an excellent way to strengthen your eye lashes.

      • autumn sager February 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

        Thank you so much for your recommendation, I will def give it a try! What are you going to try?

    • Heidi Graves February 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

      I have a great natural beauty book though as I was digging around to find it so I could give you the name I couldn’t find it. I will though and leave a reply with it. Anyhow…in the book it says that brittle eyelashes can be helped with the use of castor oil on them. You just simply apply it with a mascara wand (you can usually get fresh unused ones at most drug stores) just that same as you would mascara…for your eyebrows too. It works absolutely wonderfully and looks beautiful. So easy and no need to wash off.

  16. Jen February 18, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    I use Dr. Hauschka. It’s pricey, $25 a tube I think, but healthy. It would be great for someone who has dark lashes already and wants some more definition or polish, but it’s not superb for someone like me with fair, thin, non-existent w/o mascara lashes. But until I find a better replacement, it gets my vote. If you go to their website you can request a catalog and it’s more like a health and beauty manual – super informative and beautifully done. I’ve been using their skin care method for years (no moisturizer at night so your skin can ‘breath’ and do its thing) and it has totally balanced what was my really dry, flakey yet incredibly oily face.

  17. Candice Finlay February 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Hey Lindsay,

    Thanks for doing the research and sharing this information. It’s something I never even thought about! Crazy what is in that stuff.

  18. Katie February 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi Kim! I am a new reader and just LOVE your blog! Thank you so much. I switched to mineral makeup last year and have been very pleased — in price, ingredient quality, and service — with “LittleStuff4U”. They have mascara as well, and although I haven’t tried it yet, I hope to soon.

  19. annie February 18, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    hi lindsay! i don’t wear makeup but definitely appreciate your willingness to research and scope out what’s available and let the world know. :)

  20. blessings February 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Love Your Blog
    Knew you were the women who could find the answer.
    Thank You

  21. Sarah February 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    I use Physicians’ Formula foundation, but everything else I buy is from Their mascara is only $10 + shipping, and is frequently on sale for $8.
    I was surprised that the title of this post wasn’t in reference to their product, since it’s called Truly Natural Mascara.

    • Lindsay February 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

      Actually, I did not include Honeybee Gardens products because they are listed as a #3 on the cosmetic database listing of hazardous content. One of the ingredients, phenoxyethanol, while not overly hazardous, is very close to a paraben. I read that some have experienced it irritating their eyes.

      • Sarah February 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

        I had no idea that they were in the Database. I guess I just assumed that a small company wouldn’t be. Thanks!

  22. Kathy February 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    Have you checked on any of the Arbonne products? I haven’t had a chance to check their ingredient list, but have been pretty impressed by what I have heard about the company and the products so far. I would love to hear if you have any thoughts.

    • Lindsay February 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

      Well, I check the cosmetic database and they were scored 4-6 in hazard contents, making them moderately hazardous.

  23. loraena February 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    I love Aveda’s mascara and haven’t used anything else in several years. It is free of any chemicals and toxins and literally smells like roses. It’s not available in a waterproof variety, but I’m willing to sacrifice that for the health factor.

  24. JC February 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been starting to switch over to natural products. I rarely wear mascara (or any makeup), but I like to occasionally and the last 2 times I’ve worn mascara I’ve gotten really red eyes the next day and couldn’t wear my contacts. I’m not sure why, but using a more natural product couldn’t hurt.

    I’ll be on the lookout for the physican’s formula as I like most of their products anyways.

    • Lindsay February 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

      I would avoid the physican’s formula as it has parabens in it!

  25. stephanie February 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    natural mascara is a toughy. i was using one that i HATED–the worst wearing stuff i have ever used. i am now using one that’s from–i think–maybelline. it’s paraben free, but i could not pronounce any of the ingredients. :( it’s a low cost alternative for me right now, though.

    as far as why i wear makeup–it’s not for society. it IS for my husband. he loves to come home to see that i have put on some makeup because he knows it is for him. i could not care less about putting on makeup for myself, that’s for sure. also, since it draws attention to my contenance and not my body, it is perfectly fine Biblically.

  26. alyssa February 18, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Hmm. I’ve been wondering about my unnatural mascara. I don’t think I can afford the switch right now, but maybe I’ll stop using it everyday. It’s not like it’s necessary! I did switch to everday minerals-thanks to you!

    As far as choosing whether or not to wear makeup is certainly a matter of personal conviction. Me, I don’t like the made-up look, but my face is truly embarrassing without some help. My skin is red, broken out, and flaky. If only I could resolve those issues, I would definitely wear less or none at all. Just thought I’d mention my condition to see if anyone had the same problems and had any tips for me!

  27. Alison @ Wholesome Goodness February 18, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been quite lazy in seeking out a natural mascara. You’ve certainly made it easy for me. No excuses now. :-)

  28. anne February 18, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    I use Origins and LOVE IT.

  29. Megan February 18, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    What about Arbonne? I really like their products. They are all natural, no petrolium type ingredients. They have a botanical glossery on their website. I like Origins too, and still use them sometimes. Thanks for your blog. I look forward to seeing what the topic is each day.

  30. Lea February 18, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    I am starting my collection from this site My sister had joined a while back ago, so I don’t know all the detail because I think it’s one of those pyramid companies (we just order for ourselves). The link for the mascara is;jsessionid=ABBE890D90EAEDEFE95E1B5B01E745F2
    We use their probiotics daily and I use the lemon toothpaste for my daughter because all she does it eat it at this stage. We love the products.
    If you are interested and do have to be referred to join, let me know and I’ll find out more info for that!

  31. Alison Joy February 18, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    My jaw dropped when I saw the title of this post. I’ve been on the hunt for a natural mascara and been wondering how harmful normal mascara could be, since I began to wear makeup a couple months ago(I’m 17). Thanks for the informative post! I use Everyday minerals for my foundation etc. and hate that I’ve been using a conventional mascara, but I just can’t spend $14 dollars on it right now! Maybe someday…

    When I was at our local health food store recently, all their SunCoat products were on sale- 70% off. I was so excited until I found that they were all out of mascara. Bummer!

  32. Linda February 18, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    I’ve been using Real Purity’s black mascara for two years and love it! It goes on smoothly, and I don’t have a problem with smudging or running. Of course, if I rub my eyes, I look like a racoon! :-) I chose this brand because, at the time I was looking for an all-natural alternative, this was the only brand I could find that did not contain shellac. I didn’t do any research on what purpose shellac had in mascara; I just didn’t like the idea of shellac being in something that would be so close to my eyes (since my only exposure to it at the time was as a wood finish). A purely emotional decision. :-) After researching shellac: it is an all-natural resin that is hypoallergenic and used not only as a wood finish but also as a candy glaze (Skittles) and pill coating. So apparently it is also edible. Knowing this, I don’t think I would mind a mascara with shellac now, but I’m so happy with Real Purity’s mascara that I’m not looking to change.

  33. Jess February 18, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    Has anyone tried any of these? I’ve been looking to switch to a natural brand, and besides having a hard time finding one, I want to pick one that works! Thanks!

  34. jessica February 18, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    i was just looking through some of your natural links last night including the make-up choices… I was disappointed to find that even the Burt’s Bees stuff didn’t pass the test most of the time as they include fragrances…i too was curious about the mascara question and checked out the brands you listed (as per the site you recommended) Living in Europe i am familiar with the “Sante” and “Lagona” brands so would be tempted to try them first. I also saw however, that even the “mineral” make-up you recommend contains titanium dioxide which is not good to ‘inhale’ (to me seems a valid concern in a “loose powder” format. In my searches i came across a CA company with truly natural powder (cornstarch and clay) thought you might like to check it out…Coastal Classic Creations… hope that helps you on your way (and mine!) :)

    • Gillian February 19, 2009 at 8:44 am #

      Thanks for sharing about Coastal Classic Creations Jessica! I briefly looked at their web page and am excited to check into them more!

  35. Sherri February 18, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    I found a mascara at QVC from a company called 100% Pure. It’s made from fruit pigments and it’s also made in the USA… :) so it’s organic and economy boosting… they sell a 2-pack for around $25 or a 3-pack of mini’s in different colors!

  36. Vehement Flame February 18, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    I use Jane Iredale cosmetics which are wonderful. The mascara is great- and I am picky.None of the Jane Iredale products that I use contain parabens. Here are the Ingredients: Water, Algae Extract, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Tribehenin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Oleic Acid. May contain: Iron Oxides, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide. I buy mine from You should check Jane Iredales’s website for authorized retailers- there are many knockoff versions. The Purelash retails for 16$- but they also have a tube that is in a squeeze tube form so you get 75% more product use- a nice invention- it retails for 32$. I reccomend the whole product line- No chemicals at all! and beautiful natural colors.

  37. sarah February 18, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    physicians formula (i bought mine at cvs pharmacy) is offering a rebate for the FULL amount right now. they are starting an organic and natural line that is free of all the “stuff”. so basically the mascara is free if you are willing to wait 10 weeks for the rebate check. hope that helps!

  38. Shannon Hazleton February 18, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    I would love to hear if anyone has tried these, and what they think. I currently use Mary Kay, which is the best I’ve ever tried, but I’m pretty sure it contains unsafe ingredients. If you’ve used any of the mascaras Lindsay listed, could you give us a brief review?

    Thanks again, Lindsay!!!!


  39. Abby February 18, 2009 at 6:00 am #

    I use tha suncoat and like it. It wears well, and I like that isn’t waterproof as my eyelashes don’t feel like they are getting yanked out when I put it on.

  40. Brianna February 18, 2009 at 5:44 am #

    Oh, yay! I’ve been wanting to find some info like this. I’ve used Cover Girl stuff for several years now, but don’t like what’s in it. I made the swith to mineral makeup a few years ago and have been pleased with it, but obviously that doesn’t work for mascara. I’d also be interested in hearing recommendations for lip color. I’ve used Burt’s Bees lip tint, but haven’t been really happy with it. It wears off very quickly and is more like a gloss.

    Thanks for the ideas and I’m looking forward to hearing from those who may have used these.

  41. Shannon February 18, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    I actually stopped wearing mascara (and all makeup) a couple of years ago. One reason is because of all of the chemicals as well as the expense of makeup. The main reason, though, was spiritual. I think it says something that we, as a nation of women, don’t question why we wear makeup, especially in the church. It simply covers up what God has created. Most of us think we look better with it than without, being unthankful for what God has given us and falling into the world’s trap of vanity and outward beauty. I told myself (foolishly) that it was for my husband. Well my husband had seen me without makeup and loved me just the way I was, so I was lying to myself. It does save money as well because those natural products can be quite pricey.

    • laura February 20, 2009 at 11:27 am #

      how wonderful! I am in the same boat! I do not wear makeup either, and for spiritual reasons! My husband absolutely loves it, and it’s truly the real natural way! Lord bless you =)

  42. Kimberly Hartke February 18, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Thanks for this important info. I have changed many of my cosmetics to more healthy options, but not mascara. Will definitely try some of these products!
    I have also added you to my fave blog roll!