Who needs six mascaras on the go? Me! As a Clean Beauty Awards judge for the second year running, this time I’m reviewing and rating six entries for the mascara category. Now in its 5th year, the Clean Beauty Awards are organised by CertClean, a North American certification body for safer skincare products, in partnership with PurPicks, the TripAdvisor of organic beauty products. The purpose of these indie awards is to recognise brands and products that deliver on performance as well as eco-credentials, whether it’s through the use of organic certified ingredients or the avoidance of harmful chemicals. Similar to last year when I reviewed skincare brands I’d never heard of as they’d yet to break onto the UK market, the mascaras introduce me to new cosmetic brands from Australia, Canada and the US.
What makes it clean: certified vegan and cruelty-free, this natural formula is free from palm oil, parabens, mineral oils, petrochemicals, SLS, artificial colours, preservatives and fragrances
The brush: classic shape, easy to use with a thin tapered end to coat the smaller lashes and comb through for a clump-free finish.
The packaging: the tube is made from recyclable plastic, however mascara wands typically aren’t recyclable so make sure you separate them and wash out residue before recycling. The portable size makes it ideal to carry around in my handbag for use on my commute into work.
The result: a lovely natural finish thanks to the dark brown shade which looks softer and less dressed up than black, this provides a great option for an everyday look. After applying a couple of coats to my top lashes (I never do my bottom lashes anymore as it always seems to result in extra smudging) my mascara stayed clump-free and more or less put all day, with only minimal smudging. Enriched in nourishing jojoba oil, my lashes don’t feel brittle. Dark brown 7.5g RRP £23.00
What makes it clean: vegan and cruelty-free, this Australian brand donates up to 2% of sales to charitable causes each year.
The brush: the largest brush out of this line up, the bristles are thick and generous.
The packaging: aesthetically this is the most impressive but unfortunately it’s also the most deceptive. The inner plastic tube is recyclable but first you need to crush the bamboo off for composting. Then wash the tube and recycle with your household recycling. Definitely not the most straightforward or sustainable.
The result: I was impressed with the finish achieved on my lashes – lengthening, thickening, great hold and not a panda eye in sight, it did however leave the tiniest sprinkling of ‘mascara dust’ towards the end of the day. Even so this is probably my favourite mascara in terms of results. Black 10g RRP $28.00
What makes it clean: vegan, certified cruelty-free and formulated free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances.
The brush: generously sized brush
The packaging: recyclable cardboard box but the actual tube is not recyclable as it’s covered in a shiny silver coating.
The result: great staying power, didn’t budge after a full day of wear. My second favourite finish in the line up! Great for length but not so much on volume. I love that the top ingredients after water are all ingredients I easily recognise such as conditioning olive oil, thickening rice bran wax for fuller lashes and nourishing coconut. Not sure why it’s called Lash After Party though… Black RRP $30.00
What makes it clean: British brand certified vegan and cruelty-free, certified halal (meaning it’s alcohol-free), contains organic ingredients, free from palm oil and petrochemicals, and 20% of profits go to charity.
The brush: classic brush, holds quite a lot of product to provide generous lash coating.
The packaging: The paper box is 100% recyclable, made of FSC Certified paper and printed with soy-based inks. The tube is aluminium and therefore also 100% recyclable, however as with other mascaras the cap and wand are not, as these consist of mixed materials. The benefits of using aluminium over plastic is that it doesn’t release harmful chemicals during the recycling process.
The result: as the brush holds a generous amount of product it does go on quite thickly and therefore ends up looking a little bit clumpy yet spindly at the same time. Enriched in conditioning organic argan oil, the water-resistant formula does however provide lashes with a good lift and curl, and out of the six mascaras I tested left the least amount of smudging throughout the day – none at all actually. Black 9ml RRP £20.00
What makes it clean: certified organic by Ecocert, with 97% of ingredients from natural origin and 18% of ingredients from organic farming, free from parabens and synthetic fragrance.
The brush: an interestingly shaped brush, looks like a spiral DNA structure.
The packaging: similar to other mascaras, the outer card box is recyclable and so is the plastic tube, however the wand and cap goes in the waste bin.
The result: strong black pigment yet a natural looking result with a little smudging towards the end of the day (I admit I do have oily lids which doesn’t help). Lashes are lengthened and defined however I prefer mascaras that provide more of a lift though as my lashes tend to look quite straight otherwise. Black 8ml RRP $20.79
What makes it clean: this Australian product is certified organic by COSMOS Organic and certified cruelty-free by Peta.
The brush: classic shape, the bristles are thick and generous.
The packaging: the cardboard box is easily recycled however the tube seems to contain at least two materials moulded together, this makes it practically impossible to recycle.
The result: I love that the first two ingredients on the list are certified organic beeswax and shea butter, making the formula very nourishing and conditioning. Unfortunately it does also mean that I was left with smudgy eyes after only a few hours, as the formula migrated from my lashes to create the dreaded panda eyes. Granite 7.5g RRP £21.95
Which mascara do you think will earn a place in the finals for the Clean Beauty Awards? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
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