Open Thread: What’s The Best Organic Mascara?

Malgosia Bela by Katja Rahlwes for Vogue Paris August 2008

As someone who stopped getting eyelash extensions just so she could test more organic mascara and mascara-related accessories, it might be fair to say I have some expertise in the field...perhaps too much expertise. But despite my best, most obsessive efforts, I have yet to, like Pogs of yore, "collect them all."

There's a veritable cornucopia of natural eye makeup worth trying, so unless you spend like $600 on mascara (my money is long, sure, but I'm no Bieber), you're probably going to miss out on at least a few good ones. Which is sad, right? If there's a compostable, organic, gluten-free, never-tested-on-a-wallaby mascara out there, I would very much like to hear about it! And also to pet the not-tested-on wallaby if at all possible.

Hence today's open thread! You guys have given me stellar mascara suggestions—the 100% Pure mascara I've been using and the Kjaer Weis I love were both ITG reader recommendations—so I wanted to open it up to everyone!

I just listed my go-tos, but I know there are legions of people who swear by Ilia, Neal's Yard, Nvey Eco, and W3ll, too. So...let's talk! Is there an Ultimate Organic Mascara? Or maybe just a few more really good ones? And what makes a mascara worth it, anyway?

—Lacey Gattis

Malgosia Bela photographed by Katja Rahlwes for Vogue Paris August 2008.

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  • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

    Ilia Nightfall is my current favorite, but it's no Lancome Hypnose. I'm still on the hunt for my perfect organic mascara as well. Thinking of trying the new rms mascara next.

    • ITGLacey

      Helloooo, Addison! I tried the RMS Defining Mascara, and the only piece of advice I have is to wipe the brush off before you apply. The formula is thick (which is great, since most organic mascaras are so thin), but because the brush bristles are short, it gets loaded with waaaaaay too much product. It's a really nice mascara—just think they need a better wiper at the top of the tube :(

      • Julianne_x

        Did the RMS Defining smudge or flake?

      • http://de-smitten.com Christina DeSmet

        I tried the RMS volumizing mascara and Rose Marie herself put it on me, she said you have to put on one coat, let it dry before applying another coat... either way I wasn't sold on it, I am still searching as well!

      • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

        Even if the formula is good, the brush and the wiper sometimes make the mascara, so I definitely appreciate that insight!

  • Bryn Troll

    I recently started using W3LL People The Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara and really like it! It needs a minute to dry but then it's ready to go. Can be layered, but is more prone to smudging that way.

    • ITGLacey

      I want to try the W3ll one so badly! I actually planned a whole trip to one of their stores on Memorial Day & then when I showed up they'd (quite rightly) taken the day off.

      How would you say the finish is? More a thickening or lengthening mascara?

      • Bryn Troll

        Lengthening, definitely. The brush pulls a bit more product than is needed, but after a quick wipe it's ready to go!

  • Kaylin

    I like Ilia's mascara in Shadow of a Doubt. It's a subtle look, which I prefer. I also love that it comes off easily. Maybe not for people seeking a smudge-proof, volumizing mascara.

    • ITGLacey

      Question for you! Does it flake at all? I think my enemy #1 when it comes to mascara is flaking...

      • Kaylin

        With one coat I haven't experienced flaking, but the few times I have really piled it on, there were some flakes, sadly.

  • ITGLacey

    Hahahahahaha—I'm completely the wrong person to talk to about this, because if it's Lush I will buy it. Anybody else have some insight?

  • Gosia

    I heard Dr Hauschka is good. Tried PF Organic wear but I didn't really like it.

  • Laure

    Dr Hauschka Volume mascara is great. Gives you long eyelashes. Its eyeliner is pretty awesome too!

  • L.B.W

    Kjaer Weis is the only one I've repurchased, its not perfect but I do like it and I really like the refillable system. I recently strayed and picked up RMS Volumising which was a real disappointment, my lashes won't stay curled at all, and if I re-curl after application it looks a bit odd.

    • ITGLacey

      If you like the Kjaer Weis, definitely give the 100% Pure a try , too. Three of us in the office & several ladies from the commentariat have all used it & really liked it!

  • Olivia

    I don't actually have it, but one time I did try it on while I was in the store and I really didn't like it! I found it a bit awkward to put on and when I came home and looked in a mirror it was smudged under my eyes! That's just my experience though!

  • Lauren

    Only one I have liked thus far is pure ananda. Really nice formula and it didn't smudge or flake even when I piled it on

    • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

      I've been hearing good things about this one, too. Putting it on my list to try!

  • Jen

    I am a mascara fanatic, and have tried ones ranging from 7.99 to 60.00, my favorite conventional ones would be Chanel's dramatic mascara and Trisha mccovy's defining mascara. It was a moment of desperation that lead me to try mineral fusion's mascara from whole foods, and surprise, I love it. Unlike most mascara it actually gets a better consistency within a few days of opening, and unlike the Lancôme I had open at home, it didn't smudge by midday. It is a fantastic everyday mascara. I am planning on purchasing it again.

    • Alix

      Neither Chanel, Trish McAvoy, nor Lancome are organic options, to be clear.

  • Laura

    I really like the kjaer weis. It lengthens and thickens and there is no smudging. W3ll is good too. Since kjaer weis launched her mascara, my search is over.

  • Jovana Miljanovic

    TARTE!!! BEST :)

    • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

      Agree! Only thing that works for me right now.

  • http://ljepotaaunaturel.blogspot.com/ Gospođica Marijica

    I love Physicians Formula Organic Wear mascara and the Korres lengthening mascara and Couleur Caramel is also great. I have yet to come across an organic mascara I absolutely hated but these are the best so far.

  • http://www.atdorsia.com/ Eliza

    Agreed! HG for me--it gives a lot of volume and it never flakes or smudges. And it's cheap!

  • Bryn Troll

    I used Pacifica for almost a year (before I switched to W3LL). My only problem was some flaking about halfway through the day. Did you have that problem? I'm wondering if my tube was old and the flaking was a sign I needed a new one!

    • mattie

      I wouldn't say flaking essentially, but rather I notice about halfway through the day its faded a little, so usually i reapply it once. My only issue is that now that its getting humid in the city the product melts and transfers onto my lids occasionally when its warmer out. I'd say its sounds like you just got a bad batch of the product, so maybe give it another shot.

  • olivia

    physicians formula fake-out organic wear in the bright pink tube - best natural mascara I've tried, although the formula is a little dry

  • kp

    Lush mascara has Methylparaben

  • kp

    i like 100 percent pure but it burns my eyes if i get a tear.

  • kp
  • Samira

    I like UNE 3-in-1 which 1) does not clump 2) doesn't cost a ton like a lot of fancy natural makeup and 3) comes off easily.

  • MK

    Definitely Dr. Hauschka mascaras. I find they are almost a no-makeup makeup look, just enhancing your natural lashes beautifully. They don't flake or melt and yet they come off really easily without too much hassle done to your eye area!

  • http://makeupbymaryb.com/ Mary_333

    Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara far outdoes everything else I've tried! I like it just as much any conventional one I used to use. I have pictures of it on my lashes in this post:

    http://www.makeupbymaryb.com/2013/10/the-ultimate-lash-duo-by-jane-iredale.html

  • Amanda

    Lush is not organic. Their branding makes it seem like it is, but most of their stuff has parabens and other ingredients that people trying to go for "natural" and "organic" steer clear of. Their word if "fresh".

    • Isla

      Lush use naturally occurring parabens. It's on their website "the lush blog".

  • http://www.pandaloveseyeliner.blogspot.com/ Anna

    I hear a brand called Ecco Bella makes a really great organic mascara! I haven't tried it personally, but my mother in law's eye doctor suggested it and she's loved it ever since. She never complains about it smudging or flaking, and it never irritates her eyes! They make her lashes look nice and fluttery and full too. ^^b

  • Elspbeth Hodgins

    Ere Perez Almond Oil Mascara! It's waterproof, doesn't get clumpy and is free of weird things that shouldn't be near your eyeballs.

  • Alix

    I also like Juice Beauty's mascara. Pretty affordable, not dry and flakey, and adds some noticeable length.

  • Q

    Couleur Caramel the french organic band is what you're looking for.

  • Meg

    I LOVE the Physician's Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara (comes in a big, shiny green tube). Great price point, and doesn't clump or flake.

  • emily

    origins ginzing brightening mascara is THE BEST. it makes my lashes look super long, doesn't flake, doesn't clump. i've gone through 5 tubes.

  • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

    Tarte, BareMinerals & Perfekt for me. I realllly want to try Kjaer Weis and Pure Ananda, but I'm a little nervous of disappointment. I've been disappointed 11 times before (as blogged about here: http://www.kimberlyloc.com/2014/05/29/beauty-secrets-the-ultimate-guide-to-natural-mascaras/) Does anyone with short / straight lashes have before / after pics to share? That will sell me a bit better :)

  • http://theconsciencefund.com/ Divya

    Does FRESH's mascara count? I don't even know if they still make it.. but it was such amazing stuff while it lasted! *sigh*

  • Isla

    I have it and love it even though the little mascara brush included is tiny. I just pop it out and use a longer wand brush. It doesn't clump and I wear contacts and it doesnt make my eyes water like other mascaras.

  • Lisa

    Younique products 3D fiber lash mascara is literally the best mascara I have EVER tried. I purchased mine from youniqueproducts.com/sami it's like falsies in a tube AND it's all natural ingredients like green tree fibers! :)

  • Brooklyn Groove

    RMS defining Mascara, Dr Hauschka and 100% Pure best sellers in our organic beauty boutique

  • Amelia

    My favorite is Honeybee Gardens 'truly natural' mascara. It's the only one I use!

  • http://beautyleaks.jimdo.com/ beautyleaks

    I haven´t found a really great one. RMS was the best from all a tried. But, definitely a primer helps a lot. I love the one from Jane Iredale. Those together must be the clothest to YSL Faux Cills you can come organically :-)

  • The Detox Diva

    The Organic Pharmacy's mascara is absolutely perfect for lengthening and volumizing!! I also like EarthLab's Raw mascara. Neither flake and they are the blackest more faux lashlike mascaras on the market.

  • Darleen D Hilerio Villanueva

    Physicians Formula Organic Wear mascara!

  • Megan P.

    Kjaer Weis eco mascara is great!

  • MELonBeauty

    Try Arbonne "its a long story" mascara - against animal testing and no parabens or nasties :) they also have other mascaras too!!

  • eekahil

    Checking the ingredients of some of your recommendations and keep seeing "fragrance" in the formulas. Gah! For one thing, "fragrance" can be quite a sneaky ingredient because it is often a big batch of other chemicals/ingredients - hard to find out what they are , thus, something you are sensitive to could be hidden in there.
    Also, who needs scented mascara?!

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

100 Percent Pure
100 Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara
KJAER WEIS
Kjaer Weis Mascara
Ilia Beauty
Ilia Beauty Mascara
Neal's Yard
Neal's Yard Black Lengthening Mascara
Nvey Eco
Nvey Eco Volumising Mascara, Brown
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