What is the one makeup item that you cannot live without?
For me, it is definitely mascara. Apparently I am not alone because it is one of the number one beauty products used by women. It can take you from drab to fab with a few strokes of the wand. Who doesn’t want long, lush lashes?
If you read my “about” page, you know that I made the change to nontoxic beauty products when I developed an incurable rash around my eyes. I had tried every treatment, seen multiple dermatologists, yada yada yada. After speaking to a physician, who was married to a researcher for a cosmetics company, she suggested I do a little research of my own into what is in my expensive, designer cosmetics. At the time I was in love with Dior Show mascara. She also told me that mascara was the worse offender and was basically “road kill” in a tube. Yes, she actually said road kill.
Our eyes are not only the windows to our soul, they are windows to our blood stream. They contain glands, pores and tear ducts that make them vulnerable to infection. Normal eye secretions are transferred to the mascara wand which then gets inserted repeatedly into the mascara tube. The moist, dark environment inside of that tube is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Are you grossed out now?
So the solution is to throw out your mascara at least every 3 months, right? Well, to decrease your risk of an infection, absolutely! But what else is getting in your blood stream through those beautiful windows?
What is lurking in your mascara?
Mainstream mascaras are loaded with chemicals. What chemicals you ask? Well, that would be parabens, coal tar dyes, propylene glycol, retinyl acetate, aluminum powder, formaldehyde, BHT and BHA just to name a few.
I want to look glamorous (most days I would settle for just looking awake), but I don’t want my mascara to increase my risk for cancer. So what are the alternatives?
Mascara is a very personalized makeup item. Some people want a particular formula for lengthening and others want thickening. For me, it is all about the brush. The following mascaras are all toxin free.
My favorite mascara when I started this journey was Dr Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. It has jojoba, rose, and candelilla waxes mixed with silk powder for plumpness. Neem leaf extract fortifies and black tea extracts are soothing to the eye. It is a very nourishing and gentle mascara. It is super convenient because I can pick it up when I go to the grocery store.
W3LL People make a highly rated favorite. Their products are handcrafted in small batches in the USA. I have to admit when I first used it I was a little surprised by the brush. It is made with injection molded rubber and a cascade shape. It was the first brush I encountered that was plastic, but it works really well and has a unique tip that lets you get the corners of your lashes. It nourishes with natural sunflower botanicals. It is 100% cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben free, gluten-free, coal tar-free, aluminum-free, fiber-free. My local Whole Foods just started carrying it, BONUS!
100% Pure makes a fruit pigmented mascara made with black tea, fruit extracts and cocoa pigments. It is very nourishing and conditioning and is free of any toxic chemicals. It comes in a variety of fruit pigmented colors. The wand is shown in the photo. It thins in the middle and gets fatter toward the end. A great lengthening mascara.
Jane Iredale makes 3 formulas to choose from. They all 3 have different brush designs, so you can pick your favorite. They are formulated with a proprietary blend of Seaweed Lipids and Panthenol to keep the formula moist and condition lashes. You can choose lengthening, thickening or both. Fantastic choices.
Ilia makes a nontoxic mascara that comes in some really unique and fun colors as well as the traditional black. The 100% natural dyes and thick brush make it great for producing thick and lush lashes. Unfortunately, I reacted to this one, so I don’t use it anymore.
RMS makes richly pigmented mascara that comes in 2 formulas. You can choose volumizing or lengthening. They are made with certified organic oils, butters and waxes. The brush is short and thick.
Per-fékt makes a lash perfection gel made with marine plant glycogen, pantheon and hyaluronic microspheres hydrate and moisturizer your lashes. It has a multi-coiled brush that is great for thickening and lengthening. This is one of my favorites.
Now LASH OUT and throw away that pink tube of mascara that you have used forever and trade it in for a nontoxic mascara that is going to give you healthy and beautiful lashes!