Whole Living Daily

Natural Mascaras - Our Top Ten Picks

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I never leave the house without putting on mascara. Even when I'm going camping, or moving apartments, or just buying the newspaper, I am doing all these things at all times with long, black lashes. No surprise then that of all the makeup in my cosmetic bag, mascara is the one I've had the most trouble detoxing.

It's not just about looks either: Between my allergies (watery eye!) and wearing contact lenses (dry eye!), I'm equally concerned about flaking, smearing, and irritation.

Luckily, there are many, many options out there now for the gal who wants gorgeous, long lasting results without exposing herself or the planet to known pollutants and carcinogens like parabens, phthalates, diazolidinyl urea, ethyl acetate, sodium laureth/laurel sulfate, formaldehyde (pentaerythrityl hydrogenated rosinate, quaternium-15, and imidazolidinyl urea), petroleum (petroleum distillates, isoparaffins), mercury, and coal tar (D&C Black No. 2).

Yes, you read that right: COAL TAR. No one wants an eye full of coal tar.

Terri and I tested more than 25 different brands (for our radio show "Whole Living" on Martha Stewart Radio, Sirius XM) to see which of the natural, organic, and non-toxic mascaras out there were the best in terms of appearance, endurance, and non-toxicity (as quantified by the Environmental Working Group's amazing Skin Deep Cosmetics Database).

Check out the ten mascaras that we can heartily recommend.

Jennifer Sendrow produces the Whole Living show on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112, XM 157 every weekday at 10a ET/7a PT.

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Comments (9)

  • Just out of curiosity, what were the brands that didn't make the cut (so I know what to avoid!) and why didn't you like them?

  • MNgirl, we prefer to highlight the brands we like using rather than ripping on the ones we dislike, but what I can tell you is that most often the problems we had with other brands we tried were these two. First, many just darkened our lashes without adding length or volume. Second, they were often very wet and therefore prone to messy application and smudging at the slightest hint of moisture around the eye. Mainstream brands put all those chemicals in there for a reason, so when they get taken out, there needs to be adequate natural alternatives or else the product just doesn't perform. These ten companies did their homework and made mascaras that work.

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