I was once asked what single cosmetic item would I take if I was marooned on a desert island. Crazy question yes but it made me think what item don’t I want to do without? Once I would have answered foundation as I felt I had to cover up but now that my skin is no longer reactive I would definitely choose mascara. For me there is nothing quite like waving the mascara wand to darken, thicken and lengthen my lashes (particularly as my lashes are light on the ends). And while I oscillate between being a make up minimalist and wearing “a full face”, the one constant is mascara.
When I first changed completely to natural skin care and make up I held onto my synthetic mascara. I tend to rub my eyes a bit so thought I needed a mascara with superior “staying power”. I finally threw it in the bin when I read the ingredients and let me tell you they were alarming. Ingredients such as formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, coal tar and thimerosal (otherwise known as mercury) are commonly found in chemical mascaras including “hypoallergenic” products. While there is some justification for the use of anti-microbial preservatives in mascaras – a tube of mascara is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria – I cannot personally justify the use of parabens and other toxic ingredients so close to the eyes for vanities sake, particularly when there are good natural alternatives.
So began the journey to find “rub-free” natural mascara…and let me tell you I tried about 10 different products before I came across Ere Perez (big love for this product). Unlike their synthetic counterparts, natural mascara uses waxes, oils and natural pigment to darken and lengthen lashes. Many also forgo fragrance of any kind. Fragrances, even natural ones can still be irritating when in such close proximity to the eyes. I have worked with over a dozen women who have been unable to wear mascara at all due to chemical sensitivities, one woman for over 20 years. They all found that natural, unscented mascaras were perfectly wearable and non-irritating. Natural mascara is also generally suitable for those wearing contact lenses.
While natural mascaras may not match the “traffic-stopping” lashes offered by synthetic mascaras, such lashes are often more about photo-shop and falsies than reality. This was brought to light when the Rimmel London ad featuring Kate Moss was banned due to misleading advertising – Kate was wearing false lashes in the ad.
Natural mascaras have come a long way in the last few years. Formulations have improved so they enhance both the look and condition of your lashes. Different formulations will offer options for thicker or more defined lashes or waterproof options. Of course, there are also ways to get the best out your mascara and to create amazing lashes:
- To create lash curl, use an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Clamp onto your upper lashes for about 20 seconds and they will curl fabulously.
- To apply mascara start at the root of the lash line, wiggle the wand and then gently stroke it in an upward direction towards the tips.
- Use two or three coats of mascara on these curled lashes and you will achieve a wide-eyed look.
- Use black or brown mascara depending on your colouring. Blue mascara is a product of the 1980s. If you weren’t there the first time, give it a go but those that were know that once was enough!
My top recommendations for a “lash-tastic” look include:
Ere Perez Almond Oil Mascara – Black or Brown
This mascara is tear-proof and formulated with organic almond oil and beeswax. It is safe for sensitive eyes.
Double Black Mascara
This multi-tasking mascara from Lavera coats lashes in rich black color creating a dramatic, gorgeous look. It comes with two unique brushes:
- a precision brush to lengthen and separate for ultimate impact
- a volume brush to set the look in place and create a breathtaking full fan of lashes.
Intense Volumizing Mascara – Black
This super-intense formula creates longer, thicker, shinier lashes with serious impact thanks to a new extra-volume brush and an innovative quick-dry formula that prevents lashes from sticking. Natural ingredients such as organic beeswax and refined mineral pigments make for long-lasting hold.
P.S. What product would you take to a desert island?