4 Natural Mascaras That Actually Work


You’ve heard the words “natural mascara” before but do you know what the term actually means? To put it simply, they’re free of harmful chemicals, synthetic dyes and minerals, and ingredients that can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and have other negative effects on eyes.

The idea of a safer alternative to regular mascara is one that sparked a lot of interest, but so far, people have found a lot of them to be less-than-stellar, at least compared to their chemical-laden counterparts. Some of the common complaints: they smudge quickly, flake easily, and often come with a hefty price tag. It’s no wonder this product category has gotten a bad rep. But these days, plenty of brands are stepping up to change the perception that, when it comes to mascara, “natural” means “inferior performance.”

If you’re among the unconverted, we’ve gathered four of our favorite healthier, trusty lash enhancers that truly live up to the standards of a traditional formula. Each is also enriched with good-for-you ingredients—and less than $30. Here’s to long, luscious lashes and healthy eyes for years to come!

Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara | $18

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The key ingredient here—rice bran—has a plumping effect on lashes, as does the dense, full-bristled wand. Basically, it expands in the same way rice does when you cook it in water. We love how the brush really separates each and every lash while also lengthening, especially if you layer on multiple coats. And because of the conditioning, strengthening ingredient Provitamin B5, it won’t leave lashes stiff or brittle.

ILIA Mascara | $26

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A great daytime mascara, ILIA’s gives the most natural-looking finish of the group, while still giving lashes some length and volume. What’s really nice is the product is buildable, and even if you add multiple coats, lashes stay soft and won’t get stiff or sticky. But the best part is the curved brush—with different sized bristles, so you can really get in and coat each lash. The color selection, including unexpected options is also a big plus: there’s a rich black, a charcoal grey, a copper, and an ash brown.

rms beauty Defining Mascara | $28

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rms beauty recently welcomed two mascaras, both made with certified organic oils, butters, and waxes, to its uber-natural product line. The rich, creamy Defining formula paired with the super-slim, precise brush really coats each and every lash. 

rms beauty Volumizing Mascara | $28

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The other of rms beauty’s new mascaras is all about volume: the fuller-bristled, tapered brush wraps lashes in an emollient formula for a plumped-up look. If you really want a va-va-voom, statement-making look, layer both rms mascaras together: Defining first, then Volumizing.

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