Team Blasé

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Fé as Cordelia from Lollipop Chainsaw

Photo by Jack Liu

Why I Hate Most Cruelty-Free Mascaras

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You’d think it would be simple to find a cruelty-free mascara. Personally, I’m not difficult as far as mascara goes. For the longest time, I just bought whichever brand was on sale at the pharmacy when I needed a new one. I tried high end brands for a little while but saw little difference in how my lashes looked – and a big one in how much it cost me. I never really had a bad mascara experience.

When I decided to switch over to cruelty-free brands, I figured it would be easy as pie and I could just grab whatever mascara I first came upon and be done. Little did I know of THE HORRORS OF CRUELTY-FREE MASCARAS that awaited me. *Cue womanly scream of terror* Little did I know…

I won’t go through an extensive list of all the cruelty-free mascaras I’ve tried because you’d be reading this for a week straight, so I will name a few of the most popular ones. For some reason the vast majority of the mascaras flaked like crazy. I’ve never had problems with regular mascara flaking before except once with a high end brand of all things. Yet Every Single Cruelty-free Mascara I tried (or very nearly) flaked so much I had to stop using them. What gives??

Part of me eventually became convinced that all of the cruelty-free mascaras are actually the same mascara made in one factory and packaged differently. It’s just ridiculous how I had the same exact problems with all of them.
Crueltyfree Mascaras

Tarte

Don't blink.I’ve tried their entire line of mascaras and the one I liked best was the Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara (gold). I’ve seen a ton of raving reviews of that mascara and I really liked what it did to my lashes but it flaked (what a surprise). It wasn’t as bad as some other mascaras I’ve tried but enough that I eventually stopped using it even though I loved how it made my eyelashes look.

It was a little bit hard to remove even with waterproof remover. I’d recommend it if you want really big curly lashes that aren’t too clumpy and you won’t be wearing the mascara for more than 2-3 hours. And DON’T TOUCH YOUR LASHES EVER. Don’t even blink (too hard). You should be fine. It seems kind of a waste to settle for that though.

Urban Decay

After reading many reviews of each of their mascaras I figured the mascara with the least chances of flaking was the Big Fatty Mascara.

AND FINALLY! No flaking!!

Unfortunately, it couldn’t be that simple: this mascara is impossible to remove from your lashes. Once applied it fuses with your lashes and never comes off. It’s technically not a waterproof mascara and yet neither regular nor waterproof makeup removers can take care of it.

Using this every day was just ridiculous. I would get a buildup at the base of my lashes where I had a hard time scraping it off with my nails. Yes, you read this right, it was the only way I could get some of it off along with excessive rubbing with heavy duty makeup remover. By the end of the week my lashes were just… unmascarable because of the buildup. It didn’t look amazingly good and as a matter of fact it looked increasingly bad as the buildup would get worse and worse every day. In the end it just wasn’t worth it.

Physician’s Formula

I figured, at this point, if pharmacy mascara worked for me in the past why not just go back to that? I got the Sexy Booster Va Va Voom Volume Mascara because it was on sale at that time and I refused to buy from their all-natural line*.

I saw complaints in reviews that this mascara was too dry, but personally I think these people just didn’t use the mascara properly. I found that I had really great results by building up the mascara in many small layers (it reminded me of fibre mascaras). It dries very quickly, making it easy to build up layers without clumps. However, the tube won’t last much longer than its 3 month time limit because of that. The liquid is also thin compared to other thicker gel-like mascaras like Urban Decay’s and NYX’s which also helps keeping the lashes clumps-free.

Being so dry and thin there was a little bit of flaking, especially if I touched my lashes often or rubbed my eyes, but the amount of flaking is negligible and the fallout doesn’t tend to smear like some other brands.

I really, really, liked this mascara and recently I switched back to Urban Decay’s for a day or two (I needed waterproof) and I couldn’t believe how clumpy and gooey it was on my lashes in comparison! Even if I wasn’t looking for a cruelty-free mascara, I would definitely buy the Sexy Booster Va Va Voom Volume Mascara (not sure about “volume”, though).

* While I have not tried Physician’s Formula’s natural line, every single all-natural mascara from other brands I have ever tried never dries. NEVER. 8 hours later? Still gooey. It’s basically like applying blackened Vaseline to your lashes. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen. No thanks.

NYX

They have a lot of options available and no particular mascara seemed to stand out from the reviews so I randomly bought the XXL from their Lush Lashes Mascara line. Strangely enough the mascara’s wand looks completely different than what I was expecting from the official product photos. It’s made of rubber (not hair-like fibers) and has a separate part at the top (for… lower lashes?).

NYX XXL Mascara Wand
NYX XXL Mascara Wand
NYX XXL Mascara Official Photo. Image credit: Ulta
NYX XXL Mascara Official Photo.
Image credit: Ulta

 
I haven’t been using it for as long as some of the others, but right away I can tell it doesn’t flake. It’s doing an even better job at not flaking than Physician’s Formula’s mascaras… but that’s about where its good points end.

This mascara is pretty generic in application and final effect. I didn’t think it made my lashes look especially good, just average/ordinary mascara look. Despite its name it didn’t make my lashes noticeably fuller, longer or larger. It has a little bit of a tendency to clump individual lashes together which made my eyelashes look sparse.

Overall it’s not a bad mascara and it’s quite cheap, especially if you can buy it in person or live in the US. It’s on par with a lot of the popular pharmacy mascaras (like CoverGirl, Maybelline, etc.), in the same price range (or cheaper) and cruelty-free.

It’s a good option for anyone who wants a good, inexpensive and cruelty-free mascara.

I really like NYX and if it weren’t so hard to buy their products where I live I would definitely try all of their mascaras to see if one of the others is a little better than this one!

TL;DR
Cruelty-free mascaras = OMG EVERYTHING FLAKES WHAT DO I DO, THE ONLY ONES THAT DON’T FLAKE NEVER COME OFF!
Solution = Buy Physician’s Formula (non-organic) mascaras or NYX.
As for Tarte… just… Don’t blink.

 
  • Papermaiden

    As-tu essayé le “Better than Sex” de Too faced? J’ai lu pas mal de reviews comm quoi il écaillait, lui aussi, mais je suis en phase d’essai avec celui-ci et je n’ai rien remarqué à cet effet pour l’instant. Outre qu’il donne de beaux et longs cils, il s’enlève raisonnablement facilement (avec mon huile démaquillante). J’aime beaucoup tes reviews de maquillage sans cruauté animale, je les suis avidement, merci!

    • Waah! Merci!!! Je suis super contente de savoir que tu apprécie!! :D

      Pour ce qui est du mascara Too Faced : je ne l’ai pas essayé puisque, comme tu dis, les reviews disent qu’il écaille au max. J’aime beaucoup les emballage Too Faced mais, à date, je ne suis pas sure de ce que je penses de leur produits. J’ai essayé du rouge à lèvre, que j’ai retourné car c’était beaucoup trop givré et de la poudre illuminatrice que je trouves bien.

      Étrangement au Sephora on essaie toujours de me rediriger vers un produit équivalent d’une autre marque quand je mentionne Too Faced. Les vendeurs ne les trouves pas super on dirait.

      Bref, tiens moi au courant! J’aimerai bien leur donner une chance si le mascara n’écaille pas trop!