I get that you don’t want to harm animals or use makeup products tested on cute and innocent animals, but you still want to look fabulous and have gorgeous defined eyes. I also love animals and can’t stand to see them in pain or being abused. For that reason, I’ve decided to list and detail some of the best cruelty-free mascara options.
Below is everything you need to know to make a well-informed buying decision. First, I’ve made a comprehensive list of amazing and clean mascaras that you can choose from based on your needs and preferences. Secondly, I’ve talked about my personal approach to choosing these products.
So, stick around to find out more! But, before going into further details, let’s see my honest opinion and personal preference upfront.
Bottom Line Up Front!
My absolute favorite cruelty-free mascara is the IT Cosmetics Superhero because it makes my lashes look super long and curly. It’s also long-lasting. Some might not prefer it because it isn’t waterproof, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me.
Picks at a Glance
I also like and would try the following options:
- Most natural mascara – Ilia Limitless – excellent for sensitive skin;
- Best waterproof mascara – Covergirl Clean Volume – I also like its hypoallergenic formula.
The Best Cruelty-Free Mascara Options – How I Chose Them
I chose these cruelty-free mascara very carefully. Besides the fact that they’re cruelty-free, I’ve also considered other important aspects such as their ingredients, perks, lasting power, ease of application, and more.
The first thing I consider when purchasing cruelty-free mascara is its brush’s shape. What does the applicator look like? Some are thinner, while others are thick. There are mascaras with curved applicators, while others are dual-sided.
Figure out which one suits you most. I did that through trial and error. I used several different mascaras until I found the brush I felt did the best job for my lashes.
More expensive alternatives or luxury brands don’t necessarily mean a better applicator or a more long-lasting mascara. I’ve learned that the hard way. For example, I splurged a bit because I wanted to try one of the Fenty Beauty brand’s mascaras. I liked the texture and the lengthening effect, but I was annoyed by the brush’s flat shape.
Moreover, if your lashes are flat, you should opt for curved brushes, whereas larger brushes lead to a thickening effect. The mascaras I’ve included in the article come with all sorts of different brushes in terms of thickness and shape.
Most people prefer waterproof mascara. I don’t because it’s difficult to remove. I’m looking for a compromise of some sort. Therefore, I want a mascara that lasts for hours but can be quickly taken off with makeup removers. These are also known as water-soluble mascaras. You could go into further detail and opt for volumizing or lengthening formulations.
As you can see, my article contains both waterproof and non-waterproof mascaras. In addition, most of these products provide great length and volume.
I admit I’ve only used black and dark brown mascara. Most of the time, I apply classic black mascara to my lashes. A few times, I went rogue and rebelled by using brown mascara. But, I still consider that the old-fashioned black version suits my dark brown eyes the best. However, you’re free to try any shade you want.
For today’s article, I chose mascaras available in several colors, none of which is too extreme, though.
Then, I looked at these mascaras’ ingredient lists. I carefully read the label to check if they were cruelty-free. After that, I read their ingredient list to see how clean they are. The target should be purchasing and using more natural mascaras.
Conditioning compounds like vitamins, minerals, natural plant-based butter, and essential oils are necessary if you want long-term benefits.
So, the nourishing aspect was important in my search for the best cruelty-free mascara options.
The Best Cruelty-Free Mascara Options – My 9 Personal Choices
Selection Criteria: I’ve chosen these cruelty-free mascaras due to their ingredients, volumizing effects, lasting capacity, benefits, coating power, and the way they define one’s lashes.
The following mascaras are listed randomly. All of them are cruelty-free.
1. Pacifica Stellar Gaze Mascara
The Pacifica Stellar Gaze Mascara is one of the best cruelty-free makeup products. It’s hydrating and comes in two beautiful shades: Supernova, the black one, and Stardust, the brown alternative. Moreover, it contains ingredients that I deeply love, including coconut and vitamin B.
This affordable mascara is long-lasting and free from chemicals such as phthalates and silicones. Its lengthening formula also gives your lashes an intense color, making your eyes pop. So I could say that Pacifica is indeed a stellar mascara. Another feature I like about it is its extra plus application brush made of sustainable and vegan materials.
- Trust me when I say that your lashes will never look better than this cruelty-free mascara. It provides volume and length to your lashes;
- It’s toxin-free and contains healthy ingredients such as vitamins and coconut water;
- This is a great product, especially if you have sensitive skin around your eye. I do so I’m always focused on using natural makeup products such as this one;
- Not only is this mascara cruelty-free, but it’s also vegan.
- I don’t know why but the one I bought isn’t as fluid as I would expect. Instead, it’s a bit thick and, sometimes, makes my lashes stick together. But, I’ve learned that if you shake the container well before applying the mascara, these issues might disappear;
- I wish it would have boosted staying power.
2. Covergirl Clean Volume Mascara
This Covergirl cruelty-free mascara is called Lash Blast for a reason. I was amazed to see how long yet natural my lashes look with it. Moreover, all the lumps and stickiness I would often struggle with when using other mascaras were gone with this product. I could even say that my lashes appeared stronger and plumper.
If you buy it, you’ll see how easy it is to apply this mascara and how smooth the brush is. I love the numerous wonderful shades that this product is available in. I would personally choose the Very Black alternative, but you can opt for any other choice, including brown, regular black, or the black-brown combo. Your lashes will receive extra volume almost instantly.
- This mascara isn’t tested on animals;
- It’s a volumizing mascara;
- Your lashes will be evenly coated so that you can avoid clumps;
- It’s waterproof and, more importantly, hypoallergenic.
- I’m not a fan of waterproof mascara, even though many others love it, because it’s difficult to remove;
- I also don’t like its texture since it feels a bit sticky to me;
- This mascara dries out way too quickly for my taste.
3. Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof
The Perversion mascara by Urban Decay is a suitable choice if you’re a makeup and beauty junkie whose goal is to have long and volumized full-drama lashes. I am a member of that category. I love its active ingredients, especially the Jojoba oil, and its lack of chemical or toxic compounds like paraffin.
This is a low to medium-priced makeup product. It’s the right mascara if you want a bright and high-pigmented lash color. I enjoy the matte finish I achieve with this mascara. The color is very intense, while the texture is nice and creamy. Besides Jojoba oil, this mascara contains other great ingredients like honey extract, an essential protein blend, and amino acids.
- My lashes look a lot longer and significantly more volumized with this cruelty-free mascara;
- It’s a great waterproof mascara;
- It doesn’t contain paraffin;
- Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara has nourishing ingredients like Jojoba oil.
- Although it’s cruelty-free and paraffin-free, I would’ve expected this product to be cleaner in terms of ingredients;
- The result is a little flaky;
- The brush is a bit too large for my tiny hands.
4. Better Than Sex by Too Faced Mascara
I’m such a huge fan of the Too Faced brand. I use numerous products from this brand, including my absolute favorite setting powder, the Born This Way translucent powder. I don’t get out of the house without applying it. Now, let’s return to our topic: mascara. The Better Than Sex option made by Too Faced is volumizing and waterproof.
I always want to create dramatic eye makeup since I consider my eyes the best facial trait I own. And this product helps me do exactly that: achieve an overall dramatic look. While I don’t like waterproof mascaras because I struggle to remove them, I must say this product is undoubtedly long-lasting due to that feature.
- I like the brush, and I believe it helps me apply the mascara a lot easier and better than other brushes;
- The black color of this mascara is really intense, which I love;
- Lasts for hours at a time without flaking nor clumping;
- I enjoy the way this mascara coats my lashes while also separating them instead of being sticky;
- Your lashes will look plumper and longer with this mascara.
- While this is a cruelty-free product, it isn’t vegan;
- It’s not a buildable mascara. I usually apply more than one layer of mascara on my lashes, but if I use more, it quickly becomes chunky. Maybe it’s because it dries out too quickly.
5. Voluminous Lash Paradise by L’Oreal
I really like that the Voluminous Lash mascara is fragrant-free and doesn’t contain parabens. Instead, I am glad to say this mascara is enriched with floral oils. Moreover, I love that I can choose from numerous fantastic color options, both classic (black and brown) and a few that are more unconventional (navy blue and mystic black).
I’m excited about this product, and I can say that L’Oreal has not failed me so far. My lashes look full and soft. Many other mascaras make my lashes look like spider legs, so I’m pleased to have found one that doesn’t. Another perk is the low price of this mascara.
- No parabens and no fragrance;
- It’s so affordable;
- My lashes look extra black with this mascara;
- It’s waterproof;
- Your lashes will be nourished and conditioned by this formula.
- Dries out too quickly;
- It might not be ideal if your eye area is highly sensitive.
6. IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara
I was pleasantly surprised that this IT Cosmetics mascara was created with a team of plastic surgeons’ input. It’s formulated with great anti-aging ingredients, including biotin and peptides.
The Superhero mascara comes with my favorite type of brush that separates my lashes which results in well-defined and appealing eye makeup. On the downside, it dries out too quickly, and I cannot say I’m a fan of that particular feature.
However, I’m always excited when I stumble upon buildable makeup products that don’t overwhelm my face, in this case, my lashes.
- Your lashes will be conditioned and volumized by the mascara‘s collagen content;
- It’s resistant to both smudges and clumps;
- This is a long-lasting mascara;
- I like the new updated packaging and improved formula that promises to transform my lashes;
- Its lengthening effect is impressive.
- It isn’t a waterproof mascara – for me, that’s not necessarily a downside, but I know many of you want waterproof makeup products;
- It’s not vegan;
- This is a more expensive mascara compared to other products I’ve included in today’s review;
- If you keep it on for too many hours, it might smudge a little. I’ve noticed this, especially if the weather is humid or I sweat a lot.
7. Glossier Lash Slick Mascara
The thing I like most about the Glossier mascara is it’s lightweight. I can almost feel like I’m not even wearing mascara at all. Still, despite its pretty decent lengthening effect, I’ve tried other more effective mascaras in that department. On the other hand, with Lash Slick, you will never deal with overdone lashes that look like spider legs.
If you want your mascara to separate and lengthen your lashes, you should try Glossier. I’m super pleased with its silicone brush’s effectiveness at achieving those two goals. In addition, the formula is practically weightless.
- The formula doesn’t contain parabens and sulfates;
- It feels very lightweight on your lashes;
- It offers a natural and cute look;
- I love both its hold and definition.
- It isn’t a vegan mascara;
- It runs out quite fast;
- This mascara, while great, dries out inside the container pretty quickly;
- If you’re looking for a more dramatic effect, this mascara might not be ideal since it only helps you achieve a more natural appearance.
8. Ilia Limitless Mascara
Trust me when I say that this mascara is long-lasting. I mean, I went to my therapy session wearing it, and by the end of the session, my lashes were looking flawless. And I do cry a lot at therapy. From the first time I used the Ilia Limitless mascara, I was amazed at how well it felt on my lashes. I have very sensitive skin around my eye, so I must choose my makeup products carefully.
According to the company, the formula is almost entirely natural and free of parabens, gluten, fragrances, and other dangerous chemicals. My lashes looked enhanced after applying this mascara. And I believe that’s due to the product’s keratin and shea butter content. These two ingredients are highly nourishing.
I recommend using both sides of the application brush to avoid any clumps. Finally, this is a great mascara for those who, like me, are interested in preserving the environment. I say that because the packaging is recyclable.
- It’s a clean makeup product that’s great for sensitive eyes;
- It’s long-lasting without being overwhelming;
- This mascara is an award-winning product;
- It lengthens and volumizes your lashes;
- I love how lightweight and nourishing this mascara is;
- It comes with a dual-sided brush;
- It’s an organic product.
- It isn’t waterproof;
- If I don’t use both sides of the brush, I’ve noticed my lashes tend to look like spider legs, mainly if I apply several layers without combing my lashes with the second brush side.
9. NYX Doll Eye Mascara
This NYX mascara is called Doll Eye for a reason. My eyes look lovely with it. To give you some context, I should mention that I have big round eyes. So many times, I’ve dealt with mascaras that made my lashes stick together, but that’s not the case with the NYX Doll Eye. Instead, they look very flattering, which I believe has something to do with this product’s formulation. It consists of vitamin E, natural oils, and nylon fibers which lengthen and extend one’s lashes.
I particularly love the brush because it’s easy to use. In only a couple of strokes, my lashes become curlier than ever. For me, it’s simple to say if a mascara lives up to my expectations. I even developed my own test. After applying the product, I look in the mirror, tilting my head downwards and looking up. If my lashes go all the way up to my brows, then the mascara is good for me.
Lately, I’ve also been focusing on finding a great mascara that makes my lashes seem fuller and thicker. While I am proud of my long black lashes, I must say they aren’t as full as I wish them to be.
- It’s cruelty-free (duh!) and formulated with a lengthening fiber;
- You can choose from three versions of this mascara: volumizing, lengthening, and waterproof;
- It doesn’t smudge;
- You won’t get any clumps due to the brush’s shape.
- The color is not as intense as I would’ve liked;
- Once you open the container, the mascara will dry out quickly.
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Get this exclusive offer from NYX Cosmetics 25% OFF Sitewide, PLUS a Mystery Gift with a $50 Purchase.
Question: How Do I Know When Mascara Is Cruelty-Free?
Answer: Read the label and check if the product is Leaping Bunny-certified. If the info isn’t featured on the packaging, go to the brand’s website and check it there. If that’s also a dead-end, there’s another way you can try by verifying both PETA and Leaping Bunny shopping guides. But, most cruelty-free brands mention that detail on the About Us section of their websites.
Question: What’s the Safest Cruelty-Free Mascara?
Answer: In my opinion, the best mascara in terms of natural and healthy ingredients, hence safe, is Ilia Limitless Lash. According to the manufacturing company, this product is almost 100% made of natural compounds. That’s pretty impressive. Even doctors recommend this mascara.
Question: What’s the Best Cruelty-Free Vegan Mascara?
Answer: That would be Better Than Sex by one of my favorite beauty brands, Too Faced.
Question: Which Is the Best-Selling Mascara in the US?
Answer: That’s simple: the ones I’m also using most of the time – Maybelline is the most popular mascara brand with the highest sales in the United States. That’s proof that affordable makeup products can also meet our expectations.
Best Cruelty-Free Mascara Options – Bottom Line
Choosing the best cruelty-free mascara you can afford should not be difficult now that I’ve fully disclosed everything you should consider when purchasing this product. Moreover, any of the alternatives mentioned above could be your ideal go-to makeup product as long as it matches your needs. One thing is for sure: avoid mascaras that have powerful smells. Also, choose another mascara if you find the texture too clumpy or thick.
If I were you, I would only use waterproof mascara once in a while when attending an event. Otherwise, I would stick to a more casual non-waterproof mascara that’s better suited for daily use.
Of all the items I detailed today, my favorite is IT Cosmetics Superhero because I simply love the way my lashes look with this mascara. They look longer and fuller. I hope today’s article helps you make the right decision for your needs. I’m sure you’re beautiful, but with the right mascara, you’ll look fabulous.
Here are some other great articles that could interest you:
- Best eyeliner;
- Eye shadow;
- Eye primer;
- Removing waterproof mascara;
- Vegan foundation.
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