Mascara is a desert island beauty product for me so once I learned that a lot of mascaras on the market include toxic chemicals at the onset of my clean beauty journey, I knew I wanted to start the hunt for the very best clean mascaras. After over a year of testing and trying a variety of formulas, I’ve found the three best clean mascaras on the market. Whether you want voluminous lashes, natural-looking lashes or something in between – these three mascaras are the best I’ve tried.
Best Clean Mascaras
Given you apply mascara often every single day (at least I do!) I wanted to find mascaras that were free of some of the bad chemicals mascaras often contain and overall had more natural, less toxic formulas. But they also had to perform, not irritate and hold up.
For me mascaras are an easy way to appear more awake and look put together. Applying mascara is also a must for me when it comes to appearing on video and on Zoom calls.
The three best clean mascaras I’ve included here are less toxic formulas and free of some of the most harsh chemicals commonly found in mascaras.
Kosas The Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara
This clean mascara is perfect for days where you want major volume. It is the best clean dupe alternative I have found for my beloved Stila HUGE mascara. It is formulated with hair care actives that help to support natural lash growth (and repair) which I love. Don’t be intimidated by the oversized rainbow brush that comes out looking clumpy as the same will not be true for your lashes. Instead every lash will be volumized, lengthened & curled and you can build coat after coat depending how mega you want your lashes to be.
This mascara contains natural body-building ingredients like castor oil and Provitamin B5 and features intense pigments to deliver big time on big lashes. The formula is free of carbon black, acrylates, mineral oil, fragrance, and silicones.
How to Use: Press the brush into the base of your lashes and wiggle it though, with the curve of the brush following the natural curve of your eye. Layer coats every 30 seconds if you want more volume.
Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara
This is Gwenyth Paltrow’s personal favorite mascara – need I say more? Ok yes I will say more! Gucci Westman is a beloved makeup artist to some of the biggest stars (including GP!) and her clean makeup line Westman Atelier is luxury meets performance.
The Eye Love You Mascara is an ultraluxe, hydrating mascara that features a 96% natural formula made without the petroleum-based waxes or skin-sensitizing chemicals found in traditional mascaras. It leaves your lashes looking the blackest of black and super defined thanks to the brush design (Gucci Westman sampled more than 45 brush options before choosing the precisely calibrated nylon-bristle brush).
Larch tree extracts hydrate and condition lashes, chicory root extract helps boost volume and thickness for fullness, and sunflower seed, carnauba, and beeswax keep the long-lasting inky-black mascara from clumping, smudging, or flaking. One coat delivers a healthy-looking, glossy, and camera-ready look. This mascara is made without silicones, parabens, PEGs, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Lashes feel long and sturdy after application.
How to use: Hold the brush horizontally right at the base of the lashes and use a slight side-to-side wiggling motion to build thickness and volume. To get those little lashes at the inner corners, turn the brush vertically and sweep upward with the tip for really great lift and curl.
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
The Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara is an award-winning, best-selling buildable mascara beloved by makeup artists. It is perfect for every day because it gives a really natural look and has no flaking. You’ll get curling and lift and no clumping. I’ve found this mascara easy to apply and easy to remove at the end of the night. The formula features beeswax and shea butter and it is available in After Midnight which is a classic black mascara shade.
The Ilia Limitless Lash mascara is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, and triclosa, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. This product is also cruelty-free and gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging. The Limitless Lash Mascara is a great mascara for sensitive eyes.
How to use: Start with the shorter bristles at the base of your lash line, with a slight wiggle motion back-and-forth to add definition. Pull brush up to the top of lashes to lift and extend. Reverse to the elongated bristles to lengthen and add visible volume. One coat lifts and extends while several coats gives you a voluminous look that stays put.
The Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara is $28 and can be purchased at Ilia, Credo Beauty, Dermstore, Sephora or Follain. (*Note: packaging shown has since been discontinued and the current packaging is now white).
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I have also tested the W3ll People Expressionist Mascara, the Kjaer Weis Lenghtening Mascara and the Saie Beauty Mascara but did not like them as none gave me both the volume and length I look for in mascaras.