Natural Beauty Battle: Mascara

Natural Beauty Battle: Mascara

At the beginning of this year I made a resolution: By 2015 all of my makeup would be as organic and natural as possible (I’m just not ready to make my own quite yet) and cruelty free. When one product would run out, I’d simply replace it with something that aligned with my guidelines. Easiest resolution ever, or so I thought. On the surface, this was a simple task, at this point in the game, more and more organic and/or naturally-derived, cruelty-free options are available on drugstore shelves. However the real challenge came with giving up the tried-and-true products I’d been swearing by for years in favor of something new. It was like learning how to use makeup all over again (a process in and of itself that took me, well … until about now.)

So I’m bringing you along on my journey, pitting products against each other to find the best of the best. Today, I’m talking mascara, which is a staple of my makeup cabinet — I rarely leave home without a couple of quick coats. I picked up two affordable options: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear “Fake Out” and Pacifica “Stellar Gaze,” both in black. Read on to find out which one came out on top:

First up is Pacifica’s “Stellar Gaze” natural mineral mascara, which — while not organic — is 100% vegan (right down to the brush), cruelty free, and fortified with vitamin B and coconut. I’ve been a fan of Pacifica’s perfumes for quite some time (the company donates a portion of proceeds to support clean water), so I was thrilled to find out they had recently expanded their line to include makeup. After first curling my lashes, I applied a few coats of Stellar Gaze to my left eye (the side with my hair tied back, above), but noticed a difference in coverage after the first coat. The formula goes on smoothly, doesn’t clump, and while the brush is large, it’s easy to maneuver so you can get every lash. I didn’t notice much difference in the overall length of my eyelashes, but this formula definitely aided in the appearance of volume and wore well throughout the day – no flaking here.

Next up, Physician’s Formula Organic Wear “Fake Out.” Organic Wear is one line of many from PF, and while all of Physician’s Formula is certified cruelty free, it’s important to note this is the only line that is organic. “Fake Out” is free from GMOs, parabens, and harsh chemicals, and the packaging is 100% recyclable, which I like. This formula goes on easily enough and after a few coats I got the coverage I prefer, but this product would be best for someone who is looking for a more natural, “no makeup-makeup” appearance – I like a little more drama. The brush is slightly rounded and oversized, with short bristles, which posed a problem when I went to apply it: Because the bristles are smaller and more spaced out, they pushed right through my lashes and on to my eyelid (you can see a smudge of mascara on my right eyelid, above). I also noticed that this formula dried and flaked a little, and by the end of the day, the makeup on my right eye appeared worn out.

So, who’s the winner? I’m giving this round to Pacifica’s “Stellar Gaze.” While it may not be organic, I’m willing to overlook that for a formula that provides the dramatic coverage I desire, doesn’t smudge, and wears well throughout the day.

What product should we tackle next? Let us know in the comments!

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