Let’s talk natural mascara. There’s some big reasons why you should upgrade to a natural mascara if you haven’t already. I’ll share why in this article. And if you have already made the jump to natural makeup you’ll be pleased because I’m going to review my picks for the best natural mascara.

But before I do that, there’s something super important that you need to understand.

All Natural Makeup Is Not a Luxury

Just like there’s been a push for more natural, holistic living, there’s also more awareness about what goes into our beauty and personal care products and why we should care. I’ve long been an advocate for natural makeup – organic makeup – and green beauty. Whatever you want to call it (it goes by many names) my perspective is that harmful chemicals and toxins do not belong in our homes and personal care products. Ever since I made the change to natural living back in 2009 I’ve been all about using safer, non-toxic makeup and personal care products.

Why? Because I did a lot of reading and research and I didn’t like what I saw. It was enough to scare me – and enough to get me to make some changes ASAP.

The thing is, that the majority of people view natural living as a luxury. I get it. It’s because we can’t see the damaging effects of our choices right away. When we’re talking about poor nutrition, toxic personal care products or living a sedentary lifestyle – the results of these things are a slow build that’s not typically evident right away. But here’s just one reason why you should care:

Toxins in skincare, makeup and other personal care products can stockpile in the body over time creating a “perfect storm” for inflammation and chronic, debilitating illness.

Because of this “slow build” to symptoms it seems like it’s fine to keep buying drug store brand cosmetics that are full of parabens and other chemicals. We don’t see the effects right now, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. What I want women to understand is that you’re in the driver’s seat here. Yes, companies are at fault for putting this garbage into products in the first place. And the FDA is at fault for doing such a poor job of regulating the beauty industry. We already know that.

But you have the power to choose differently for yourself and for your family.

And if you’re already experiencing symptoms like hormone issues or other chronic conditions, you really can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. We’re going to get to the fun stuff in a second (like which natural mascara gives lashes the most volume!), but first I want to  review some very specific (and important) reasons why you should choose a natural mascara in the first place.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Natural Mascara

Parabens.  This is the main reason why you should dump your conventional makeup and go with a natural mascara.  

Parabens are hormone disruptors that have been used in makeup and personal care products for decades. They act as preservatives to keep microbes for forming in your products. But just because they have been used for a long time doesn’t mean they are safe. Far from it. In fact, there’s plenty of research to show the harmful effects of parabens and there is increasing concern about their use in personal care products.

Parabens are also commonly found in conventional mascara. If you’re someone that wears makeup (especially daily), then this is a problem! The regular application of hormone disrupting mascara is a no-go, sister. This is why it’s so important to find a natural mascara brand that you love. We’ll review the best natural mascara in this article, but first you need to understand the risks of continuing to use the conventional stuff:

1- Parabens in conventional mascara can make your hormone issues worse.

If you’re dealing with any kind of hormone related issue parabens are only going to agitate the situation. Why? Because they disrupt hormones like it’s their job. If you’re already struggling with PCOS and ovarian cysts, PMS issues, hormonal breakouts, cystic acne, endometriosis, fibroids, menopause and perimenopause, any kind of thyroid dysfunction and even infertility back away from the conventional mascara.

The last thing you need is to throw parabens into the mix. You may already be feeling like your hormones have a mind of their own. But when you add parabens to the puzzle it makes hormone balancing that much more challenging. This is just another reason why all natural makeup and natural mascara need to be your go-to choices.

2- Parabens have been found in breast milk, urine and plasma (1).

Surprised? Don’t be. Your skin is not quite the barrier we often think it is.

Most people don’t realize that what’s applied to the skin goes into the bloodstream. For pregnant women, this has an even higher level of significance since chemicals in conventional makeup and personal care products can harm a developing baby.

The biggest reason why I started making the switch to natural makeup was because I was thinking of my unborn children. Back in 2010 Isaac and I had just gotten married and he gave me a book called Toxic Beauty by Samuel Epstein. I read it. And it changed everything.

Even though we weren’t planning to have kids for a few years, I realized that the decisions I make today are going to impact my unborn children later on. When I think about how much I have changed to live a better lifestyle, there was no way I could leave natural makeup out of the discussion. Because I knew that it was going to play a huge role in the environment my children would grow and develop in (my own body!). And it would also affect the nourishment – the breast milk- that I was going to feed them as well.

You may be out of childbearing years (or just done with having kids), but if toxins can so impact the body that they can linger around for a developing baby…how much more can they impact you? What are the effects that you can’t see?

I noticed that when I switched from conventional to natural mascara my eyes stopped burning. I used to use those drug store brands and they always irritated my eyes. But I would wear them anyway. Because vanity. Now, I know better. And I also feel better knowing that I’m doing everything I can to take care of myself so I can be around for the long haul for my family.

3- Parabens are known to increase the risk of breast cancer (2, 3).

Intact parabens have been found in breast cancer tissues. That is scary. We already know that breast cancer is strongly tied to hormones. In fact, breast cancer cells grow and thrive in estrogen dominant environments.

We also know that in the 21st century we are unnecessarily exposed to loads of estrogen-mimicking hormones (called xenoestrogens) every single day. These xenoestrogens can create an estrogen dominant environment in the body creating the perfect foundation for cancer to grow.

One of the main exposures of xenoestrogens is through parabens found in personal care products.

This is just another reason why I advocate so strongly for all natural and organic makeup whenever possible. While it can be a process to switch out your entire stash (I recommend doing it in phases),  just go ahead and cross mascara off the list because by the end of this article you’re going to know the best natural mascara for you.

4- Using paraben free products will actually lower your exposure to them! (4)

Personal care products are the primary way that we get exposed to parabens  (5, 6). Surprise! There is a direct correlation to using products with parabens and the amount of parabens in your system. This is good news! Because this means that you can control which products you use and thus lower your risk of all these crazy issues that come with hormone disruption and overexposure to toxins.

A study in Environmental Health Perspectives showed substantial decreases in parabens detected in urine samples after just 3 days of using more natural products. Methylparaben (one of the most commonly used parabens) dropped 44% and propylparaben (another common one) dropped 45%. Triclosan, another hormone disrupter commonly used in antibacterial soap and also linked to cancer (7), dropped 36%. These are substantial reductions that happened in a short period of just 3 days. Switching to natural mascara and all natural makeup can make a huge impact on your health and wellbeing long term.

Now that you understand some of the biggest issues related to parabens and why you should switch to a natural mascara, let’s talk about some of the best natural makeup brands!

Best Natural Mascara

If you’re a little bit skeptical that a natural makeup brand can stand up to your conventional favorites, I have good news. Over the last few years organic and natural makeup brands have been working hard to create products that are safer and also perform.

Years ago when I made the switch to natural makeup, the pickings were slim. I’m happy to say that today there are so many awesome brands to choose from. And there are several natural mascaras that get amazing results without exposing you to chemicals and toxins.  

Here’s my pics for best natural mascara:

Best Natural Mascara for Volume

Lily Lolo, $20

First impressions are everything. The first Lily Lolo product I ever tried was an eyeshadow palette. I remember when it showed up at my house. I loved the simple, black and white design and I loved the shades they put together even more.

Needless to say, I was excited to try more! Their natural mascara gets tons of buzz and now I know why. This natural mascara is all about the drama. If you love luscious, voluminous lashes or you’re looking for the best natural mascara that holds a curl, then this has got to be your pick.

You can tell by the way the brush looks that the wand is made for volume. And it does not disappoint. The other bonus? Lily Lolo products are completely free from gmo ingredients, nanoparticles, talc, parabens, fragrance, gluten, petroleum based chemicals and more! And did I mention this mascara is vegan, too?

This is now one of my favorite natural makeup brands because they pride themselves on using minerals and organic, natural ingredients.  

Best Natural Mascara for Length

Beauty Counter, $29

If your thing is long, fluttery lashes then this is your go-to natural mascara option. I have loved that Beauty Counter is on a mission to make all natural makeup more accessible to the average woman. While their skin care and some of their other products are a little too synthetic for my taste, they have done well to remove tons of harmful chemicals from their ingredients list. And the lengthening mascara is a winner.

This is one that I like to use for everyday makeup. It gives lashes a beautiful length while maintaining a natural look. I apply two to three coats to get the effect that I want. I love the size of the wand and how easy it is to apply this one. This is also the best natural mascara that doesn’t smudge, so I don’t have to worry about racoon eyes at the end of the day.

Beauty Counter also recently released a volumizing mascara. I’m eager to try that out too and I’ll let you know the results!

Best Natural Mascara for Definition

RMS Beauty, $28

Off the bat I fell in love with the RMS Mascara wand. I loved the way it felt in my hand and it’s a pretty, sleek silver that wipes off easily. I really don’t like it when my makeup packaging gets all stained with…well, makeup.

Made from organic plant waxes and raw minerals this is the best natural mascara for definition. So if you want lashes that fan out beautifully without getting all clumpy and flakey, this is your pick.

This is the best natural looking mascara, so don’t expect tons of volume from this one. To get a better idea of what to expect check out the RMS website. They have a couple of videos that show some of their models applying their natural mascara and I find that these videos do a great job of showing how their product performs.

Best All Around Natural Mascara

W3LL People Expressionist Mascara, $21.99

The Expressionist Mascara was the first natural mascara that I ever tried. And I loved it. That was years ago. Since then, W3LL People has been given a nod by Allure Magazine, which gave the Expressionist Mascara one of their coveted “Best of Beauty” awards. This mascara has also been featured in Elle Magazine as one of “The Very Best Beauty Products.” When you’re one of the natural makeup brands and  you have mainstream media outlets singing your praises you know you’re onto something.

Despite the interesting moniker, The Expressionist Mascara has long been a favorite in the green makeup industry. It hits all the right notes by adding volume, definition and length with every application. They are also one of the few all natural makeup brands that offers color options with their mascara. So if you’re looking for the best natural brown mascara or even purple or blue – you have these colors to choose from as well as classic black. This is a natural beauty queen’s dream.

And it makes me wonder…why did I stop using this brand, again? Probably because I’m constantly trying products and I just got away from it. I’ll be ordering it again, though!

But I’m getting off track. Last thing: The Expressionist Mascara is also an Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified Product. That’s a big deal. EWG brought us the “Dirty Dozen” so we could shop smarter for pesticide-free produce. They are also the creators of the Skin Deep Database which has heightened awareness around chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products. If you want a natural mascara that does it all and comes in a variety of shades (and even a more compact size for travel), this is the best pick.

I hope this has been helpful for you! Now you have multiple affordable natural mascara options to choose from.

Which is the best natural mascara for you? Do you love volume? Length? Definition? Let me know in the comments below. And if you’ve tried one of these brands or you have another natural mascara option that you love, please share!

And by the way, I was not compensated in any way for my review of these products. This article is based on my honest perspective and all products discussed in this article were purchased by me and not gifted by a company.



  1. Darbre, P. D., & Harvey, P. W. (2008). Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of applied toxicology, 28(5), 561-578.
  2. López-Carrillo, L., Hernández-Ramírez, R. U., Calafat, A. M., Torres-Sánchez, L., Galván-Portillo, M., Needham, L. L., & Cebrián, M. E. (2010). Exposure to phthalates and breast cancer risk in northern Mexico. Environmental health perspectives, 118(4), 539.
  3. Darbre, P. D., & Harvey, P. W. (2008). Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of applied toxicology, 28(5), 561-578.
  4. EurekAlert! by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, (2016). Teen girls see big drop in chemical exposure with switch in cosmetics. Retrieved from: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/uoc–tgs030416.php
  5. Guo, Y., & Kannan, K. (2013). A survey of phthalates and parabens in personal care products from the United States and its implications for human exposure. Environmental science & technology, 47(24), 14442-14449.
  6. Błędzka,D., Gromadzińska, J., & Wąsowicz, W. (2014). Parabens. From environmental studies to human health. Environment international, 67, 27-42. <parabens found mostly in PCPs
  7. Triclosan: Is this hazardous toxin in your toothpaste? https://draxe.com/triclosan/


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