Around the world, ethical practices are slowly becoming the norm and to this end, the makeup industry has also followed suit. Makeup companies are now shying away from unprincipled practices and are marching headfirst towards the highest ethical standards. This entire mass movement has been spearheaded by a collective drive to be cruelty-free. And as with all other beauty products, we are on the lookout for the best cruelty-free mascaras available out there!
So, what does a company mean when they claim to be ‘cruelty-free’? By proclaiming to be cruelty-free, a company means that they have not tested any of their products on animals and any testing that was outsourced, that too was not tested on any animals. In short, to the best of the company’s knowledge, no part of the product in your hand was ever tested on our furry friends. And if you can’t simply take the company’s word, look for the Leaping Bunny certification on the packaging. This is a universal mark that declares that no animals ever came into contact with the product during its testing phase or during its production.
It is pertinent to mention that there is a vast difference between a product being cruelty-free and being vegan. For a product to be vegan, no animal-derived product can feature in its ingredients. This makes it difficult to find mascaras that are cruelty-free and vegan as nearly all mascara formulas contain beeswax. Depending on the authority, beeswax is an animal by-product and is therefore not vegan – but it is vegetarian and cruelty-free.
Therefore, our search today is simply for the best cruelty-free mascaras available out there, and in no particular order, these are our top picks.
Our Top Cruelty-Free Mascaras:
1. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
There is a reason this mascara has rapidly gained cult status. This mascara instantly injects your lashes with volume that lasts all day. The brush is able to lift and separate the lashes, ensuring the product is deposited evenly. The black color is so rich and dense that it makes your lashes look thicker, fuller, longer and just a whole lot more!
Pro tip: roll and wiggle the brush through your lashes and you’ll find that you won’t need to wear a set of false lashes either! This is a ‘holy grail’ product!
2. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes
This mascara makes some very tall claims, such as being a 4-in-1 product – it is said to increase lash volume in a single application, lengthen, curl and even condition the lashes. So, does it live up to the hype? The answer is a resounding YES! This product comes highly recommended by people with sensitive eyes because it doesn’t flake. It lasts all day and is simple to remove. It boosts volume into the lashes with each swipe and deposits deep pigment that makes your lashes look lush! A must-have for anyone who loves luxury products!
3. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
We cannot talk about cruelty-free products without mentioning Urban Decay. You must check out their cruelty-free makeup brushes as well. The true secret to Perversion mascara is its texture. This texture is rich and creamy in all the right ways – it is wet enough to coat every single lash yet thick enough to lock-in that curl. The brush has been specifically designed to lift and separate the lashes, so when you roll the wand, the product is deposited right to the base and then swept out, defining each lash for a clean finish. Don’t do more than two coats though – this guy tends to turn spidery if you are overzealous with the coats.
4. Tarte Tartiest Mascara
Let’s talk about pigment here. This mascara has made it to our list because it is a powerhouse of pigment that gives you the blackest lashes in just two coats! The brush bristles are soft and pick up the perfect about of product to deliver to the lashes, without getting them clumpy or spidery. Conversely, it separates the individual lashes, creating a dense fan that gives the look of false lashes, but they’re all your own! We do recommend curling your lashes before mascara because while this doesn’t lift the last as well as others, it sure knows how to lock a curl in.
5. IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara – Our Top Pick
This mascara is a gamechanger. It was developed by makeup artists and plastic surgeons to create the best looking and best-for-you product! Some of the powerhouse ingredients include Biotin (known to support healthy hair) and peptides (to enhance the appearance of the lashes). Therefore it should come as no surprise that this mascara knows exactly how to lift and separate the lashes to deliver a flawless finish. The densely packed brush deposits the product and combs it out so nothing clumpy is left behind. The results are dramatic and so worth the money!
6. MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara
This guy made our list be IT DOES NOT FLAKE! The product has been designed to withstand the day however, we have noticed that it does tend to break down and flake a tiny bit if you wear it to the gym on a cardio day. The brush has a unique, bubble shape that grips the lash to give it a curling lift and to coat each lash with lush, dark pigment. Also, you will need two coats to seal the deal. This unique formula is a tad bit on the wet side, but once you get the hang of using it, we promise that you will be hooked for life!
7. Smashbox Superfan Mascara
This cruelty-free mascara made it to our list because of its brush. Oh, that brush! Shaped like a torpedo, the brush combs are short and packed close – this has the benefit of depositing mascara in places you didn’t know you had lashes! Thereby creating perfectly fanned-out lashes, every time. This product boasts 12-hour wear, however, we have seen it do 9 hours without showing signs of wear and tear. This in itself is quite an achievement! It may not inject your lashes with a shock of volume, but it will fan them out and lengthen them to unseen heights! The lashes look impactful and lifted and you won’t miss the falsies. Also, have you checked out Smashbox’s cruelty-free foundation?
8. BLINC Amplified Mascara
This mascara has made our list because of its unique formula. The product, once coated onto the lashes, creates tiny water-resistant ‘tubes’ around each lash, lending a glossy, volumized finish. Oh, and did we mention that it doesn’t smudge or flake and is water-resistant? So, if you have oily lids and can see your mascara breaking down around the 5th hour of wear, we highly recommend that its time to switch over to this guy. It comes in two colors: black and dark brown, so you can choose how dramatic you want your lashes to look. The formula is quick-drying, allowing you to build up to your desired fullness and rest assured, said fullness will not fall flat. We love this product!
So, if you’re on the hunt for the best cruelty-free mascara, we hope that our little list has proved informative and has helped in guiding you towards the right choice. When purchasing a mascara, it is worth remembering that the shelf life of the mascara is 3 months. That means if you do not foresee yourself wearing mascara on a daily basis, opt for a smaller tube than a full-sized. The reasoning behind this is that the eye is a very sensitive organ and you wouldn’t want to risk harmful bacteria near it. Be sure to choose a mascara that is well suited to your needs. Whether you are looking for volume, length or pigment, there is a cruelty-free, holy grail product our there, waiting for you to find it.
And remember, when you choose cruelty-free products such as concealers or over others, you retain the joy of knowing that absolutely no bunnies, or any other animals, were tested upon when the product in your hand was being developed. And in order to ensure that your product is indeed cruelty-free, the Leaping Bunny Program has implemented strict standards and guidelines that over 1,300 companies have subscribed to and have attained their cruelty-free certification. This shift has sprung a movement, forcing major companies to check their carbon footprint and so, animal lovers, you can rest easy now that you know that our fur babies are in good hands and you can indulge guilt (and cruelty) free!
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Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!