Finding the perfect mascara can be tricky when you want it to do all the things: volumize, lengthen, condition and more! But – can you find a mascara that does all of that AND is cruelty-free and vegan? Yes, you can. Here are some tips and tricks to finding a great cruelty free and vegan mascara.
History of mascara
The ancient Egyptians were the first to experiment with mascara-like products. In fact, the very first mascaras were nothing more than beeswax and black soot or charcoal. Historians believe that these charcoal applications were first used to keep desert sands out of the eyes. As Egyptians began darkening their eyes and eyebrows with this mixture, the use of “mascara” as it was not yet called, began to spread to Greece and Rome.
Mascara didn’t gain widespread popularity in Europe, however, until 1913, when French chemist Eugène Rimmel invented the first non-toxic, industrially produced mascara. Eventually, T.L. Williams took this version of mascara, reformulated and repackaged it, and his company, Maybelline, helped catapult today’s version of mascara to worldwide popularity.
Beeswax – an ingredient to watch out for
When shopping for mascara today, you no longer need to worry about ingredients like soot or charcoal, as they were deemed dangerous long ago and removed from mascara formulations. However, there is an ingredient to watch for if you want a vegan and cruelty free application. Beeswax has long been used in mascaras to coat, lengthen and stiffen the lashes.
What’s wrong with beeswax?
PETA recommends avoiding beeswax, honey, propolis and other products that come from bees. Why? “It is not unusual for farmers at larger bee farms to cut off the queen bee’s wings so that she cannot leave the colony or to have her artificially inseminated on a bee-sized version of the factory-farm ‘rape rack.’”
What are some safe alternatives to beeswax?
Plant waxes are a great alternative to beeswax for use in cruelty free and vegan cosmetics.
- Carnuba wax – originates from a Brazilian palm leaf, Copernicia cerifera
- Candelilla wax – derived from the Mexican shrub, Euphorbia antisyphilitica
- Berry wax – extracted from the berries of a varnish or lacquer tree
- Myrica fruit wax – obtained from bayberries
- Rice bran wax – made from rice bran oil
- Sunflower wax – derived from sunflower oil
Cruelty free and vegan mascaras we love:
Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara – We love the luxurious, full-bristle brush that effortlessly coats lashes, making them thicker and fuller. Best of all? It’s 100% vegetarian, no animal testing, free of gluten, parabens, SLS, artificial fragrances and colors.
Bellissima Volumizing Mascara by Honeybee Gardens – Honeybee Gardens has created a mascara that coats each lash in rich, sultry color. The result is robust, healthy lashes with a featherweight feel that won’t smudge, clump or flake. What do we love about it? It’s made with bayberry wax, a vegan alternative to beeswax.
Want more information on vegan makeup? Check out our blog What’s hiding in your makeup? 10 common ingredients that come from animal products or visit CaringConsumer.com for a list of companies that don’t use animal products.