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Cruelty Free Mascaras! Reviews and "Best of" Lists

Cruelty-Free Mascaras Reviewed

Pro MUA Yisell Rates Cruelty Free Mascaras

Yisell

Born and raised in NYC, Yisell has been in the industry since 2004. Her portfolio includes work in print, TV, film, music videos & bridal. Visit Yisell at yisellsantosmakeup.com.

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In survey after survey, a good cruelty-free mascara tops the list of hard-to-find items. Here's help! Yisell tested 20+ cruelty-free mascaras, from drugstore brands to high-end brands. Price didn't always predict performance, with some low price mascaras turning in star performances.

Here are the experiments and summary results. For details on a mascara, choose the mascara name. All mascaras were tested with the exact same experiments and application technique.


The Tests

Experiments Application
  • 10 hour wear
  • Jogging
  • Everyday home chores
  • Outside errands
  • Sitting in a steamy bathroom (simulate humidity)
  • Applied to top & bottom lashes
  • Applied 2 coats
  • Applied from lash base to lash tips & wiggled brush back & forth horizontally
  • Checked results every 1 to 3 hours

Summary for All Mascaras

For the detailed review of a mascara, choose the mascara name. See Yisell's picks for best mascara overall and by category.

MascaraResultsConclusions
100% Pure - Maracuja Oil Mascara
MSRP: $26.00
Shade: Black Tea (black), Dark Chocolate (brown)
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Some
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Smells divine. Dark pigmentation.
Cons: Very wet formula.
End Result: Wet formula made lashes stick together, looking clumpy. Dark Chocolate (brown) stung my eyes when I removed it. (Dark Chocolate has cocoa powder, so avoid if you have a cocoa/chocolate allergy.)
Alima Pure Mascara
MSRP: $22.00
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Held up all day, no clumping, no flaking. Wand gave great separation to lashes.
Cons: None.
End Result: Applicator nicely separated lashes & kept them separated without clumping or making them crunchy.
Beauty Without Cruelty - Full Volume Natural Mascara
MSRP: $25.95
Shade: Black
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: No
  • Jogging: No
  • Home chores: Some
  • Outside errands: No
  • Humidity: No
Pros: Wand separated lashes nicely, giving illusion of volume.
Cons: Smudging within 3 hours.
End Result: A nice mascara, but lasts only about 3 hours.
Beauty Without Cruelty - Waterproof Mascara
MSRP: $25.95
Shade: Black
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: No
  • Jogging: No
  • Home chores: No
  • Outside errands: No
  • Humidity: No
Pros: None.
Cons: Flaked fast.
End Result: Flaked & smudged within a few minutes, giving raccoon eyes even for simple home chores.
e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara
MSRP: $3.00
Shade: Black
Vegan

New formula - new testing under way

 
FACE atelier - Sculpt HD Mascara
MSRP: $26.00
Shade: Midnight (black)
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Lashes looked & felt soft. Thin brush made application easy.
Cons: None.
End Result: Delivered everything promised & more. Thin wand let me get to inner corners & also get close to lash line, which helps in lengthening & separating.
FACE atelier - Crybaby Mascara
MSRP: $26.00
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Waterproof, with no smudging, running, or flaking. Lashes remained soft.
Cons: Wish it were darker.
End Result: Love it. My go to for bridal clients & got me through allergy season without smudging.
Gabriel Cosmetics Mascara
MSRP: $16.00
Shade: Black, Black Brown
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Lengthened with no clumping. Lashes stayed soft.
Cons: None.
End Result: Great for a natural look. Black Brown is even more natural than Black on dark lashes & perfect for lighter blonde lashes.
Glamour Dolls Lashlights Mascara
MSRP: $4.99
Shade: Black
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Held up all day with no clumping or flaking. Gave nice, feathery lashes.
Cons: Formula is stickier than most, so it was a little hard to get mascara from wand onto lashes.
End Result: The stickier formula is what made it hold up in all scenarios. Even with it being stickier, my lashes were soft & not clumpy. If you don't mind a little extra work applying it, it makes a wonderful daily mascara.
Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
MSRP: $3.99
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: It does as promises, except for clumping with 2 coats (recommend 1 coat). Love that it's very dark.
Cons: Clumped with 2 coats.
End Result: What a bargain! The results are something I'd expect with an expensive mascara.
Jordana Best Length Extreme Lengthening Mascara
MSRP: $4.49
Shade: Black
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: No
  • Jogging: No
  • Home chores: Some
  • Outside errands: Some
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Applicator nicely separated lashes.
Cons: Did well initially; then flaked & smudged throughout day.
End Result: Good separation, but only a little lengthening. Any moisture made it smudge.
Jordana Best Volume Extreme Volumizing Mascara
MSRP: $4.49
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Some
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Some
  • Humidity: No
Pros: No clumping. Added some volume (but not "extreme").
Cons: Big brush made it hard to apply. Needed to clean up eyelids after application. Some smudging & flaking halfway through day.
End Result: A little volume; & lots of clean-up needed during application & wear.
Lily Lolo - Mascara
MSRP: $20.00
Shade: Black
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Kept lashes super soft even with 2 coats. Added length & defined lashes.
Cons: None.
End Result: Definitely recommend for someone who loves defined lashes.
Milani - Big & Bigger Lashes
MSRP: $9.00
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Voluminous, long lashes. Held up well.
Cons: Flat tip brush tended to collect too much mascara.
End Result: Loved it. One coat gave the effect it promises; 2 coats gave more.
Milani - Lash Trifecta
MSRP: $9.00
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Good separation & length, good thickening with 2 coats, some curl, no smudging.
Cons: More curl would be nice. Lost some curl & volume halfway through day.
End Result: Liked both mascara & mascara wand. If you want a mascara that lengthens & separates, this is it.
Mineral Fusion - Lash Curling Mascara
MSRP: $18.99
Shade: Gravity (black)
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Some
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Some
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Mostly, it stayed put all day. The flaking occurred during extensive activities or humidity.
Cons: Flaking & clumping. Very wet & dried crunchy, which is why it flaked. It also didn't separate my lashes (they clumped).
End Result: Made my lashes look clumpy & stiff. Hard to remove even with eye makeup remover.
Mineral Fusion - Lengthening Mascara
MSRP: $18.99
Shade: Graphite (black)
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Some
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Some
  • Humidity: No
Pros: Lots of length. No clumping. Lashes felt moisturized & soft after a week or two of wearing.
Cons: Any moisture (allergies, sweat, etc.) made it flake & smudge under eye area.
End Result: Despite the lack of longevity, I liked this mascara & how easy it was to remove.
Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara
MSRP: $14.00
Shade: Supernova (black)
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Some
  • Jogging: Some
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Added volume. Good color intensity.
Cons: Slight smudging, but mostly had problem with large wand. While applying, I always got mascara on my eyelids near my lash line.
End Result: I liked the mascara. The smudging halfway through the day wasn't intense & mostly looked intentional (a bit of a smokey eye).
Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara
MSRP: $14.00
Shade: Abyss (black)
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: Added volume, especially with 2 coats. Stayed put!
Cons: The mascara is slightly dry, but that's what makes it waterproof.
End Result: Finally! A mineral mascara that claims it's waterproof & IS!! Loved the look & feel.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
MSRP: $23.00
Shade: Black
Vegetarian

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Yes
Pros: They weren't kidding when they say "bigger, blacker, badder." This mascara brings it.
Cons: None.
End Result: Loved it. It wore all day & withstood muggy weather. Worth the price.
ZuZu Luxe Mascara
MSRP: $17.60
Shade: Onyx (black), Espresso (brown)
Vegan

Held up during:

  • 10 hour wear: Yes
  • Jogging: Yes
  • Home chores: Yes
  • Outside errands: Yes
  • Humidity: Some
Pros: Lightweight, soft, fluttery lashes.
Cons: Slight smudging during humidity.
End Result: Loved it. Perfect for a natural look. Espresso (brown) color is fantastic for blonde lashes.

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