Natural Mascaras - Lower Budget Options

April 07, 2014

I think all of us, trying to be chemical free or not, want to find the perfect mascara. I had that - I was in love with the Maybelline The Falsies (black drama) as it worked perfectly for me, didn't cost a fortune, was easy to get hold of (in my local supermarket) and I even liked the packaging!

Then... I decided it was finally time to tackle my make up collection and try to 'clean' it up. Mascara did kind of scare me, I have read so much about how hard it is to find a good natural mascara. I was also miffed about the price point of most natural mascaras, almost all are over £10 which really annoys me.

So, I wanted to look at some less expensive options for you. I TRIED to keep these all under £10 but it wasn't possible! 

Now, let me outline what I was looking for in my mascara and what my lashes/lids are like. 

I am lucky to have long lashes that curl upwards so I am not looking for something to lengthen or curl really, my main focus is volumising. I want thick, black lashes that aren't clumpy and I want the mascara to stay on my lashes until I choose to take it off! I have oily eye lids which I think makes the mascara come off easier than it may on other people.

Just to let you know, you can either watch my video or read on:

So here is what I tried and what I found:

Benecos Super Long Lashes Black Mascara £6.95

This did have a lengthening effect but it didn't really do much else, it didn't add any drama, definition or thickness. 

I found the wand difficult to use as it is quite long so it is difficult to get into 'corners'. The mascara did not last long on me at all! I ended up with dark smudges on the tops of my eyes within just a couple of hours.

Overall it didn't DO much and it didn't stay on well. A big fail!

Would I buy this again? Never. Would I recommend this? Not at all.

Benecos Maximum Volume Mascara £6.95

This one was good at adding volume but it was so dry, thick and sticky it was very difficult to apply. The only way I could use this was as a second coat over top of the Benecos lengthening mascara. 

I did not get on with this at all, like I said I would not have been able to use it at all if it were not as only a second coat.

The wand is a much better shape than the other Benecos one but that is it's only saving grace in my opinion. This one stayed on reasonably well and kept the lengthening mascara on better.

Would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend this? No.

Zao Organic Structuring Masacra £13.56 (or £5.94 full sized sample)

This was a reasonable mascara for the trial price but I wouldn't pay the full price for it. The wand always ended up with clumps on the end and I had to use so many coats for anything to really happen to my lashes.

If you like the simple, no make up look then you may get on with this. Or, without sounding rude or big headed (which this is) I have quite long, black lashes so if you have shorter, lighter lashes you may see more of an effect? I'm not sure.

To be fair - it darkens, slightly thickens and slightly lengthens lashes without clumping, smudging or flaking. That is a good number of positive traits for a mascara, especially a natural one.

Would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend this? No, especially not at the full price.

Zao Organic Volume and Sheathing Mascara £13.56 (or £6.43 full sized sample)

These two Zao mascaras were both so similar it was very difficult to tell them apart.

Same for this one, it doesn't do much for my lashes but I do slightly prefer this one over the other as the wand is a better shape and the product applies slightly thicker making the lashes appear darker and a tiny bit thicker but not much.

Again, it doesn't flake, smudge or do anything bad but it doesn't do much good either.

Would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend this? Only at the trial price if you have very light lashes and want a natural look.

Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume Mascara £11.99

At first I was in love with this mascara, I went from the Zao (which did nothing) to this which did everything! It is very lengthening, very thickening, it adds a lot of volume and drama. I loved this for a while, it stays on very well with no flaking, smudging or running.

It was a bit too much though, it was a bit clumpy and could easily make my lashes group together into the spider leg effect. I would only need one coat and it would go every where! The wand is quite big and would always be covered in product so the whole application process was quite messy.

For the price I personally would not buy this again - if you want a big effect mascara that stays on well then this is ideal for you. If you want something a bit more subtle and easier to apply then the search continues!

Would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend this? Possibly - If you want super dramatic then this is the mascara for you. 

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Ultra Black Organics 5 x Lash Boosting Mascara £6.08

Right, this is a complaint of both of the Physician's Formula mascaras - what's with the packaging? It looks like my 4 year old daughter designed it!! (sorry!)

This is a nice enough formula, not anything amazing or blow you away false lash effect but it darkens, lengthens and thickens your lashes without clumping.

The wand isn't quite as big and fat as the other one which makes it a bit easier to apply but you need more product to see the same effect as the other physician's formula mascara.

This is a reasonable mascara, probably the second best one I have tried... but it comes second place to the other Physician's Formula.

I love the 'green' credentials of this mascara: 

  • 100% Natural Origin
  • 70% Organic
  • 100% free of: harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, petroleum by products, parabens, fibers, dyes.
  • EcoCert
  • Recyclable wand

Would I buy this again? Maybe. Would I recommend this? Probably - depends on what you want out of a mascara but I think this is a good all rounder with a nice wand shape and good, buildable formula that stays on all day.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara Black Organics £6.08

I bought two Physicians formula mascaras from America. These came from My Natural Market and paid just £1.95 to have them shipped to me. Amazing!

I liked this although, like I said, I am not overly keen on the packaging, why is it so utlra shiny and a strange shape? However, that is not enough to make me not buy it if the rest of it is good... Which it is! 

The wand is rubberised, big and fat but still easy to use. It doesn't get over loaded with product so you don't end up making a mess!

This product goes on nicely, grabbing onto the lashes but not over saturating them or making them clump together. 

It stays on all day, no smudging even on my oily eyes! It passes the ultimate test.

Similar green credentials again with this lovely mascara:

  • 100% Natural Origin
  • 70% Organic
  • 100% free of: harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, petroleum by products, parabens, fibers, dyes
  • Recyclable wand
Would I buy this again? Yes. Would I recommend this? Yes.

Success! I've found a natural mascara for under £10 that I am happy to re-purchase! Woo hoo! 

What mascara do you use and should I try it out?
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  1. Interesting report, Rach! So far I have tried the Green People Organics mascara (Naturisimo have the best price £11.95 I think) which I love, even thoughit dries after 2 - 3 months; the Bee Gardens one (Amazon £10ish) which does nothing for me and the Logona volume mascara (£12.95 Naturisimo) which is great. I keep trying different ones, but for me Green People Organics is a winner.

    1. I agree with Manuela regarding the green people mascara. It's a subtle one I'd say but buildable. I've tried others: Lily Lolo (too clumpy), Studio 78 (which is pricy but I got free from Naturisimo - it irritates my eyes but it's actually nice), lavera

    2. Arg! My phone it's awful! Anyway the lavera one is similar to the green people but it's sooo messy! I might try the physicians formula but I do think that green products should also be green in terms of air miles so I don't like to order from America.

    3. Thank you Manuela! :-) I will look into the green people one as I'm sure that has been mentioned to me before. Thanks for reading x

  2. My all time favorite Avril beaute extreme length mascara, also happens to be the cheapest one I've tried - less than £6 (£5.76 to be exact). But I also find PF mascaras reasonably priced and good quality.

    1. I have heard from a lot of people that the Avril mascara is amazing and a few have said it's not that great - I may give it a go though as so many sing its prizes. Thanks for reading :-)

    2. Hi Inga, where do you buy the Avril mascara at £6?? Checking online I can find at +£7. Many thanks!! x

  3. I think giving up mascara is going to be the hardest thing for me, I'm addicted literally could quite happily leave the house with no foundation but mascara always have to wear it. I like the sound of the last one it's a shame the packaging is so clunky though not very …travel friendly! I'm currently using one by Love lula which…I'm not to keen on it's not rubbish just not as lengthening as my usual one :( x

    1. I was getting so disheartened trying to find a decent mascara for a reasonable price, glad I did find something reasonably quickly though!! xx

  4. I really want to try the Physicians Formula ones and even more so now! I've been using Avril and do love it and now I've bought the NYR one it says lengthening but I think I'd prefer a volumizing mascara I'm not sure why I tried it but I'm getting used to it and I'll be doing a review first! I'm glad you found one that you like :) xx

    1. I'd suggest you give them a go as they are pretty affordable so if you aren't keen you haven't splurged - mascara is so individual the Physicians Formula ones are perfect for me but you may not get on with them.
      I know what you mean about buying the wrong formula - the first one I bought (benecos) was lengthening... why on earth did I buy that?!? I want volume not length lol. it's all a bit of a blur when I'm shopping haha xx

  5. Hi Rach - Have you tried PHB Ethical Beauty? I am trialling their mascara and mineral foundation and they are both excellent. The mascara is great and adds some volume to my seriously lacking eye lashes. I tried the NYR Organic one but didn't like it as I need volume and definition. PHB may be worth a try

    1. Hey :-) I have never heard of that site, just checked it out and really like the look of it, thanks for suggesting ;-) have to say though... I just struggle to go over that £10 mark, I'm too tight haha! Like the look of the rest of their stuff as well, their 'fair' starter kits look nice and I'm tempted!
      Rach xx

  6. Mascaras are the #1 hardest natural beauty product for me to find! Thanks for the review, now if we could only somehow get these UK brands over here in the states.... :0)

    1. The grass is always greener on the other side eh?! :-) I think you guys in the sates are lucky, everything seems much more affordable and accessible. Thanks for reading :-)

  7. Wowee, you really went for it testing these out! Shame about the Zao one as I love everything behind their brand. Both me and Sabrina swear by the 100% Pure mascara. I initally went for it becuase my eyes are really sensitive, and I just wanted something that wouldn't irritate them. It completely blew me out of the water tbh. Never smudges, clumps, it lengths and volumsies aaaaaaaand it's about £15 which isn't too bad. Plus, I've had it about a year now and it hasn't run out or dried up. I know most people will think it's gross to use a mascara for a whole year, but I don't believe in throwing things away unless I know they've definitely gone bad.

    Mayah x

    1. Err yeah I may have gone a bit OTT in the name of blog research!! haha!
      I really want to try the 100% pure one but the colour I want is always out of stock and it is around £15 plus P&P so works out pretty expensive. I might buy the smaller version of it which is £12ish I think. I personally don't keep a mascara that long as I have had a sty or two in my lifetime and they are naaasty! I don't want to risk it again so I am a tad over cautious with eye make up. I worry that the more natural products don't have any harsh preservatives in them so more prone to harbour bacteria? Well, I guess you are proof that you won't die if you keep the same mascara over 6 months lol.
      I will put the 100% pure one on my list, I've just purchased the green people one as it was on offer and lots of people have recommended it.
      Thanks for reading :-)
      Rach xx

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