Finding the perfect mascara can feel like a lifelong task. The neverending aisles of packaging that promises to lengthen, curl, and volumize can be dizzying. Ads with models in false lashes claim to be a “dramatization of actual results.” We’re tired, y’all.
At Beauty Dummy, we have tubes of mascara we rotate from day to day, and we switch up our purchases on the reg. When we made a promise to ourselves to only buy cruelty-free, we tried a handful of new, animal-friendly products. Here’s what we found at Sephora.
cruelty-free mascaras at Sephora
So basically, a good mascara comes down to:
For comparison, we present to you the test Dummies:
Hannah’s eyelashes are blonde, straight, fine, and sparse
Kat’s eyelashes are brown, thick, and have some natural curl
IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara (Owned by L’Oreal) $24
The appeal of this mascara is probably the name. Picturing our lashes fighting crime and springing into action every time we applied it drove us to purchase this one. Although it’s not the fluffiest brush, it did pretty well with separating and applying the product evenly. We saw a noticeable difference in both Hannah’s and Kathryn’s eyes. Did not experience any flaking or transfer onto the under-eye area and was still fairly easy to remove. The downfall is that after only about a month, the consistency got super gunky and weird, even with tons of product left in the tube. Probably would not repurchase, but was worth getting a couple of months out of it (even though it ended up being a Lil goopy in the end). 🙃🙃🙃
Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara (Owned by Estee Lauder) $23
She’s an icon in the world of mascara and probably recommended by literally every Sephora employee. Even the packaging feels nice. This one is probably our second runner-up in likeability for drama. The hourglass-shaped brush evenly coated our lashes in a deep black pigment. It also created the illusion of thicker lashes instantly and helped maintain the curl that we applied beforehand. Admittedly a little dry and left our lashes feeling like they needed some nourishment after. The longer you try to hold onto this product, the flakier it gets, so it feels like it needs to be replaced often which is kind of a bummer. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
MILK MAKEUP KUSH High Volume Mascara $24
Kush is right because this Lil baddie is formulated with CBD oil (that’s cannabis oil for all you n00bs). It just stepped into the game last week (on 4/20 lol) and was sold out in most stores almost instantly. Why CBD oil? Because it’s VEGAN and that means they don’t use beeswax, a common ingredient in many mascaras (save the bees plz). Plus it’s lighter weight than beeswax and helps to condition your lashes which will keep them looking luscious even when you’re not wearing them. So here’s the scoop, although it felt night and light on our lashes, the pigment isn’t ultra black. To amp things up we really had to layer on several coats. The packaging is SUPER nice and you can tell they spent time designing it, but the product itself left a bit to be desired. If you’re going for a more natural daily look or have time to spend layering it on to get some drama then we would definitely recommend it. ✅✅✅✅✅
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (owned by Estee Lauder) $23
We bought this one after wandering around Sephora for a full 30 minutes and feeling overwhelmed by the options. We ended up being underwhelmed by this mascara. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, it was just very middle of the road. You could probably get the same results from a L’Oreal mascara that is half the price (damn you L’Oreal for not being Cruelty-Free!). We honestly don’t have much to say that is negative or positive about this mascara, just that if you’re planning to throw down some cash on mascara in this price range, you could probably do better. 👍👎
Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara $26
We’re waiting for the day that something can top this one and you probably are too since we KEEP mentioning it. Still, it’s our all-time fav for delivering deep black pigment and creating thicker-looking, separated lashes. You will really only need 1-2 coats of this to deliver results. The packaging is fancy and the top of the tube snaps into place when you close it so that it seals up all the goodness. It lasts all day and doesn’t flake or transfer. The only downside to this one is that it can be kind of a pain in the ass to remove (and good, cruelty-free makeup wipes? That’s a post for another day.) The brush and formulation are similar to Too Faced Better than Sex, but it doesn’t dry out and get flaky. This makes it a win in our book. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
All rating systems are 100% arbitrary and based on opinions. You’re welcome.