Natural Beauty Battle: Mascara

At the beginning of this year I made a resolution: By 2015 all of my makeup would be as organic and natural as possible (I’m just not ready to make my own quite yet) and cruelty free. When one product would run out, I’d simply replace it with something that aligned with my guidelines. Easiest resolution ever, or so I thought. On the surface, this was a simple task, at this point in the game, more and more organic and/or naturally-derived, cruelty-free options are available on drugstore shelves. However the real challenge came with giving up the tried-and-true products I’d been swearing by for years in favor of something new. It was like learning how to use makeup all over again (a process in and of itself that took me, well … until about now.)

Organic Beauty Final 1

So I’m bringing you along on my journey, pitting products against each other to find the best of the best. Today, I’m talking mascara, which is a staple of my makeup cabinet — I rarely leave home without a couple of quick coats. I picked up two affordable options: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear “Fake Out” and Pacifica “Stellar Gaze,” both in black. Read on to find out which one came out on top:

Organic Beauty Final 3

First up is Pacifica’s “Stellar Gaze” natural mineral mascara, which — while not organic — is 100% vegan (right down to the brush), cruelty free, and fortified with vitamin B and coconut. I’ve been a fan of Pacifica’s perfumes for quite some time (the company donates a portion of proceeds to support clean water), so I was thrilled to find out they had recently expanded their line to include makeup. After first curling my lashes, I applied a few coats of Stellar Gaze to my left eye (the side with my hair tied back, above), but noticed a difference in coverage after the first coat. The formula goes on smoothly, doesn’t clump, and while the brush is large, it’s easy to maneuver so you can get every lash. I didn’t notice much difference in the overall length of my eyelashes, but this formula definitely aided in the appearance of volume and wore well throughout the day – no flaking here.

Organic Beauty Final 2

Next up, Physician’s Formula Organic Wear “Fake Out.” Organic Wear is one line of many from PF, and while all of Physician’s Formula is certified cruelty free, it’s important to note this is the only line that is organic. “Fake Out” is free from GMOs, parabens, and harsh chemicals, and the packaging is 100% recyclable, which I like. This formula goes on easily enough and after a few coats I got the coverage I prefer, but this product would be best for someone who is looking for a more natural, “no makeup-makeup” appearance – I like a little more drama. The brush is slightly rounded and oversized, with short bristles, which posed a problem when I went to apply it: Because the bristles are smaller and more spaced out, they pushed right through my lashes and on to my eyelid (you can see a smudge of mascara on my right eyelid, above). I also noticed that this formula dried and flaked a little, and by the end of the day, the makeup on my right eye appeared worn out.

So, who’s the winner? I’m giving this round to Pacifica’s “Stellar Gaze.” While it may not be organic, I’m willing to overlook that for a formula that provides the dramatic coverage I desire, doesn’t smudge, and wears well throughout the day.

What product should we tackle next? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

26 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
23 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I love this post, natural mascara is so ridiculously hard to get right, almost as hard as hair conditioners ;) i am a big Pacifica fan so will see if we have it in the uk. Here we have Living Nature makeup in Wholefoods who do an ace mascara that smells of lavender

i will have to try these mascaras. i’m always on the hunt for a new one!

I loved this post so much! As a woman that’s been looking to do the same replacing all synthetic products with natural ones, this really caught my eye. Can you guys do this with every product? I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed review and focus on a single makeup product. How about blush or tinted moisturizers next?


Love this posting. Two other mascara brands to try are 100 Pure mascara and Logona brand. I have been using natural make-up for the last 10 years. I found a great lipstick brand, but haven’t found a good liquid eyeliner brand. Logona is the best so far, but it doesn’t really last all day. I haven’t given up and will continue my search.

I would love to see more posts like this. I was given a gift card to Sephora at Christmas, so I did purchase a Tarte mascara that is cruelty free and I do quite like it. However, it is pricey. I am going to look up Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze.

Thanks for sharing your experience with these products. I’d love to read reviews of natural concealers and / or compact powder.

I made the same resolution about switching my make-up products all over to natural or organic products. I really like the mascara and eyeliner by honeybee gardens.

I haven’t really felt the need for much makeup but I buy all my beauty related products from Lush. Recently I have wanted to use some sort of eyeliner. Any recommendations for that?


I’ve recently switched to the Physician’s Formula fake out and I love it! You can definitely get more “drama” with this mascara if you layer it. (The more coats, the more dramatic). I also find that it comes off so easily at the end of the day–just use some warm water. As for the little smudges you might get when applying, they wipe right off with a damp q-tip or even a finger. Maybe you’d give it a second try? I actually think your lashes look better in the second photo.

Thanks for the article on safer cosmetics! I have enjoyed reading the suggestions in the comments by other readers as well. I have had great success with ‘Coastal Classic Creations’ Mascara and eye shadows. Eating lots of greens, fruits, and veggies will give you the glow from the inside… so you don’t need much on your skin other than your smile!

I also found physicians formula to be flakey. Thought their foundations and creams are top notch, and I love that they’re organic. My go to for natural mascara, however, is LaVera. They have an awesome double black mascara that adds length or volume depending on the brush you choose, or both. I recently had a giveaway of this mascara on my blog. Its a real winner!

the little lion girl

I love love love this! Will be buying this mascara asap!

In the last six months, I have made the full transition to an all natural skin and hair care routine, which includes my make-up choices. I currently use concealer, powder and mascara from 100 Percent Pure, and I couldn’t be happier. By far the best make-up I have ever used and it is well…100% pure. Their mascara smells amazing because it is died with tea leaves and fruit pigment!

Check em out, you won’t be disappointed.

you should test all-natural eyeliner next! <3

So rad! Looks like that’ll be my next resolution as well. I always liked organic shampoo best but never thought to go on with the makeup. Do you know any good, affordable organic make up brands for the every-struggling college student? Thanks!

Soo good, thanks for sharing

Soo good, thanks for sharing!!

Very interesting post! I’ve been doing the same myself. I have only tried one brand for both mascara and liquid eye liner, but I was very pleased with both of the products. I tried a French brand called Terre d’Oc, which is organic certified and they also use produce from organic farming. I’m not sure how easy it is to get in the states though, I live in Norway and hardly any stores sell organic make up, so I have purchased this from a Norwegian online shop. But if you get a hold of it, you should really check it… Read more »


Just heard about this Argan Oil mascara from Sephora! Gonna try it next time.

Thank you for this post! I’m definitely interested in trying out these ~natural mascara options. My eyes are pretty sensitive and the eye products I’ve used tend to irritate them after a while, mostly causing them to itch. I’d love to see you explore the world of natural eyeliners next!

DW |

I use mascara pretty much everyday and my lashes seem healthy. However, I normally only use one dip into the container for each eye.

Lots of interesting tips here.. thank you. I have been converting over to natural products over the last 5 years and although not organic, Arbonne’s products are very natural and offer amazing results. Their Its a long story mascara in black actually strengthens your lashes over time. I have struggled with very few lashes and very sensitive eyes my entire life and love the results with this mascara. Arbonne’s products are Vegan, botanically based and made without parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde,gluten, dyes, mineral oil etc. Best part is getting these products at a discount with a 45 day guarantee

Thanks for sharing your insights! Natural skin products are difficult to come by and the different brands are hard to choose from. This makes my choice for the best organic products a little easier…


Try Dr. Hauschka’s Volumizing Mascara or Lush’s “eyes right” mascara! The Dr. Hauschka one is a bit pricey, but it is amazing! The lush one is great because it has organic wheatgrass in it to help with growth of the eyelashes. I tend to use these two in conjunction with eachother because I love the growth benefits of the Lush mascara, but I need the length benefits of the Dr. Hauschka mascara

Try the natural Benecos mascara. It’s a great mascara which gives your eyelashes extra volume for an amazing look!