The Quest for Natural Mascara and Healthy Eyelashes

The allure of sky-high eyelashes has been around since, well, almost the beginning of time.  Back in Cleopatra’s day, Egyptian women used kohl to line their eyes and darken lashes.  In the early 1900’s, Victorian ladies mixed together ash and elderberry juice.  And now…we apply chemical ingredients that emit formaldehyde, mess with our hormones and are distilled with petroleum.  Not the type of pretty we should be going for.

In beauty surveys, mascara always finds its way to the top of the “can’t live without it” list.  And for good reason – it makes us feel sexy and feminine.  Though it was fairly easy for me to switch over all my makeup products to clean, non-toxic versions, natural mascara has remained a challenge.

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The older Jane Iredale formulation required a lot of makeup remover to take off.  I once emerged from a dip in the ocean looking like a black-eyed sea monster.  Dr. Hauschka’s mascara, unfortunately, made me lose quite a bit of eyelashes.  I read somewhere that Afterglow’s Pure Soul mascara was the “Diorshow of natural mascaras.”  Though the formula is really nice, smooth and healthy, it barely defines my eyelashes, so I’ve been layering Tarte’s “Lash Hugger” product over it.  I know Tarte isn’t the cleanest product out there (for instance, the mascara contains phenoxyethanol, which has been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity), but my Afterglow and Tarte combo has been working so far.  I’ve also heard from friends that Jane Iredale and Josie Maran have reformulated their mascaras, so I’m eager to give them a try.

But during this quest for lush lashes, I’ve realized that there’s more to eye health (and beauty) than mascara.  How we remove eye makeup and the extra nourishment we give our eyelashes is also vital.  Instead of using expensive and synthetic makeup removers, I scoop out a little bit of coconut cooking oil from my pantry, rub it until it becomes a liquid, massage it onto my eyelids and then dab it off with a soft cloth or tissue paper.  No trace of makeup remains and my eyes are left feeling moisturized and clean.  Then, to nourish my eyelashes, I rub castor oil on my upper and lower lash lines.  Castor oil is a natural emollient that delivers fatty acids to your lashes and keeps them supple.  I’ve been doing this nightly regime for two months now and have definitely begun to see fuller lashes!  Start using these simple eco beauty tricks and soon you’ll be proudly batting your natural lashes.



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