I started switching out conventional body care, skin care, and cosmetic products for healthier alternatives long ago, but one major hold-out has been mascara. It’s my favorite cosmetic by far, and I just couldn’t believe that a healthy one could do the job. Recently, though, I impulsively added two of the more popular “natural” options on the market, Ecco Bella and Reviva, to my cart while placing an order with Vitacost. Some persistent eye burning and itching over the previous few weeks nudged me over the edge.
My experience with these products has left me with mixed feelings. One one hand, I am encouraged that less toxic mascaras can perform really well. Not only do these mascaras not irritate my eyes, but they really do thicken and lengthen my lashes without clumping. (I’ve noticed that they perform better after about a week of use than right after opening, by the way.) I can’t tell a major difference between my old favorite and these new brands. I can even use multiple coats for a more dramatic effect. Yippee!
On the other hand, I’m quite annoyed that I didn’t do more research first. The ingredient lists on these brands are not ideal, dumping both products into the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database’s “moderate risk” category. Argh. I like to keep the things I put on my body in the “low hazard” zone, but given that my old favorite mascara rated a 9 out of 10 (yikes!), I’m looking at this as a major step in the right direction. Now that I’ve had a positive experience with alternative products, I’m willing to go out of my way to seek out purer options. Since Ecco Bella and Reviva are so much healthier than most drugstore and department store options, and since they’re also easier to find than a lot of healthier brands, they make a great baby step for those of us who can’t quite pry our fingers off that magic wand. Thus, here are my thoughts on these two brands:
Cost: $9.57 through Vitacost; more through retail stores
Risk: 3 out of 10, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (if you’ve never visited this site, I highly recommend doing so; it’s quite an eye-opener)
Has a nice mirror on the side of the tube
Lower hazard rating than Reviva
Seems quite resistant to wear and tears (though not at the level of a waterproof product)
About twice the price of Reviva
Creates a stiffer, less natural texture than Reviva
Cost: $4.59 through Vitacost; more at retail locations
Risk: EWG gives it a 5 out of 10, again naming it a moderately risky product.
My lashes feel softer and more natural with this mascara than with Ecco Bella
Resistant to wear and tears
Half the price of Ecco Bella
Washes off more easily than Ecco Bella (I see this as a pro because I don’t want to use eye makeup removers)
Seems to create a little bit more volume and oomph
Higher risk rating
Honestly, even though I know I should be using the lower-rated Ecco Bella, I favor Reviva for its softer texture, better results, and easier removal. Next time around, I’m going to order a product called Ultra Lengthening Fruit Pigmented Mascara by 100% Pure. A blogger I follow said she found it on eBay and that it’s a dream to use. Its ingredient list is pristine, so I hope she’s right!
Do you use, or have you ever used, natural mascaras? What is your experience? Are there any brands you recommend?