The best vegan mascaras are revealed!

May 20, 2010By 22 Comments

Special guest post by Keri of I Eat Trees

When I first made the switch to vegan cosmetics, mascara was my biggest challenge.  Even the “natural” products seemed to all contain beeswax, at the very least.  After a little research, and some good ol’ trial and error, I found three mascaras I felt good about.  Since vegan cosmetic brands can be a bit more difficult to find, having a few products in my repertoire lets me be more open to availability and saves me the panic when my favorite beauty stop is out of my usual.  No, mascara probably isn’t vital to my survival, but what can I say?  It makes me happy and it’s right up there with pants as far as things I’d prefer not to leave the house without.  And we all know the search for the perfect mascara doesn’t end when you go vegan.

The first vegan mascara I purchased was Zuzu Luxe The Mascara, which had the aforementioned issue of being dried out and old.  It took me receiving another tube as a gift to appreciate the product.  Zuzu Luxe’s mascara is a thicker formulation than most I have tried, but goes on evenly creating natural looking matte black lashes.  The product doesn’t have a strong scent, but smells clean and slightly herbal.  The brush is stiff and dense with uniform length bristles for smooth application that dries quickly.  This mascara is a good go-to for those who want a more natural and less dramatic lash.  The product doesn’t build to dramatic so well, and can flake if too much is applied.  I found Zuzu Luxe The Mascara for $18 at Whole Foods, but have also seen it available many places online.

zuzu luxe vegan mascara

Zuzu Luxe Mascara, $18

Next, I came across Lavera Volume Mascara at Target.  I was excited to find such a widely available retailer to have a vegan beauty brand and grabbed up the mascara in black.  This product contains organic jojoba and rose and the formula is very smooth to the point of seeming “soft”.  Lavera’s Volume Mascara creates long glossy lashes that to the touch, almost feel naked.  The brush is small and plush, making it easy to get into corners and completely coat the lash.  This mascara is great for anyone who wants natural beauty with a little extra length.  Despite the name, the smoothness makes the product a little difficult to build, therefore creating a more subtle drama.  This mascara might not be for you if you have oily lids or are on your way to the gym because it tends to smear if provoked.  I picked up Lavera Volume Mascara at Target for $16 and I’ve seen it on sale quite often.

lavera mascara

Lavera Volume Mascara, $16

My most recent favorite has to be Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume in black.  This mascara actually provides on the volume and hasn’t flaked or smeared on me yet.  It is very buildable and works well with layering over or under another product for a big night out.  The finish isn’t as glossy as Lavera or as matte as Zuzu Luxe, but somewhere happily in between.  While the scent of this one is slightly more synthetic, it’s not at all noticeable unless you make a habit of sniffing your mascara for reviews, as I do.  BWC’s Full Volume has a big, plush applicator brush to thicken, lengthen, and coat evenly.  The larger brush can be more difficult to get each little lash in the corners, but if you’re having an especially important lash day, going in with a smaller tool is always an option.  I purchased Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume Mascara at a local natural market for $13, but this is another one fairly easy to find online.

BWC  Mascara

Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume, $13

One tip with vegan mascaras, at least in my largely nonvegan community, check dates and if need be, ask questions.  It isn’t worth wasting $15-$20 on a product that has been sitting on the shelf for nearly a year getting dried out and stinky!  I haven’t had a clumping problem with any of my favorites, and since I currently have a tube of all three, switch between them depending on my mood.  If for some strange reason I was forced to pick only one, I would hold on to my Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume for it’s length, volume, and buildability.  I’m grateful to have come across a few great vegan cosmetics because after all, there’s nothing beautiful about cruelty.

What are some of your favorite vegan mascaras?

Please check out my blog and twitter page. 🙂

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Kalyn says:

    I’ve been OBSESSED with Too Faced Better than Sex mascara for a while now and have found it to be the best mascara I’ve ever used in life, let alone vegan one. But recently I’ve been using the Lily Lolo tube that came in my Petit Vour box and I LOVE it.

  2. Dee says:

    BWC mascara has talc. They all seem to have sketchy ingredients. Might be cruelty free for non-homosapien animals, but are carcinogenic and harsh on hominids. 🙁

    Still looking for a vegan mascara with sound ingredients. 🙁

  3. bean says:

    I love Zuzu but I’ve come down with styes after using it. Wish someone would develop a preservative that is safe and that keeps the bacteria out of natural products!

  4. Nicole says:

    There are just some days where a waterproof mascara is necessary.
    Any recommendations?

  5. Marielle says:

    Thank you this is so helpful! What about lash primer though? I have a lot of trouble getting thick eyelashes, I’ve only used Zuzu…but I’m hoping to find a lash primer to help pile on the mascara for yummier lashes…tips?

  6. Jozefsky says:

    Zuzu mascara contains the following ingredient: ‘Tocopheryl Acetate’. This product causes allergies and skin sensitivity.

    Not really vegan to me…

  7. The Beauty Without Cruelty Mascara has a new exciting packaging design and the formula has also been improved. Please check out our Beauty Blogger Community

  8. Caitlin says:

    Love this page! Want to share a gem that was shared with me:

    Angela’s page, ~ amazing resource for vegan recipes, writing, pictures, and love! She’ll even convert recipes for you! Helped me convert 😉


  9. Haley says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for your fun and super helpful reviews! Love it! Will continue to follow you!



  10. Angela says:

    Blinc mascara is AMAZING!

  11. Anne says:

    Blinc (f/k/a Kiss Me) – I can’t be the only vegan out there who loves this stuff (lol). This stuff doesn’t come off until you wash it off and all you need is warm water, totally love it!

  12. Melisser says:

    I’m a Zuzu Luxe user and I love it! If there’s a ton of product on the brush, I scrape it on the top of the tube, so it goes back inside. Also, a lash curler is essential!

  13. Emily says:

    I’ve used all the ones you mentioned and liked them, currently using Zuzu Luxe.

    I also really liked Barry M’s 3 in 1 mascara but it’s only available in the UK:

    You can mailorder it but postage is a bit pricey. I hope I can get my hands on some more again in the future!

  14. jocelyn says:

    I really like Larenim’s mascara. It is vegan, very natural looking, and never clumps!

  15. Eve says:

    This was a super helpful review! I had never even heard of the Lavera brand, and how neat that it’s available at a regular store, haha. I’ve only tried the Zuzu luxe brand myself, and really like it. I personally like the fact that it is better for length than for volume (not big on chunky lashes), and have found that the results WITH an eyelash curler are incomparable to results without an eyelash curler. Maybe people more into makeup than me consider a curler essential already, but just in case – a curler really helped me work with what I think is likely a less stiff product than conventional mascara. 🙂 -Eve

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