It has been over a century since the mascara was created with the intention of defining the eyelashes making it thicker and darker with every coating.
The year was 1872 and petroleum jelly was the primary ingredient of the first mascara. But issues with mascara being too dark, flaky, stiff, smudging, and causing lashes to fall out paved the way towards a plethora of mascara types.
With the evolution of the mascara came ingredients that unfortunately irritate the eye causing allergies. Among these are nickel, black and yellow iron oxides, and yellow carnauba wax.
Even popular beauty brands have formulations which are less than ideal for those who are hypersensitive to irritants in mascara. Among the most common harmful eye irritants that remain in today's mascaras are parabens, aluminium powder, propylene glycol, and retinyl acetate which the likes of L'Oreal, Revlon, and Cover Girl mascaras have.
Natural, Vegan, and Organic Alternatives
1. Pure Anada Mascara
As Jenny Patinkin, makeup expert and author of "Perfection: The Art of Looking Good Without Really Trying" shares, "If you have sensitive eyes, choose mascaras that have fewer ingredients. When in doubt, look for formulas with natural ingredients."
This particular natural mascara is properly PH-balanced for the eyelashes. It's not just smudge-proof, but also nourishing for the lashes and it is gluten-free, paraben-free, and mercury-free.
2. Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara
Elizabeth Olsen's makeup artist Archangela Chelsea chooses vegan mascara to ensure her clients won't complain about itchy eyes on the red carpet. Chelsea recommends this product "to make lashes look thicker and longer while conditioning them at the same time and keeping them healthy."
Makeup artist and Nude & Noir Cosmetics owner Ashley Humphreys plays it safe with mascara that sources its ingredients organically. While it comes with a hefty price tag, it is guaranteed safe for sensitive eyes and can be refilled for a much lower price.
5. Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara
Humphreys also uses mascara with naturally-derived ingredients. This natural mascara also conditions the lashes as it contains natural oils and vitamin B5.
6. Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
For more easily-accessible mascaras that won't irritate the eyes, celebrity makeup artist Brandy Allen reveals a product with natural beeswax is the way to go, this being a personal favorite for luscious lashes.
7. NudeStix Lash Lengthening Mascara
Available at Sephora, this fragrance-free mascara is said to strengthen lashes over time because of its peptide-infused formulation. Bonus, it comes in an easy-to-swipe tin case.
Fragrances in mascara can also cause allergies. As such, Carly Rae Jepsen's makeup artist Rob Rumsey only uses fragrance-free mascara for his clients adding that it's been tested for allergies and is "great for people who wear contact lens."
9. L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara
Rumsey also shares another itch-free mascara that he says should be "in every makeup artist's kit." Formulated for sensitive eyes, this mascara is designed to create the perfect lashes and "never dries out."
10. Clinique Lash Power Mascara
Celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman that American singer Reba McEntire uses this flake-free, smudge-proof mascara for sensitive eyes. Freedman now refers to this mascara as his "secret weapon."
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