(Last Updated On: April 26, 2018)

No, mascara doesn’t always have to be dramatic.

It feels good to be appreciated the way we are.

No fibers. No shocking shade that completely changes the way we look.

Our own lashes…just the teensiest bit better.

Yep, we at Unsullyd can help you with that.

We reviewed around 20 popular mascaras to select the 3 that are the best at quietly bringing out your natural lashes.

 

At A Glance: My Choices For The Best Natural Looking Mascaras

All Natural Organic Mascara from CHIC REPUBLIC is mild, easy to remove and richly pigmented.

Maybelline New York Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Washable Mascara is buildable and maintains your natural look even though it has fiber extensions.

Almay One Coat Thickening Mascara is mild, easy to apply, holds a curl well and is good at maintaining your natural look while giving your lashes a boost.

 

01. All Natural Organic Mascara from CHIC REPUBLIC Review


First, a word about the brush.

It’s a slightly tapered brush with bristles (not plastic spokes) which makes it a good choice for getting good coverage.

On the other hand you may have to free up clumps while applying the mascara.

The mascara itself may be thicker than you’d expect.

It goes on to your lashes reasonably smoothly but it may take longer and/or prove a bit more difficult to apply than you’re used to.

Before applying make sure there’s no excess product chunked up on the wand.

Upon application give it some time – say upto a minute – to dry. If you experience stickiness even after that apply an eye primer like the Thank Me Later Primer by Elizabeth Mott along your lash line.

Even though the texture is sticky the mascara isn’t all that heavy on your skin.

You can build layers if you want; only remember to wait between layers to give each coat time to dry. If you apply the next coat too soon you’re gonna face clumping.

Now, let’s be honest. What’s the first expectation you have when you hear of ‘organic’ mascara?

That it’s mild.

And this mascara fulfils that to the hilt. We’d be surprised if you experience any irritation, even if you have dry or sensitive eyes.

Plus this mascara flakes very little making it suitable for contact lens users.

While it doesn’t flake it does smudge a bit.

On the flip side it is quite easy to remove. Which means you can remove the smears and touch up fairly quickly.

Now we come to the key question – how good is it at bringing out your natural lashes?

It’s richly pigmented; the shade and the texture are deep enough to enhance length and volume without addition of too many coats.

In short, it can enhance your lashes while remaining subdued itself.

However we do rue the lack of a brown shade. On the average, for users with pale lashes, a brown mascara may be a better natural fit than a black one.

The main ingredients are charted out below.

SolventWater
Skin conditioningOrganic Chamomile, Rice Powder, Vitamin E, Oregano Leaf Extract*, Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract, Organic Lavender Flower, Organic Golden Seal Root Extract, Organic Lemon Peel, Caprylyl Glycol
Viscosity controllingBeeswax, Carnauba Wax
EmollientBeeswax, Organic Sunflower Oil, Stearic Acid, Organic Lecithin
HumectantGlycerol
Film formingCarnauba Wax
EmulsifierStearic Acid, Organic Lecithin, Shellac
Hair conditioningRice Powder, Cinnamonum Bark Extract, Organic Lemon Peel, Caprylyl Glycol
Hair fixerShellac
BufferSodium Hydroxide
PreservativeCaprylyl Glycol

* Origanum vulgare.

Directions

  • Twist (why not pull we’ll make clear below) the wand out of the tube.
  • Excess mascara may have chunked up on the wand. To get rid of it, scrape the wand along the rim of the tube.
  • While moving the wand from base to tip, wiggle it a bit. This will free up any clumps that may be forming.
  • Give a coat up to a minute to dry.
  • If you have oily skin or you expect to face perspiration or rain apply some eye primer to increase resistance to smudging.
  • If you have oily skin or expect to face rain or perspiration try to touch your lashes as little as possible.
  • It should come off easily with any good eye makeup remover.
  • For a long wear, carry makeup wipes/remover pads to remove smears and re-apply as required.
  • It may dry up a little quickly in the tube. So use it daily instead of saving it up.

What I Liked

Reasonably easy to apply.

Lightweight and buildable.

Extremely mild; suitable for users with dry and/or sensitive eyes.

Minimal flaking; suitable for contact lens wearers.

Deep pigmentation; can enhance length and volume without addition of too many coats.

Easily removed and re-applied if necessary.

What I Didn’t Like

Application may be a tad more tedious than what you’re used to.

You may experience some smudging.

It may dry up in the tube a little fast so you should use it daily.

A brown shade is not available.

02. Maybelline New York Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Washable Mascara Review

First, a word about the brush.

It’s a traditional brush, average width, with bristles and a thick base/handle.

This makes it an excellent choice for getting good coverage and volume.

If you face clumping, wiggle the brush as you apply to free them up.

The mascara itself is on the thinner side in terms of texture. It should not chunk up on the brush and should transfer easily enough to your lashes.

Upon application it will take some time to dry.

It’s lightweight and buildable. However if you want to build do not allow the mascara to dry between layers.

It can hold a curl quite well. However you should remember to curl before applying the mascara.

It certainly lengthens lashes but by a reasonable amount. Of course, that is done while retaining your lashes’ natural look.

So it turns out that even though this mascara includes fibers (which are known for yielding dramatic looks) it can maintain your natural look while adding length.

The flip side is however after 3-4 hours it may start to flake, leading to a fiber or two falling onto your eyes. That can be a bit uncomfortable.

On the whole however this product is not harsh on your eyes.

On volume the outlook is more mixed. It will take a large number of coats to get a fair volume; however so many coats may lead to clumping.

If you have oily skin you may experience some smudging after say 5-6 hours.

Racoon eyes should easily be dealt with by makeup remover pads followed by a quick touch-up if the mascara has become uneven.

Which brings us neatly to removal. Removal ought to be fairly quick and easy with any standard eye makeup remover.

Now for what I think you’ve been waiting for – will this mascara preserve your natural lash look while subtly improving it?

More or less, as it turns out.

While generally a fiber-based mascara tends to give a dramatic look, this particular one maintains a subtle tone.

Pigmentation is fairly deep while the shade, of the brownish black in particular, has a subdued finish that adds a glaze to your lashes without making them look unnatural.

The main ingredients are charted out below.

SolventAqua/Water/Eau
Viscosity controllingParaffin, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Acacia Senegal gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Silica
CleanserPotassium Cetyl Phosphate, Steareth-20
EmollientBeeswax, Cetyl Alcohol
Film formingCarnauba Wax, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Polymethacrylate
Skin conditioningAcacia Senegal gum, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol
HumectantGlycerin, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, pro-Vitamin B5*
EmulsifierCetyl Alcohol, PEG/PPG-17/18 Dimethicone, Steareth-20, Sodium Polymethacrylate
Hair conditioningAcrylates Copolymer, pro-Vitamin B5*
Texture enhancerHydroxyethylcellulose
PreservativePhenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate
BindingTDI/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer
ChelatingDisodium EDTA
BulkingNylon-6
OpacifyingNylon-6, Silica
AbsorbentSilica

* Panthenol.

Directions

  • If you intend to curl (this mascara can hold a curl well), do so before applying the mascara.
  • Twist (why not pull is explained below) the wand out of the tube. If you want a bit more volume than usual, swirl the wand around a bit to collect more product.
  • If there’s excess product sticking to the wand scrape it off against the rim of the tube.
  • Give it up to a minute to dry.
  • However if you want to build, do NOT allow the mascara to dry between layers. If you do, you could face clumping later.
  • If you use contact lenses run trial runs to see if the fibers are causing irritation (if the mascara flakes there’s a chance the fibers could fall in your eyes).
  • If you have oily skin try not to touch your lashes too often, especially if you want to wear the mascara longer than 5-6 hours.
  • You can carry makeup remover pads and the mascara itself for touch-ups while on the go.
  • Removal should be fairly easy.
    • You may find your soap and water face cleanse has washed most of it away.
    • However you can’t take chances with your lashes so use an eye makeup cleanser to ensure complete removal.

What I Liked

 The brush/wand is good for getting coverage and volume.

 The mascara does not tend to chunk up on the brush/wand.

 It transfers easily onto your lashes making application simple.

 It can hold a curl.

 Amplifies length.

 Removal is easy.

 The mascara has deep pigmentation. In particular the black brown shade has a subtle finish that gives your lashes a subtle glaze without looking artificial.

What I Didn’t Like

Does not enhance volume significantly.

If you wear contacts you should be careful about fibers falling into your eyes.

May dry out too quickly requiring you to buy a fresh tube.

03. Almay One Coat Thickening Mascara Review

As usual, let’s get to know the brush first.

It’s a bristle brush, slightly tapered towards the end and with an above average width.

It’s pretty good for definition but you may need to work a bit to prevent your lashes clumping.

The mascara itself has a slightly wet texture (not exactly ‘creamy’ in our view) and should transfer onto your lashes easily enough.

It’s lightweight and buildable. However we’d suggest not building beyond 3 coats else you may face some flaking after some time.

While application is easy it may be time consuming because the mascara takes some time to dry.

It can hold a curl fairly well.

However don’t get carried away and try to keep the curler in place while applying because this is a fairly wet mascara and the curler may get stuck to your lashes.

It’s available in both ordinary and waterproof variants.

If you have oily skin or are going to the gym, be exposed to a humid environment and so on choose the waterproof version.

Provided you make the right choice (ordinary or waterproof) smudging should not be a problem unless you plan on wearing it for quite long, say 10-12 hours.

Even then it should be a mark or two; we do not expect you to face raccoon eyes.

We also don’t expect you to face any irritation or burning. Only remember, if you use contact lenses, use no more than 2-3 coats to minimize the chances of flaking.

Removal is easy enough. No, your soap and water wash won’t do it but any one of baby oil, coconut oil or makeup remover should do it.

If you want to deal with whatever smudges you may face, remover wipes should suffice to remove the smears, followed up re-application if required.

Now the big question – how natural looking is it?

Pigmentation is fairly impressive; the shades are subtle but with a silky finish which add up to an elegant look while remaining natural.

The main ingredients are charted out below.

SolventAqua (Water)
EmollientPentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Beeswax
Viscosity controllingPentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Beeswax, Ozokerite, PVP, Polybutene, Carnauba Wax
EmulsifierGlyceryl Stearate SE, Ozokerite, Sorbitan Sesquioleate
OpacifyingOzokerite
Hair fixativePVP
Film formingPVP, Carnauba Wax
Skin conditioningPolybutene, Aloe (barbadensis) Vera Leaf Juice, Vitamin E*, Vitamin A***
Texture enhancerOleic Acid
BufferIsopropanolamine
AntioxidantAloe (barbadensis) Vera Leaf Juice, Vitamin E*, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Vitamin A***
Hair conditioningpro-Vitamin B5**, Vitamin A***, Quaternium-22
Humectantpro-Vitamin B5**
AntifoamingSimethicone
PreservativeQuaternium-15, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea

* Tocopherol.

** Panthenol.

*** Retinyl Palmitate.

Directions

  • Twist (why not pull we’ll make clear below) the wand out of the tube.
  • The mascara may tend to chunk up on the brush/wand. Remember to scrape off excess product on the rim of the mascara tube. If you don’t you could end up with spider lashes.
  • Start at the base of your lashes and sweep to the tip. The brush is not thin or sparse so be careful at the lash line.
  • Wiggle the brush a bit while applying to free up any clumps that may be forming.
  • The brush isn’t very tapered at the end so be careful to not leave goops or smears at your corner lashes.
  • Upon application you may need to give it up to 2 minutes to dry.
  • It’s buildable but we wouldn’t recommend applying more than 3 coats otherwise it could start flaking after a few hours.
    • The mascara itself recommends only 2 coats of 25 strokes each.
  • If you have oily skin you should consider using the waterproof variant. Even with that we’d advise you to touch your lashes as little as possible.
  • For a touch up carry makeup wipes and the mascara itself for re-application as required.
  • To cleanse off, makeup remover, baby oil or coconut oil should do the trick.

What I Liked

 Transfers easily onto your lashes.

 Lightweight and buildable.

 Should hold a curl well.

 Provided you stay under 2-3 coats flaking should not be a problem.

 Mild on the eyes.

 Provided you choose the right option (ordinary or waterproof) smudging should be a minor issue, easily taken care of with remover wipes.

 Removal is fairly easy.

 The mascara is well pigmented and with subtle shades making it suitable to get a subtle look.

What I Didn’t Like

 Not at all suitable for a spidery design or any dramatic looks.

Takes a bit of time to dry upon application.

Texture is slightly ‘wet’, not creamy.

What should you look for when you select a natural looking mascara?

Fibers and ‘tubes’ generally tend to give you a ravishing but clearly not natural look.

Some can gently enhance length and volume while maintaining the natural look, though.

Next, you should select mascaras that have a deep pigment. Also, you should choose a shade that’s not too shocking.

A deep pigment makes your lashes and eyes stand out while a subtle shade ensures it’s your natural look that is being projected.

Third, well, this is more of a practical suggestion.

Most of you would use a natural-looking mascara for the daily grind.

In other words, a natural-looking mascara would be mostly used in everyday situations like the office or grocery shopping and so on.

So you understand that you should try to get a mascara that’s easy to apply and remove.

Now let’s see what particular functions the various ingredients perform.

A hair fixer helps your lashes remain in shape by stopping them from absorbing moisture.

A film former keeps your lashes/skin smooth and soft by forming a thin film on them.

Opacifying ingredients make the makeup more opaque. They are often used to hide blemishes.

A binder holds various ingredients together.

A chelating agent binds metal ions to prevent contamination.

Conditioners (skin and hair), emollients and humectants keep your skin lubricated and soft.

Texture enhancers more often than not enhance the texture of the mascara rather than your skin.

Racoon eyes

Racoon eyes are unfortunately an all too common problem in the mascara world.

For many users, choosing a different mascara is the solution.

You however, may love your mascara too much to discard it because of racoon eyes. Or changing may not have worked for you.

Whatever the reason, Unsullyd is always there to help.

Eye primers are an easy solution (if you haven’t guesses by now, oily skin is THE major reason people get racoon eyes).

Use an eye primer like Thank Me Later by Elizabeth Mott. Apply it along your lash line to stop mascara from smudging and giving you racoon eyes.

Keeping the Curl

It’s unfortunately an all too common occurrence that you curl your lashes with so much care, put on a lightweight mascara and still your lashes droop down within a few hours…

One often cited trick to keep a curl is to slightly heat your curler. Heat can both straighten and curl hair.

You can do this but be sure to not overheat the curler because that would cause long term damage to your lashes.

3-5 seconds of exposure to the hot stream of any standard hair dryer should do it.

Another, much safer, trick is to wiggle the mascara brush/wand at the base of your lashes reducing the wiggling as you gradually sweep to the tip.

You know by now wiggling frees up clumps.

Additionally, wiggling the wand at the base ensures less mascara is deposited at the top.

The top not being weighed down by mascara would be able to hold a curl better.

Twist, don’t pull

You’ll remember we kept insisting that you should twist and not pull the mascara wand out of the tube. Why is that?

It is to get you into the habit of not pumping the wand into the tube (which is an all too common practice).

The more your pump the more air gets into the tube which would lead to the mascara drying up faster, reducing its shelf life.

So, twist, don’t pull or pump.

Having said all that let us now reveal our pick even among the three products we’ve rounded up. Which one does the absolute best job of giving your lashes a boost while maintaining their natural look?

Almay One Coat Thickening Mascara

The one best thing it’s got going for it from the ‘natural looking’ P.O.V. is the availability of a ‘Black Brown’ shade.

It’s richly pigmented; the shades are subtle but with a smooth finish so that your lashes get a boost but maintain the natural look.

Application is fairly straightforward; you can build layers (don’t go beyond 3 layers though).

It isn’t harsh and irritation, redness, dryness and so on are not expected.

Smudging should not be a major issue.

We hope you enjoy going through all these mascaras and pick one as your go-to natural looking mascara.

If you think there’s a mascara out there that brings out your lashes better than the ones we’ve rounded up, drop a comment!

Good suggestions may get a shout-out on Twitter and/or Facebook.

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