April 25, 2024

Best Clean Mascara 2024 – Battle of the Top Nontoxic Mascaras

Last Updated on May 1, 2024

Here it is, the battle to find the best clean mascara!

When I originally wrote this post in 2023, there had recently been a few BIG clean mascara launches (namely from Tower 28, TOK, Saie and Milk). Now there’s been even more!!! My former favorite is sadly no longer (Athr shut their doors…moment of silence…), but never fear, I’ve found a new favorite. And rather than provide you a ginormous list of natural mascaras to weed through, I’m going to give you my top 3 favorite clean mascaras that have battled their way to to top of the pack, plus a few others that I highly recommend for particular reasons that might just suit you. I’ll also share a few that did NOT work for me.

Clean mascara has come a long way, baby

Mascara is one of the products I get asked most about, and it was definitely one of the first things I started researching when I switched to clean beauty. It’s proven to be one of the tougher products to replace (oooh, how I miss my K-beauty waterproof fiber mascara!!!), and here’s just a few reasons why:

  1. My lashes don’t hold a curl. Seems ridiculous as my hair is curly, but there it is. Which means waterproof mascara has always been my friend as it keeps those lashes UP. But as of now, there’s no such thing as a clean waterproof mascara (water-resistant, but not waterproof).
  2. I live in a humid climate, so during the warmer months I’ve got to have something that will withstand moisture and not smudge or droop (refer back to #1 re: waterproof mascara).
  3.  I have short lashes, so mama likes some serious lengthening in her mascara (thus my love of fiber mascaras).
  4. While my skin is dry, my moveable lid is oily. Which means mascaras smudge really quickly for me (again, waterproof mascara saved the day).

So let’s just say that I’ve tried MANY a clean mascara over the past 7 years, and while I will admit to briefly cheating and going back to my aforementioned conventional favorite at one point for certain occasions (non-waterproof mascaras don’t do well with face masks – your breath steams up your lashes, making them droop!), clean mascara has come a long way in the past couple of years, and I LOVE my current favorite!

I won’t get on my soapbox about why you should be using a natural mascara, as I’m assuming if you’re here you’re already on the bandwagon. But suffice it to say that conventional mascaras can have some real nasties in them: things like parabens, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, Carbon Black (which can contain heavy metals and arsenic among other icks; also can be listed as “Ci 77266”) and aluminum powder.

To be the best clean mascara for me, it needs to handle my 4 lash issues, plus not break the bank

To recap, mascara for me needs to be: 1. Non-toxic, 2. Water-resistant at a minimum, 3. Hold a curl, 4. Lengthening, and because I can, 5. Nourishing (if anyone is going to make a mascara that’s good for your lashes, it’s the wonderful green and clean beauty brands!). I’d also prefer it not cost a fortune.

This past year, the battleground narrowed down to 3 main contenders for best clean and non-toxic mascara in my book. Below you’ll find the winners! In addition I’ll share a few other terrific nontoxic mascaras, including an outstanding budget-friendly pick, most innovative and eco-friendly option, and a terrific dual-purpose clean mascara and lash treatment, along with a few others that really are outstanding but just don’t work for my oily-lid-having self.

The Best of the Best Clean Mascaras

Best of Clean Beauty 2022 - Athr Beauty Big Bang Mascara

#3 TOK Beauty | Eyes That TOK – Lash Enhancing Mascara

Oh how I love the effect of this mascara…long, wispy and full lashes. Almost a subtle ‘falsies’ look. Plus it’s nourishing (among other great ingredients, horsetail for strengthening and pea protein to prevent breakage) and water-resistant thanks to bayberry wax. I know I’ve got this listed as #3, but please don’t let it deter you from trying it. It’s actually my go-to for special events and nights out! For all-day wear I do get some flaking/smudging by the end of the day, HOWEVER, I have oily eyelids, and that sabotages many a mascara. If not for that, it would be tied for #1.

Find it at:
Best of Clean Beauty 2022 - Athr Beauty Big Bang Mascara

#2 Tower 28 | MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara

I was so excited when Tower 28 launched a mascara! I’ve been a big T28 fan from the get-go…the vibe, the focus on us sensitive-skinned folks, it’s based right down the way from where I grew up; just check out my current faves and you’ll see their products all over it. And this vegan mascara is the goodies. Safe for sensitive eyes, it’s lightweight but endlessly buildable. Great length, volume AND separation. The wand is outstanding (perhaps my favorite)…so much control! The only things that nudged it out of the #1 spot is that I get a little less length from it and I do get a bit of flaking at the very end of the day. But given how easily it applies, the separation and the price ($20 ain’t too shabby for a clean mascara), it’s a staple in my stash and I actually like to use it with my #1 pick (more on this in a sec). Highly recommend, especially if you have sensitive eyes!

Find it at:

And drumroll please…

Best Clean Nontoxic Mascara - Westman Atelier Eye Want You Mascara

#1 WESTMAN ATELIER | Eye Want You Mascara

I’m not gonna lie…I stocked up on several tubes of Athr Big Bang when I heard they were closing. Several more mascaras launched over the past year, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I gave them ALL a go (and suffice to say I was glad I had my extra tubes of Big Bang…more on that coming up). Then FINALLY, the clouds opened and glorious Gucci Westman dropped Eye Want You on the Earth, and all was finally good again with my lashes!

Westman Atelier’s Eye Want You Mascara gives terrific length AND volume, holds a curl, gives more of the full, feathery look that I like and best of all…NO FLAKING or SMUDGING! Stays on even in crazy humidity, but magically washes off quite easily. I do wish the brush was a bit less big for more control in the inner eye, but that’s my only wee gripe. Outstanding! I will say that I initially put off purchasing it as the price is more than I really like to spend on mascara. But I was desperate, and there was a sale, and now I’m hooked. And while it is on the spendier side, please note that it also has lasted a LOT longer than any tube of clean mascara I’ve ever tried. I’m on month 5 (no judging), and no signs of drying out, etc. Given I would’ve typically gone through 2 tubes in that time, I’m calling it a wash in the budget department. Though you know I snagged a new tube during the latest Credo sale!

Another plus: it comes in black AND brown!!!

As mentioned above, I like to use this along with my #2 pick when I really want some popping lashes: I add a coat of MakeWaves to define and separate, then Eye Want You to really lengthen and feather out. It’s the best method I’ve found for mimicking the look of fiber mascaras!

Find it at:

A few other stand-out clean mascaras

While the 3 above are my top picks, there are several other non-toxic mascaras that definitely deserve a look-see. The only reason these didn’t work for me is because of my dang oily eyelids…if not for that they perform beautifully and are the favorite of many.

best clean budget friendly mascara pacifica

Best Budget-Friendlier Clean Mascara

PACIFICA | Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara

You can’t beat this for under $15. Great everyday mascara, layers well without clumping, and definitely water-resistant.

best clean mascara erin's faces matcha mascara

Most Innovative and Eco-friendly Clean Mascara

ERIN’S FACES | Matcha Mascara

Y’all, it broke me a bit when my @#$%ing oily eyelids didn’t play nicely with this, because finally, FINALLY, someone made a clean mascara with FIBERS! This gives every bit of the falsies look, contains organic matcha for hair strengthening and comes in a fabulous glass tube for easy recycling.

best clean mascara fitglow good lash

Best Dual Purpose Non-Toxic Mascara

FITGLOW BEAUTY | Good Lash + Mascara

If you’re using a lash serum and a mascara and would prefer an all-in-one option for your lashes, look no further. This award-winning formula promotes health and growth while also being a great mascara. AND it’s one of the few clean mascaras that offers several color options, including navy and brown! At $38 it’s on the higher end for me, but when you factor in buying a separate lash serum it does make it a bit of a steal.

best clean mascara ilia limitless lash

Great All-Around Clean Mascara

ILIA BEAUTY | Limitless Lash Mascara

Several years ago the choices for clean mascara were very few, and none of them would hold a curl for me nor were they very lengthening. Then Ilia dropped Limitless Lash, and we all shouted “hallelujah”! Lengthening AND volumizing, easily buildable to be as dramatic as you’d like and holds curl like a champ. It was my go-to for almost 2 years, when suddenly ye olde flaking started to happen. But this continues to win awards and work on many, so I again blame my oily eyelids.

best clean mascara saie

Great Everyday Natural Mascara

SAIE | Mascara 101 Lengthening and Lifting

I’m a big fan of several Saie products so I was excited when they launched a mascara last year (and you can get it in a mini size…perfect to test out or for travel!). The brush is fantastic…great at getting to the inner and outer lashes. Gives a great soft and fluffy, natural everyday look, and holds a curl!

And a few clean mascaras that didn’t work for me…

Look, I hate to call anyone out, but there are a few non-toxic mascaras that really missed the mark in my book:

ILIA Fullest Volumizing Mascara – I was a big fan of the OG, but this one didn’t work for me at all…didn’t hold curl, messy to apply.
THRIVE Liquid Lash Extensions – I was so excited for a clean tubing mascara, but this flaked immediately and didn’t hold a curl well.
ERE PEREZ Avocado Waterproof Mascara – Love me some EP, but this is water-resistant at best, and had smudging/raccoon eyes after just a few hours of wear.
RMS Straight Up Mascara – Too hard to build up, clumped and smudged.
MILK MAKEUP RISE Lifting + Lengthening Mascara – Another launch from last year that I was super excited about, and while it does curl, lengthen and give that feathery look I adore, the formula is super dry…which means it worked fantastically for about the first week after I opened it, then it was totally dried out and a flaky mess.
CALIRAY Come Hell or High Water Mascara – I was super excited about this as it’s supposed to be a tubing mascara, but not only did it struggle to hold a curl, I had definite smudging.
GEN SEE Spectator Sport Mascara – Started off ok, held a curl, nice for a natural look, but dried up within a week…not cool.
RITUEL DE FILLE Levitation Lash Mascara – Ohhh this one broke my heart. I’m a HUGE fan of RDF (their concealer and lippies are the absolute best!). And while this applied beautifully the first time (so beautifully in fact that I took only it on a quick weekend trip), by day 3 it was a crumbly mess. Day 3?!

So there you have it, my favorite (and not so favorite) clean mascaras! Comment below with any questions, and if you’ve found a non-toxic mascara that you’re digging, I’d love to hear about it!!

The best clean mascara 2023

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