I Put a “Clean” Mascara to the Test

clean mascara vs drugstore mascara
I have a love/hate relationship with mascara. I love that it brings out my lashes and makes me feel like a more enhanced version of myself. But I hate that the only formula I can use is waterproof (I have impossibly straight lashes). Even if I don’t plan on crying that day.

Waterproof mascara is incredibly annoying for a number of reasons. It feels heavy and uncomfortable, it smudges, is annoying to remove, and my lashes always fall out in the process. So with my sister-in-law’s wedding in mind (where I’m a bridesmaid and will have to wear makeup), I decided to see if I can find a “clean” mascara (aka safer alternative to traditional formulas) that’s better for my lashes and will be more comfortable to wear overall.

So I ended up on Follain.com (a website that sells clean skincare and beauty products) and found W3LL People Expressionist Mascara in Pro Black ($21.99). I read the reviews and one of them mentioned that the mascara smudges. Not good. But I also noticed that one of Follain’s customer service reps recommended to prime the lashes with Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner ($19) to remedy the smudging problem. I was intrigued so I ordered both. None of the reviews seemed to be from people with straight lashes so I was definitely curious to see if it would even work on me.


No Mascara
pre mascara.jpg
With Mascara

Left eye:
Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara (Lashes look a bit clumpy but fuller).
Right eye:  W3LL People Expressionist Mascara in Pro Black (Lashes look softer and more wispy).

mscara review 2
mascara review

After 3 days of testing out the formula in hot NYC weather, I have come to the following conclusions:

A primer may not be absolutely necessary to prevent smudging, but it will thicken the lashes. And yes, the recommended 30 second wait time to dry is necessary. In addition to priming the lashes for mascara, the Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner can also be used as a nighttime eyelash treatment. Considering the price, I may just stick to using it only as a primer for mascara. As for the W3LL People Expressionist Mascara in Pro Black,I couldn’t even feel it on my lashes! There was no smudging, clumping, or crunchiness. And the cherry on top? It was so easy to remove and no lashes had to be sacrificed in the process. Hallelujah.

The only major difference is having to reverse my mascara routine. So instead of curling my lashes first with my Shiseido Eyelash Curler ($20), I have to curl them after mascara. If you’re cringing at this idea, don’t worry. My lashes didn’t fall out then either. Madness, I know.

So for now, goodbye waterproof mascara. I hope you get a clean makeover soon!

mascara test
(L to R): Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara in Very Black ($5-8) // Jane Iredale PureLash Extender & Conditioner ($19) // W3LL People Expressionist Mascara in Pro Black ($21.99) P.S. This comes in 4 colors including blue, which I’ve always wanted to try!

Have you tried a “clean” mascara before? Have any recommendations? I would love to know!

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

Disclaimer: Not an ad. Just sharing my journey towards a cleaner beauty routine.