Finding Natural Mascara

Finding Natural Mascara
by Jolene Marty, Co-Admin of Eco-Friendly baby/family products MADE in the USA


I’ll be honest this was the toughest area to find something in. I was determined though because let’s face it, I enjoy wearing makeup from time to time and after finding out all the junk that was in what I was using at the time (although I thought it was completely safe), I said forget it, I’m just not wearing any. I have tried several, I have researched even more. Every time that I thought I had found one, there were harmful preservatives in them, even the ‘natural’ ones. I had to stop researching mascara’s and start researching WHY everything had ‘junk’ in it. Because mascara is a liquid product, you HAVE to have a preservative of some sort in the product. Trust me, you want one if you expect to use it more than a few days, it keeps bacteria from growing. I do not want that on or near my eyeballs either! For this reason I know of at least two of our best of the best makeup companies on that list refuse to make mascara because they do not want any part of making something with preservatives! Mascara also needs an emulsifier to keep it from separating. There are many types of mascara out there that have all wonderful ingredients but their one (and often times up to THREE) preservatives in their product, has me escaping out of their web page quickly and with no looking back. There are some preservatives that I will NOT touch such as Japanese Honeysuckle, Grapefruit Seed Extract (both sound natural right?), Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate, Sorbic Acid, and the list goes on. There are some preservatives that rate a 0-2 on EWG that are a better option. When I see preservatives used in makeup that rate a 7+ on the scale and are KNOWN carcinogens, it really makes me ill to think that they market this stuff as natural and wonderful and something you want to put on the largest organ in your body. So far I have found FOUR mascaras that I will recommend at this time. One company I was so, so excited to find and did so by chance through an article on natural makeup (I am an avid article reader; I think you could say that I am addicted 😉 ) . Another is a company that, especially as of late, has become a bit taboo in their ability to truthfully label their items. However, they were the only other one (after I did research on what all their ingredients actually are) that I could find that would work. The other two are ones that are known companies that are making wonderful headway in making some of the safest makeup out available. There are many, many endorsed mascaras out there from many natural and eco-friendly groups such as us. Due to that research “already being done” I thought I was going to have an easy time, only to find out even those mascaras had some horrible ingredients too! It is for this reason, I have provided the EWG ratings after each ingredient. I have also written a little note about each of the ingredients people might be concerned about or might not know much about.
So here are two that I recommend in order of my preference. I am also providing a DIY recipe from a very helpful blog that gives out a recipe for cake and liquid mascara. Keep in mind, DIY stuff will want to be made every 1-3 days and keep it in the fridge for best luck of keeping bacteria out.

**I no longer put a rating of preference simply because in strict terms of ratings, I feel that all of these are comparable and everyone loves each one of these the most, for different reasons. Also because I have no tried each one of these (yet) so cannot give personal testament to how great these work versus their good ratings.

Poofy Organics Mascara ($20)
This mascara is made by one of our favorite companies off of our Master List of the safest companies to buy from. They are a company who truly believes in the well-being of their customers and work hard to make sure they offer the safest products available while making a quality product. I do not have any concerns over any of the ingredients in their list and feel you cannot go wrong in wearing something that has ingredients that rate so low in EWG. *I also wanted to mention that this mascara IS available through our Buying Club or through the link here:
List of ingredients with their EWG rating in parenthesis:
Water (Aqua) (EWG0), Chamomile Hydrosol (Matricaria Recutita)* (EWG0), Cera Alba (Beeswax)* (EWG0), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (EWG0), Mica (CI 77019) (EWG2), Coffea Arabica (Coffee Powder)* (EWG0), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder* (EWG2), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (EWG0)*, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch* (EWG0), Lecithin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Acetic Acid, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract*. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), (CI 77491), (CI 77492). (*Certified Organic)

Maia’s Mineral Mascara ($18)
This is mascara that I found that I have not personally tried. In fact, I saw this on my last round of frustrating research on mascara. I really thought I was going to give up and this little bottle, while not perfect (because NO mascara ever will be), is definitely a great choice!
The one potential concern with this mascara is the Soy Lecithin. It can be derived from plants or animals and if it is derived from plant then you would worry about GMO’s in this ingredient. Here’s why I’m NOT worried about it. First, this is a vegan product so we know it is NOT animal derived (I don’t know about you but I do not like anything derived from animals on my face) which means that it is plant derived. They use ORGANIC Soy Lecithin therefore GMO’s is a non-issue. The EWG rating on the soy lecithin is based on the fact that it might come from an animal source and is based on the non-organic version. I feel that this rating is too high for a vegan organic version, however this was the only information that EWG has available on it so far.
List of ingredients with their EWG rating in parenthesis:
Organic Jojoba Oil (EWG0), Carnauba Wax (EWG0), Cetearyl Alcohol (An Emulsifying Wax) (EWG1), Stearic Acid (EWG1), Iron Oxide (EWG2), Organic Soy Lecithin (EWG3-4), Vegetable Glycerin (EWG0), Sodium Carbomer (EWG0) and Distilled Water (EWG0)

Where to find:

Ava Anderson Non Toxic Mascara ($17.95)
This mascara is a mineral mascara. I have never tried this product but there are many rave reviews on it. The only thing that I do not like about this mascara is the use of Geoguard Ultra and that they do NOT disclose what that is. According to the EWG, Geoguard Ultra is comprised of Gluconolocatone and Sodium Benzoate. Gluconolocatone rates a EWG 0 however; there is very limited information on it. More specifically there is NO data for these two ingredients together, otherwise known as Geoguard Ultra. Most people know that Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It receives an EWG1 rating and has Fair Data information. While many in the natural community is okay with using this, some are not and I wanted to bring this to attention. The one concern with Sodium Benzoate is organ system toxicity. This is most certainly not the worst of the preservatives and considering that mascara has to have one, this is a better option than most out there. If you are interested in the Truth in Aging article on Gluconololactone here is their link:
Here is a list of ingredients with their EWG rating in parenthesis:
aloe barbedensis leaf juice extract (organic aloe) (EWG0), cetyl elsters wax nf (vegetable based wax) (made from Cetostearyl Alcohol) (EWG1), vegetable glycerin (EWG0), Glyceryl Stearate se (palm kernel source) (EWG0), iron oxide (filtered) (EWG2), (77499) (mineral based colorant) (EWG2), mica (77019) (mineral based colorant) (EWG2), titanium dioxide (77891) (mineral based colorant) (EWG1-3), geogard ultra (EWG1).

Where to find: – color cosmetics|ALL&Qty=1

Jane Iredale Purelash Mascara ($16)
This mascara also has preservatives in it but rate very low and many people love their products. Jane Iredale offers THREE mascaras…I do NOT recommend any other mascara than their plain ‘ole Purelash because there are concerns with ultramarines, carmine, etc that I do not feel comfortable recommending. There is one thing I will disclaim about this mascara (that they disclaim on their website) this mascara has wheat protein in it. If you cannot eat, wear, touch, etc wheat or gluten, then I would not recommend you try it. For the rest of you, this can be a great option and priced comparatively.
Ingredients with their EWG rating in parenthesis:
Water (EWG0), Algae Extract (EWG0), Carnauba Wax (EWG0), Glycerin (EWG0), PVP (EWG0), Glyceryl Stearate (EWG0), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (EWG1), Stearic Acid (EWG1), Panthenol (EWG0), Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract (EWG0), Sweet Almond Seed Extract (EWG0), Hydroxyethylcellulose (EWG0), Bisabolol (EWG0), Phospholipids (EWG0). May Contain: Iron Oxides (EWG2).

Where to find:

DIY Mascara
There is a super helpful Etsy lady named herbanluxe that gave me the DIY address of Eco Etsy. She has on there a wet and dry (cake) mascara recipe, along with an FAQ, on making your own if you are more comfortable doing that. I haven’t tried any yet due to time constraints however, I would recommend looking these over and giving them a shot.

Removing permanent marker from fabric (couch, etc)


Remove permanent marker from fabric- use #999 for Dr. Bronner’s. How do I know this works? My 2 year old got a hold of a black Sharpie. I was sitting with him allowing to use it under my supervision. He was coloring nicely on some paper laying on the floor. I went in the other room to use the bathroom, was gone maybe 1 minute, and came back in to find him perched on the couch coloring the cushion (did I mention he was 2 I had seen this DIY remedy floating around the web months ago (credit to H3idiho Designs) & took mental note. As soon as I saw the marker mess I ran to the medicine cabinet for the Peroxide, grabbed a spray bottle, mixed equal amounts of Peroxide w/ Dr. B (any one should work, this is Tea Tree), sprayed the mess down & let it sit for 1 minute. The marker appeared to disappear immediately, but I wasn’t totally sure until it dried- sure enough, it was gone without a trace! Would the Dr. B or Peroxide alone have done the trick? Possibly, but I wasn’t up for experimenting. As for my sweet little 2 year old- he now knows he doesn’t get black markers after the couch incident

Castile Soap All-Purpose Cleaner



Castile Soap All Purpose Cleaner: While I LOVE my vinegar cleaner (Jess’s recipe) my husband does not like the smell and complains constantly about it. So I decided to mess around with two favorite ingredients: Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap (whew that’s long!) and Essential Oils! In fact this is an adaptation of the foaming hand soap that I posted awhile back…I have tried… this for a week on EVERYTHING from kitchen counters to toilets and WOW it cleans SO well and smells great too…thought I would share!!
***20oz hot water (I feel things mix better when initially warm to hot)
***1/3 c. liquid castile soap
***2 caps full (approx 15-20 drops) tea tree oil
***Mix it up!
Note: I prefer the baby mild because it is unscented and I can buy one large thing of it and use it from hair, face, kids, etc etc and it still cleans well. You can cheat and use the Tea Tree Dr. B’s…that would work as well…or you can use unscented and flavor with a citrus one as those tend to cut grease and sanitize well too!
2nd note: this can get a bit soapy if you use too much, a little goes a long way. After I clean I always go over with a hot damp cloth and dry with a microfiber cloth.
I’m telling you my counters are sparkling, I would let my kids eat off this counter, the smell is pleasant and I am officially in love


Homemade Mosquito Trap

Homemade mosquito trap- posted on a friends personal page. I can’t wait to try this when mosquitos get bad here, which they inevitably will soon as I live on the banks of a river!
Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 …gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Uses for white & apple cider vinegar


Things we use vinegar for– what can you add to the list?!
1st, here’s an article discussing the general differences between white & apple cider vinegar:

For those that don’t like the smell of vinegar, here’s a simple idea for using a by-product of your kitchen: Orange-peel infused vinegar:

White Distilled Vinegar (WDV) (most often used for cleaning)
• Put in washer as a water softener
• Also can run through washer to clean and get off stains
• Glass Cleaner
• Use to shine silver pieces/toilet/sink in kitchen/bathroom
• Deodorizer (laundry, sinks, etc)
• Put in Dishwasher for clear glasses and to eliminate odors
• Get Bumper sticker residue off cars, various surfaces (undiluted)
• Weed killer (undiluted)
• Shines showers/shower doors
• Dilute WDV and run through coffee maker to clean
• Mix with milk to make buttermilk (works great in a pinch!)
• Vinegar + baking soda = great unclogging recipe (unfortunately have had to do this one often)
• Use it undiluted to get rid of mildew
• ½ c WDV + 2 tbsp baking soda + soaking silver for 2-3 hours = shiny silver! Great to clean other jewelry too!
• Wash yucky scissors with vinegar (not water, it’ll rust!) *Use this for kids scissors a lot!
• Wash walls, baseboards, etc to help get smoke and other ‘smells’ off/out of rooms
• Use to remove carpet stains (2tbp salt + ½ c. WDV)
• Disinfect cutting boards
• Clean out fridge
• Remove water stains and water rings (furniture, pots, pans, etc)
• Use in marinades to make meat super tender
• And of course, homemade vinaigrettes

Apple Cider Vinegar (beauty and health…a couple others too)
• ACV + water = great no poo conditioner
• ACV in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke holes…trap fruit flies:
• 1 part water, 2 parts ACV to balance pH of your skin, use like a toner
• Use undiluted to remove stains from teeth, use towel to apply
• Rub onto pet’s skin to get rid of fleas
• 2 tsp + 16 oz of water is supposed to help with weight loss
• Can also be used to clean kitchen and bathrooms the same as WDV can
• Can be used to disinfect, polish, and deodorize
• Known to cure sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout.

Oatmeal & Sugar Body Scrub

oatmeal sugar bath scrub

Oatmeal & Sugar Bath Scrub!
This super easy recipe leaves your skin feeling marvelous! Use in bath or shower, but best in bath as soaking in the coconut oil & oats is wonderful for the skin. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer & sugar is a great exfoliator! Pat dry with a towel after getting out & you’ll have no need for additional moisturizer. A little bit goes a long way!
Did you know?
•Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and is perfect for most skin types, even the most sensitive skin
•Oatmeal contains saponins, a cleansing agent, and can therefore be used as a mild soap
•Oatmeal is moisturizing and helps remove dead skin cells.
•Oatmeal can help treat acne, eczema, rosacea and rashes

This is my recipe for a 4 oz. mason jar:
**I fill my jar 3/4 full of coconut oil, you don’t have to melt it, just be able to stir it.
**Add 2 TBSP each raw turbinado sugar & oats (I use quick oats)
**Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender or orange are my favorites- of course this is optional)
**Blend well, & go enjoy a bath!

Yes, coconut oil can leave a bit of grime behind in your tub, but I don’t mind it one bit. I gave a jar of this as a gift to several friends & family members for Christmas, and all are enjoying it!

FB comments, Q & A:

Homemade Air Freshener

air freshener

Homemade Febreeze without nasty, synthetic fragrances!! I’m use just essential oil & water. Baking soda is great to include if you are spraying on fabric, like a dog bed or something you want the baking soda to absorb into, as it’s a natural odor absorber. Or, just shake baking soda on 1st, spray & let sit an hour or so & then vacuum up. I keep one spray bottle in both our bathrooms w/ just the oils & water, as I just want that nice, fresh smell. Right now we have one orange scented, one lavender-scented, and one rose-scented in the kitchen. Very cheap, using a reusable bottle, and avoiding synthetic scents which are NOT good for us!!

FB comments, Q & A:

Previous Older Entries