Inke’s Beauty Corner puts natural cosmetics to the test as possible replacements for her go-to products.
I’ve been testing natural cosmetics brands with an open mind and without major preconceptions, but putting mascaras to the test is an exception.
If I haven’t managed to find the one even in the world of synthetic products, how likely am I to find one among natural cosmetics? Mascaras seem to be the last product people switch when replacing products with natural ones – and some never do.
There are so many tastes and needs that a single mascara that would make everyone happy will probably never see the light of day: some want waterproof, others water-soluble, some lengthening, others volumising, some everything possible, others the slightest bit of colour on the tip of the lashes.
Mascara ads promise a hundred per cent this and double that, yet nine out of ten mascaras we bring home seem blah or huge disappointments. Some flake over the cheeks, others straighten curled lashes – or they make a mess, clump, dry up in the bottle, smear across the eyelid, look untidy or are impossible to apply because the brush is too big or small.
I don’t want to fork out too much for a mascara either. Conscientious me who freaks out about the thought of conjunctivitis, I’ll only use mine for the recommended three months. I’ve had disappointments mentioned above regardless of the price level – a ten-euro mascara from a discount store has often been better than the glistening luxury tube packed with every innovation possible that cost four times as much.
Disappointed too many times, I’ve become a friend of simple, sure-proof mascaras. I don’t except humongous volumeand va-va-voomlength – I’m just happy for some black colour that can be applied in even, thin coats, stays put and is easy to remove. (For some reason this doesn’t often happen.)
If something so simple takes such sweat and tears to find, I wonder how the (for now) much smaller variety of natural options available will be able to rival the few mascaras I have found to work?
Natural alternative: Ere Perez bestseller Natural Almond Mascara
Why I love the original: This time I have to admit that I don’t necessarily love these originals, but I’ve learned to get along with them. And in all honesty, they are clearly better than the hundred others I’ve tested!
My top slot goes to two tubes: Sensai 38 °C available in department and tax free stores and Glossier Lash Slick, which is damn hard to get hold of in Finland. Both are water-resistant meaning they handle moisture, but can be removed with warm water. A natural, sleek result is another thing they have in common. I wouldn’t use them to create a showy look, but that’s not what I’m after anyway. All I want is a defined, flawless result. And extra points are on offer if the mascara doesn’t straighten lashes I’ve just made the effort to curl.
Both mascaras stay on perfectly: they don’t flake onto cheeks, run as black streaks if eyes get slightly watery or smudge onto eyelids during the course of the day. The difference between the two is that the Glossier mascara has a more even quality from the moment of first opening the tube to the last drops. The Sensai mascara peaks a week or two after opening, but dries up in the tube so much that I’m unlikely to want to keep using it even for the recommended three months. It’s also harder to apply as time goes on – the look is no longer as clean and defined the longer you use it.
Another difference between the two is that the Glossier mascara contains lash-extending fibres, which I’d forgotten about until I re-read the description on the website when writing this review. Also the brushes are like night and day! The teeny-weeny Sensai brush surprisingly takes some practice to use. Once used to it though, the thought of a gigantic mascara brush that so many brands market themselves with feels really strange: how on earth are you supposed to apply mascara neatly with one of those bushy things that’s as thick as your finger?! The Glossier mascara brush has plastic bristles to help separate lashes, but any excess colour easily results in lashes sticking together. Ugh.
So, I have found two well-behaving model pupils that haven’t resulted in a wow effect despite my fairly modest requirements.
How does the natural option compare: I didn’t even praise my favouritestoo highly, so I wonder what I’ll be saying about the natural alternative?
Yep… How about: HECK, BY FAR IT’S THE BEST MASCARA I HAVE EVER TRIED! Sincerely. Did I already say by far? I’ll say it twice. Could even say it three times.
For someone who’s been disappointed in this department again and again, the Ere Perez mascara initially seemed pretty bland. The most ordinary mascara brush in a simple-verging-on-boring white tube – my expectations weren’t very high. And if all the chemicals, strange brush innovations and extra fibres in the world still don’t result in a product the fulfils every possible wish, how could a natural product stand a chance?
Pretty well, as it turns out. At least in my case, the Ere Perez mascara does something to my lashes that I haven’t dared to expect from mascaras in years. It goes without saying that the colour doesn’t flake or smudge during the day. My regular double cleansing ritual removes every trace without the need for an extra product, without leaving a single stain in my white face towels.
As the images show, the brush itself is nothing special – but is actually the perfect match for the formula! The consistency is interesting: rather stiff, but not clumpy or dry. Colour glides on in a smooth and neat layer. You can add another coat if you fancy (and perhaps a third, but I haven’t needed it).
(What sets this apart from my two former faves? This mascara REALLY leaves lashes curled! Even the waterproof, usually lash-lengthening mascaras I have tested haven’t delivered like this one. My first experiments with this mascara were a little messy, but it wasn’t the mascara’s fault – my own motions weren’t in tune with the fact that curled lashes won’t straighten out as soon as I touch them with mascara.
Believe it or not, curled lashes stay put all day long. If I’m going out in the evening, I might add an extra coat of mascara on top of existing coats and even then it’s looked neat without bunching up or losing curl. That’s something I haven’t previously necessarily even dared to try.
I take it this miracle product has been on sale already for 13 years, which is like an eternity in the world of mascaras. I just wish I had found it a little earlier to save myself from so many disappointments!
Verdict: You guessed it. Unfortunately, I’ve stocked up with both the Glossier and Sensai mascaras for a rainy day. As they do the job, I’ll have to use them up before making the permanent switch to Ere Perez. So boring!
In the style of mascara commercials, I’ll put on a soft, ethereal voice and say: 100% of the women in our test group recommend the product. 250% more volume. Colossally long, telescopic lashes. Silky smooth, seductively alluring finish. Bounce that wins over every man’s heart.
Unbelievably it was another mascara that snapped the number one spot in Katja’s Genuine Beauty Awards 2018, but I refuse to test it despite fully trusting Katja’s recommendations. If something is so perfectly tailored to my taste and ticks off all my boxes and is a natural product, why look any further?
Full ten points to the Ere Perez mascara – and how WONDERFUL when one’s preconceived ideas are proven wrong!
Updating the makeup bag with natural cosmetics – what’s it all about? In the following months, Inke’s Beauty Corner will be looking to swap her go-to products in the makeup bag with natural products – they have to be just as good but hopefully better.
Updates so far:
– skin tints that even out the skin tone and give light coverage
– cream blush stick in a certain shade of coral pink
– a good mascara with a lash-separating, natural finish
– non-caking loose powder that sets makeup without killing glow
– pigment concealer that comes in a jar
– serum foundation rich in pigment
– fairly natural but super fabulous cream highlighter
– volumising, tinted brow gel
– cream eyeshadow applied with fingertips that intensifies the gaze
–perfect, fiery red lipstick with a matt texture that’s not dry
Translated by Rebecca Watson