The 17 Best Cruelty-Free Mascaras

cruelty-free-mascara

I sent a poll to over 10,000 readers asking you one simple question:

What’s your favorite mascara, and why?

Thank you to the ladies who participated by sharing their holy grails with us! You’re helping more caring shoppers find cruelty-free options.

Results Of The Poll

I won’t lie, I was surprised by the results!

One mascara won by a landslide and got a big majority of the votes, and that’s the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.

mascara-poll-graph

I mean, holy crap!

I expected the results to be more competitive, but the winner is clear.

P.S. Don’t dismiss the mascaras at the bottom of the chart! They still received plenty of votes and they might work better for your specific lashes.

The Top 17

Note On Parent Companies

For this post, please keep in mind that I’m going to include ALL cruelty-free brands, even those owned by a parent company who tests on animals (which will be marked with a *).

I recommend you first choose a brand that isn’t marked with an asterisk (*). All brands mentioned are still cruelty-free themselves and don’t sell their products to mainland China.

#1 | Big Winner: Too Faced Better Than Sex

too-faced-better-than-sex-mascara

The clear and undisputed winner is the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara! It received as much as 4x the votes of the runner up.

You all loved this one, and being fully honest, it’s also my favorite! It was still pretty crazy how many girls raved to me about this one.

What It Does

This mascara has stiffer bristles and a thick formula, as well as an hourglass-shaped brush that coats ALL your lashes without effort. It promises an intense, “deepest black” as well as curl, separation, and volume.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($23).

Readers are saying…

“It is honestly the best mascara that I’ve ever tried, even including the ones I used before I made the decision to go cruelty free. It makes your lashes extremely full, long and doesn’t clump.” -Michelle

“Looks like you’re wearing false lashes. Amazing mascara! I highly recommend it.” -Maria

“It’s the only mascara that gives me long, thick, beautiful lashes. Nothing else comes close for me.” -Amy

#2 | Tarte Lights Camera Lashes*

tarte-lights-camera-lashes

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes also racked up a lot of votes and came in second place.

Note: Tarte’s parent company, Kose, is not cruelty-free.

What It Does

It promises to lengthen, volumize by 330%, curl, and condition your lashes.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($22).

Readers are saying…

“This mascara is literally magic in a little purple tube.” -Dakota

“It gives me both volume and length without the raccoon eyes I get from other cruelty-free brands.” -Keetja

“It separates my lashes and holds a curl awesomely.” -Arianna

#3 | Urban Decay Perversion*

urban-decay-perversion-mascara

Another answer I saw over and over is Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara.

Note: Urban Decay’s parent company L’Oreal is not cruelty-free. Also, this mascara is not vegan as it contains honey extract.

What It Does

With a big fluffy wand, it promises “bigger, blacker, badder” lashes. The formula is neither too dry nor to wet to minimize clump and hold a curl.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($20).

Readers are saying…

“Perversion is perfect for skimpy lashes like mine. One coat is usually plenty, but multiple coats works too without clumping or flaking.” -Pam

“Love this one for drama, longevity, and an intense black sexy eye.” -Kitty

“Urban Decay’s lengthens my lashes like no other mascara I’ve ever tried and doesn’t clump.” -Karina

#4 | Pacifica Aquarian Gaze

pacifica-aquarian

In fourth position we have Pacifica’s Aquarian Gaze Mascara, which is also the number 1 waterproof mascara on this list.

What It Does

The waterproof formula is long-lasting, and the wand helps to lengthen, separate, and build volume. This is a natural mineral mascara that’s also vegan.

Where To Buy

Get it at Amazon or Ulta ($14).

Readers are saying…

“The best vegan waterproof mascara hands down.” -Amber

“I absolutely love Pacifica’s aquarian gaze mascara in black. It’s waterproof, smudge-proof and lasts all day! ” -Josie

“It’s the only mascara I’ve found that stays in place all day, doesn’t smudge, doesn’t flake, and has the perfect formula-wand combination.” -Alicia

#5 | Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof

better-than-sex-waterproof-mascara

The waterproof version of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara is another favorite.

What It Does

It’s similar to the original formula, but it’s not quite the same. It’s very waterproof, long-lasting, and especially recommended for those who want curl.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora or Ulta ($23).

Readers are saying…

“Awesome for a fake lash look without fake lashes.” -Lorraine

“The waterproof version helps hold a curl!” -Haley

“It is the only mascara that can keep my super-straight lashes curled all day. I don’t need an eyelash curler anymore.” – Laurence

#6 | ELF Mineral Infused Mascara

elf-mineral-infused-mascara

ELF mascaras are super budget-friendly (we’re talking $1-$3 each) and they received a lot of love! The top pick is their Mineral Infused mascara.

What It Does

This mascara promises “fuller, healthier-looking lashes” and uses a silicone brush to eliminate clump. Did I mention it’s only $3?

Where To Buy

Get it at ELF.com ($3).

Readers are saying…

“No clumps, builds great length but still natural looking, and cheap! Best cruelty-free replacement, IMO, for my beloved Covergirl Clump Crusher.” -Nicole

“It works wonderfully, it’s easy to find (I buy at Wal-Mart) and it’s extremely low cost.” -Mel

“Makes my lashes dark and dramatic, and no irritation AT ALL.” -Anna

#7 | Blinc Mascara

blinc-mascara

What It Does

Blinc stands out from other mascaras because it uses “tube-technology”. This means that it doesn’t just “paint” your lashes, but rather, it forms tiny tubes around them. This makes the mascara more resistant, and it’s also waterproof.

To remove it, you don’t need makeup remover! Using warm water and slight pressure does the trick, and you’ll see the little tubes roll off your lashes.

Gimmicky or innovative? Many ladies seem to love it!

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora($26).

Readers are saying…

“This mascara genuinely doesn’t come off until you take it off with warm water. It easily lasts all day.” -Lulu

“This is the only cruelty-free mascara the absolutely will not smudge on me. No raccoon eyes!” -Teresa

“It’s a bit pricey, but it’s 100% worth the money.” -Caroline

#8 | Pacifica Dream Big

pacifica-dream-big

What It Does

This mascara does everything! It adds volume, length, and even conditions your lashes. It uses natural ingredients and it’s vegan, as is all of Pacifica’s collection.

The wand of this mascara stands out. It’s double-sided, meaning you can get different results depending on which side you use.

Where To Buy

Get it at Ulta ($16).

Readers are saying…

“The bristles stretch out if you twirl the cap in one direction so that you can coat all your lashes and then they tighten up if you twirl the other way so that you can add volume. It’s completely vegan and looks fabulous.” -Maria

“I adore Pacifica, and this is my favorite product they make!” -Myriam

“It doesn’t flake or clump!” -B.

#9 | NYX Doll Eye*

nyx-doll-eye

What It Does

There’s 3 version of the NYX Doll Eye mascara: a volumizing one, a lengthening one, and a waterproof one. Most of the answers didn’t specify exactly which version they love best, but all 3 mascaras have great reviews.

Where To Buy

Get it at Ulta ($9.99).

Readers are saying…

” It actually separates my lashes instead of clumping them, and makes them look nice and long. I’ve gotten compliments!” -Alyssa

“Gorgeous mascara. It adds volume and length without clumping!” – Trish

“It lengthens my lashes perfectly!” -Chyna

#10 | Essence Lash Princess

essence-lash-princess

What It Does

This one’s another great drugstore mascara that does what it promises at a low price. It promises “majestic volume” and length, and the shape of the brush helps grab every individual lash.

Where To Buy

Get it at Ulta ($4.99).

Readers are saying…

“It makes my eyelashes gigantic with just one coat and it’s only like $4!” -Rita

“Lengthining, voluminising, long-wearing, amazing wand… just love it!!” -Grace

“I love the volume and the price point is excellent.” -Leighanne

#11 | Tarte Tarteist*

tarte-tarteist

What It Does

This mascara gives you a super black and dramatic look for “thicker, sexier-looking lashes”. It’s also lengthening and defining without being clumpy.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($23).

Readers are saying…

“It lengthens and darkens the hell out of your lashes without any clumping!” -Kaitlyn

“I love love LOVE Tarte’s Tarteist mascara. Even though my lashes are naturally long, it makes them look even longer and thicker like false ones! ” -Marlie

“It makes lashes super long and separates them really well, making for an elegant look. ” -Caitlin

#12 | Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing

physicians-formula-argan-oil

What It Does

This mascara is great if you’re looking for a natural look that still gives length and definition. It’s also infused with Argan Oil and adds extra nourishment and shine, and it’s available at drugstores.

Where To Buy

Get it at Ulta ($9.99).

Readers are saying…

“The scent is amazing! It’s the perfect everyday mascara in my opinion. ” -Judy

“I like that it has a light scent to it. Overall I like that it is build-able and I have not noticed any flaking. I would definitely purchase again. ” -LeAnn

“Lovely smell, and not a hassle to remove (so important to me!). ” -Savannah

#13 | IT Cosmetics Superhero*

it-cosmetics-superhero

What It Does

This is the only mascara that claims to be like “skincare for your lashes”. It sounds gimmicky, but it has a ton of great reviews! It uses what they call Elastic Stretch Technology and it provides volume, length, and everything a girl wants in a mascara.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($24).

Readers are saying…

“After years of trying hundreds of mascaras, I found one! IT Cosmetics Superhero. It keeps the curl, doesn’t smudge and washes off easily. ” -Carola

“The best mascara I’ve ever used!” -Iris

“I love it because it gives a lot of volume, curls my lashes, doesn’t flake, and doesn’t give me raccoon eyes.” -Tania

#14 | Pacifica Stellar Gaze

pacifica-stellar-gaze

What It Does

You can take this mascara from a natural look to a dramatic one by layering. It promises a lot of length, but also to hydrate and strengthen your lashes with nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil.

Where To Buy

Get it at Ulta ($14).

Readers are saying…

“I always go back to this one. It’s perfect for my short lashes.” -Patty

“My favorite cruelty-free and vegan mascara is Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze mascara! It doesn’t clump and it stays on all day!” -Kori

“It has no fallout and isn’t clumpy. It gives my lashes both volume and length.” -Jane

#15 | Pixi Lash Lacquer

pixi-mascara

What It Does

This mascara doubles as a primer. You can either wear it on its own or under another mascara, and it “plumps, protects, and preps” you lashes. It’s a great option for those with sensitive eyes.

Where To Buy

Get it at PixiBeauty.com ($15).

Readers are saying…

“It lengthens my lashes and separates them, making it appear like I have false lashes on. The wand won’t smudge my lids since I have small eyes. ” -Lisset

“It builds easily from natural but noticeable (1 layer) to more dramatic (2 or 3 layers). It doesn’t clump, separates well and it’s easy to remove. It’s also a primer and mascara in one. Can’t imagine any reason to change at the moment.” -Bev

“As a primer, it’s the best primer I’ve tried. I also love that you can wear it on its own and it looks great.” -Debra

#16 | 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented

100-pure-mascara

What It Does

This is a lengthening mascara that also separates and thickens lashes. 100% Pure products are also pigmented with real fruit extracts, and they contain natural and organic ingredients.

This mascara is not vegan-friendly as it contains beeswax, but it’s advertised as vegetarian-friendly.

Where To Buy

Get it at 100PercentPure.com ($25).

Readers are saying…

“Terrific. Very natural looking, doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and easy to remove. ” -Nicole

“It does not flake, smear, or wind up under my eyes after a full day of wear, and it’s made with organic ingredients.” -Natalie

“Love this mascara! Very lengthening and it’s available in a few different shades. The dark brown one is my favorite since it looks more natural.” -Jessica

#17 | Kat Von D Immortal Lash

kat-von-d-mascara

What It Does

This one is advertised as a 24h mascara, meaning that it’s meant to be long-lasting. It also has a “3-in-1″ brush which “lengthens, curls, and coats every lash” for a dramatic look.

Where To Buy

Get it at Sephora ($20).

Readers are saying…

“I’ve tried many cruelty-free mascaras and they don’t do anything for my skimpy lashes. This one has a uniquely shaped brush and flexible wand that pulls every little lash out of hiding.” -Sandra

“It separates every lash while giving them thickness and volume. I also noticed it lasts so much longer than other mascaras I’ve tried. ” -Amanda

“Doesn’t irritate my eyes, easy to remove, gives me lovely dark lashes and doesn’t smudge!” -Helen


What’s your favorite cruelty-free mascara? Let me know in the comments!

  • Strawberry Curl

    This is an awesome list. Another great vegan mascara that I don’t see listed here is Josie Maran’s. It curls, lengthens, and volumizes lashes with Argan Black Oil. :-)

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi | Cruelty-Free Kitty

      Thanks for the suggestion! :)

      • Strawberry Curl

        My pleasure. Thanks for putting this fantastic list together!

  • Samantha R

    This is great, id say the first choice as well lol but I do like Tarte’s – Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, it makes your lashes look naturally fuller.

    Can we do a poll on this for foundations? or is there already one lol?

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi | Cruelty-Free Kitty

      That’s a great idea! Might be tricky because of all the skip types and different coverage issues though. Maybe I’ll do concealer next if there’s interest. :)

      • Samantha R

        Trueeee lol maybe 3 polls on different coverages? lol if thats not too much!
        Id be interested in that as well =]] these polls are so much better than spending a million dollars on different products looking for the right one =]

  • Lisabella Fawzeya SayfUllah Da

    Hi Suzi, Why didn’t you place Kat Von D’s company as one that’s owned by a parent company that is Not “Cruelty Free” and placed an asterisk * on “IT Cosmetics” – as “IT” does not have a parent company that is selling to China. Please advise – I’ve done my research and if I am out of date, please inform me!

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi | Cruelty-Free Kitty

      IT Cosmetics was recently sold to L’Oreal! :( I covered it here: http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/news/loreal-buys-it-cosmetics/

      Kat Von D is owned by Kendo which is cruelty-free.

      • Lisabella Fawzeya SayfUllah Da

        OMG! I don’t know how I missed reading that article! Thank you! I love the colors of lipstick of Kat Von D., but, thought it was owned by an animal testing parent company – Thank you SO much for the clarification! Would anyone happen to know of a foundation with a SPF of 50? <3

  • http://www.kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.com/ Kiss & Make-up

    Woah, talk about winning HARD, haha, that poll says it all :-)

  • Heather Foster

    Hi…as far as I know Urban Decay DO sell their products in China so they shouldn’t be listed as cruelty free.
    Heather

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi | Cruelty-Free Kitty

      Hi Heather! UD don’t sell products in China and don’t test when required by law. Their parent company L’Oreal does, but UD itself is cruelty-free.

  • julia ❀

    i’ve been meaning to try elf or pacifica’s mascaras for the longest time, but they’re always sold out at target!
    also, no mention of jordana best lash extreme? it’s like $3 and it is VOLUMIZING. good shit.

    • http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ Suzi | Cruelty-Free Kitty

      That Jordana mascara was further down the list!

  • http://mysticthorn.com/ LizzieBee

    Ooh this post is perfectly timed – my Bourjois mascara has just ran out and I’ve been looking for a cruelty-free alternative. Thanks so much!

    Lizzie Bee // mysticthorn.com

  • http://amberbutbetter.blogspot.com Amber But Better

    Great post, this is so helpful! I have a list now of mascaras I really want to try! I also love that you included reviews that told you about the product’s performance, very helpful!

    Amber
    amberbutbetter.blogspot.com

  • Heidi Schoonover

    Thanks for putting this list together! One I really like that I didn’t see on the list is the Black Magic Mascara by Eyeko.