Hello, my name is Lexy, I'm a beauty editor, and I hate mascara.
It's been this way for about five years, since my aha! realization that the source of my midday itching and irritation was not, in fact, due to my contact lenses, but to certain eye makeup. And don't even get me started on the crusty-yet-also-somehow-goopy black junk that accumulates in the inner corners of my eyes throughout the day after hitting the inky tube in the morning. (My non-scientific reasoning: Mascara makes tar-like goop; clean eyes do not.)
It's easy to say that all mascara is basically the same and that I'm stuck with this issue if I choose to join the defined lashes club. In fact, I would have agreed with you a few years ago — before I started carefully monitoring how my eyes responded to different formulas. Here's the part where I confess to how many perfectly good tubes of $30 prestige mascara I've tossed after one itchy, annoying day: a lot. (I'm sorry!) There are a few winners that I've found over the years, but nothing has come close to this one.
Mineral Fusion is one of the biggest natural, mineral-based brands selling in the U.S. — you can get it online, at health food stores like Whole Foods, drugstores like CVS, and mass retailers like Target and Walmart — and they have over 130 products. In January, the brand's color cosmetics got the seal of approval from the Environmental Working Group as meeting its standards for health and safety. The offerings are eco-friendly and free of parabens, gluten, SLS, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, and phthalates. Perhaps one of those ingredients was the source of my eye irritation?
As for why it's so great, well, it checks all the boxes: It goes on smoothly and sets pretty quickly, leaving minimal marks from the tips of lashes. It lasts all day without flaking (this is huge, because flakes are major irritants), and best of all, you can build it up without lashes feeling brittle or dry (again, irritation central). And the brush? It's full and fluffy in the best way possible. One more thing: Don't let the waterproof accolade throw you: It's not like the car-paint-inspired formulas you may be used to; it stays on really well, but comes off with a little micellar water.
To be fully transparent, I have other mascaras for when I want big, massive, look-at-me lashes that take 13 minutes to layer into existence — Maybelline's Falsies is killer and super-easy to wear for a night out even if you have sensitive eyes because it stays in place like a champ, for example — but Mineral Fusion's is my pick for everyday. It creates lush lashes that you won't even think about, let along rub. Won't you join me in recovery?