A Natural Mascara Review: Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara
If you haven’t already heard, the word is out that your beauty products are likely toxic. Yep, toxic and potentially even worse for you than eating junk (since these lovely products get absorbed directly into the blood). But that’s really the subject of another post, so I won’t get carried away!
I denied this nasty fact for a long time. As a self-confessed beauty junkie, I just couldn’t bear for it to be true.
But “new me” finally faced the music last month and *shock horror* tossed out the majority of the beauty stash. Honestly though, so many of my makeup bits were getting old, and a quick flick around the Skin Deep Database^ (link!) exposed me to research concerning their ingredients that I just couldn’t “unsee”. There is some pretty frightening crap in our makeup and beauty products, let me tell you.
So I tried going au natural for a few weeks, and while it may work for many, I’m here to report that it does not work for me. It was never going to work!
Tossing out my beauty products did give me a sense of freedom for a time, but without viable replacements I soon felt like I’d resigned to a life lived in sweat pants. Comfortable, but far from cute (or fun).
It got me thinking – does a preference for a clean, natural lifestyle = little or no makeup? Surely it doesn’t have to. It’s just a matter of investigating what the options are.
So here we are – I’m reporting on my first real foray into a more natural mascara.
The Josie Maran Argan Black Oil promises to nourish and condition the lashes with – you guessed it – argan oil. Bamboo is also in there to ‘strengthen and fortify lashes’, and iron mineral pigments are there to give a super black, volumised look.
Of course, it’s also free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates – yuck!
I’ll also add that it’s pretty reasonably priced for a higher end brand, and a bit of research around the ingredients reveals it’s far healthier than the likes of other popular makeup brands.
I have to say that at first I wasn’t a fan – there’s a certain learning curve when dealing with more natural products – but I’m surprised how much I’ve grown to like this mascara. I say a ‘learning curve’ because conventional brand mascaras do tend to have an oily, slick consistency that coats the lashes oh-so evenly. With fewer synthetic ingredients however, the Josie Maran Argan Black Oil is a little mineral-y – if I can make that a word.
The drier texture of this mascara means that it takes a little more work to brush through and get the desired effect, but once it’s there – I think this is a really flattering mascara. It gives a kind of sexy, gritty volume that a smoother texture would not, and I’ve found this effect gets better as the product becomes drier in the tube.
A common complaint I’ve seen about this product online is its tendency for flaking. Personally it hasn’t been an issue, although having said that I don’t apply a tonne of mascara to my bottom lashes.
A bonus point – and this might be of no interest to you – but this mascara removes like a dream. I suspect it’s the argan oil in the formulation that makes it more removable, but this is the first mascara I’ve ever been able to easily remove in the shower. I just rub a little gentle face wash (no soap or SLS) into my lashes and it’s fully removed by the time I step out (no freaky black eyes). Given that I hate removing stubborn mascara at the end of the day, this is a win!
Exactly What’s In It
And for the curious, here’s exactly what’s in it:
Water, Beeswax, Sucrose Stearate, Propanediol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Rice Bran Wax, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Myrica Pubescens Fruit Cera (Myrica Pubescens Fruit Wax), Silica, Panthenol, Organic Argan Kernel Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-21, Glycerin, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Potassium Sorbate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77499).
According to the Skin Deep Database, this ingredients list gets an overall rating of about 2 – low risk. It still isn’t perfect, as Phenoxyethanol and potassium sorbate can irritate some skins, and common impurities in Laureate-21 can also cause some irritation.
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^ The Skin Deep Database is a pretty great tool created by the Environmental Working Group. It gathers data on common personal care ingredients, and gives thorough ratings for popular makeup and skincare products. But be warned, once you search your favourite eyeshadow and it reveals aluminium powder, or your favourite lipstick and it presents ingredient risks including “bioaccumulation, immune toxicity and endocrine disruption (non-reproductive)”, you’ll never feel the same about your beauty products!