Is your mascara contaminated? Why it matters: the case for switching to safe, clean lashes!

I am obsessed with lashes. Trust me when I tell, your clean mascara dreams have finally come true – trust me, I mean it! If you’ve not yet switched to safer, either because you’re not sure why you’d need to or because you haven’t yet found a non-toxic product that performs the same, I’ve got you covered in full detail below!

This was applied directly to the lash (no primer) without warming it up or anything out of the ordinary, it works just like a traditional mascara with BIG results, but is better for you and the planet!

These days I find that adding mascara can make a dramatic difference in how I feel and thus how my day goes. I know it seems silly, but it’s an act of self care that makes a legitimate difference in my life.

Why It Matters

I used to think mascara was one of those things that didn’t really matter what was in it. I just wanted performance. But now I know better: it’s one of the likeliest to have high levels of toxins like PFAS and Carbon Black. Where I once thought “oh it’s not touching my skin” I now realize, when product flakes into our eyes it’s even more vulnerable to higher rates of absorption.

source: here and here

In fact, a recent study found that 82% of waterproof mascaras (which are any marketed as long wear, water resistant, etc.) contained fluorine (PFAS), a known carcinogen with other potential harmful health impacts. And, the worst part? The majority of mascaras did not disclose ingredients which would contain fluorine – part of the “fragrance loophole.”

You can listen to or read the show notes of our recent PFAS podcast to learn more about why that’s bad here.

The Good News

There is no way for you to know if your personal care products are clean unless they are being tested. But the good news: you no longer need to choose – you can have both safety and performance with a brand that tests for safety and efficacy. Think Big Mascara - Real Everything

Why Think Big is worth trying

Beautycounter is the leader in clean, they test each batch of makeup for heavy meals, carcinogens, and other contaminants or hormone disruptors. Skincare is tested 8 times and makeup 9 times to ensure safety and performance against 23 different human health endpoints. I don’t know of any other brand on the market doing that. The brand new formula:

  • Lifts lashes while giving length and volume with lash conditioners to improve lash health over time (no primer needed).
  • Applies quickly and easily, easily layer-able for even fuller lashes without clumping.
  • 97% experienced fuller healthier-looking lashes while 93% noted thicker-looking lashes.
  • Clinically tested to be long wearing (6+ hours), smudge-proof, and water-resistant. I tested it in the pool and sweat in the summer heat, it holds up!
  • Unlike competitive mascaras with higher safety risk ratings, Think Big is EWG-verified, leaping bunny certified, uses post consumer recycled materials.

If you didn’t love Beautycounter’s mascara before, give this new Think Big All-in-One formula a try – they’ve got a 60 day no-questions-asked awesome return policy! And if you did love the old formula, I think you’ll love this one even more.

My Tips for Use

Here’s what I learned over the last month in high humidity, with tears, with or without powder, eyeshadow, etc.:

  1. apply to clean lashes
  2. curl before applying
  3. apply powder if oily
  4. Think Big, apply mascara allowing time to dry between additional coats
  5. remove before bed

Works well with:

  • these bio-degradable, compostable micellar make-up cleansing wipes
  • this talc-free finishing setting powder
  • my favorite anti-aging cleansing oil

It builds easily without clumping for BIG results, here’s several examples from my testing over the last month:
>Think Big Build Up - Real Everything<

Ways to Save

In all of the photos above I’m also wearing the rest of Beautycounter’s 5-minute-makeup bundle, Flawless in Five, which is discounted 20% off when bought together – I love that you get to customize your choice of items.

Don’t forget to add Band of Beauty perks program for 2 free gifts, 10% back as product credit, and free shipping on qualifying orders – it’s not some weird auto-ship program like Columbia House; think of BoB as the Amazon Prime of better beauty. An annual fee for perk that will save you more than it costs on your first order alone.

And, if you’ve never tried Beautycounter before use CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off your order, then choose Stacy Toth at checkout so I can thank you! This is an affiliate program for me so I get a small portion of the sale without it costing you a thing. Thank you for supporting me and our small woman-owned, family-run business so that I can continue to provide educational resources like this blog and podcast for you!


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