Best Vegan Mascara To Buy in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

best vegan mascara

These days, vegan makeup isn’t as hard to come by as it was before. Many brands have become cruelty-free and put out vegan-friendly products.

> Read more: Best vegan eyeliners.

Still, while having many options is a beautiful thing, it can get a little bit confusing. That’s why we’ve provided you with a buyer’s guide for the best vegan mascaras. And we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them. This way, you’ll know which mascara to pick so that you can look and feel your best while still being ethical.


Short Answer

ModelFlakySmudge-ProofWaterproof
TARTE Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 MascaraNoNoNo
TOO FACED COSMETICS Better Than Sex MascaraNoYesNo
THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Liquid Lash Extensions MascaraNoNoNo
PÜR Big Look NoNoYes
Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara YesNoNo
MAËLLE BEAUTY Above & Beyond Mascara in BlackNoYesNo
NYX PROFESSIONAL On the Rise Volume Lifscara YesNoNo
TRÈSTIQUE Good Vibes Mascara + Lash CurlerYesNoNo

The 8 Best Vegan Mascara in 2021

We’ll give you a complete rundown of the best vegan and cruelty-free mascaras. So, take a look at what each one has to offer, and pick the one that suits you the most.

1. TARTE Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara – Best Overall

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara Full Size .24oz new no boxMNLS

If you want a mascara that does it all without being ridiculously expensive, then TARTE Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara is arguably the best cruelty-free mascara. The reason it’s a 4-in-1 mascara is that it can lengthen, curl, condition, and volumize your lashes in a single swipe.

Furthermore, it doesn’t clump, streak, or fade, allowing your lashes to look flawless all day long. And who doesn’t want a mascara that can increase the volume of their lashes by 752% while still making sure all their lashes remain separated?

Thankfully, the brush design of this mascara allows you to do just that, as it has a side with short, dense bristles that get to every single lash. It also has a side with long, firm bristles to ensure those lashes don’t stick together as they increase in length.

Moreover, the mascara has a conditioning effect because it contains ingredients like carnauba wax, olive esters, and provitamin B5. Besides, it can also fight free radicals due to its vitamin C content. Finally, this mascara is free from parabens, phthalates, SLS, mineral oils, and gluten.

While this isn’t a vegan, waterproof mascara, it comes in a waterproof variety called Lights, Camera, Splashes, which is also a vegan and cruelty-free mascara. So, choose the formula you need and get those eyelashes poppin’.

Pros

Lasts all day
No flakiness, clumps, or smudging
Has a waterproof version
One simple coat will give a natural look, while more will turn up the glam

Cons

Slightly higher price range

Final Verdict

TARTE Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara is an excellent versatile mascara that benefits your lashes and boosts their volume.

2. TOO FACED COSMETICS Better Than Sex Mascara – Best for a Dramatic Effect

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 0.27 Ounce Full Size

The TOO FACED COSMETICS Better Than Sex Mascara is our top pick for a mascara that’ll serve some seriously glamorous lashes. All you need is one coat from this mascara, and your lashes will instantly become longer, fuller, and curlier.

These effects are due to the mascara’s excellent ingredients: the Acacia Senegal tree extract, polymers, and peptides. Once the hourglass-shaped wand coats and curls every single lash, the polymers then lock that curl and stop it from going anywhere. At the same time, the peptides condition your lashes, while the Acacia Senegal trees extract makes them fuller.

Still, make sure to get the non-waterproof version of this mascara, as the water-resistant one contains beeswax and is, therefore, not vegan. Also, take care that while this mascara can last for a long time, it may not be the right choice if you frequently suffer from smudging or if you’ll be in contact with water, sweat, and steam throughout your day.

Pros

Lengthens, curls, and defines each lash
Can be built up to increase the drama
Easy to apply and remove
Doesn’t flake off or cause clumping

Cons

The wand shape might take some time to get used to
Liable to smudging
Not waterproof

Final Verdict

The TOO FACED COSMETICS Better Than Sex Mascara is an easy-to-apply mascara that makes for some great dramatic lashes.

3. THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – Best for Added Length

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extension Mascara BRYNN rich black .38oz

As its name implies, the THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara will make you look as if you’ve gotten eyelash extensions.

Not only does this fiber mascara make your lashes look much longer, but it also nourishes and conditions them with ingredients like castor seed oil, orchid stem cells, vitamin B5, and shea butter. So, your lashes will grow longer and thrive both on the inside and the outside.

And the best part about purchasing this mascara is that you’ll know you’re putting your money in a good place. The THRIVE CAUSEMETICS company is a highly ethical company made for female cancer survivors and continues to support and help them with its profits.

Additionally, this brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified, so you don’t have to worry about it being 100% vegan at all.

Nevertheless, we have to say that the mascara can get a bit clumpy. Also, it isn’t a budget-friendly pick.

Pros

Leaping Bunny certified
Doesn’t flake
Lengthens the lashes 
Make your lashes healthy and strong
Each purchase supports a good cause

Cons

Can get a bit clumpy
Somewhat expensive

Final Verdict

The THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara will elongate your lashes, and you’ll be supporting female cancer survivors by buying from this company.

4. PÜR Big Look – Best Waterproof Mascara

PÜR Big Look Mascara in Black

If clumpy mascaras are the bane of your existence, you probably won’t find a better mascara than the PÜR Big Look mascara. With its waterproof and lash-nourishing formula, you won’t only look amazing for the duration of your day but also have conditioned and shiny lashes with time.

With this mascara, you only need one coat. But you can add more layers if you want a more dazzling look. Either way, you’ll always end up with long and separated lashes due to the ingenious lash-elongating fibers and wand design. However, we should probably point out that it might take you a minute to apply this mascara properly because of its consistency.

Pros

Doesn’t clump or smudge
Nourishes eyelashes and strengthens them from the inside out through its content of argan oil
Jet black color, which allows your eyes to pop
Contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant

Cons

The mascara’s thick consistency can make it a bit tricky to apply

Final Verdict

One of the best waterproof vegan mascaras out there is the PÜR Big Look mascara. It’ll make your lashes the center of attention and revive them from within.

5. Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara – Most Compact

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara is the most compact and lightweight vegan mascara. This mascara’s small size makes it easy to store and, therefore, optimal for traveling. Also, don’t worry about it running out fast. It’ll last you at least a good month, which is about the same time most mascaras start to dry out and clump anyway.

In addition, this mascara delivers on all aspects, including length, volume, and definition. It was inspired by Marc Jacobs’ memory of his mother scraping a piece of velvet ribbon to use the fibers for a super voluminous look.

Plus, to ensure you get some extra dimension, it comes with a curved brush that targets the hard-to-reach areas of your lashes, especially the center. And the best thing about this mascara is that it’s smudge-proof and won’t one-off unless you want it to.

Pros

Smudge-resistant
Contains no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates
Easy to apply
Compact and lightweight
Lasts long
Gives you a voluminous look

Cons

Can flake a bit by the end of the day

Final Verdict

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara is the perfect compact mascara for your bag. And it’ll give your eyelashes some great length and volume without smudging.

6. MAËLLE BEAUTY Above & Beyond Mascara in Black – Best for Sensitive Eyes

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MAËLLE BEAUTY Above & Beyond Mascara is the ideal pick for those with allergies or sensitive eyes. It’s formulated without ingredients like soy, gluten, triclosan, SLS, parabens, fragrances, and mineral oils. And if you want a good mascara in the mid-price range, it’s the one for you.

Additionally, this mascara can curl, lengthen, and add dimension and definition to your lashes, with no need to further separate them after applying it. Moreover, its wand design will enable you to reach any hard corners for the best results.

To top it off, it has a great consistency that isn’t too thick or watery for the easiest and smoothest application. However, if you have deep-set eyes, you may not want to use this mascara because it can smudge.

Tip: Take care to only order the black shade as the brown mascara isn’t vegan.

Pros

Doesn’t contain artificial ingredients parabens, SLS, or phthalates
Great for those with sensitive eyes, as it’s gluten-free, mineral oil-free, and fragrance-free
Triclosan- and soy-free
Leaping Bunny certified

Cons

Not waterproof 
Not suitable for those with deep-set eyes because it may smudge easily.

Final Verdict

From its consistency to its ingredients, you won’t find a better mascara for sensitive eyes than MAËLLE BEAUTY Above & Beyond Mascara.

7. NYX PROFESSIONAL On the Rise Volume Lifscara – Best Drugstore Mascara

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Mascara On the Rise Volume Liftscara - Black (Pack Of 2)

The NYX PROFESSIONAL On The Rise Volume Lifscara is your best choice if you don’t like spending a lot of money on makeup. In other words, this product can give you all you need out of mascara for a great price.

In addition, it works for all lash types and can lift your lashes while also making them look rich and full. This is primarily due to its brush, which has two sides: a cinched side and a rounded one.

On the one hand, the cinched side will separate, lengthen, and lift each lash. On the other hand, the rounded part will add the volume and fullness you want. And of course, the more layers you add, the more dramatic your lashes will look, so go as crazy as you’d like.

That isn’t to say that this mascara is all looks. To demonstrate, it contains vitamin E and various natural oils to protect, nourish, and strengthen your natural lashes.

Tip: NYX is a cruelty-free brand, and this NYX mascara is both vegan and cruelty-free. However, not all NYX’s products are vegan, so be sure to check its other products before purchasing them.

Pros

Deeply pigmented to make your eyes pop
Budget-friendly
PETA certified to be cruelty-free
Brush design that gives different effects

Cons

Not waterproof
The brush can be a bit hard on the eye
May need reapplication throughout the day

Final Verdict

The NYX PROFESSIONAL On The Rise Volume Lifscara is a catch price-wise, especially considering its superb lash-lengthening, volumizing, and strengthening abilities.

8. TRÈSTIQUE Good Vibes Mascara + Lash Curler – Most Innovative Mascara

treStiQue Good Vibes Mascara, Black Mascara With Built-in Curler, Mascara For Volume and Length, Mascara Black With Curler, Mascara Eye Makeup For Women

If you’d love to do your lashes on the go, the TRÈSTIQUE Good Vibes Mascara + Lash Curler will deliver on all fronts. This is due to the ingenious cap that acts as a mini eyelash curler. Accordingly, you have your curler and actual mascara all in a single item, so it’s perfect for those moments you need to curl and elongate your lashes instantly.

Moreover, its inky-black formula is mostly made from naturally derived ingredients, and it can still provide length, volume, and definition. So, with this mascara, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds; appearance and efficiency. But if we were nitpicking, we’d say that the mascara doesn’t last as much as we would’ve liked.

Pros

Perfect for when you’re in a rush or traveling
2-in-1 curler and mascara 

Cons

Doesn’t last all-day
The eyelash curler needs a bit of practice till it becomes easy to use

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an ingenious mascara that allows you to curl and define your lashes anywhere and anytime you are, look no further than the TRÈSTIQUE Good Vibes Mascara + Lash Curler.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Vegan Mascara

vegan mascara

There are multiple factors you should consider before you decide on a mascara, vegan ones included. From the ingredients to the brush, each mascara will have a different effect on your lashes. And it all boils down to:

Eye Shape

Depending on your eye shape and lash type, the type of mascara you should choose will change. For example, if you’ve got deep-set eyes that tend to brush against your eyelids, you should pick a mascara that’s smudge-proof or water-resistant.

Lash Type

If you’ve got straight, long lashes, get a mascara with curling or lifting capabilities. Conversely, if you have short lashes or lashes with varying lengths, make sure to purchase a mascara with short bristles. This way, you can target all your lashes.

Additionally, look for ones that have conditioning/nourishing properties to get your short lashes to grow. And choose a short-stemmed wand if you’re a beginner to have an easier application.

Eye and Skin Color

Your eye color and skin tone can also influence your choice of mascara. For instance, some eyes are better suited with mascaras that give a natural, effortless look, while others look their best with bold ones. So, know what suits you before you decide on a mascara.

Ingredients

In general, avoid mascaras with ethyl alcohol that can dry out your lashes and artificial ingredients like parabens and more. Instead, opt for those with natural ingredients, vitamins, and antioxidants to avoid hurting your eyes.

And if you’re looking for a vegan, waterproof mascara, search for one that makes use of ingredients like aloe vera, cucumber, or waxes.


Frequently Asked Questions

eye with cruelty-free mascara

Why Choose Natural and Vegan Mascara?

Natural mascaras contain nutrient-rich ingredients and exclude artificial and potentially hazardous substances from the mascara’s formula to avoid skin irritation, rashes, and even cancer in some instances. Moreover, most vegan brands use recycled items to make their packaging, which reduces the damage to the environment.

What Is the Best Vegan Mascara?

There’s no easy answer to this question because each mascara on our list has its advantages. However, if we have to pick just one, then we’d go with the TARTE Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara. It excels in almost all the areas a mascara should excel in. And it’s free from all potentially hazardous or irritating ingredients.

Why Is Mascara Usually Not Vegan?

Regular mascaras aren’t vegan because they contain animal-derived products in their formulas, like beeswax, guanine, collagen, shellac, panthenol, and lanolin. Additionally, some brushes are made from animal fur, and most of the mascaras are regularly tested on animals to ensure their safety for human use.

Is Maybelline Mascara Vegan?

Unfortunately, most, if not all, Maybelline mascaras aren’t vegan-friendly or cruelty-free. Still, if you’re looking for a vegan drugstore mascara, consider the On the Rise Volume Lifscara from NYX. You can also pick a COVERGIRL vegan mascara called the Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara.

How Do I Choose the Right Vegan Mascara for Me?

For one, you might find that a natural or rather bold look suits your eye and skin colors better. Also, you should opt for a mascara that compliments your eye shape. And finally, some mascaras work best for short lashes, and others are better suited for long lashes.


Conclusion

Ultimately, it isn’t easy to find a good mascara that can do all it should and is still vegan. However, there are a few hidden gems that we had to shed light on. 

If you want an overall great mascara that isn’t too expensive, go with the Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara from TARTE. And if you’re looking for a vegan, waterproof mascara, the PÜR Big Look Mascara is a good idea.

Lastly, if you want a mascara that comes with an eyelash curler, get the TRÈSTIQUE Good Vibes Mascara. And finally, for those with sensitive eyes, the MAËLLE BEAUTY Above & Beyond Mascara in Black will allow your eyes to shine without having any adverse reactions.