Best Cruelty-Free & Natural Mascara at Sephora & Ulta


Most of us use makeup, and it’s crazy how we don’t think about what we’re ingesting through our skin and vital organs. You kinda need your eyes ladies, and mascara is way too close to your eyes to be taking chances with harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates.

And if you care about your own body, then you probably care about the animals too. You don’t want those kinds of harsh things tested on animals! If you have to test it on an animal to deem it safe for me, I probably don’t want to put that in or on my body.

All of the mascaras I’ve rounded up and tested throughout my years are natural, cruelty-free, and sometimes vegan. But the best part? These can all be bought at Sephora or Ulta, which means you can rack up your favorite rewards to be put towards more clean and natural products.

Cruelty-Free Makeup Pro Tip

Look for a leaping bunny or PETA bunny logo on the package. This signifies that the item is certified cruelty free by one of the major organizations with real standards and ethics. The bunnies can look a bit different depending on the brand, so just know that cute bunny = good.

All ratings below for each mascara is based on a 5 point star system. The closer to 5 the better the product.

1 | Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara

Ethical | No sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde. Cruelty Free. No synthetic fragrances. Natural, nourishing waxes.

Rating | 4.6

Price | $28.00

This is probably hands down the best mascara on the list. Not only is it one of 4 mascaras (out of hundreds!) at Sephora that is Clean certified, but it also has on of the highest ratings in spite of its clean rating. Just goes to show that mascara doesn’t need chemicals and parabens to be great. It also contains beeswax and shea butter to condition and lengthen your lashes. Ilia, keep doing what you’re doing.

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2 | Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

Ethical | Vegan, no sulfates, gluten or mineral oils. Natural and eco friendly packaging.

Rating | 4.4

Price | $23.00

Tarte’s mascara is a close, close second. It comes in a bit cheaper and hits one of my favorite marks, eco friendly packaging. This is also a good option for those who are vegan, since it doesn’t contain any animal byproducts. The Amazonian clay will hydrate your lashes and prevents fallout. It is also said to absorb oil during the day, which makes for longer wear. Um, yes please!

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3| Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

Ethical | Vegan and Cruelty Free

Rating | 4.3

Price | $29.00

Hourglass is known for its exceptional products, and this one is no exception. Hourglass is committed to being cruelty free and providing more natural products that really bring that wow factor. The luxe packaging really seals the deal for me. But, the product inside is what matters the most! The reviews almost unanimously agree that this mascara is super long lasting and provides incredible volume. Gimme this for my sparse lashes. Bonus: this doesn’t leave your lashes feeling like sticks, either.

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4| MILK - KUSH High Volume Mascara

Ethical | Gluten-Free, Vegan, No Parabens or Sulfates, and Cruelty-Free

Rating | 4.1

Price | $24.00

MILK, I love you. The makeup, not the cow stuff, thanks to my lactose-intolerant stomach. Cannabis has arrived in makeup, and MILK is one of the first to really blow it out of the water with this new ingredient. In order to remain true to their vegan values, MILK used cannabis oil in their mascara, instead of the commonly used beeswax. The oil is conditioning and volumizing and much smoother than traditional, clumpy mascaras.

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5| StiLA Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Ethical | Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. Cruelty Free and uses refillable packaging.

Rating | 4.0

Price | $23.00

Stila has been around the cruelty-free and eco-friendly block for a while, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still great. We all rave about her eyeliner, but what about her ethical mascara? It’s smudge proof, super soft, and duhhh gives crazy volume. Do note that Stila is not vegan and this product uses beeswax as a binder, which may be a deal breaker for some.

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6| Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Ethical | Cruelty-Free, Vegan, and Paraben Free.

Rating | 4.0

Price | $24.00

Sometimes it’s all in the brush, baby. This specially designed high-tech mascara brush is what really brings the sexy perversion to your ethical mascara. This is one of the blackest mascaras I’ve tried. It will really give you that goth, Jenny from Gossip Girl look. It also doesn’t flake and give raccoon eyes, so you don’t get that hangover goth look.

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7| Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Mascara

Ethical | Vegan, Nourishing Oils, Cruelty-Free

Rating | 3.9

Price | $14.00

This is one of the cheapest mascaras on the list, but it does not skimp on the good stuff. It is an entirely vegan formula, but contains great ingredients like coconut oil, kelp extract, oh and vitamin B to strengthen your lashes. Pacifica is bettering your health and the earth’s health with this formula. Um, and did I mention it’s waterproof?!

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8| Wet n Wild Lash Renegade Mascara

Ethical | Cruelty Free

Rating | 3.9

Price | $5.99

Wet n Wild is a fan favorite from middle school girls to well, me. It’s incredibly cheap, easy to find, and is pretty dang good quality. Oh, and did I mention it’s certified cruelty free? You can find this at pretty much any drugstore, but I prefer to pick it up at Ulta for those points. Ulta also usually has a bigger selection, if you want to check out other Wet n Wild goodies.

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9| Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara

Ethical | Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Almost Entirely Natural Ingredients, Clean at Sephora Certified

Rating | 3.6

Price | $22.00

Another Clean at Sephora certified mascara! If you want entirely natural ingredients and vegan mascara, this is the one for you. It uses 91% natural ingredients including argan oil and bamboo extract, which strengthens lashes. The brush is also one of the oddest I’ve seen, with five clumps, but it is actually incredibly effective at separating and coating your lashes.

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10| Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara

Ethical | 100% Natural, Physician Approved, Recyclable Packaging, Free of Harsh chemicals

Rating | 3.4

Price | $9.99

If you are in any way sensitive to makeup or mascara and worried about the environment, this is the mascara for you. I love brands that seek dermatologist or physician approval, but then they go even further and use only natural ingredients. You don’t have to worry a bit about any synthetics or fragrances. But, you also don’t have to sacrifice on quality or break the bank with this one! Can confirm, tried it, loved it, bought again.

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