Oftentimes, finding a mascara that curls, lengthens, adds volume, or encourages growth can take a great deal of research. When you're looking for any of these features plus the best vegan mascara simultaneously, things can quickly begin to feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily, it's as convenient as ever to find one that suits your needs while still remaining free of animal ingredients.
Whereas finding a great vegan mascara used to require standing in the drug-store aisle and reading every last label, it's no longer so tedious thanks to the recent influx of vegan beauty products on the market. Items that once had to be purchased at specialty stores are now available online, giving those who choose not to use animal-based products more options. However, that still doesn't change the fact that, like all mascaras, you typically can't try them on; this sometimes results in a disappointing – and money-wasting – period of trial and error as you attempt to find a good fit. With that said, having a guide that outlines what to look for may streamline your research (and shorten the list of attempted products).
Overall, when choosing a mascara that skips beeswax, collagen, lanolin, and other common animal-based ingredients, you're going to want to opt for things like coconut oil, vitamin E, and olive esters instead. These plant-based botanicals still provide sheen, hydration, and anti-separating abilities, but do so while remaining vegan. Similarly, they're often packed with nutrients that may have tremendous impact on your lashes, leaving them hydrated and strong long after the mascara has been removed.
When shopping for vegan beauty products, it's also important to note that there is a difference between "vegan" and "cruelty-free." Although they're often used interchangeably in marketing, vegan refers to the actual manufacturing process and means that no animal or animal-derived ingredients were used in the formula. Cruelty-free, on the other hand, refers to the testing process, and ensures that the products were nottested on animals after manufacturing. For that reason, a cruelty-free product can and often will contain animal ingredients. Those who prefer vegan products tend to look for both labels simultaneously, but always check the ingredient list anyway — companies sometimes throw the terms around without backing up their claims.
Now that you know which ingredients and terms to look for, here are a few of the best vegan mascaras, whether you're aiming to lengthen, volumize, curl, strengthen, or protect.