Zero Waste Mascara Brands You Will Love

zero waste mascara

Zero Waste Mascara

Alright y’all, I have to preface this blog post with one important detail. This blog post is NOT sponsored, at all. I purchased these four zero waste mascaras online with my own money. It’s hilarious that I first posted about my journey to find low waste makeup options January 2019,  a whole year ago! I posted about my hunt for zero waste blush, and my plan was to share zero waste and vegan makeup options with you as I ran out of my own makeup. Clearly, I don’t wear very much makeup. I am just now running out of mascara a year later! I promise to continue sharing with you low waste makeup option as I come to them but I can’t guarantee how soon it will be until I write my next zero waste makeup post.

My hunt for zero waste mascara wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. There are more details in the blog post, but basically finding a vegan mascara that is in sustainable packaging and also works really well is very hard to come by. If you have found the holy grail of low waste mascaras PLEASE share it with me in the comments section of this post.

Shipping Time

Mad Hippie and Besame mascara arrived first in the mail, within a day of each other. If speedy shipping is important to you, you might want to consider one of these two options. Elate mascara arrived nearly a week later which is understandable considering it’s a Canadian company so this mascara had further to travel to get to Georgia. Last to arrive was Dirty Hippie Cosmetics, and again I won’t hold it against them since this brand is located in Australia! If supporting a USA based makeup brand is important to you and you love fast shipping, Mad Hippie and Besame would be the winners here.

Zero Waste Packaging

I’m happy to share that three of the four mascaras arrived without plastic packing materials! Besame was the only mascara shipped in a bubble mailer but don’t worry, I will reuse this mailer to ship out a Tiny Yellow Bungalow order and hopefully it will get reused again by someone else 🙂

I love that Dirty Hippie Cosmetics packages their mascara in a small glass vial with an aluminum cap. How’s that for zero waste?! Besame mascara also has an interesting low waste packaging design. It’s called cake mascara. It’s basically a solid mascara that comes in a small metal tin.

Mad Hippie has some super cool eco friendly technology going on with their packaging. Their mascara comes in a Sugarcane Bioresin Plastic Tube. They also have a recycling program for their products through TerraCycle. I LOVE when companies take responsibility for their waste rather than leaving it up to the consumer to figure out how to dispose of it.

Elate mascara has gorgeous packaging but it’s not zero waste really. It’s a recyclable plastic tube encased in bamboo. You can rinse and recycle the tube in your curbside recycling and the bamboo can be composted. Not a perfect solution but a step in the right direction for sure!

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Price for Zero Waste Mascara

Mad Hippie – $19 + Shipping = $23.99

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics – $18.26 + Shipping = $29.95

Besame Cosmetics – $25 + Shipping = $33.10

Elate Cosmetics – $28 + Shipping = $38

Ingredients for Zero Waste Mascara

Mad Hippie: Water (Aqua), Iron Oxide CI 77499, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Candelilla Wax, Behenyl Behenate, Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Microcrystalline Cellulose (and) Cellulose Gum, Phytic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polylactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics: Demineralised Water, Aloe Vera Juice*, Iron Oxide (Black or Brown), Acacia Senegal Gum, Jojoba Oil*, Castor Oil*, Cetearyl Olivate*, Sorbitan Olivate*, Seaweed Powder*, Mica, Raw Cacao Powder*, Gluconolactone Sodium Benzoate*, Colloidal Oat*, Argiletz Clay, Carnauba Wax *, Candelilla Wax*, Vegetable Glycerine* (Palm Free), Vitamin B5, Natural Vitamin E, Citric Acid, Lavender Essential Oil. (Certified Organic*.)

Besame Cosmetics: Stearic Acid, Tromethamine, VP/VA Copolymer, Water (Aqua) Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polysorbate 20. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77499), FD&C Black No 2 (CI 77266).

Elate Cosmetics: Aqua, CI 77499, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Stearyl Esters, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Myrica Pubescens (Bayberry) Fruit Wax, Pullulan, Glyceryl Caprylate, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Galactoarabinan

Application & Effectiveness

Mad Hippie

There are SO many things I love about this brand including the eco packaging, that it’s made in the United States, and it’s the most affordable of the four. However, it was probably my least favorite when applied. (Don’t forget this is my personal opinion! This mascara could look fab on you!) I don’t have very prominent lashes to begin with so I really do need a mascara that can provide some volume. This one didn’t make my eyes pop, in my opinion. I really did love that it was packaged in a conventional style mascara tube with wand though, making it really easy to use in comparison to some of the other mascaras I tried.

Mad Hippie Mascara

zero waste mascara

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

Oh man, I loveddd the way this mascara looked on my lashes. It truly is volumizing. And I also love that this brand of mascara is handmade. Supporting small businesses like my own is important to me. I loved spending my money in a small Etsy shop! My only complaint about this mascara is how you apply this mascara. It comes in a wonderful little glass container but the brush is separate. You can recycle the glass tubes or reuse them of course. I had to wash the brush between applications and felt like it wasted a lot of the mascara when rinsing the brush.

I have some Instagram pals that gave great suggestions to remedy this tricky packaging. One person keeps her mascara and separate wand in a tiny silicone reusable bag so that the brush doesn’t dry out and then she doesn’t have to rinse the brush. Someone else suggested poking a hole through the lid and inserting the mascara wand into the hole to keep it from drying out. Another person suggested cutting the brush down and super gluing it to the inside of the lid for storage. And my favorite suggestion was just using a separate used mascara wand from your previous non-low waste mascara 🙂

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

zero waste mascara

Besame Cosmetics

Besame mascara was so fun to experiment with! I had never used cake mascara before and I really enjoyed trying it out. It took a little getting used to and I definitely poked myself in the eye with the tiny brush that’s included (the brush looks like a barbie sized hairbrush – it’s darling). But honestly, I was really impressed by its effectiveness. The mascara provided lots of length and volume!


low waste mascara

Elate Cosmetics 

I really loved the Elate mascara. It provided some volume but most importantly, it stayed on ALL DAY! I felt like I got the raccoon eye look by the end of the day with some of the other mascaras but this mascara had staying power. I also really liked that this mascara comes in a bamboo tube yes but it really applies just like conventional non-low waste mascara. There was no learning curve, just applying and done. I find that really important as a busy parent who doesn’t wear much makeup in the first place. I want something easy to apply that stays, period.

Elate Cosmetics

Elate Cosmetics

The Winner Is…

My favorite low waste and vegan mascara of these four is Elate Cosmetics. The other three mascaras had really great qualities to them as well but my personal choice is Elate. I would still love it if I could find a completely plastic free mascara that worked well for my lashes but I’m happy with this brand for now. Who knows, maybe in the future, Elate will go completely plastic free in their packaging. They are already on the right track!

I’m curious. Have you tried these brands before? Or do you have another zero waste or low waste mascara that you really love? What’s your favorite sustainable brand? Tell me about it please!

DIY Zero Waste Mascara

Before you go, don’t forget a whole other option for zero waste makeup – do it yourself! Have you ever tried making your own homemade natural makeup? I haven’t experimented myself, but I’ve seen other zero waste bloggers that have. With a quick Google search, I found these recipes for DIY mascara. Making it yourself means you can be absolutely sure of the safety of the ingredients in your makeup. I love that!

Homemade Mascara Recipe That Works

Homemade Mascara: All Natural & Eye Friendly

Natural Mascara Recipe

Other Zero Waste Mascara Brands I Haven’t Tried Yet

River Organics

Another popular sustainable mascara is the one from River Organics. This Coconut oil and Rhassoul Clay based mascara is a beautifully chemical free alternative to regular mascara. The vegan color lasts all day and holds onto lashes without clumping. It contains castor oil to condition lashes. This mascara is 100% vegan and cruelty free certified. They package their mascara in eco-friendly paper packaging with a biodegradable sugar cane label. I love their safe, natural ingredients.

Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

I’ve been dying to try this plastic-free mascara option that comes in a refillable stainless steel tube. Compared to the industry standard, their mascara uses 94% less plastic and has a 78% smaller carbon footprint after 25 refills. Refillable mascaras are the way of the future!

This mascara also provides the easiest application since the tube is very similar to traditional mascara.

The more you reuse your mascara, the smaller our relative carbon emissions becomes over time. Izzy Zero Waste Mascara is a certified CarbonNeutral® product in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global framework for carbon neutrality.

Izzy Zero Waste Beauty also makes a lip and cheek hue and highlighter with refillable packaging.


These zero waste mascaras are a sustainable alternative to traditional mascaras that contribute to reducing waste in the environment. We hope you have been able to find a a brand you like in this list of best zero waste mascara brands. It’s so nice to discover sustainable brands without all the plastic waste!

Switching to zero-waste mascara is a small step in the right direction towards reducing our carbon footprint and promoting a circular economy. With the increasing demand for sustainable beauty products, it is hoped that the beauty industry will continue to create innovative solutions for a greener future.

Other Zero Waste Blog Posts You Might Find Useful:

How to Use Shampoo Bars

My Zero Waste On the Go Kit

Making the Switch to Zero Waste Toothpaste 

Have you heard about my cookbook?

A collection of low-waste, plant-based recipes.

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3 thoughts on “Zero Waste Mascara Brands You Will Love

  1. Thanks for the reviews! I agree, makeup definitely is one of the hardest things to swap over to low or zero waste. I haven’t heard of these brands and am excited to look them up!

    I was recently introduced to Crunchi makeup, which isn’t 100% zero waste, but I love all the products I’ve tried so far. They are toxin-free, all products are vegan or vegetarian, and they only use plastic for a few items. Everything is consciously packaged to reduce waste whenever possible. My order came in packaging that was completely recyclable.

    Currently their mascara is “packaged in recyclable aluminum & BPA-free/Phthalate-free plastic,” and they’re working towards releasing a mascara in glass packaging! Yay! If you’re interested at all, feel free to contact [email protected] – she’d love to give you some more info!

  2. I loved this comparison post as zero waste makeup reviews are (understandably) few and far between. Very beneficial for me as a consumer. You mentioned other Clean Faced cosmetics products in your blush post. I haven’t personally tried their cake mascara, but the reviews seem promising so long as you’re willing to wash off an old mascara wand over and over.

  3. Useful post! I really need this type of article.. this is very useful for me.

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