tubing mascara

Blinc mascara (used to be called Kiss Me): pinch of salt as ever, as some of the above is not strictly or necessarily true of all non-blinc mascaras. But: IMHO and IME, marketeering quibbles aside, the mascara itself is splendid stuff.

A nice MUAer was asking the other day about mascara…

[…] while I’m a stickler for purity on most things, I eventually caved on mascara and went back to Kiss Me, which is my old workhorse.

I was so embarrassed by the raccoon eyes I got from everything else. It’s one of those “tube” mascaras – I just try to keep it away from my skin and use up a tube slowly. That said, I have no idea what their policies are relative to animal cruelty… I’ll probably try another round of mascara experimentation in another 6 months… hard to find the right stuff.

Cool stuff, the Kiss Me.

I did defect to the Clinique and (now defunct) Bobbi Brown versions for a while, then jettisoned them when Estee Lauder Corp. decided that making money out of another group of customers on a rapidly-expanding new-ish market (and the ends of making money) was more important than maintaining loyalty to old faithful customers (and being honest with them, and that small matter of not engaging in animal cruelty). Double ethical epic fail, lost another customer, and good luck with the legal case…

I digress. My response: because yes, Kiss Me ARE INDEED cruelty-free (and always have been), and better still, there are AT LEAST three viable alternatives.

I’ve used Blinc/Kiss Me in the past too. Great stuff. They’re cruelty-free.

If you like tubing mascaras and are looking for a change, though–like you said, in another 6 months–there’s others on the market that are also cruelty-free:

  • BECCA The Ultimate mascara
  • CARGO Better-than-waterproof
  • FACE atelier Crybaby Mascara
  • Mirenesse Secret Weapon

The basic formula isn’t dramatically different from one to another; as ever, with all of them, check ingredients for your own known irritants.

But other than idiosyncratic things like your very personal skin intolerances: I don’t see any need to keep it off your skin. It wipes off easily, and there’s nothing in it that’s going to do anything nefarious.

On the “purity” end of things: I wouldn’t worry.

More on that purity issue further down; I should add for the record that at the time of writing that response, I hadn’t used Blinc or Becca in ages, and hadn’t used the others in that list. It’s a purely theoretical “these exist, that’s all” kind of list. I’ve subsequently tested out the FACE atelier one (irritation) and have ordered the Mirenesse one (not yet arrived). I had a look at the CARGO one but the brush is clearly shite.

From the charity SIGHTSAVERS: one of the images produced by the photographer to highlight the fact that women are twice as likely as men to be blind. The campaign was launched to mark World Sight Day on 8 October, and to raise awareness of the plight of some 20 million women who are needlessly blind.

I should add that my liking for Mirenesse may be part of my pro-Australian prejudice on matters cosmetic: their animal testing policies are outstanding. And this company is as serious as it gets about their mascara:

Irene Patsalides, like tens of millions of women around the world, was fed up with mascara and other beauty products that didn’t get the job done. Mascara that smudged, clumped and smeared. […]

Unlike most of those women, Irene could do something about it. As a 25 year pharmacist and cosmetics chemist, she set out to create a line of beauty products that really worked and lived up to their claims. One of her most successful creations is the Mirenesse Secret Weapon mascara.

She went beyond the basics. Inventing the “micro-wrap” technology that encases each eyelash with thick rich vibrant color, she created an unique formulation that would allow the mascara to last 24 hours or more, so that women could work, exercise, go out in it and even sleep in it when needed!

The rest is history. Her line has become a best-seller on TV home shopping around the world and is flying off the shelves in stores in Australia. Millions of women have bought Mirenesse Secret Weapon mascara, resulting in mail, lots of it, from women who pour their hearts out (see samples) about how they could never wear mascaras, but now they can. “The ultimate comment,” Irene says, is from a woman who was so satisfied with her mascara she wrote a letter to Irene stating, ‘”Not even God could have made a better mascara.'”

And of all the hundreds of mascaras out there, it has been awarded Best Mascara Brand 2010 and accolades in major magazines including “Best Mascara Ever” (Good Medicine Magazine, Australia), “Most Innovative Mascara” (Real Simple Magazine, USA) and even won an award “Best Prestige Mascara” (New Woman Magazine, Australia). It’s also in the top 10% on a major beauty site, even though it’s not available in stores in the U.S. at this time, and until now, has only been sold on home shopping.

Because she is so confident her product works, Irene offers something unheard of in the makeup business: “If you’re not 100% satisfied, return it within 30 days for a full refund!” she says.

Now that’s an offer that’s hard to refuse.

Now there’s a company (and an individual) who’s proud of their product…


Here we go.

FACE atelier has a blurb that I liked:

Look good, feel good, be kind to yourself, and celebrate who you are.  The ideal FACE atelier woman is you.

FACE atelier recognizes that there is no such thing as natural, purely mineral or organic cosmetics. Without some chemical additives and preservatives, makeup would have the shelf life of milk. However, we choose to use only essential ingredients that have a specific purpose, and without which the quality of the makeup would be compromised.

FACE atelier products do not have SPF factors. There are a multitude of active ingredients that provide SPF protection. Sensitive skin doesn’t agree with a lot of them. FACE atelier strives to preserve the integrity of our products.  And we’re in the makeup business.  We recommend you consult skin care specialists for an effective sun block that does not irritate your skin.

Fragrance and flavours
FACE atelier does not add scents or flavours to their products.

Animal testing
FACE atelier is against animal testing.  Period. FACE atelier has received official approval of its animal testing policies from PETA and is listed on its Caring Consumer website. In adherence to PETA principles, FACE atelier products have not been tested on animals. We do not buy ingredients from vendors who test on animals, nor do our vendors buy from manufacturers who test on animals.

But with or without PETA, we wouldn’t test on animals.  At FACE atelier, we want to sleep at night.

I like it. Straight-forward, no BS, honest about ingredients, and ethical about other animals. On the other hand, it would have been nice to supply ingredient lists on the site.

All of which brings us back to that purity question: “while I’m a stickler for purity on most things.”

1) Good ingredients, well tested, inc. on humans.

2) Yes, many of them aren’t naturally-occuring but are lab-synthesized (ex. acrylate polymers): nothing wrong with that, and often much that’s right. Saves natural resources, more efficient and economical way of using stuff, often a “greener” solution all round when you consider avoiding de-rainforest-ation, human rights abuses, energy consumption in moving raw materials around the world, and energy use in processing and manufacturing.

3) No “less natural” than any other human intervention that transforms a raw material into something else, and then mixes ingredients up (plus some further transformations) into a finished product. That kind of process is “man-made” and “artificial” whenever it, well, is performed by humans. Even if the human in question isn’t a man in a lab-coat but, instead, the most hippy granola sweet earth-loving cuddly mom.

4) There’s no mascara in existence that’s all natural and completely “pure.” You need human beings and chemistry even to make the most basic simple mascara in existence: a “cake” of mineral pigments in a wax base. It’s just as man-made as any other mascara, and involves scientific experimental methods (in formulation and hence producing a recipe to follow) and chemical processes.

5) Don’t get me started on a lot of the fearmongering, ignorant, anti-science, “my body is a temple” selfish folly going around… which is all just clever marketing, combined with manipulation of customer ignorance and vanity. That last bit isn’t so “just” anymore, but abusive and nasty… and IME, “bad.”

(Another of the Rankin/Sightsavers images.)

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