The one thing that always makes me feel put together and done up is mascara. The added oomph it gives to my blonde lashes immediately leaves my eyes looking more awake and defined after just a few swipes. Yet, when I started to switch over my makeup bag to cleaner products, mascara was the one thing that I had a hard time finding a clean alternative for. So much so that I actually just decided to stop wearing mascara on a daily basis.
The ‘natural’ mascaras tended to flake away or would come out so goopy on the applicator that it was too messy to apply. Which is why you could say I was a bit skeptical when new clean beauty brand Saie’s mascara—a hero among the five piece launch—came across my desk. But I decided to try it anyway because I’m a beauty editor and that’s my job—tough, I know.
The verdict: It was even better than any of the toxic formulas I’d tried. So much so that I decided to write a whole article dedicated to it—hence why you’re here.
Let’s start with the applicator.
Made with rubber bristles, it’s like a little comb for your lashes and coats every one of them while keeping them perfectly spaced. They’re also short enough that they don’t hold too much formula so the application is clean, not goopy. The tip is also covered in bristles that help reach the inner and outer corners to really define the shape of your lashes.
So what makes it clean?
Saie (pronounced say) bans the use of 2,000 harmful ingredients (for reference, the UK bans 1300 and the US only 11) including parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances. As for the mascara specifically, most traditional formulas use carbon black (a powder that’s been linked to cancer) to create their pigment, while Saie uses iron oxides (a natural mineral). Compared to other clean mascaras, Saie’s is also different in that they formulate it to use less water and more hydrating ingredients to not only nourish the lashes but also to prevent flaking. Water-based formulas can help the mascara go on smoothly but once it dries and the water evaporates, the mascara starts cracking which is what leads to flaking.
It wipes away without any mess.
Beeswax—responsibly sourced, of course—is a key player in the formula and helps to mold and coat the lashes without ever completely drying down. This allows it be flexible and keeps your lashes healthier by not drying them out. This is also what allows it to slip right off at the end of the day without any rubbing.
It’s good for sensitive eyes too.
Another perk of choosing a clean formula is that it’s safe for eyes that are easily irritated. Mark Jacquot, OD, clinical director at LensCrafters suggests reading the label before you purchase a mascara, and calls out ingredients including aluminum powder, propylene glycol, retinyl acetate, and color additives as the ones you should stay away from—all of which are not in this mascara or in most natural formulas in general.