I'm a 25-year-old occasional makeup wearer, but when I do wear makeup, I have a tendency to run into problems. Maybe it’s because I don’t practice enough, but I feel like there’s so much makeup out there that after wearing it a few hours ends up making me look worse than just going barefaced. Natural mascaras, in my experience, are even more prone to such problems than their conventional counterparts. Hynt Beauty’s Nocturne Mascara ($24) is at the least an improvement on some of it’s natural competitors.
Hynt says it’s product “conditions and softens eye lashes while helping to prevent eyelash breakage.” I wouldn’t say that my eyelashes feel or look any better than usual when bare, but I certainly haven’t had issues with eyelash loss or breakage. It is “infused with a lash-revitalizing blend of vitamins, antioxidants and natural plant extracts.” All true, however I was surprised to see “shellac” listed as the fifth ingredient, which just makes me think of gel manicures. According to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics database, “shellac is a resinous secretion of the insect Laccifer (Tachardia) lacca.” (source) So while this mascara is organic, it’s not vegan. They established that the ingredient is likely safe, but also that data is limited. Some googling revealed that shellac is not uncommon in mascaras, and while some people do experience (usually minor) irritation it’s a low percentage. I myself experienced no issues, despite having habitually irritated eyes due to allergies.
As far as it’s aesthetic benefits go, Nocturne (like most mascaras) seems to over-reach. It claims to lengthen, curl, volumize, and lift. I find with most mascaras you should pick a primary and secondary benefit to prioritize, because most products can only do up to two things truly well. Nocturne certainly does deliver both volume and length, but didn’t add curl or help maintain it with an eyelash curler. As to lift, I actually feel like the product is too heavy — I never grow entirely unconscious of the feeling of it on my lashes and over time do experience some minor droop. I disagree with Hynt’s claims that Nocturne’s “smooth, creamy formula allows for layered application without clumping or smudging.” The formula is pretty thick, and one coat already veered a little too close to spider-lashes for my taste, which admittedly leans more towards a natural look than a Kardashian one. Attempting a second coat just meant clumps, smudges, and more weight. If this mascara could improve it’s formula (or brush?) to provide greater lash separation, that would make a huge difference. However, one coat delivers decent drama for those who seek it and I do not experience any under-eye flakiness even after several hours, a problem I am consistently plagued by.
I want to add a small disclaimer that I actually feel like the mascara looks a little better in my picture than it does in real life, partially because the slight blurriness caused by my not-awesome resolution (my only camera is on my phone) makes the lashes look more separated then they appear in person. I don’t own an eyelash comb but I’ve considered making the purchase while using this mascara, though I predict it would result in a loss in the volumizing effect.
I probably won't repurchase, however I DO recommend this mascara if it’s the look you’re going for. It gave me better results than any natural mascara I’ve ever tried and several conventional ones as well (with ingredients I feel a lot more comfortable with). I feel a bit like the princess and the pea, but the biggest contributing factor for my not seeking a second tube would be the feeling of heaviness when I’m wearing it. It's similar, but not as marked, as wearing false eyelashes for those who can compare. If you’re used to wearing several coats of mascara anyway, or you just have naturally thicker/stronger eyelashes, this may well not bother you.