When I was a teenager, Way Bandy, a very popular makeup artist at the time and in my humble opinion hugely talented, came to an event at one of our major stores to hype for a certain name brand makeup. He was the premiere makeup artist of the times and so when he singled me out from the audience and told me that my eyes were beautifully done, and especially that I had locked in on the integrity of the mascara application, you could have bought me for a penny or even less.  Now I didn’t understand then what he meant by integrity of the mascara, didn’t really care, he had me at hello and I was on my way over the rainbow. However, what I did manage to grasp, was the importance of the mascara’s role in definitively defining the eyes.

My younger sister has eyelashes like a shark has teeth. Mine were plentiful, but nothing like hers, and only mascara could enhance them to remotely compete with hers.  But late last year, they started disappearing, menopause had done its part, but this was due to an underactive thyroid condition.  Blessed with the help and wealth of information at TIA, I came across Code:ai and Hydropeptide Lash, what has this got to do with mascara?  Hello!  No lashes?  No need for mascara!  Now my lashes are making a brilliant, albeit, slow comeback, but the mascaras I had been using previously, were now wreaking havoc with them. They were sparse and brittle and I was in tears some mornings trying define my eyes with them.

Being a complainer has its perks, one day Marta decided to shut me up and let me be a tester for TIA.  I stated that I was looking for a mascara that was natural and less harmful, but with some kick to it, that wouldn’t leave me with raccoon eyes.  Marta was kind enough to send me two brands, Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara and Origins Fringe Benefits.  I already had tried several on my own, Korres Abyssinia Oil Mascara, Physician’s Formula Organic-Ultra Black and Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes (see also Five Best mascaras).

I was very excited to try these new natural mascaras so here’s my take on all of them:

Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara - I did not experience lengthening of lashes, but it pumped up the volume beautifully for me. It detailed my black lashes and spread them making them appear thicker. I like how black the mascara is and it causes me no discomfort whatsoever.  I have read that many users complained that the mascara ended up smudging and leaving little black pools under their eyes, so I decided to forego using it entirely under my eyes, but instead just dabbing the length of my lashes.

I did not experience any flaking, smudging, etc. with this product, however it did require quite a few coats to get my lashes the way I like them to look. I am not thrilled with the lash brush, but only because I prefer narrower, this one is round and full.  It is definitely  more expensive than the others, but no more than some of the other major name brands out there.  I would buy it again without hesitation.

Origins Fringe Benefits – In all fairness to this product, I did not use it wholeheartedly, it was given to me as a tester, but the color of it was brown, and although I did like the consistency and wear-ability of it, I couldn’t use it in the same manner as I did the others. I wore it on weekends, when I worked out and just around the house on my bare face, and had it been black, I’m pretty sure that I might have liked it sufficiently enough to try it more. The nearest Origins store to me is over 25 miles away, so I erred on the side of caution and just went with what I had. Regardless, I cannot say absolutely that I will not try this product again, albeit in a black.


Korres Abyssinia Oil Mascara – Like the Doc’s mascara, I didn’t experience any lengthening, but I did see definition and I liked the brush very much on this one.  I also liked the way it went on smoothly. It compares in all the ways with what I like about the Doctor’s brand.  I actually think I would like this one a bit more if the black were blacker, as Dr. Hauschka’s is. Again, I had to apply many coats to get the effect I was seeking, simularly as with Hauschka’s brand.  I also reapplied it at least once throughout the day, it seemed to disappear slightly, but it seems buildable and  other than that I really like this brand. I will definitely use it again. I didn’t experience any smudging or flaking, despite having to reapply

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes – I was not happy with this product at all, it didn’t perform well for me, and my momma always said if you can’t say something good, keep your mouth shut…

Physician’s Formula Organic-Ultra Black – When I got this I was looking for something cost effective and easily accessible for those in-between times, and I got what I paid for.  Nothing to write home about, it did what I expected it to do, but I eventually went back to using my Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash mascara over this and without any regrets, prior to purchasing Korres, as it did nothing for me overall.

One trick I tried toward the end of the tests was using both Dr. Hauschka’s and Korres’ together, the two combined gave my lashes oomph and sustaining power throughout the day without reapplying.  My main regret, having tested these brands, is that, living in Houston, we are experiencing unseasonably mild weather for this time of year, as close to a spring as Houston can boast, so I cannot say decisively how well these mascaras will hold up in humid, 85 plus degreed weather. However, I will say that of the five tested, Dr. Hauschka’s, Korres and even Origins has given me something that I feel I can use with confidence daily, that gives me what I’m looking for in a mascara product and that, as Way Bandy might say, performs the job required of it with integrity.