Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

Origins, Korres and other natural mascaras compared

April 28, 2011 Reviewed by Darlene 14 Comments
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.
  • October 31, 2011

    by Stacy Gwerder

    Hi JustD,
    Great article. Would you mind letting us know your skincare regime? Your skin is amazing! I hope my skin looks as fresh tight and young as yours when I'm 57!!
    I read another post where you had trouble finding a foundation in the right color, let us know what you think of shades :)

  • May 8, 2011

    by Sunday

    Dear JustD,

    Thank You for your kind & supportive words you left for me. I am truly blessed and grateful for 'what it took' to get me here today. Only by the Grace of God could those events have happened for me!

    I surely do agree with what you said ~ "Truth is perhaps the most intimate beauty regimen a woman can use on herself" ~ and today I also know that the things that make me different, make me beautiful. And they make YOU and everyone else beautiful too!

    With My Best Regards to You JustD ❤

  • May 3, 2011

    by JustD

    Michelle, 100% Pure is definitely on my list, so thanks for the update. I just added a couple more to my test bag, Peter Thomas Roth's Lashes to Die For, and Korres' other line, ProVitamin B5 and Rice Bran Mascara.

    I didn't know that Roth's brand was water-resistant, initially, just shows I wasn't reading all the info like I should. However, I axed it after trying it a few times, I didn't dislike it, I just didn't like it enough. I'm enjoying Korres' other line, so far, but still prefer Abyssinia over it. I will most definitely pursue 100%s brand.

    On the smudging, I learned that with natural/organic mascaras, it's best not to wear them on the lower lashes or to just tip the ends of the lashes for effect, because it does tend to smudge mercilessly. Korres' hasn't given me a lot of trouble in that area, but I usually just go to my Buxom and call it a day.

  • May 3, 2011

    by Michelle

    Have you tried 100% Pure's mascara yet? I'm on a trial run with it, and so far, not bad. It takes 2 coats to get the thickness and length I want. The black color is what I love... Truly BLACK. It smells divine!

    However, something is sometimes melting under my eyes at work (under our 79 degree heat and lights - I work in retail) but I can't figure out if it's the mascara or my eye liner. Might have to go liner-less tonight and see if its the mascara...

  • April 29, 2011

    by JustD

    Oksana, I will have to have a go with Peter Thomas Roth to see if it'll work for me. I'm getting better at reading labels, still a novice, but I especially look for anything that has a **parabens name attached to it. I'm winging it pretty much, but these ingredients, as far as I can tell, look pretty good! Thanks for the info!

  • April 29, 2011

    by JustD

    WOW! Thank you everyone, who knew an article could spark so many positive comments LMAO! Marta, that settles it, you will simply HAVE to let me do more TIA testing!!!!!! Who knew I'd be so good at it! ROFLOL!

    Thank you everyone, you've really blessed me and made my week! I appreciate all that you've bestowed to me!

  • April 29, 2011

    by Marta

    I'm going to jump on the bandwagon too - JustD you look fabulous. Apart from a good mascara and TIA skincare tips, credit should be given to what comes through - happiness and strength. Something to inspire us all.

  • April 29, 2011

    by Oksana

    hi, I have been using Peter Thomas Roth The Mascara for the past 1.5 years - love it! Body, color, definition, sans clumps AND not a lash lost. I think the ingredients are very good for a non-organic mascara.


  • April 28, 2011

    by Justd

    Thanks ladies, you are very generous, I appreciate the encouragement, makes it even more special coming from so many whose advice and informative comments have blessed me in so many ways. I'm learning from standing in your shadows!

  • April 28, 2011

    by Susan

    Thanks for the review. I do want to apply a more natural coat(s) of mascara to my lashes, but continue to top off with Cover Girl's reddish black mascara for green eyes. It makes them pop!

    You've given me a starting point.

    P.S. I second Sunday--you're quite lovely and you look great for any age! :-)

  • April 28, 2011

    by Hilary

    Fabulous review!! Now I've got a couple of new mascaras to try--thank you!

  • April 28, 2011

    by Sunday

    WHAT!!! that your picture above??? Lady YOU are looking GREAT!!! Even better than great...FABULOUS! Keep doing what you are doing JustD because it is working for you :-)!!!

  • April 28, 2011

    by JustD

    Sunday, thanks! I think I've tried every mascara Sephora has to offer, add MAC and whatever was in Target to that list LOL. So much has changed for me, things that didn't bother me in my youth, seem to cost me something now, so finding something at my tender age of 57ish that doesn't burn or irritate is huge. I'm so happy that I've found some products that at least give me the impetus to go straight, and kick the chemical based lines. Now I'm looking at 100% Pure and other lines to see what's out there! Let me know if you find others as well!

  • April 28, 2011

    by Sunday

    Hey JustD GREAT Post!!! Thank You for your time! I was thinking of trying the Origins just because of the name...hehe...Fringe Benefits. Ever since I was 13 I've used L'Oreal mascara, for the last 12 years I've used L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black ~ like you I want my eyes to have definition. At 43 lately I've been thinking perhaps I need something less harsh around my eyes, thank you for you review, now I have more ideas.

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More