A word about Mascara from Chantel


Eyes are one of our most vulnerable and fragile assets and require a lot of extra care when it comes to cosmetics.

We love to draw attention to our eyes with mascara and liner and defined, voluminous lashes can completely transform a look or mood, but I am constantly astonished how oblivious people are to the risks they’re taking when applying and removing eye makeup every day.

The well-known golden rules of eye makeup are:

1.     Don’t share.

2.     Throw products out after three months.

These rules have been formulated to safeguard against cross-contamination and accumulation of bacteria or fungus that cause eye infections. It can be tempting to ignore these rules to save money, but its never worth risking the physical effects of the infection or the cost of treatment. To maximise the shelf life of your expensive cosmetics, try using disposable mascara wands (but don’t double dip in the tube once the wand has touched your eye) and switch to pencil eyeliners which can be well sharpened after each use to avoid bacteria build-up.

Once you’ve cleared out your cosmetics case of those products which might have overstayed their welcome, you need to consider your new purchases beyond their aesthetic benefits. A mascara may be able to make your lashes look false but that won’t matter if your eyes are red, stinging and itchy by the end of the day. Make sure your new mascara is labelled as ophthalmologically tested, which means it has been tested and proven not to irritate human eyes (and obviously make sure to check the brand doesn’t test on animals).

The next checkpoint is the ingredient deck. These should be listed on the box or backing card of your mascara, but if you’ve thrown this away, you can request a list anywhere that sells your product and they are required to have one on hand. As a starting point, disregard any eye product with added fragrance as it is probably going to irritate your eyes once it inevitably comes in contact with them. Kohl is a common ingredient in pencil eyeliners as it has been used for hundreds of years and is often promoted as safe for the sensitive eye area, but it’s usually best to avoid as it has a higher risk of being contaminated with lead.

Watch out for sulphates and parabens which commonly irritate skin and eyes and are linked to the formation of cancer.

Others to watch out for include; heavy metals, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, mineral oils, talc and synthetic colours, to name a few. Even though certain products may not list carcinogenic or hormone-disrupting compounds, they may list the separate ingredients which create them, so play it safe and stick to locally-made certified organic brands which generally use higher quality ingredients with less chance of containing harmful contaminants, and are designed with more concern for their consumer’s health and wellbeing.



Once you’ve found eye makeup you’re comfortable using on a daily basis, consider how you’ll remove it. There is great price disparity between makeup removers based on their efficacy and ingredient deck.

While it may seem cheap and convenient to pick up any pack of pre-moistened towelettes, they’re usually full of ingredients that are harmful for both your skin and your health (plus are horrible for the environment).

The Marine Conservation Society has recently named them the fastest-growing cause of beach pollution, and unless biodegradable, they either end up as landfill or in our oceans. They’re also responsible for clogging drains and causing sewerage leaks in major cities all over the world. Brisbane experienced ‘fatbergs’, build-ups of fat, wipes and other garbage, throughout its drains over the Christmas period, and one the size of a Boeing 747 was recently removed from London sewers. Mineral oils, sulphates, alcohol and fragrance are also rampant throughout mass-market removers in both wipe and bottle form, so its important to spend a little time in finding the right formula to care for your own skin and health. Invest in some good quality washable cotton muslin cloths to cut down on waste. Although it may take a little longer, they turn removing your makeup into a luxurious nightly ritual which is more like a relaxing facial massage than a chore. Experiment with high quality organic or natural-based makeup removers to find one that works for you, but from personal experience I can recommend formulas containing moisturising plant oils which melt makeup away and don’t overdry the skin. Online reviews are helpful in making your decision, plus most brands are happy to provide samples to prove you’ll love their product before you buy. Most natural oils contained in facial cleansers will remove makeup, even if it isn’t listed on the packaging, but ensure you use a specifically-designed eye makeup remover for mascara and eyeliner to avoid irritation, and use cotton tips for delicate areas to avoid getting product in your eyes.

What about waterproof? Waterproof mascaras are best left for rainy days or swimming. Their budge-proof formulas can easily damage lashes and diminish volume, especially during removal. When it is necessary, remove with natural oils such as coconut, almond or sunflower using cotton tips but avoid getting oil in the direct eye area. Cheap or mass-market waterproof eye makeup removers are often loaded with more harsh detergents and mineral oils, as well as the other nasties found in standard removers.


Thanks Chantel, love your professional info. Finding the right eye makeup is a very personal journey and often involves a bit of trial and error. Take care and look after your amazing eyes.


PS. I remove my makeup with my own mixture of organic coconut oil infused with Frankinscence therapeutic grade essential oil.





Vera Coleman