- Value: 19/20
- Functionality: 20/20
- Ease of Use: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Results: 19/20
- TOTAL: 98/100
It took three years and hundreds of formulations, but clean beauty brand Kosas has dropped its long-awaited The Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara. And I. Am. Speechless.
As someone who doesn't mess with any beauty product that isn't clean, I've tried and failed to find a mascara that does for my lashes what Milk Makeup KUSH Mascara does. (If you know, you know.) Sure, there are non-toxic mascaras out there that I wear and like, but there was never anything that gave me falsie-looking fringe or plumped up each individual lash as much as I like. The ones that I did tolerate always stung my eyes when I washed it off, which is just not something I want to deal with right before bed.
But now we're in the age of Kosas. I love everything this brand creates (no joke, my entire five-minute makeup routine consists of nearly all Kosas products), so I had extremely high expectations for this mascara. And guys, it lived up to my standards.
First off, the brush is probably my favorite part. It's slightly curved and mimics the natural arc of the eye, so it hugs my lash line flawlessly, grabbing and curling every tiny hair on the first swipe. It's also a classic twisted wire brush, so the firm-yet-flexible bristles separate and coat lashes to perfection, unlike some of the silicone bristles other brands use. In a meeting with founder Sheena Yaitanes, she also let me in on a little trick for fanning lashes without an eyelash curler (a tool she hasn't even used for years): Just hold the brush at the base of your lashes for a few seconds before swiping up to set the curl and open up the eye. I'll never jam my eyelash curler into my makeup bag for on-the-go touchups ever again.
Then, my friends, there's the formula. I love to layer on my mascara (I'm talking three coats, minimum), so I usually always have an issue with clumping. I've just never used a mascara, clean or not, that doesn't clump at all. But this one uses some sort of sorcery to separate and coat every lash, without grouping any of my lashes together in little spikes. OK, fine, maybe it's the lightweight, nourishing ingredients, but I'll pretend it's magic. I just wait a minute or two in between coats to let it dry a bit, and then go back in to add more volume.
And maybe the best part: The haircare-level ingredients all serve to nourish and promote the natural hair growth cycle for fluffier, healthier lashes with consistent use. It's like a lash serum and mascara in one simple, everyday product. Think castor oil to moisturize and support growth, Provitamin B5 and a pure form of biotin to repair damage and strengthen from the follicle, plus botanical waxes and shea butter to add volume and reduce fallout. So although it's not necessarily a lengthening mascara, it will promote lash growth over time. As for what it doesn't include? Anything toxic, including acrylates, mineral oil, fragrance, silicones or carbon black, which is found in nearly every other mascara on the market.
Not to mention, The Big Clean was tested against all sorts of sweaty activities (including MMA fighting—yes, really) and although it's not waterproof, it passed every sweat test like a champ. Yaitanes even recommends it for brides on their wedding day. It's long-wearing without the need to rub eyes aggressively while removing it—good old H20 dissolves it easily, which meant I didn't have to add yet another step to my skincare routine before bed. I just wash my face as I normally do, and the mascara slides right off.
I always said that mascara (and SPF) would be my desert island beauty must-have, but now I really mean it. If you're a fellow mascara junkie (nice to meet you), then you simply must try this formula—whether or not you're into clean makeup. And there's no better time to take the plunge; the entire Kosas site is currently 30 percent off, so you can save $8 on this makeup bag essential.