Crap for Lashes

(Or, on finding a new plastic-free mascara)

So, I hear there are people in this world that don’t need mascara. I am not one of them. I have white eyelashes. White. And red hair, go figure! Now, my albino body hair comes in mighty handy when it comes to the legs, arms, and bikini area, saving me heaps on waxing. Oh ok, I’m not going to lie I just let it grow wild for most of the winter with the one cursory epilady as summer approaches. I know, lucky me, right?

No danger of a lady mo for me. Or that unfortunate snail trail that some gals get from belly button to pubis. Or that fine layer of fuzz across your lower back or your forearms. Gladly free of it. Does anyone remember those poor ladies* on those dodgy 1990s infomercials they’d play on Bert? It was some weird green wax they’d use to remove hair from unsightly areas. Like a shoulder area. Or a chin. I seem to remember that the mother created this product for her daughters, who were of a particular ethnic persuasion and were unusually hirsute. Oh, those poor lasses. No, that’s not me. I’m basically a polar bear all over with a shock of orangutan on my head.

And just before anyone starts feeling too jealous of my pale body hair, I will inform you that I have old crony hairs growing out of my chin that my husband plucks for me once a month. Thats just my glamorous life. Deal with that.

Anyhoo, whatevs. So my point is that I NEED mascara. I will about half of the time leave the house without any makeup at all. But if I go to work, or out for a lunch date, or dare I say it for a mother of young twins an actual nighttime occasion, I’ll admit it but I’m vain and I need the stuff. I also need to draw on my eyebrows most of the time too, but luckily those little pencils are all wood and brown gumminess, which I’m sure is all chemically but not made from plastic. Phew, right, just chemicals.

Mascara, however, like sooooo many other cosmetics comes in a lil plastic tube with a little plastic wand and little plastic bristles, allowing you to smear thick black gumminess all over your eye hairs. And then I’m all purdy again.

However, all is not lost. Thanks to the magic of the interwebs, I’ve found some solutions for us. This is my…

Plastsicko Fantasticko Tip No. 1: Mascara

Mascara last longer tips…
1. Think about how you handle this little wand of chemicals. Resist the urge to pump it like a bike tyre, this will only dry out the formula and it won’t last as long.
2. Consider spending a little more for a better quality product. It will be more thrifty in the long run as you can use the tips below to give your mascara the kiss of life when it starts to get dry.
3. Be sensible with use-by dates. I tend to think some companies run a grande conspiracy when it comes to use-by dates. “Hey, that goes nasty after 3 months, but luckily you can BUY SOME MORE!” How thoughtful of them. Sometimes these dates simply mean that the product is no longer likely to be at its optimum, not necessarily that its unsafe. It’s a guide, not a rule people.

Mascara live longer tips…
So most mascara starts to go crusty when there’s still heaps left. You could try extending its life using the following.
1. A few drops of saline solution or other eye drops. These come in plastic bottles though so that’s only good if you have some in the house.
2. A few drops of water. This is reportedly a bit dodgier as it is not as antibacterial as eye drops.
3. Coconut oil has become my wonder drug for everything around the house, so I tried that. Not too shabby.

Mascara no longer tips…
When is mascara not a mascara? When it comes in a tin and is applied with a reusable wand.

It’s called cake mascara, and can be purchased from T.W.I.N.K Cosmetics and
Keeping It Natural on etsy. I found this tip on My Plastic Free Life. And then, I searched high and I searched low, but I couldn’t find any others that came in non-plastic packaging. I’d love to know of some more! I’m about to place an order, so I hope it arrives before my coconut-oil trick runs out.

Cake mascara is a revelation to us X-Yers, but is actually incredibly retro. Which, of course, makes you cooler and a total glam-rock-hipster.

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How’s about the coolness of this original 1921 Maybelline cake mascara?

I suppose you could also consider a lash tint. While probably not carrying the greatest eco credentials, it would eliminate the need for mascara. In my case, it only tends to last a week, but oh gosh, if tinting works for you or you could (gulp) even go makeup free, more power to you. In fact, I could consider wearing it less and rocking the polar bear / shaven santa claus look. Maybe.

*Postscript:
I got really curious and just had to google them. Those “unfortunate ladies” I refer to are Sue Ismiel and her daughters. The product is called “Nads” after Sue’s daughter Nadine and her hairy arms. It was launched in 1992 and is still going strong. I couldn’t find a youtube for any of her appearances on Bert, but there is this rather ridiculous one featuring a bearded lady that aired in the US. Enjoy.

Oh dear, I shouldn’t laugh, that poor bearded lady was really helped out by Nads. And, according to their website, their product is made from all-natural ingredients. And they are probably rolling in it, which is more than can be said for me.

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