This Zero-Waste Mascara Gave Me Fluttery Lashes In a Single Swipe

The first product from Izzy Beauty, a zero-waste makeup brand, creates long and luscious lashes without harming the planet.

Photo: Izzy Beauty

When it comes to mascara, I have commitment issues. I've applied the same brow gel for nearly three years and have sworn by my hair serum since high school, but I've bounced between tubes of mascara as many times as Rory Gilmore flip-flopped between liking Jess and Dean.

Over the last 10-ish years, I've tried a handful of budget-friendly mascaras from Target and high-end options from Sephora. No matter the brand or the price, the products either gave my lashes a bit more volume but at the cost of clumping, a barely noticeable boost in length, or a combination of the two — not the knockout lashes other people manage to achieve. So when a tube of Izzy Beauty's Zero Waste Mascara (Buy It, $39, arrived in the mail, I was admittedly skeptical. Yet, after the first swipe, I knew I'd finally found a mascara I'd keep around for the long haul.

The zero-waste mascara instantly transformed my thin, blond lashes into eye-catching, feathery falsies. The more I ran the wand from my lash roots to the tips, the more pronounced and voluminous they became — without any clumping. The secret sauce is the product's certified-organic, cruelty-free, and sulfate- and paraben-free formula, which contains polymers and microfibers that wrap around every single eyelash to lengthen and define. To keep lashes from becoming dry and brittle, the mascara also features jasmine and rice waxes that help soften and moisturize. My lashes took a few moments to dry, but once they did, it was clear the Izzy Beauty mascara wasn't going anywhere. Case in point: My lids and under-eyes were smudge-free even after spending eight hours in the muggy, post-thunderstorm Michigan air for my sister's wedding. Despite the mascara's staying power, it wiped away easily with a reusable cotton pad and some makeup remover. (Related: Swap Your Throwaway Makeup Remover Pads with This Sustainable Alternative)

Izzy Beauty Zero-Waste Mascara Before and After
Megan Falk

What's truly rave-worthy about Izzy Beauty, though, is the steps the company has taken to minimize the product's environmental footprint. The zero-waste makeup product is packed into a tube made from medical-grade stainless steel — not plastic — and is shipped to you in a reusable canvas mailer made from upcycled materials. When you've used up all your mascara or are in need of a refresh — which experts recommend doing everythree monthsto reduce risk of infection — you slip your tube back into that mailer and ship it back to Izzy Beauty for free. There, the company regrinds and melts the plastic wiper and brush (the only plastic components of the mascara) to create new ones. It also uses an antibacterial cleansing process to clear all the gunk, grime, and germs out from the tube, which will be refilled and sent off to another customer. Even the water used in this sterilization process is reused again and again, rather than being dumped into waterways. (Related: Meet the Eco-Entrepreneur Fighting to Eliminate Single-Use Personal Care Products)

These manufacturing, cleansing, and refilling processes all take place within a 400-mile radius in the Northeastern U.S., creating fewer emissions from transportation than if they occurred, say, 4,000 miles apart. Since Izzy Beauty is CarbonNeutral-certified, it creates in-house efficiency measures and uses renewable energy to limit its emissions, and it funds external emissions reductions projects to make up for the ones they do create. The result of all of these eco-friendly practices: a high-quality, zero-waste makeup product that has a 78 percent smaller carbon footprint than the industry average after 25 refills, according to the company. (This skin-care brand is also making waves for its eco-friendly, inclusive practices.)

To make it a cinch to get your hands on the mascara — and ensure your lashes don't go a day without the lengthening product — Izzy Beauty offers a membership program: For $85, you can have the zero-waste makeup product delivered to your doorstep every three months for a year (which works out to just $21 per tube). You can also choose to pay a one-time $35 fee for your first mascara, then $19 every three months for refills or, if you're scared of tying yourself down, you can grab a single tube for $39. (FTR, you can cancel your membership at any time.)

Three months ago, I definitely would have fallen into the "afraid to commit so let's keep it casual" camp. But after putting this zero-waste makeup product through the wringer and learning all about Izzy Beauty's good-for-Mother-Nature practices, it's safe to say the mascara has earned my Final Rose — and a membership.

Izzy Zero Waste Mascara

Buy It: Izzy Beauty Zero-Waste Mascara, $39,

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