I have always suffered from panda eyes, a ghastly feminine affliction. Mascara rubs off onto my lower eye bags in great big black smudges. It must be something to do with the shape of my face. A few years ago I was overjoyed to discover a new type of mascara that coats the eyelashes with little ‘tubes’. I have no idea how it works but tubing mascara doesn’t come off except with the combination of both water and pressure. When those two things are applied together it simply slides off the lashes in little spidery black strands. So, for example, if you cry and then rub your eyes with a tissue... to tell the truth I have had quite a lot of spidery little black strands scattered over my cheeks this year.
Anyway, in keeping with Chemo Chic’s new policy of exposure de maquillage, I decided to find out what is in it.
Blinc Mascara - black
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Ammonium Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. [May contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Many of the ingredients seem on the less harmful end of the scale, apart from triethanolamine and two of the dreaded parabens sisters: Methyl and Propyl.*
A study led by Dr Phillipa Darbre at the University of Reading found parabens in all of the samples of breast tumours tested. According to Dr Darbre: “Their detection in human breast tumours is of concern since parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen and oestrogen can drive the growth of human breast tumours. It would therefore seem especially prudent to consider whether parabens should continue to be used in such a wide range of cosmetics applied to the breast area (including antiperspirants and deodorants).”
The Cosmetics Database gives Blinc mascara a hazard rating of 5 (out of 10). I should add that the Blinc website states that “Blinc does not penetrate your skin or your lashes, unlike most mascaras”.
I return to Being Content to check out alternatives. “Natural mascaras tend to be a bit dry,” says Imelda, “There isn’t a waterproof one but you can get water resistant. On the whole,” she adds, “alternative mascaras have not yet been perfected.”
The best of the bunch seems to be Oy! Volumising Mascara by Green People. It is soft and easy to apply. It gives good length and doesn’t clump. But, I am sorry to say, after a few hours wear the mascara has crept downward and pooled in two black smudges beneath my lower lids. Maybe panda eyes will one day become the hot look amongst informed fashionistas? Until then, I have heard that Margo Marrone at the Organic Pharmacy has spent five years developing Organic Glam mascara. When I get around to trying it out I will give you my report.
Oy! Volumising Mascara
Ingredients: Aqua (water), Cera alba (beeswax)*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil*, Cera carnauba (carnauba wax)*, Stearic acid, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, Glycerin, Triticum vulgare (wheat) starch*, Glyceryl stearate, Glyceryl caprylate, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Xanthan gum, Potassium hydroxide, Benzyl alcohol, Dehydroacetic acid. May contain: CI 77891, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77007, CI 77288, CI 77289, CI 77742, CI 77510 (mineral pigments). *23.4% organic / 98.71% natural ingredients.
*p.s I feel that I should let you know that parabens can be added to your food too. E218 is methylparaben, E214 is ethylparaben and E216 is propylparaben. Butylparaben is not used in food, so no E-number is assigned to it.
p.p.s. Here are some more baby panda pics, because they're just so cute.