Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume

Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume

The sticker on the spool handle indicates that this product was rated as “Very Good” by Öko-Test magazine, a German monthly for eco-conscious consumers, in the April 2012 edition. Hmph.

All in all, I’ve liked the few things I’ve tried from this brand, except for this Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume. This has been one of my latest disappointments, mainly because it stings my eyes, something I have NEVER experienced with any other mascara, or with any eyeliner or shadow at all.

But first things first. Benecos is a German brand whose leitmotiv is environmentally-friendly ingredients, and a “natural” concept in cosmetics at affordable prices. It isn’t very well known in my area beyond the beauty blogosphere, or at least it seems that way to me; in any case, I haven’t seen it anywhere other than in the organic supermarket where I shop sometimes.

I’d already tried Benecos clear lipbalm, which is wonderful, and I also liked their lipgloss very much. So, I didn’t really think twice about getting the mascara when I needed to stock up. Not just that, I actually bought two, one for my mother and one for me.

So, when I tried it at home and felt a slight, menthol-ish sting on my eyes every time I used it, I was startled, to say the least. It’s not unbearable or makes me tear up, but I’ve never had this happen with any other product.

I couldn’t understand why, and thought the tube could be off (it came home sealed, and the expiration date was for a year or so after purchase). I asked my mother if it was the same with her tube, and she confirmed it.

Argh! I don’t have sensitive eyes, but my mother does; that’s why I got her a tube, trusting it’d be better for her. So of course I felt like the worst daughter in the world, as well as being a lousy shopper, for giving her something I hadn’t even thought of trying myself first.

Next step was to look up the ingredient list in Benecos’ website, trying to find what could be wrong. To my surprise, it lists alcohol as the second ingredient in the INCI list for Natural Mascara Maximum Volume deep black.

Wirklich? What is alcohol doing as the second ingredient in a product designed for eyelashes? I suppose since the formula is paraben-free the alcohol acts as a preservative, or the problem could well be another ingredient (such as the essential oil-based fragrance, perhaps, even though this is at the end of the list), but being a product for use near the eyes, this left me perplexed.

Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume

Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume

Well, eye discomfort aside, how well does this mascara perform?

It’s okay, I guess, though don’t rely on it for anything resembling maximum volume. It gives some length and thickness, is on the fluid side and thus fairly non-clumping, which is about its only redeeming quality for me.

Not that I really expect much from most mascaras, because I have puny little lashes, and try as I may, there really isn’t a lot I can do to make them long and lush; many mascaras will usually just make my lashes look like they exist and are there, sort of. So, unimpressive results are par for the course for me.

If you decide to give this mascara a try, despite my warnings, and it turns out to be nicer to you than it was to me, and you also prefer an everyday, discreetly made-up look, this will do as well as any other mascara. The price is right, Benecos is strict about keeping out silicones, petroleum-derived components and a number of synthetics from their formulas, as well as ingredients tested on animals, of course.

I’m not in the anti-parabens camp, nor go out of my way to avoid ‘cones and such in my cosmetics, but I like that these alternatives are becoming more common in the beauty industry, and I also like Benecos’ policy of keeping product packaging, wrappings and such to a minimum. It is mainly because of those reasons that this product doesn’t get a bare one-point in my rating.

In a nutshell, my conclusions about this experience are: 1) never buy my mother anything that I haven’t tested on myself; and 2) a lack of trust on this brand’s mascaras. I don’t think I’ll try another of these again, based on what I found.

My rating? 1.5 points out of 5.

1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me. Not even if you paid me to wear it.

2 points: It’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.

3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I doubt I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.

4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.

5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.

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