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In a sea of mascara brands promising fluffy lashes with all the volume and no clumps, how many actually deliver? And of those that actually deliver, how many are made with clean ingredients? It’s no secret that we’re fans of clean beauty here at Byrdie, so when pioneering clean cosmetics brand Kosas recently introduced their first mascara, we had to see what the hype was all about. For one, the Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara ($26) is powered by haircare actives—castor oil, vitamin b5, biotinyl tripeptide-1, botanical waxes—that help support the natural hair growth and repair cycle. Plus, it delivers these goods, while staying free of carbon black, acrylates, mineral oil, fragrance, and silicones.
Kosas founder Sheena Yaitanes went on what she calls a "mascara fast" after losing her lashes during pregnancy and being confronted with the amount of suspicious ingredients hiding in most mascaras. It was this realization that inspired her to create a truly clean mascara without compromising performance. "Many mascaras tend to group lashes together, and we wanted full, voluminous separation of each and every lash hair, to most closely mimic the look of a strip lash," Yaitanes tell Byrdie exclusively. "It took us 104 iterations to get the formula for The Big Clean right,"
Keep reading to see what Byrdie editors had to say about Kosas the Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara.
Perhaps the most alluring part of this mascara is the oversized brush that curves to your lash line. The design described by the brand as “ergonomic” allows bristles to “easily grab every lash for the ultimate curling effect in just one swipe.” Kosas also boasts how the flexible-yet-firm bristles vary in length catching the teeniest of hairs with the Intense Black shade.
Kosas Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara
Best For: Instant Curl Effect
STAR RATING: 4/5
Ingredient Spotlight: Biotinyl Tripeptide targets the hair bulb, helping to support the anchoring of hair to its roots and the formation of hair.
BYRDIE CLEAN?: Yes (contains no carbon black, acrylates, mineral oil, fragrance or silicones)
ABOUT THE BRAND: Kosas founder, Sheena Yaitanes, launched the brand in 2015 with lipstick before expanding into a full clean cosmetics giant.
How To Apply
According to Kosas, for the ultimate lash lift “press the brush into the base of your lashes and wiggle it though, with the curve of the brush following the natural curve of your eye. Layer if you feel it.”
Jazmine A. Ortiz, Byrdie News Editor
“Lip gloss and mascara are my everyday makeup essentials, so I take the latter pretty seriously. I believe any occasion—Zoom calls included—is an excuse for big look-at-me lashes. I’ve been blessed with LOTS of long, dark lashes, so I love a mascara that takes what I have naturally and turns it into a bold statement. As soon as I twisted open the tube of Kosas’ the Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara, it was love at first sight. The curved brush said it all: volume. After swiping on a coat and looking in the mirror, my initial thoughts were confirmed. My lashes were standing at attention in the best way. Now usually, formulas that give me this level of va-va-voom are clumpy. Not the Big Clean. Examining my eyes up close in the mirror, I could see each lash lightly coated without a chunk in sight. One swipe gave me a subtle lash curl, but two coats pumped up the volume for my perfect lash look. The was also no-flake throughout the day—something any mascara girl truly appreciates.” — Jazmine A. Ortiz, News Editor
Avery Stone, Byrdie Commerce Editor
"I’m a Kosas fan in general, but this might just be my new favorite mascara. The ergonomic brush is super easy to use and the formula applied smoothly without any clumping. After just one coat, my lashes looked longer and fuller, but it’s also fun to layer it for even more volume. Plus, I love that its formula is clean and is designed to nourish lashes from the inside out. Wins all around." — Avery Stone, Commerce Editor
Holly Rhue, Byrdie Associate Editor
"Mascara is the only makeup product I wear every single day, so I'm always eager to test new formulas (and I'm a tough critic). I was skeptical when the wand made its initial pop out of my brand new tube; this formula is thick and looks clumpy on the applicator and around the mouth of the tube. But rest assured that the same effect was not true for my lashes. This formula goes on completely smooth and clump-free on my lashes, and practically doubled them in length. It's also extremely buildable—I'm wearing about five layers in the photos you see here, but even just one layer made a dramatic difference in my lashes. I'm a fan of fluffy, fluttering lashes, which The Big Clean definitely delivers. If you prefer more of an individualized, spidery lash look, this probably isn't the formula for you. With that being said, it's a smash success in my eyes, and at $26 it rivals my favorite formula of all time for $1 more (but unlike my tried and true, this formula is composed of completely clean ingredients by both Byrdie and Sephora standards)." —Holly Rhue, Associate Editor
Star Donaldson, Byrdie Social Media Editor
"This mascara brush really grabs your lashes and says 'Get in loser we're getting longer *and* thicker.' I'm also in love with the fact that I can layer to my heart's content without fear of clumping. Definitely my new go-to mascara!" —Star Donaldson, Social Media Editor
Elspeth Velten, Group Editorial Director for Byrdie
"Kosas' new mascara is a win for me in a moment when I'm embracing a more natural daily makeup look—no makeup. This mascara takes my almost non-existent post-summer blonde lashes and gives them the dimension and depth necessary to make it clear they exist without looking like I've done a full face of makeup for another old day of Zooming. I even love the literal weight of the wand and the scent of this formula. Will be using the entire tube." —Elspeth Velten, Group Editorial Director for Byrdie
For a .34 oz tube at $26, you get your money's worth. Since the brush's big bristles pull out a hearty amount of product along with it, you'll dip the mascara wand back in less. This means less chances for oxygen exposure (the usually culprit of crusty mascara tubes), adding to the products' longevity on your vanity.