This story originally appeared on Health.com.
You can pretty much count on bees for everything from honey to propolis, but perhaps the most important bee byproduct for beauty lovers is beeswax. It’s listed on labels for a plethora of beauty products like hand cream, lip balm, pomade, and even eyeshadow. But perhaps beeswax’s most important role in the beauty industry involves mascara.
The natural texture of beeswax is the perfect base for creating a super buildable formula—and as a self-proclaimed mascara connoisseur, I specifically seek it out in the ingredients. It’s the common thread between many of my go-to mascaras, including Buxom’s Volumizing Mascara and Honest Beauty’s Extreme Length Mascara and Primer, and I’ve often pointed to the lack of beeswax as a reason for my dislike of a product. In fact, the one product I struggled to give up in my year of experimenting with a vegan lifestyle was my beeswax-based mascara.
But then Kristen Bell revealed her favorite vegan mascara: Lily Lolo’s Natural Vegan Mascara (Buy it! $19.50, verishop.com). The actress called it the best way to “lengthen lashes without nasty ingredients,” according to Shape, and included it in a curated selection of products for her Verishop storefront. While I was skeptical about the fruit-wax formula, I figured it was worth discovering whether the vegan mascara lived up to Bell’s hype.
When the tube first arrived, I was surprised by its smaller-than-usual diameter. It wasn’t as thin as an eyeliner tube, but definitely clocked in smaller than the typical mascara container. Although I originally considered this a downside—less product, same price point—I quickly realized the smaller dimensions gave me more control over the application. Which was a good thing considering the brand recommends 3 separate coats of mascara to get the product’s full effect.
I started by applying a single coat of inky black mascara each eye and was immediately impressed. As expected from the product description, it didn’t immediately build extreme volume, but its plush applicator coated my lashes evenly and without clumps. This made it easier to return for a second coat, where I started to see more length. By the third coat, I had the same va-va-voom lashes that I expected from beeswax-based formulas.
As the day progressed, my positive impression of the mascara's buildability was replaced by my shock as its longevity. The formula actually proved to be smudge-proof and stayed in place for 12 hours—even when I forgot I was wearing makeup and aggressively rubbed at my eyes. Despite the cement-like hold, I still found the mascara super easy to remove at the end of the day.
Shop it! Lily Lolo’s Natural Vegan Mascara, $19.50, verishop.com
Of course, the mascara also has perks I wouldn't necessarily notice in a field test. For example, the formula has argan oil, so it nourishes and conditions lashes to prevent breakage. Plus, it’s opthamologist-tested, which means it’s a safe pick for sensitive eyes.
Although my initial skepticism led me away from vegan formulas, I’m glad Bell convinced me to give this all-natural mascara a try. I discovered it’s not only possible to get the dramatic, fluffy lashes I crave from a vegan mascara, but that I already had the perfect one at my disposal.