Does L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara Thicken, Lengthen AND Separate Lashes?

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Have you seen that commercial for L’Oreal’s new Bare Naturale Mascara ($9) in which Penelope Cruz looks into the camera, bats her eyelashes and then BAM! — they morph into super lashes, all thick, lush and magnificent?


I want those lashes, but after years of mascara disappointment, I have a question for the cosmetics companies of the world: is it too much to ask for a single mascara able to thicken, lengthen AND separate?

Bare Naturale’s tortoise shell tube is a nice departure from all the solid color tubes on the market, and the application brush feels soft against my fingertips.

So, does this mascara bring it?

I applied three coats of Brown-Black and peered into the mirror hoping for some P. Cruz eyelash magic…

Length and Separation

First for the good stuff: my lashes looked longer, separated and held the curl all day long. The formula didn’t flake, clump and only smudged a tiny bit as the day progressed. I think it’s a pretty, natural lash look, much like I get from DiorShow Iconic mascara, but, ultimately it didn’t deliver the kind of thickness and gloss I was hoping to see.

Alas, the vaulted triumvirate (thicker, longer AND separate) eludes me again…

Infused With Minerals

I do have to give L’Oreal mascara props for the uber-soft brush, the packaging and the addition of minerals and natural ingredients to the formula (while keeping it paraben-free).


Parabens, chemicals often used to preserve makeup, have a long history of safe use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, but they’ve grown increasingly controversial as different organizations link their use to cancer. Read more about parabens on Wikipedia.

L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara

Price: $9
Use: To lengthen and separate lashes
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Bare Naturale shines as a drugstore mascara; that $9 price kicks butt, but because my lashes need major help in the thickening department, I’m going to reserve it for when I want a very natural, “no-makeup” look. If you’re on the market for a paraben-free mascara to lengthen and separate and aren’t in need of thicker lashes, then Bare Naturale should do ya just fine.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Subscribe to Makeup and Beauty Blog


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tatiana says:

    Karen, have you tried Lancome Oscillation yet? To sample it, we remove the battery and stick it in a specially made tester wand and let you operate it to feel the vibration… marky mark and all.

  2. Dao says:

    I was looking for a new mascara and Bare Naturale was in the list. However, it did not make its way home with me because of the price. Now I’m glad not to buy it, most mascara advertisings these days involve either lots of photoshop on the lashes or fake lashes.

    Dao´s last blog post..Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: Basic Face Wash for Everyone!

  3. Ms. S says:


  4. Justine says:

    I bought this about a month ago, but I found that after 4 weeks the tube was already clumpy… :S So I won’t be buying it again. Or, at least, not until I get through the slew of mascara samples I still have. XD;

    Justine´s last blog post..Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

  5. Shannon says:

    Have you tried the Neutrogena “Healthy Volume” Mascara? I was browsing the drugstore a few weeks ago and decided to give it a shot, and have liked it so far. My only complaint is that it’s not waterproof. 🙁 However, it is pretty easy on the pocketbook — I think it was only seven or eight bucks. I’d like to hear what you think about it.

  6. vampyvarnish says:

    Hi Karen – So I told you the other day I was all excited because I bought Urban Decay Fat Lash. I am SO not impressed! The wand is way too big and unwieldy for one thing (like twice the size of my eye practially!). For another the brush barely deposits any mascara onto my lashes. I mean I expected this to put massive thick clumpy mascara on my lashes rather than nothing! It’s so bizarre, but I definitely need to try something else now. Just thought I would share.

    vampyvarnish´s last blog post..Creative Nail Design Fedora – Still Relevant

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Tatiana,

    I haven’t! I am afraid I’ll hurt myself. Moving machinery near my eyes makes me nervous. I guess I’m a luddite that way.

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    I know. I see those commercials and I think that there’s no way a person’s lashes can change that much!

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Ms. S,

    Is that your favorite?

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Justine,

    Oh boy! I wonder if that’s going to happen to mine after a month.

    I have a lot of samples to get through, too. I’m a sucker for GWPs.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I reviewed it a few weeks ago:

    Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara Review

    I like it but I there’s certain things I wish I could change about it. I do like the price though!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Vampyvarnish,

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m not exactly team UD because of my feelings about the Potion Primer, but hey, that’s good info to keep in mind in case I get tempted!

    Have you used any mascara brushes with smaller, more compact heads? I didn’t like them when I first tried them, but now I’m starting to really appreciate how you can use them to really get to the lash base and coat the lash in its entirety.

  13. Ellery says:

    I’m gonna have to look for this in store, I love the way it made your lashes look, plus I need a new mascara since I have none left.

    Is the tortoise shell design on the tube or is it the actual mascara (with a clear tube)?

  14. Jaime says:

    Karen – you must try Max Factor’s Volume Couture. I’ve never tried anything like it in my life! I’ve been using it for about a month, and it’s given me length, volume, and separation – no kidding! Run, do not walk, to CVS and get you a tube! 😉

  15. Almira says:

    Poor Karen!

    Just curious, do you comb your eyelashes, Karen? =)

    Almira´s last blog post..Sleep! UGH!

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Ellery,

    It’s looks like it’s imprinted on a tube, and then encased in another clear tube on top! I really like the design of this… I think it’s pretty!. 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Jaime,

    Will do! I just put it on my list. 🙂 Hope you’re having a fab Tuesday!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Almira,

    I do… if I have time and if I’m not feeling too lazy. I have a metal lash comb sitting around here some where!

    Are you good about combing yours out?

  19. Tekoa says:

    Allo! It feels like everything is possibly linked to cancer these days. Even being alive is linked to getting cancer. The living develop it %100 more than dead people!

  20. sandy says:

    Hey, Karen, I think this is not too bad! Compared to diorshow iconic, this one thickens more, yeah, you put three coats of this. However, dior show iconic seems to hold the curl well, as I tried it out few weeks ago. The price tag isn’t user friendly though.

    Nowadays, I’m sick of looking at false lashes dominating the mascara ads, from drugstore to high-ends. sigh, when will they stop doing that, but I guess some customers are lured by visuals, so..

    Would you mind doing a review of Physician’s Formula Plump Potion Lash Plumping & Stimulating Mascara if you ever have the time? I heard good things about it. AND their advertisement are downright honest, no fake lashes used. Their Plump potion is Pouty mouth free-yeah for closed lips! XP

  21. p. potter says:

    I tried this mascara almost immediately when it hit drugstores–only to be disappointed. Which is kind of how I feel about most mascaras; they have more bark than bite.

    I got an email from Sephora about 10 mini-mascaras for $35 dollars! I’m SOOOO tempted (even though I’ve used half of them already). I just can’t get over being able to try different high-end brands for such a small price tag. 🙂

    p. potter´s last blog post..If I were a rich man

  22. Tatiana says:

    Alright… here’s another one from me… Lancome’s Virtuose Black Carat.

    I HAD to use Oscillation… I was at home talking to my mom on the phone and I hear the doorbell. It was a package from Lancome… inside a mascara tube and a letter. It was very odd … very odd. But, also very rewarding. My lashes were about almost twice the length and separation is great… I have a good amount of lash… just no length so, the volume factor to me is good. I still reccome you to sample it.

    Secondly, Black Carat… a non-motorized mascara which I love! It’s similar to Iconic in it’s claims AND i REALLY like the effect.

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Tekoa,

    It does seem like just being alive should require a warning label. 🙂

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Sandy,

    I’m glad to hear that you liked Iconic. The curl hold is really excellent, I agree. It definitely gives eyes a “wide eyed” look.

    Yeah! I am always on the hunt for a good drugstore mascara so I’ll try to track that one down. Hopefully they’ll have it at Rite Aid or Longs. 🙂

  25. Karen says:

    Hi P. Potter,

    I got that e-mail too and I am very tempted — although, like you, I’ve already tried half of ’em, LOL.

    Have you tried Chanel’s Exceptionnel? It’s actually pretty fantastic after you get the hang of the brush.

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Tatiana,

    I have tried the regular Virtuose, but not the Black Carat. I just looked at on the Lancome site and it looks very cool. They have copper, gold and platinum colors! I’m all over that. 🙂

    I am totally terrified of motorized things near my eyes, I can’t lie. It’s gonna take me a lot to get over that fear!

  27. Karen – I haven’t tried any mascara’s with small brushes, which ones would you recommend?

    Thx!´s last blog post..Creative Nail Design Fedora – Still Relevant

  28. Diva Style says:

    Have you tried De Guerlain? It’s $35 at Sephora, but it WORKS!!

    Diva Style´s last blog post..Images I Love~

  29. Diane says:

    The before and after ads for mascaras is misleading since they use false eyelashes in the after photos.I’ve tried many mascaras and they never have looked like false ones.It’s frustrating and in my opinion,it’s false advertising.

  30. gee says:

    do you still like it?
    i’m thinking of getting it, but i’ve heard that it goes clumpy and horrible within a month :O

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge