Mascara is an invaluable tool in your makeup arsenal. For lengthening and volumizing lashes, while accentuating the eyes, it’s a staple in most peoples’ beauty routines. However, with so many mascaras available to us, how can you decide which one to choose?
From black mascara and brown, to clear, and all the colors of the rainbow in between, you certainly aren’t short of options. Here’s everything you should know about the benefits of using different mascaras, and how to choose the best one for your eyes. So let’s do a hard target comparison of clear mascara vs black mascara.

Clear Mascara – What’s it all About?

If you’ve never understood the purpose of clear mascara, you’re not alone. Many people feel the same way. The fact is, there is a myriad of uses for clear mascara.


For starters, it functions as a primer for black mascara, extending its longevity and improving the overall appearance of your mascara. Try swiping on a coat before applying your regular mascara to make sure your lashes stay luscious and fluttery all day long. Doing this will also prevent unnatural clumps of product that happen when layering some pigmented mascara formulas.

Set Your False Lashes

Next, it can help set false lashes. Simply apply your falsies, and then comb through the clear mascara to blend the fibers and your natural lashes together. Clear mascara is great for blending your natural lashes into your false lashes. Thanks to the clear formula, you can create a clean, clump-free, natural-looking finish. And who doesn’t want that?

Lash Definer

Clear mascara is also known for adding definition to your natural lashes. If you are someone who likes a clean makeup look, clear mascara is an excellent choice.

Besides giving your lashes a clean, polished look, it can also help your lashes hold a curl. It’s also a perfect pick if you’re going for a bright, bold lip to avoid going overboard with your makeup look. The clear mascara defines the lash while still keeping the lip as the focus.

A Secret Weapon for Men

Clear mascara is an excellent choice for men if you want to lengthen and define your lashes without telltale smudges. Thanks to its eye-opening effects, clear mascara can give you a polished, refreshed appearance with minimal skill and investment. Even better, you can double it up as a clear gel for the brows to keep everything in place.


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Natural Look Vs A Makeup Makeup Look

If you’re opting for a natural look, clear mascara is a great option. After curling your lashes, simply apply a few swipes of clear mascara to add definition and volume to lashes. Pair with a glossy lip for a no-makeup makeup look.
Brown mascara is another good choice if you want a more natural look as it enhances the lashes without looking like you’re wearing makeup. This colored mascara is best for blondes and redheads if they want something a little more dramatic than clear mascara but more natural-looking than black mascara.


womans blue eye
Image by Tommy Van Kessel via Unsplash

On the other hand, a makeup-makeup look will need to use black mascara since the darker hue adds a dramatic spin to the eyes.

Black mascara is a staple for bold makeup looks since it adds the most definition, length, and thickness to lashes. To make your look even more striking, opt for a colored mascara, like electric blue, which will really make the eyes pop – especially if you’ve got blue eyes!

You can, of course, still rock a natural eye makeup look with black mascara. You just need to keep swipes to a minimum.


Black Mascara Vs. Brown Mascara

The classic mascara choice has always been black.

While it’s hard to beat in terms of what it can do for your lashes, it isn’t necessarily a go-to for all makeup-wearing people. While black mascara can look good on very fair-skinned, light-haired people, it delivers a more dramatic look. If that’s not the look you’re going for, you might be better off with brown mascara instead.

Black mascara lends itself to people with darker skin tones and darker hair. Just one sweep of a mascara brush can add instant shape and volume to lashes without looking like they’re wearing makeup. For a bolder look, volumizing mascaras with thicker brushes are best.

Brown mascara isn’t talked about nearly as much as it’s black counterpart, but in the makeup industry, we actually use it a lot to create a whole range of effects.

For instance, brown mascara is perfect for enhancing bottom lashes without leaving them looking overdone and clumpy – which can often happen when using regular black. It’s also an instant eye brightener, enhancing blue and green irises while deepening brown and hazel eyes.

What’s more, brown mascara can make lashes and brows appear naturally thicker without it being obvious you’re wearing mascara at all.

For best results, apply brown mascara right at the root with your mascara wand to create the appearance of fuller, thicker lashes with a natural-looking finish.


Does Your Eye Color Affect Your Choice of Mascara?

Clear, brown, and black mascara work well on all eye colors. It really depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. If you want to achieve a more natural look, clear mascara is your best pick. It polishes and defines the lashes without leaving behind clumps or smudges.

Brown mascara is the best option if you’re still seeking a natural look with a little added volume, length, and definition.

As for black mascara, you can achieve either a natural look or a statement look with it. Although black mascara is the best option for creating bold makeup looks.

Alternatively, give your lashes an upgrade and a flash of color with a vibrant-hued wand. Here are the most flattering shades for each eye color – something a little bolder, that is.

Blue Eyes

Turquoise and pink bring warmth and depth to any pair of blue eyes. It might be hard to believe since turquoise is so close to blue, but it really can make an impact.

Brown Eyes

Choose a rich plump hue to enhance the warmth of your brown peepers. Besides making them appear warmer, it’ll give the illusion of bigger, wider peepers.

Green Eyes

Make your green peepers pop with a flash of violet. Green and violet are opposite on the color wheel, meaning they complement each other well.

Hazel Eyes

A green or gilded yellow mascara will give hazel eyes an extra sparkle. These natural earthy shades will bring out your hazel eyes and make them appear bigger and brighter.


Best Black Mascaras

Covergirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara in Very Black

CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara

A three-time Best of Beauty Award winner, the Clean Volume Mascara is the brand’s first vegan formula and is highly praised for delivering long, fluttery lashes without clumping. Thanks to its sulfate and paraben-free formula, this mascara is safe to use and won’t irritate sensitive eyes. It also contains natural ingredients like argan and marula oils to nourish and condition lashes.

Find Covergirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara here.


L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise in Mystic Black

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise

This formula provides just enough definition and volume without being too much. It’s the perfect black mascara for creating a natural, fluttery lash look.

Find L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise here.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

This mascara’s chunky and curvy and ideal for creating darker lashes that are thick, long, wispy, and voluminous. All at the same time. It’s unique in that it can do all that without clumping or flaking away. The end result? Full, fanned-out lashes that look seriously incredible!

Find Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara here.


Yves Saint Laurent

YSL Beauty Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

This ultra-black formula injects major volume and lift into your lashes without causing clumping or leaving behind smudging. Expect eye-brightening effects that last the entire day. In spite of its volumizing effects, this mascara offers a natural-looking finish. This could be due to its nourishing blend of argan oil, walnut leaf, and vitamin B5, which leaves lashes soft and supple.

Find YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils here.


Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara

Lancôme Definicils High Definition Mascara

Huge results with zero flakes, Lancôme Definicils High Definition Mascara has won a Best of Beauty Award four times. With its long, thin brush and tightly packed bristles, this formula lets you hit the base of your lashes for voluminous lashes and instant definition.

Find Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara here.


Best Brown Mascaras

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Black Brown

If you liked the original black formula, you’ll love the ever-popular black brown formula. It gives lashes a long and fluttery appearance that lasts all day without smudging, clumping, or flaking.

Find ""” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise in Black Brown here.


Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara in Beyond Brown

For mega volume without being as extreme as black mascara, try Benefit’s brown-hued lengthening mascara. This mascara excels at lengthening, curling, and defining lashes without leaving behind smudges and flakes. One of the best true-brown mascaras out there!

Find Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara in Beyond Brown here.


Clinique Lash Power Mascara

Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Dark Chocolate

For 24 hours of accentuated eyes, this smudge-free formula is your go-to. It can get your eyes through sweat, tears, and humidity – or whatever comes your way. Its skinny wand is perfect for defining the lower lashes.

Find Clinique Lash Power Mascara here.


No. 7 The Full 360 Mascara

No.7 The Full 360 Mascara in Black/Brown

This mascara does two things at once: it defines and nourishes. If you want your lashes to look good and feel fortified, turn to this hydrating, vitamin-enriched formula. Made with a blend of vitamin E and shea butter, this mascara will leave you with fuller, longer, utterly lush lashes.

Find No. 7 The Full 360 Mascara in black/brown here.


Best Clear Mascaras

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

It’s been a crown favorite since 1971 – and for good reason. This lightweight formula has a slight sheen which gives a clean, polished finish to your natural lashes. It’s perfect for layering under your black or brown mascara, and just as good for running through your brows if they need a little TLC too.

Find Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara here.


e.l.f Clear Brow and Lash Mascara

e.l.f. Clear Brow and Lash Mascara

Add shine to your lashes and browns using this double-ended wand. It’s long-lasting and nourishing, making it a superb choice for makeup lovers.

Find e.l.f. Clear Brow and lash Mascara here.


Covergirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara

CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara

Offering maximum hold minus flakes, crunching, or excess shine, this clear mascara is a favorite among makeup artists for its overall effectiveness and versatility. Use its curved spoolie to hold the curl on your lashes or to set brows in place.

Find Covergirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara here.


The Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel

The Body Shop’s Brow and Lash Gel

A natural formula for brows and lashes that glisten. Use this to prime lashes for black mascara or as a natural lash definer for an instant boost.

Find The Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel here.


Zuzu Luxe Clear Mascara

Zuzu Luxe Mascara

This hard to come by mascara in clear is perfect to subtly define your lashes and tame unruly brows. It’s luxurious nylon wand has been specifically designed to lengthen your lashes while ruling out clumping. And Did I fail to mention it’s paraben-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free!

Find Zuzu Luxe Clear Mascara here on Amazon.



Which Mascara is Right For You?

When all is said and done, the type of mascara you choose really depends on your personal preference. Black mascara is definitely the universal standard in the beauty industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only option.

As we just mentioned, there is a slew of mascara hues you can choose from to complement each eye color.
If you’re looking for a mascara that does it all (as in, defines, volumizes, dramatizes, enhances natural lashes), we’d recommend choosing a high-quality black mascara.

Those who prefer making their makeup look all about the pout might want to consider using a clear mascara. It separates the lashes, adds definition, and helps to hold a curl. And if you’re trying to find something in between, make brown mascara your first choice.

Still not sure? Try using all of them at different times, and evaluate the different effects. Which one suits your eye, skin, and hair color more? Does one make your eyes pop more than another? Go with the one you like most!
We definitely recommend keeping all three types in your makeup bag – since you never know when you might need one of them!

Clear Mascara Vs Black Mascara – The Takeaway

Mascara is one of those essential makeup items that most of us can’t live without. If you’re someone who uses it daily (or at least, very often), you may be looking for the best options when it comes to which mascara to use. The thing is, mascara goes far beyond the brand alone. While brands do matter in regards to choosing the best mascara, you should also consider the best mascara color for your skin type and hair color.

Clear mascara is suitable for an everyday look, priming black mascara, and useful for doubling up as an eyebrow gel. Brown mascara is most suited for light-haired and folks with a fair complexion. It’s an excellent tool for attaining a natural makeup look.

Black mascara can serve as a daily staple for women with darker hair, deep eye color, or skin tone. It can be perfect to create more dramatic looks in lighter-skinned people.

Featured Image by Annie Spratt

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