Home Makeup Clear Mascara Vs. Black Mascara

Clear Mascara Vs. Black Mascara

by Gabbi

Mascara is a beauty product that is frequently replaced in our makeup bags, and often in rotation from other colors, brands, and styles that we want to try.

Black mascara is the most commonly used mascara option, however brown and other bold colors also have a popular spot in the eye makeup world. In addition, clear mascara is a universal, multi-tasking product that also deserves a space in your makeup collection.

While it may seem like clear mascara is not a necessary product, it provides a natural, healthy look to the lashes when regular mascara seems like it may be too much.

Pairing well with natural, minimal makeup looks, a clear mascara is the ideal choice for looks that require some enhancement to the lashes, without the excess color of a black or brown mascara. It is also a multi-tasking product that can serve in many other beauty instances that black, brow, or colored mascara cannot.

What is the difference between clear mascara and black mascara? The most obvious difference between the two products is that clear mascara is not going to have any color, while black mascara is going to be loaded with inky, dark pigment. Both serve unique purposes in your makeup routine, however, and can be used separately or together to achieve different looks.

Below, we’ll discuss in depth what clear mascara is, how you can use it, and how it differs from black and other colored mascaras!

What Is Clear Mascara?

Clear mascara is a product that sounds just like its name: a mascara that has no color added to the product. While black, brown, and other colors will have a pigment added to the product to coat the lashes with the desired shade, clear mascara is color-free and shiny.

It is a product that can often be overlooked but has many multi-tasking benefits to add to your makeup kit, and can be helpful in many situations from eyes, to brows, to hair.

Although the product itself is free of color, there are still a variety of options to be found when looking for a clear mascara. There are different brands that will offer varying mascara wand shapes, that are fuller or thinner, to focus on adding more definition or volume to the lashes.

While any other colored mascara, especially black, will draw attention to the lashes, clear mascara will give them a subtle enhancement.

The focus will be drawn to the eyes overall, and the clear mascara will provide just enough definition for your lashes to complement your eyes without drawing away attention.

Benefits Of Clear Mascara

Clear mascara has many benefits and uses in your makeup routine, although it seems like it may have limited use. On its own it offers a glossy finish to your lashes, while subtly darken them without adding color. It separates and defines the lashes, without being clumpy or thick.

Clear mascara is an ideal product to use when you are after a minimalist, no-makeup makeup look, as it will enhance the lashes without adding drama or color. It can also help to curl the lashes and provide a lifted appearance that looks natural and effortless.

The product has a hold to it, so it is frequently used as a brow gel to tame unruly brow hairs. With the precise application the wand offers, it can also work well to tame baby hairs around the hair line.

If you are looking to smooth flyaways from around the hair line, gently running the clear mascara through will help provide enough hold to achieve the look you are after.

Clear mascara can also work as a topcoat to any colored mascara and can even soften the look of some intense or vibrant shades. It provides a soft curl, so it can be used easily as a mascara primer for your black, brown, or other colored mascaras.

It can work with any eye and hair colors for natural makeup looks and will not be clumpy or weigh the lashes down. It can also be used in male grooming instances to smooth beards or other facial hair, without adding color.

Best Ways To Use Clear Mascara

Although there are different uses for clear mascara, the most common way to use the product is on its own in a no-makeup makeup look. After curling your lashes, comb a clear mascara through to have a lifted and defined lash line that will not be enhanced by any additional color.

The look will draw attention to the eyes in a subtle way, complementing the natural makeup look overall.

While brown mascara is a popular choice to use in no-makeup makeup looks, depending on your features, it can still come across as too dark or create too much drama around the eyes. Clear mascara is an easy and effective way to define the lashes and still maintain a makeup-free appearance.

It is also commonly used as a brow gel, due to its natural hold. Depending on how you like your brows to look, and what brow products you like to use, clear mascara can be applied before or after filling in your brows.

Combing the clear mascara through the brows will help to define the shape, blend the brow products with the natural hair, and hold them in place all day by adding a fluffy, full appearance.

Along with its natural hold, clear mascara is an excellent option for a mascara primer or topcoat. It can work to begin separating and curling the lashes, while your regular mascara will do the rest to add color, drama, and volume.

Afterwards, if you find the color is too much, the clear mascara can soften the shade or add a slightly glossy finish.

If you are looking for a vibrantly colored mascara, you can blend a loose pigment in with your clear mascara to achieve any shade desired. This is a quick, budget-friendly way to try adding a trendy, bold colored mascara to your look.

Clear mascara works well to tame flyaways or baby hairs around the side of the face. The wand is adept at grasping the hair and the natural hold of the mascara will sculpt the flyaways in place to suit your needs.

It also works well to blend your false lashes together with your natural lashes after applying them to set. Often times, using a black mascara can make the false lashes look clumpy, however blending the falsies and natural lashes together with a clear mascara easily avoids any unwanted clumps.

What Makeup Product Can You Pair With Clear Mascara?

Clear mascara is ideally used when you are creating a no-makeup makeup look. It works well if you are not adding any obvious makeup to the face and can softly enhance the eyes while giving the lashes a glossy, but defined, appearance.

Clear mascara will not work well with heavier makeup looks, as it will not give enough drama to the lashes to create a balanced result. 

It is a product that can work well with any brow products, especially brow pens, to add a fluffy, microbladed appearance to the eyebrows. 

You can easily pair a clear mascara with any of your regular, colored mascaras to be used as a primer or topcoat. It can also be kept for use in male grooming instances, to tame the brows or facial hair into looking smooth, clean, and styled.

Should You Use Clear Or Black Mascara?

While clear mascara has its many benefits, depending on the look you are going for will determine what type of mascara is best to use. If you are going with a minimal makeup look, clear mascara will always be the way to go.

For those with light or blonde lashes, clear mascara for a no-makeup makeup is especially ideal as it will provide the lift and definition needed, without adding any color that may appear too harsh.

When it comes to more full-on makeup looks, black mascara is ideal as it will provide the right amount of drama needed to balance out the look without the lashes disappearing.

Black mascara is what most people opt for in their daily routines, but brown is also a popular choice for a natural look that still provides some color and drama.


Although a black mascara is a staple product to have in any beauty bag, the lesser recognized clear mascara also can be an excellent addition. There are some days, or some looks, where a black mascara may be too harsh, and that is where a clear mascara can come in handy.

To subtly define your natural lashes without weighing them down with any extra color is going to keep the eyes looking bright, open, and lifted.

While brown is a popular choice for some minimal makeup looks, it can still provide too much color than the look calls for. Bold and vibrant colored mascaras are always a trendy option, but are not necessarily going to be used for your daily routines.

Clear mascara is able to serve as a soft boost to your natural lashes, a brow or hair gel, or a primer to your black mascara, proving that it is a true multi-use product.

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