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The 8 Best Clear Mascaras to Up Your No-Makeup Game

by Suka Junin

Oct 29, 2021

It’s the star of makeup bags – the clear mascara. With versatility abilities that you’ve never even thought of, it’s no wonder clear mascaras are considered essential.

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Use them as a handy fixer and touch-up tool for flyaways, a brow comb, and of course, the lashes. Clear mascaras can be used as a lash primer to enhance your favorite mascara, as a topcoat, or simply as is. When you’re done with that, brush them on your brows for a combed finish. Keep reading to find out more about this multi-purpose beauty tool.

How to Use Clear Mascaras

You might remember using clear mascaras as a preteen before you were allowed to really use makeup. Well, consider adding this gateway mascara to your permanent makeup collection because it’s more functional than you think. What’s the point if there’s no color?, you might ask.

Clear mascaras make up its lack of pigment in its many, versatile uses. Primarily, clear mascaras are used on days when you want to only apply some light makeup. They work well to enhance your natural lashes when paired with a more subtle makeup look.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use clear mascaras:

  • The ‘no makeup’ makeup look. Ever considered taking a break from dramatic lashes? Swap out your super pigmented mascara for a clear one that will amplify your natural lashes. A clear mascara is just as capable of providing length and curl without the heavy tint and potential clumping.
  • Mascara primer. Clear mascara works effectively as a base coat for the lashes, and helps them look lush all day long. When you’ve got a clear mascara that you can use for other things, there’s no need to buy a mascara primer!
  • Tame flyaways. As much as you try to prevent it, flyaways happen. Prepare to soothe out rebellious strands of hair by applying a brush with clear mascara over it. It’s also useful to tame baby hairs! A small tube of clear mascara is evidently easier to carry than a can of hairspray when you’re on the go.
  • Groomed eyebrows. Got brows that are a bit out of control? Comb them whenever you please with some clear mascara – they work perfectly as a brow gel, too. You can also up the ante by using to create bushier brows.
  • Smooth out falsies. Clear mascara can lock in your false eyelashes just as well, if not better, as black mascara. It can hold your lashes in place with your falsies without worrying about visible clumps forming.

The ‘No Makeup’ Makeup Look

Clear mascaras go hand in hand with the ‘no makeup’ makeup look, due to the natural finish it provides. While it can lengthen and curl the same way as colored mascaras, clear ones will make it look like you’re hardly wearing anything at all. Instead, you’ll get an ‘I woke up like this’ naturalness to your lashes with a tinge of gloss.

Even though there is no color, clear mascaras can still make a noticeable difference to your eyes. By applying them on your lashes, it slightly darkens them the same way wet hair has a darker appearance. Hence, lightweight nature of clear mascaras works as an alternative if you want to wear less makeup but still look fresh.

Complete the look by applying some of the same clear mascara to your brows. With the brush, comb through your brows with the clear gel to set them in place. Fill in just the sparse areas with your go-to brow pencil to maintain the natural look. By only using clear mascara and minimal brow product, you’ll evoke a super clean set of brows.  

With many more of us adapting to working from home, makeup has often been placed on the backburner. When there is a need to put on makeup, we’ll often do the bare minimum. Glam looks have been swapped out for more fresh-looking makeup, which is exactly what you want if you’re at home. Because you’ll never know if there’s ever an unexpected Zoom meeting!

The 8 Best Clear Mascaras

Let your true lash color shine through by using Ere Perez’s Aloe Gel Lash & Brow Mascara. Its feature ingredient, aloe vera, helps lengthen your lashes and add a layer of shine. The formula doesn’t leave a sticky residue, nor does it dry hard. Instead, it helps tame brow hairs and keep lashes soft throughout the day. You can even wear it confidently in the summer, as it’s sweat-proof and water-resistant. This means that you can have well-groomed lashes and brows even in the warmest of days.

For those with sensitive eyes, it can be hard to find the right mascara. Even sans pigment, certain clear mascaras can be unsuitable for those with conditions like dry eyes or eczema. Luckily, Zuzu Luxe’s Mascara in Clear has a 100% natural non-irritating formula that doesn’t fall short of fulfilling its mascara duties. This mascara curls, lengthens, and adds volume without the worry of it smudging, clumping, or flaking. All thanks to its combination of a richly-pigmented formula and its nylon brush design. Some users have also said that this mascara makes their lashes stronger and feel longer even when not wearing the product.

Do your lashes and brows need extra help in the shaping department? Try Essence’s Clear Lash & Brow Gel Mascara. The gel holds your brow hairs and doesn’t leave them with a dry, crunchy-feel. It’s also suitable to achieve the fluffy, bushy brow look. Meanwhile, the product gives a natural lift to your lashes and a shiny finish. While it dries quickly on the hair, the formula has stay power to last all day without flaking.

A mascara and a treatment? Sign us up! The No Makeup Mascara from Perricone MD, does exactly that: a perfect addition to the ‘no makeup’ makeup look. Its 2-in-1 lash treatment and mascara feature helps achieve more lifted and thicker lashes. You can feel your lashes getting nourished and condition with each application over time. The formula is lightweight for everyday wear, but can be built up with multiple coats, worthy of an evening look. Bonus: it comes with a double-sided brush, which is handy for extra precision and for building up coverage.

Some people don’t like to use colored mascaras, especially if their lashes are already lusciously thick. CoverGirl’s Professional Natural Lash Mascara is a must-have if you’re not a fan of black or brown mascara. The clear gel formula gives a wet-lash look for a natural finish and locks in the moisture for all-day coverage. Its included brush is curved to help separate the lashes to avoid them from clumping and sticking together. When it comes to applying on the brows, this mascara can help tame brows with ease, too.

Are you new to the clear mascara game? Test out its compatibility on your eyes by picking one up that’s easy on the wallet. E.l.f. Cosmetics’ Clear Brow & Lash Mascara has a dual-sided end so you can designate one for brows and one for lashes. Product design aside, the formula is long-wearing and conditioning to define both brows and lashes for a glossy, healthy-looking finish. The gel stiffens lashes the way a regular black or brown mascara would, and it keeps eyebrows in place. You can even use it as a base under brow pencils, pens, or powders, as well as a lash primer.

You don’t have to use clear mascara on its own. Use it to enhance and intensify the effect of your favorite mascara! Dr. Hauschka insists that you can use their Brow & Lash Gel as a mascara base or to fix eyelashes post-makeup. When applied, it looks clean and slightly darkens, making it suitable for those with sparser brows or lashes. While it’s on the pricier side compared to others on this list, its formula is said to be super nurturing. Users have praised this gel for making their brows and lashes feel healthier and fuller, due to the botanical ingredients.

Are you always short on time when putting on makeup? If so, it’s always good to have fast-drying products to get you out the door on time. Take Australis’ Clear Lash and Brow Extender – its formula dries fast but remains waterproof and clear all day long. Inside, the gel contains natural clays and is fiber-free to make your lashes look instantly longer. Apply it on before taking a curler to your lashes to ensure that it stays lifted. At the same time, you can use it on your brows to get them shaped and set for the day.

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