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11 Best Clear Mascaras to Buy: Clear Mascara Uses

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When I was a young(er) makeup enthusiast, my mom tried to satiate my curiosity by giving me chapstick and clear mascara. I was not having it. Little did I know I was missing out on a hidden gem! Clear mascara is user-friendly, is available across a wide range of prices, and is a must-have for anyone who uses makeup. So, let’s get into the best clear mascara options you can find across the market, as well as some really useful clear mascara tips.

In this article:

11 Best Clear Mascaras to Enhance Your Lashes & Brows

Perfect for taming your brows, getting the look of soap brows, and creating a beautiful no-makeup makeup look, here we have hand-picked the best transparent mascara options that beauty bloggers swear by.

Best Overall
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

Maybelline New York’s Great Lash clear mascara is a cult favorite because it performs consistently well. Unlike the tubes for their tinted mascara, this one is transparent, so you’ll always know how much product you have left in the container. If you’re looking for something to use quickly and get the job done, this is the product for you.

There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about this transparent mascara, but it will definitely put your lashes and/ or brow hairs in place and keep them there. The product looks glossy during application but dries down to a natural look. It is lengthening and adds some volume. It’s a great low-cost, no-frills product to carry in your bag! Find this on Ulta, or Amazon!

Best Budget
E.L.F. Cosmetics Clear Brow & Lash Mascara
E.L.F. Cosmetics

This is another inexpensive (lowest cost of the list) clear mascara. It has two sides – one for lashes and one for brows. They may have been better off just having one big tube since the formula is essentially the same for each side. This transparent mascara is useful if you use different colored products on your brows and lashes because it will help keep the colors separate (a.k.a. black mascara, brown brow pomade).

This is the best transparent mascara if all you’re looking for is something to help with ‘grooming.’ It is also formulated to condition your brows and lashes. It’s not, however, formulated to volumize or lengthen, so you won’t get any of those added effects when using it on your lashes. The only downside is that it has been known to get clumpy and flaky when dry, so you’ll need to be careful not to apply too much product to prevent this from happening. Pick this up at Ulta, or Amazon!

Best Clean
Dr. Hauschka Brow & Lash Gel
Dr. Hauschka

If you’re all about clean beauty, then this is the best clear mascara to try. This transparent brow and lash gel is 100% organic and fair-trade, is never tested on animals, is free from synthetic fragrances, and more! This colorless mascara can be used in a variety of ways, like setting brows, setting lashes in place, and priming them.

It can seem like the spoolie component doesn’t pick up enough product, but it’s designed to pick up just the right amount to coat your brows and lashes without looking too caked. Find this on Amazon!

Best Lifting
Wet ‘n Wild Mega Clear Mascara
Wet ‘n Wild

This Wet ‘n Wild product is a clear mascara that works for brows and lashes for a slightly higher price point than the ones we’ve mentioned earlier. It’s a simple, conditioning transparent mascara. The only claims this product makes are that it lifts and separates the lashes. It doesn’t dry down, so if you’re looking for a gel-like finish where your brows or lashes get crispy, this won’t do that. This is the best clear mascara for anyone looking for something to give their brows and lashes a clean and groomed look. Get it on Amazon!

Best Conditioning
The Body Shop Brow & Lash Gel
The Body Shop

The Body Shop’s Brow & Lash Gel gives lashes definition and a soft curl. This transparent mascara is enhanced with community trade aloe vera to condition the lashes and brow hairs. This product is great for that extra defined natural lash look.

If fragrance isn’t your thing, then this may not be the best clear mascara for you, as some have found it irritating. You also may want to purchase a different applicator. The component that comes with this transparent mascara makes it difficult to pick up any product, so using a different applicator is highly recommended. Find it at The Body Shop, and Amazon!

Best Drugstore
CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Clear Mascara

Your brows and lashes will look clean and tidy with the CoverGirl clear mascara. This product is another cult favorite of the drugstore. The good thing about this transparent mascara is that it elevates your lashes regardless of how you use it. If you use this clear mascara before and after tinted mascara, it will help prevent flaking of the dark mascara on your skin. The finish is glossy, so if you prefer a matte brow or lash, then you may want to check out some of our other clear mascara options! Find this one on Amazon, or Ulta!

Best Lightweight
Petite ‘n Pretty Featherlight Clear Mascara + Brow Gel
Petite ‘n Pretty

The Petite ‘n Pretty clear mascara (and brow gel) is dermatologist-approved, cruelty-free, nut-free, and so much more! This transparent gel is marketed towards tweens and teens but works great for anyone. The packaging is absolutely adorable, and the mascara inside is worth its weight in gold. It’s easy to use, gives a natural look, and feels weightless on the brows and lashes. Get this one at Ulta!

Best Buildable
Zuzu Luxe Clear Mascara
Zuzu Luxe

This Zuzu Luxe offering is the best clear mascara for a variety of looks. This product is buildable for anything from a natural to a glam eyelash look, giving a curling effect to the lashes. The brush for this clear mascara really helps the lashes and brow hairs separate to get a natural, full look. If flaking and smudging are a problem you encounter with your current mascara, then try the Zuzu Luxe clear mascara. Find it on Amazon!

Best Multi-Use
Holika Holika Holi Pop Dewy Cara Clear Mascara
Holika Holika

The Holika Holika clear mascara is a non-irritating, multi-use product. It has a natural-looking finish for stand-out eyelashes while providing an elevated lash curl. This is the best option for you if you’re looking for one that isn’t going to clump, flake, or be difficult to remove. Find it online only at Ulta!

Best Splurge
Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Couture Mascara in I’m The Endless
Yves Saint Laurent

The Yves Saint Laurent clear mascara is the ultimate setting product for your lashes and brows. It’s one of the pricier clear mascaras on this list, but totally worth it if you need the staying power. Brush it on after your tinted mascara or your brow product to seal in your look for all-day wear. Get this on Sephora!

Best Long-Wearing
MAC Brow Set in Clear
MAC Cosmetics

The MAC Brow Set comes highly recommended from a consistently well-performing classic brand like MAC Cosmetics. The formula of this transparent mascara can be used to groom any facial hair and dries down to a natural finish without looking over-groomed or flaky. It is long-wearing and easy to remove at the end of the day. The product lasts forever, too. You’ll get tons of use out of this clear mascara. Find it at Nordstrom, or Amazon!

What Is Clear Mascara?

Just as the name already suggests, clear mascara is a colorless, transparent gel with no added pigment that is used to lengthen, curl and enhance lashes, as well as to tame brows.

Clear mascara seems like a waste of money at first glance, especially when the pumped-up dark, sultry lashes are so highly coveted. The reality is, though, that transparent mascaras are formulated the same way as tinted mascaras minus the pigment. So, if you have a favorite black mascara and the line has a clear mascara, you can expect the same performance with a more natural and cleaner look.

Another criticism of clear mascara is that it’s for kids, and that’s not completely false. It is a great gateway product into the world of makeup for a young enthusiast. It’s great for kids, but it is not kid-exclusive.

What Is Clear Mascara?

What Does Clear Mascara Do?

Clear mascara has many uses for a variety of occasions. Here are some ways that you can incorporate it into your routine:

  • If you want to look more awake at the gym, brush a layer or two of clear mascara onto your lashes and use it to tame your brows. It definitely won’t smudge when you start to sweat.
  • If you don’t want to look too made-up at a job interview, try one coat of clear mascara (to prime your lashes) with one layer of tinted mascara to give your lashes a full look without going too heavy on a tint.
  • If you wake up late for work, a brush of clear mascara, a little under-eye concealer, and a pat of a rosy blush will make you look like you spent time putting yourself together that morning.
  • If you are going to the beach, opt for clear mascara while you’re in the sun and tinted mascara for the evening.
How to Use Clear Mascara

Once you find a clear mascara from our list that fits your price range and the type of finish you like, enjoy one of the many uses for grooming as listed below:

  • Use it to seal mascara or brow product.
  • Use it to tame baby hairs with a slicked updo.
  • Use it to prime lashes.
  • Layer it under (and over) your tinted mascara to prevent flaking.
  • Set your false eyelashes with a coat of clear mascara, blending your natural lashes to the falsies for a more natural look.
  • Boost your no-makeup makeup look by giving your lashes a natural curl with clear mascara.
  • Have fun DIYing your own colorful mascara by adding a loose pigment of your choice into the clear mascara.

Now that you know all the uses of clear mascara, how will you be using it?

Photos via @nikki_makeup, Instagram