What Does Clear Mascara Do? How To Use It Correctly!

What Does Clear Mascara Do? How To Use It Correctly! 2024

When you think of mascara, what comes to mind is most likely thick black stuff smudged all over your face. But there are other options out there — like waterproof mascaras or those with intense colors in shades from deep purple to bright yellow — so why not try one with an added perk? 

Clear mascara has been around since at least 2007, but it’s just now starting to gain popularity. What exactly happens behind closed doors when this product dries up your lashes? Does it make them appear longer and fuller? And if so, which type should you be using? Here we’ll talk about how clear mascara works and whether it can truly give you bigger, more dramatic-looking lashes.

With clear mascara, you don’t have to worry about smudging!

Is clear mascara bad for eyelashes?

No! That said, some people might find clear mascara drying on their lashes too fast. If that bothers you, then opt for a formula that doesn’t dry as quickly. In general, though, less is more when it comes to mascara — especially when working toward healthy skin and lashes. Plus, the thinner the brush, the easier it will apply. The thinned formula allows you to get every single lash glistening without any clumps. It also means fewer coats are required, making application quicker and easier.

How to Use Clear Mascara

If you’re used to applying regular mascara first before switching to waterproof liquid formulas (like Bausch & Lomb Telescopic), you may want to start by brushing your lashes lightly with a cotton swab first to prep your base coat. This helps ensure the even distribution of color throughout each lash. Then gently work the wand back and forth across the lashes while pulling upward. This technique ensures uniformity between each stroke, plus it makes sure you don’t accidentally miss any lashes when trying to cover them all up with the wand tip alone. Once finished, rinse off the excess under running tap water. 

Next, take a clean eye makeup sponge and dab a small amount into the palm of your hand. Gently press the dampened sponge against your upper lashes starting at the outer corner and moving inward towards the center. Repeat along lower lashes, again starting at the outside and working in. Be careful not to rub your lids together during this step, or else you could end up transferring oil onto your delicate facial tissue. When done, let sit for five minutes and repeat the process once more until completely dried. Finally, use a soft cloth to buff away any remaining residue. 

Here is a quick video tutorial if you prefer that:

Keep a close look at the before and after clear mascara was applied! It is definitely worth it to ad it to your arsenal.

Does clear mascara help?

What exactly does “clear” mean anyway? According to Dr. Robert Rushing, professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School, “Clear” refers to the absence of pigment. So, although clear mascara isn’t necessarily white, its consistency is similar to that of pure glycerin soap. As such, it provides little nourishment to your lashes beyond hydration. Still, many women swear they see results after only one wear. They claim that because clear mascara tends to stay closer to the surface of the lashes than traditional black versions, it creates a glossy sheen that looks lighter. Some even say it can create the illusion of lengthier lashes. We won’t know for certain unless you test it yourself, however.

The bottom line here is that, yes, clear mascara can add volume and sparkle to your lashes. However, it’s not going to magically grow them long and full. For best results, choose a formulation made specifically for lengthening, volumizing, curling, and separating your lashes.

For example, Revlon ColorStay Eyelash Enhancer Mascara ($8) contains vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, copper peptides, amino acids, and vitamin K, among others. These ingredients reportedly strengthen lashes and increase elasticity. Another great option is L’Oreal Paris Volume Shocking Lash Boosting Mascara Duo ($10). Made with keratin, a protein found naturally in our bodies, the duo combines two different formulas: Blackest Noir and Curtain Call. Blackest Noir supposedly builds lashes up to 50 percent faster than normal, while Curtain Call adds curl and drama to lashes that have already grown a bit long. You can also get the same effect with Maybelline New York Super Fiber Extendable Mascara ($9). It promises to extend lashes up to 40% further compared to bare ones. Lastly, Lancome Hypnose Tinted Waterproof Liquid Mascara ($22) claims to build thickness and length of lashes up to 70%. Just remember to follow your routine with these products to avoid irritation.

Is it better for your eyelashes?

As far as safety goes, experts agree that cosmetic-grade ingredients aren’t inherently harmful. However, it’s important to note that most brands advertise themselves as being safe enough to use daily. The FDA approves cosmetics based mostly on the presence of ingredients like parabens and phthalates rather than actual efficacy. While manufacturers must prove that their products contain active ingredients, proving that something works take time. Until then, consumers can feel free to experiment with new products.

That said, some studies suggest that prolonged exposure to synthetic chemicals can cause cancer and reproductive problems. Therefore, it’s worth doing the research before splurging on pricey bottles. One good place to begin is Cosmetic Database, a website run by toxicologists who monitor various health risks associated with popular beauty products. To find the right mascara brand for you, click through to specific categories such as foundation, lipsticks, concealer, foundations, blushes, etc., where you’ll discover information on the following ingredients: mineral oils, waxes, polyethylene glycols, petroleum distillate(s), alcohol denatured proteins, talc, fragrance, PBA esters, formaldehyde releasers, sodium laurel sulfate, preservatives, and dibutyl phthalate.

Does it look better on dark lashes?

Some believe that darker lashes require thicker formulas, and thus need more coating. Others prefer to go the opposite route, opting for extra coats instead of a standard number two. No matter what kind of mascara you use, always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes to prevent bacteria transfer. Next, blot your lips with a tissue paper towel to remove any moisturizer residue, followed by several light taps with a mascara wiper to separate clumpy strands. Afterward, dip a clean mascara brush into the formula and slowly sweep it across your lashes. Give them plenty of room to breathe as you move upwards, stopping halfway down your lower lid. Continue this motion upward to the outer corners of your eyes. Remember to keep your lips sealed during the entire process to avoid lipstick contamination. Now, swipe another layer of mascara across your lashes, repeating downward and outward strokes. Wait a few seconds for both layers to fully dry and allow your lashes to absorb the moisture. Again, wipe the brush clean with tissues, and finish up by washing your face with fresh cleansers. Rinse well.

In terms of sizing, one thing to consider is the natural shape of your eyelid. Oval-shaped eyes tend to benefit more from shorter lengths, whereas rounder eyes typically love thicker formulas.

Best clear mascara to buy

It’s hard to beat Benefit Cosmetics Benetton Collection Blurred Lines Mascara Quad. Although it costs $23, it delivers four times more volume, twice the length, double the impact of previous generations. Each strand gets three coats with a neutral brown applicator. Its unique formula includes charcoal, a shimmery gold pigment, and pearlized microbeads to boost overall opacity. At last count, the company reported selling 10 million units worldwide. 

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Definition Mascara is another affordable favorite. It offers 30% more volume than the original UD’s version, yet uses half the glue. Available in three shades, nude, black/brown/copper, and smokey grey, the formula applies smoothly thanks to smaller bristles and lasts six months with minimal flaking. It retails for just $30. Urban Decay’s latest offering is Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip ‘N Sweep Waterproof Multi-Coated Mascara. With eight brushes available, including dual tapered tips, it delivers 80% coverage in one coat. The formula features a blend of pigments called Liquifilmer, which purportedly increases the density, durability, and longevity of your lashes. Last but certainly not least, check out Yves Saint Laurent Le Grand Format Artiste Eyes Mascarade Dual Finish Waterproof / Non-Oil – Free. Since it’s waterproof, easy to apply, and non-irritating, it’s perfect for anyone prone to allergies. All told, depending on size, this particular shade runs anywhere from $21-$26 per tube. 

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