Makeup Artists Love This Type of Mascara for a Quick, Natural-Looking Eye Lift

I've been on quite a journey trying to find a mascara I love for everyday wear. While there have been a few contenders over the last few years, I've yet to find the perfect one. I'll admit that I didn't realize how much I've been limiting myself. I've always bought black drugstore mascara since I have extremely dark-brown hair, but now I'm ready to expand my horizons. A makeup artist once told me to go a few shades lighter with my eyebrow pencil color, and I loved the results, so I thought, why not try it with mascara too? 

Brown mascara tends to look a bit more natural than jet black, and makeup artists love it too. "I love a brown mascara for daytime when you're looking to slightly amp up the eyes without looking like you're trying too hard," Celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay says. "Brown mascaras are also beautiful on all eye colors, making it an easy, foolproof choice." 

Best Brown Mascaras



As someone who loves a good no-makeup makeup look, I'm convinced my perfect mascara shade is actually a rich brown instead. To get more insight into the best formulas in this shade, I turned to a few more experts, including Gabbay. Celebrity makeup artists Hailey HoffDakota Alexandra, and Alexa Persico also offered up a few of their favorites and some advice. "Brown mascara is a great option for people with blue or green eyes, as the softer shade often brings out the color in the irises," says Persico. "It also prevents the too-dark look that black mascara brings. Choosing a brown mascara is also a great way to pair eye shadow and eyeliner for a smoky look that doesn't look overdone." Keep on scrolling for the best brown mascaras money can buy, according to the experts.

Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Building Mascara

Pros: Budget-friendly, uniquely formulated to resist clumping, builds lashes up to five times their natural thickness, and boosts volume.

Cons: The formula is a bit thick and tends to smudge a bit.

"This has been a favorite of mine since I was a teen! It is a volume-building mascara that will build lashes up to five times their natural thickness. It features a volume maximizing svelte bristle brush that thickens the lashes smoothly and makes them appear full naturally." — Persico

"The only brown mascara I use and love is the L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara in the shade, Black Brown. It's a dark brown, so it still gives the eye depth without the harshness of black mascara." — Hoff

Customer Review: "[I've] been wearing this mascara for 15 years. So very happy with it. No clumping or flaking, and gives me beautiful long lashes."

Dior Diorshow 24 HR Buildable Volume Mascara

Pros: Extra long brush for a lash-multiplying effect, transfer-proof, delivers 24 hours of wear, strengthens lashes with each coat.

Cons: Formula recently changed.

Armed with an extra-long brush for a lash-multiplying effect, this brown mascara is a favorite of Gabbay's. "The Diorshow brown mascara is hydrating, long-lasting, and buildable," she says.

Customer Review: "Best Mascara! I have spent so much money trying to find a mascara that wouldn't smudge or transfer under my bottom lashes. The best-rated mascaras would never stay put. By the end of the day, I'd look like [I'd] been crying—even waterproof mascara wouldn't stay put. I'm so happy to have found this unicorn of a mascara!"

Lancôme Hypnôse Volumizing Mascara

Pros: Patented brush thickens lashes from root to tip, customizable volume, "SoftSculpt" formula with vitamin B5 helps prevent smearing, smudging, and clumping.

Cons: Still smudges a bit upon application, but easy to clean up, expensive.

This creamy formula is loved by so many makeup artists. Gabbay loves this option because it volumizes every lash, lifts them, and provides the perfect rich brown pop of color without any clumping.

Customer Review: "I love this mascara. In fact, I used to work for Lancôme at Nordstrom and have tried many of their other fabulous mascaras and keep coming back to this one. It gives great length and volume without being clumpy. I'm usually in a hurry and don't have time for their primer. It does the job, and I highly recommend it!"

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara

Pros: Budget-friendly, lash-doubling formula, unique heart-shaped brush reaches lashes to multiply impact.

Cons: Formula tends to flake a bit.

"Maybelline's Great Lash Lots of Lashes boasts a vegan formula that lasts 24 hours and also helps lengthen and keep a curl!" — Gabbay

Customer Review: "Hands down the best mascara. It goes on smoothly and doesn't clump up like other brands. It lasts all day (12+ hours) and is easy to remove. The price is unbeatable for the quality. I love that Target frequently offers Cartwheel deals on the item. I typically buy in bulk whenever there's a beauty deal."

Colourpop Act Natural Lash Defining Mascara

Pros: Budget-friendly, provides a natural-looking finish on the lashes, smudge-proof.

Cons: Tends to clump a bit.

Wispy, defined, and natural-looking lashes are just a swipe away with ColourPop's Act Natural Lash Defining Mascara. The formula is smudge-proof, clump-free, and available in the perfect shade of chocolate brown. It's also one of Alexandra's all-time favorite mascaras.

Customer Review: "All other 'brown' mascaras I've seen are not really brown at all, and it drives me crazy. This is the first I've seen that actually looks brown and follows through! It blends well with my natural base lash color, and I swear it's pretty hard to tell when I've got this mascara on until I take off one side. I haven't experienced flaking the way others seemed to have had issues. I've cried with it a few times, and it does run a lot, but on a normal day, I have not had a problem."

Tarte Maneater Mascara

Pros: 16-hour formula, makes eyes appear bigger and more lifted, creamy formula conditions, strengthens lashes with jojoba oil, custom-molded 500+ bristle brush lengthens and curls.

Cons: Contains parabens.

Tarte's Maneater is one of Alexandra's favorite brown mascaras because it gives you an instant eye lift and a natural-looking finish. "I like to use brown mascara when I'm going for a more natural look or if its a cosplay I'm doing," she says. "Though, most of the time, I find myself using black mascara."

Customer Review: "I don't often write reviews, but wow, this mascara is worth it. I was in love with Lancôme's Grandiose mascara, so, of course, it got discontinued. Maneater is the closest replacement I've found, and it's perfect. I love the formula, the wand, the color... it's ideal. Highly recommend."

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Pros: Budget-friendly, infused with rosehip oil to condition, exclusive fanning brush adds length and volume without clumping.

Cons: Not as lengthening as other options.

"Maybelline never fails to deliver some great affordable products, and this brownish-black mascara is no exception. The mascara features a tilted fanning brush to cover the lashes from roots to tips and separate each lash for a plump and fuller look. The fanning brush also has 10 layers of bristles to offer a full-fan effect to your lashes and make the lashes look longer without clumping or flaking them!" — Persico

Customer Review: "I love this mascara! It is by far my favorite. I have tried some that leave clumps or are too thin, but not this mascara. This mascara can do it all. It can give you length and volume or you can just brush them once or twice for less volume or length. I love that this mascara does not clump unless you overdo it by overlapping layers. Other than that, it can make your lashes look like false lashes. I get asked several times what lashes I wear, and I tell them they are mine. Therefore, I highly recommend this brand and product."

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes Mascara

Pros: Exclusive brush design gives a 24-hour vertical lift effect, smudge-resistant, humidity-proof.

Cons: Not as lengthening as other options.

"What I love most about this mascara is the innovative brush! It is designed with a flat side for loading and coating the lashes and a bristle side for combing mascara through the lashes. The diamond-shaped bristles grip each individual lash from root to tip and follow the geometry of your eye to create an eye-opening effect." — Persico

Customer Review: "I normally wear Better Than Sex mascara, but I find the more I use it, it clumps quickly, flakes, and takes too long to dry. [I] tried this on a whim, and after the sales girl was done, my lashes were amazing. I have deceiving lashes— [it] looks like I have none, but [then I] apply mascara, and they're super long and full and could be mistaken for fake lashes. No clumps, no flakes, and it dries quickly. My arthritic hands love the tube too."

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

Pros: Tubing formula instantly creates the look of lash extensions, orchid stem cell complex supports longer lash growth, gentle enough for sensitive eyes.

Cons: Formula contains a few heavier oils that may cause it to smudge throughout the day.

Thrive's award-winning mascara builds and extends the lashes for a false lash effect. It also comes in a rich, natural-looking black-brown shade and is extra gentle on sensitive eyes.

Customer Review: "This mascara is absolutely amazing! I never used non-waterproof mascara because it would always run down and smear at the slightest humidity or if I sweat. This mascara does not run at all. It's easy to clean off but strong enough to last all day. It really helps with the length. I got this because I heard the waterproof mascara was not good for your eyelashes, and my eyelashes were starting to become brittle and fall out. So far, it's been working great. I haven't even used it for a month yet, so I really can't say much about the actual eyelash health or growth yet, but I have noticed my eyelashes are not falling out as much."

Eyeko Colored Lash Alert Mascara

Pros: Infused with caffeine and biotin, additional brush fibers perk up lashes and add extra volume, and argan oil conditions lashes.

Cons: Tends to clump a bit.

Eyeko's unique formula contains caffeine to wake up the lashes and biotin, castor oil, and arginine for extra nourishment. This shade of brown is definitely on the lighter side, so it's also great for those with blonde lashes.  

Customer Review: "The formula [is] wonderful, lengthening, and curling. I will be buying the brown one soon. My only gripe is that it seems to run out too quickly."

Chanel Inimitable Mascara

Pros: Innovative formula and unique brush ensure defined lashes, while a blend of waxes amplifies volume and adds shine.

Cons: Expensive.

This Chanel formula has a unique brush to define, separate, and lift lashes. A blend of waxes also adds volume and shine. An innovative formula and unique brush ensure that each lash, even the finest, is perfectly defined and separated without clumping. 

Customer Review: "[The] best mascara ever. No clumping. [It] makes lashes long and full. I've been using this brand for several years."

Ere Perez Natural Almond Mascara

Pros: Contains almond oil to promote stronger and longer lashes, is smudge-proof and water-resistant, and is gentle enough for sensitive eyes.

Cons: Contains waxes and oils in the formula that may cause transfer throughout the day.

Boasting a clean formula and almond oil to promote strong and long lashes, this formula is definitely a must. It's smudge-proof, water-resistant, and long-lasting, making it perfect for everyday wear.

Customer Review: "This mascara is clean, with a nice scent and thick, dryer-type creamy formula. [It] goes on well without clumps and smudging, thanks to the big Christmas tree brush. [I] love the brown color. It works really well with my pale strawberry blonde lashes and didn't irritate my eyes at all."

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Up Next: This Chanel Mascara Never Fails to Cause a Commotion Over My "Unreal" Lashes