The 9 best clear mascara for that clean, ‘no-makeup makeup’ look

The best clear mascaras provide the ultimate natural look and have a multitude of uses. Our beauty team put them all to the test...

Three of the best clear mascaras on a collage background.
(Image credit: Future)

Clear mascaras are having their well-deserved resurgence. The year has only just begun but it's clear that the no mascara look is already one of the biggest trends of 2024. Many of us are now craving natural-looking faces, and clear mascaras are giving us exactly that, but with an added lift.

We all have our go-to best mascara buys - they’re the ones that give us the ultimate length, emphasised volume, and tons of jet-black formula to play with. But what about those days when you want a more low-key look? Enter, clear mascara. 

"Clear mascara is great for incorporating into your ‘no makeup’ makeup looks which have become super popular over the past year," says NYX Professional Makeup Expert Make Up Artist Emma Kirk. "I think people are still gravitating to the ‘clean’ girl aesthetic so clear mascara is a great addition to this overall look. Makeup artist Ere Perez agrees, saying that the product comes into its own for low-key days working from home. “Clear mascaras are popular for touch-ups before zoom, and for fresh-looking eyes for a quick catch-up with someone.” 

Clear mascara could be the ideal way to try out natural make-up looks, and they're also impressive multitaskers. You can use them as a primer, to tame baby hairs, and create bushy eyebrows, as well as to style flyway strands. Tempted? Read on to find out my pick of the bunch.

The best clear mascaras on the market, as chosen by our beauty writer

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

How we tested the best clear mascaras

an image of all of the best drugsore clear mascaras our beauty writer tested

(Image credit: Annie Milroy)

Each clear mascara in this list has been tested and worn by our beauty writers, Kenedee Fowler and Annie Milroy, to provide the most authentic recommendations and opinions. We tried each one over the course of a couple of weeks to make sure I had the most well-rounded view and could see the product's longevity and impact. 

We tried to sample products from a range of brands, price points and styles. Some of the clear mascaras were dual-purpose and were designed for multi-use, so I wanted to make sure I had tested all the product's functions, to give a fair review. 

How to choose the best clear mascara

Each person has a different lash type and just like when selecting which normal mascara to purchase, you always choose the best clear mascara for you based on your individual needs and lash requirements. Here are some tips for helping you choose the best clear mascara for you:

  • Bristle or silicone brush: Depending on what sort of lash effect you're after, selecting the mascara brush material is a super important decision to make. If you’re after thickness, drama, and ultimate volume then bristles will be your best friend. Silicone brushes will help add definition, length, and tons of jet-black formula. Silicone brush heads are also much more hygienic and last longer too. They can also be used after finishing your mascara product as a brow brush or to control flyaways and baby hairs.
  • Shape over substance: The shape of your clear mascara brush can make or break your lash look. Check the clear mascara you’re interested in has the right design and shape for your lashes. Opt for a smaller and angled brush head if you have short lashes and a longer and thicker brush head if you have longer lashes.
  • Check out the ingredients list: We all love a multi-purpose product and especially one that helps care for the health of our lashes whilst we wear it. Look out for ingredients like Green Tea Extract, peptides, botanical extracts, and Vitamin B5, which all help to nourish and strengthen your lash hairs.
  • Invest in tools: A lash curler will really help a clear mascara work its magic on your lashes. Simply curl your lash hairs for ten seconds before applying the clear gel, and you’ll notice a massive difference. Lashes will look longer, curled, and emphasised.
Annie Milroy
Beauty Writer

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for Woman & Home and other publications.

She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth before starting her career in magazines in 2017.

After 5 years working as a Fashion & Beauty Writer, she refined her career and is now working at Future as a Beauty Writer.

With contributions from