Mascara, the quintessential tool of any beauty routine, holds the power to elevate your look with just a few deliberate strokes. By amplifying, elongating, and darkening your lashes, a quality black mascara can truly transform your eyes, drawing attention to their depth and enhancing your natural beauty.
Black mascaras are more than just a finishing touch to your makeup routine. They offer a visually captivating contrast, making your eyes appear brighter and more defined. While other products might have more diverse color options, black mascara stands unmatched in its classic allure and ability to add drama and intensity to your look.
Applying this key beauty product requires precision and patience. Starting at the base of your lashes, wiggle the wand upward and outward to ensure maximum coverage, separation, and lift. Remember, adding layers can intensify the effect, but be careful not to overload your lashes, as this could lead to clumping.
Given the vast range of mascaras available, finding your perfect match can be challenging. To help you navigate, we have exhaustively tested a wide array of black mascaras, judging them based on their ability to volumize and lengthen lashes, resist smudging, and maintain a vibrant black color throughout the day.
Our research has highlighted a selection of black mascaras that consistently deliver impressive results. These standout products have demonstrated their excellence in providing intense color, long-lasting wear, and the ability to dramatically enhance your lashes without causing irritation or damage.
1. Jones Road The Mascara in Pitch Black
We all want our lashes to look like they belong on a cover of Vogue. And if you’re looking for the best mascara that can help you get there, Jones Road Beauty’s ultra-pigmented mascara is a go-to.
This straight-from-the-tube black formula is clean, conditioning, and conditioning—it separates, lifts, and volumizes your lashes in one fell swoop. It works with even the smallest amount of product, so you can use it to keep things natural or layer it up to go bold.
Plus, its curved wand captures every single lash and allows you to apply mascara with precision thanks to the flexible bristle design.
According to reviews, “I have tried so many mascaras in my world, but this little gem doesn’t melt into my under-eye makeup. A keeper.”
2. L’Oréal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara
L’Oréal’s Telescopic Mascara is a lengthening formula that applies easily and smoothly.
It’s allergy-tested and suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, so you can feel confident that you’re making your lashes look their best without risking an eye infection.
For an affordable price point, it features a flexible precision elastomer brush with a comb side that precisely separates lashes for a clump-free result. The product features a smooth texture that’s easy to use and won’t flake off in your eye like some other mascaras do.
Plus, the fragrance-free formula means that you won’t have to worry about any irritation after using this pick.
3. Tarte Cosmetics Maneater Mascara
If you’ve ever had a hard time getting your lashes to cooperate, then you’ll be thrilled with Tarte’s Maneater Mascara.
The formula is so creamy that it’ll feel like butter on your lashes. The custom bristle brush separates every lash and gives you a look that’s massive volume and extreme curl—with one coat! But even better than all of that? It makes your eyes appear bigger and lifted with one coat!
The 16-hour long-wear formula conditions your lashes so they won’t flake, clump, or smudge throughout the day.
“This mascara is so pigmented with a small amount will do it justice,” explained one wearer. “Even if your eyelashes are thin, it will make them look fuller.”
4. IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara
IT Cosmetics’ Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara is one of the best mascaras on the market, and it’s not even close.
This product gives your lashes volume and elastic stretch in just one coat—all while keeping them super black and making them look longer. The formula is formulated with hydrolyzed collagen, biotin, and peptides (for healthy hair growth), so you can feel good about putting this stuff on your face.
It’s not just a great mascara for length; it’s also great for volume. The brush coats your eyelashes from root to tips, which means that even if you want to go for a more natural look, you can still get some length with this product.
5. Fenty Beauty Hella Thicc Volumizing Mascara
If you want to go from “meh” to “wow,” Fenty Beauty’s Hella Thicc Volumizing Mascara is the way to do it.
This mascara has a creamy, ultra-black formula that will coat and load every lash with ease. It features a tapered brush that captures even the tiniest lashes and coats them so they look as full and dramatic as possible. The full-bodied formula feels weightless on your lashes, too. It’ll make you think you’re wearing false lashes—but in a good way!
And if the word “dramatic” doesn’t already have you sold, we’ll tell you about the product’s transfer-resistant qualities. You can cry or sweat all day long and still have flawless lashes when you take it off at night—and we promise that after using this mascara, all other mascaras will feel thick, clumpy, and heavy by comparison.
6. Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara is a great choice for anyone who wants to create extremely black, volumized lashes in an instant.
It’s long-lasting, doesn’t flake or smudge, and is sweat and humidity resistant, making it perfect for all kinds of weather. The brush’s tapered tip grabs small, hard-to-reach lashes, which will help you build volume lash by lash. It also combs through eyelashes evenly from roots to ends.
Combing through eyelashes evenly from roots to ends, this mascara allows you to get the look you want without leaving streaks behind or caking up on the lid.
“There are so many mascaras on the market, but this is my go-to option. It creates the most beautiful dramatic lashes without being all clumpy and messy,” explained one tester.
7. Pat McGrath Dark Star Mascara
If you’re looking for a mascara that’ll give you instant drama and volumizing effects, this is another really good pick. Pat McGrath’s Dark Star Mascara is the perfect way to create a panoramic effect with your lashes.
The brush is precise enough to apply the product exactly where you need it but not so thin that it feels like it’s going to break while you’re in the midst of application. And best of all? This mascara doesn’t weigh down your lashes—it’s weightless!
It’s suitable for all lash types, including curly and sensitive ones. It can be used on its own or as a topcoat over another mascara.
“This mascara is so heavy. It’s like a giant, golden wand that is straight up sent from heaven,” explained one reviewer. “It’s just so voluminous, and it has the blackest black color on a mascara I have ever tried.”
8. LYS Beauty Lash Confidence Curling & Lengthening Clean Mascara
In the world of mascara, there are a million options—but only a few great ones.
LYS Beauty’s Lash Confidence Curling & Lengthening Clean Mascara has been making waves in the beauty industry since its debut earlier this year. This product has already won over beauty bloggers and influencers alike with its ability to instantly curl, lengthen and volumize lashes without clumping or causing irritation.
The secret behind the formula is date fruit extract, which retains moisture for softer, more flexible lash hairs. Elsewhere, saffron flower extract strengthens lashes and prevents premature hair loss while avocado oil condition and strengthen lashes naturally.
According to one beauty enthusiast, “This is a nice, natural mascara. It provided some nice volume to my lashes. I also love the packaging and the thick wand.”
9. BUXOM Lash Waterproof Volumizing Mascara
The waterproof formula of Lash Waterproof Volumizing Mascara by BUXOM makes it perfect for any occasion—even when you’re about to cry at your wedding, and you accidentally spill champagne on yourself.
The vitamin-enriched formula doesn’t clump, so you don’t have to worry about getting that dreaded spider leg look. It also deepens, darkens, and intensely thickens your lashes for a curvy hourglass shape that will make all your friends jealous.
This mascara has the added bonus of a curved brush that evenly coats every single lash without any smudging or flaking.
This is a mascara that is waterproof for me but comes off with eye makeup remover. It doesn’t flake, which I love,” stated one tester.
10. Yves Saint Laurent The Curler Lengthening and Curling Mascara
If you’ve ever been frustrated by your mascara not doing what it’s supposed to, we’ve got the product for you!
Yves Saint Laurent’s Curling Mascara features a unique hybrid brush that dramatically lifts, defines, and curls lashes. It’s also made with coconut, walnut leaf, and bamboo oils that nourish your lashes without weighing them down.
And it provides a major lash lift with its combs on the brush head, which ensure clean definition—so no clumping or smudging! Although a bit pricey compared to others on the market, many reviewers say they love this product!
What to Look for in Black Mascara
Brush Design and Size
The design and size of the mascara brush significantly impact the application. Larger brushes with densely packed bristles often offer voluminous lashes, while thinner brushes with separated bristles are perfect for a more natural look and for coating those hard-to-reach lashes. Some brushes are curved to give a lift to the lashes, promoting a more open-eyed appearance.
There are various mascara formulas available – volumizing, lengthening, curling, or a combination. Volumizing mascaras generally have thicker formulas to build up lashes, while lengthening ones contain fibers that extend lashes outward. Some mascaras are formulated with conditioning ingredients like oils and vitamins to nourish and protect your lashes.
Longevity and Wear
High-quality mascaras should offer excellent wear throughout the day without smudging, flaking, or running. Some formulas are also water-resistant or waterproof, perfect for humid climates, tearful occasions, or those prone to watery eyes. Keep in mind that waterproof formulas can be a bit tricky to remove and might require an oil-based makeup remover.
While black is the most common color choice for mascara due to its high impact, there are various other colors available. Brown mascara provides a softer, more natural look, while colored mascaras such as blue or purple can add a playful twist to your makeup routine. The color you choose should complement your makeup look and personal style.
Ingredients and Sensitivity
If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, the ingredients in mascara are crucial. Look for hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist-tested formulas that minimize the risk of irritation. Avoid mascaras with fragrances, which can be irritating to the eyes. Some mascaras also boast natural and organic ingredients for those seeking a cleaner beauty routine.
What is mascara made of?
Mascara is typically made of a blend of waxes, pigments, and oils. The waxes help the mascara stick to your lashes, the pigments provide color, and the oils help the formula glide on smoothly. Some mascaras may also include fibers to add length to the lashes, and others may contain conditioning ingredients like vitamins and oils to nourish the lashes. It’s always a good idea to check the ingredient list for any potential allergens or irritants, particularly if you have sensitive eyes.
Should I wear brown or black mascara?
Choosing between black and brown mascara depends on your personal preference, natural hair color, and the look you’re aiming for. Black mascara tends to give a more dramatic, defined look, making it a popular choice for evening or more glam makeup looks. Brown mascara, on the other hand, can provide a softer, more natural look. It can be particularly flattering on lighter hair colors, or for daytime makeup.
How do you apply mascara?
To apply mascara, start at the base of your lashes and wiggle the brush up to the tips. The wiggling motion helps to fully coat the lashes and adds volume. You can add multiple coats if you want a more dramatic look, just make sure to apply subsequent coats while the previous one is still wet to avoid clumping.
Is clear mascara better than black mascara?
As for whether clear mascara is better than black mascara, it again depends on the look you’re going for. Clear mascara can be used to enhance your natural lashes without adding color, making it a good choice for a very minimal or natural makeup look. It can also be used to groom and set eyebrows. Both have their uses, so it comes down to your personal preference and desired makeup style.