Monday, October 29th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


Is there a place for brown mascara in your beauty routine? Why/why not?

Temptalia's AnswerIf you don’t have black lashes, definitely; if you have black lashes, probably not. Soft blacks and dark browns can work to give lashes length, definition, and some drama without being over the top.

Thanks to Amy for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

79 thoughts on “Is there a place for brown mascara in your beauty routine?

  1. Avatar of Dinitchka Dinitchka

    I have black lashes with lighter tips (some tend to look blonde-ish) and mostly wear black mascara. I do wear brown sometimes just to change things up.

  2. Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

    I have really dark lashes, like my hair, so I’ve always used black mascara. But when I was at the Burberry counter today the SA talked me into trying their brown mascara for Mascara Madness, so we’ll give it a go and see if I like it. If I don’t, back it goes :)

  3. Avatar of Chrissy Chrissy

    Most of my mascaras are brown. Black a bit too harsh/unnatural for my eye color and skin tone.

  4. I have never even considered brown mascara. I think it would probably just look weird! I find plum/aubergine/burgundy mascaras interesting, though (the image in my head of non-black lashes is still strange!).

    • Avatar of Gena Gena

      Do you have a favorite plum/burgundy/reddish mascara? I’m always looking for a good one. I wish Dior made a true plum as well as a violet purple.

      • You know, I stick to drugstore mascaras (and once, a tube of MAC Plushlash), and they don’t really come in fun colors. Maybelline had a few maybe a month ago, but I missed out because the display was only in my Rite Aid for like a week.
        Honestly I think mascara is a highly personal thing and not everyone’s going to like a specific formula. Benefit has BADgal Plum (and Brown). MAC still has some of the Colored Zoom Lash, last time I checked. CK One Color has a purple. UD doesn’t have Colored Big Fatty anymore. YSL has Violet, Burgundy, and “Deep Night” (I guess it’s navy blue, but I don’t know). Tokidoki Punk Lash comes in purple, but I don’t know if Tokidoki is even sold anymore. Sephora has a couple purples, and MUFE has Smoky Lash. Hard Candy has mascaras and mascara top coats in purples… etc.

  5. Sarah

    I love brown mascara! I have brown lashes with white tips, so I like using the brown because I think it looks a little more natural than the black. :)

  6. Christina

    I’m blonde but I still wear black mascara 100% of the time. I only wear drugstore mascara (admittedly the only drug store makeup I buy) and they only usually have Black/Blackest Black/Extreme Black/SUPER DUPER CHARGED EXTRA BLACK anyway

    • Chantal

      Sometimes they have brown-black…which looks black on me. I’m also a blonde, and I really like brown mascara for a soft, natural every-day look. I loved the medium brown color of my Blinc tubing mascara, but daily removal of tubing mascara (no matter how gentle I tried to be!) really thinned out my lashes. I wish there was a good drugstore mascara in a true brown!

      • Christina

        tubing mascaras always irritate my contacts :( Ponds cold cream is THE best eye makeup remover though, I bet it would work for you!

  7. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    Not really. I used to buy it regularly, and I’d use it once, maybe twice, then it would just sit in a box until it turned. I’ve wasted so much money over the years. I also keep my hair dyed very dark (usually black or burgundy), and have for the better part of the last 20+ years, so it looks kind of strange if my lashes are lighter than my hair. I also just like really black lashes.

    What brought this question to mind is, I never hear or read about the use of brown mascara anymore, and it doesn’t seem brands are even making it too much in recent times.

    • VickyM

      I second this. Brands don´t seem to be really making brown anymore, especially the mascara I use Helena Rubinstein Lash queen feline extravaganza only comes in black. And that is the best mascara ever so I won´t be changing brands anytime soon, brown is okay but not amazing.

  8. I currently do not have a brown mascara in my stash. I quite like wearing brown when I’m wearing very little makeup. Black is too contrasty on me with a no makeup look and even though I have almost black hair, my eyelashes are strangely naturally light brown. Now, if only Guerlain made their G mascara in dark brown too! I really love this formula and it just works so well for me. I’ll check out the other posts for recommendations.

    • Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

      Again, haven’t tried it so can’t swear by it personally, but Burberry makes a brown (also a “midnight blonde” but that’s too light for me, imo) that looked really good on the SA who talked me into it.

  9. muffingrl

    nope! my puny asian lashes need all the help they can get! only the blackest black mascara for me, please!

  10. Isabelle

    No way. Black lashes can never be over the top, especially if they’re not fake. Have you ever heard anyone say “her lashes are too dark?”

    • Leila

      On blondes they it can be. Especially the fairest blondes. Only looks ok when they do dramatic makeup.

      • VickyM

        Depends on your point of view. Honestly black is better and it can make lashes pop way better than brown. I have fair skin, dark blond hair and brown eyebrows, my lashes look like dark brown. If I use brown mascara no one notices I have anything and it really looks meh, just like nothing. Black mascara on the other hand looks nice and I get compliments for it sometimes. Also taste is subjective and some people may like something that other people may find unattractive. To each his own.

  11. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    My lashes aren’t quite black, just a very dark brown. I generally prefer black mascara, but I do use brown occasionally when I want a softer look. Maybelline’s Classic Volume is wonderful in that regard.

  12. Avatar of Jasmine Jasmine

    My eyelashes are brown with light, blondish tips. I almost always wear dark brown mascara because it looks more natural than black. The only exception is when I’m wearing black eyeliner – then I want my mascara to match.

  13. Avatar of Alison Alison

    Charcoal, dark blue and dark aubergine, yes, but brown just looks weird on me, as I have black lashes! I think for other women with lighter, browner lashes its definitely a good bet for a staple. Your lashes will look naturally longer and defined and in harmony with the rest of your face.

  14. Nah, my lashes need all the help it could get. My natural hair color is almost black, and although I’ve been bleaching it blonde for 7 years, I always wear black mascara.

  15. Sophie

    Yes!! Clinique High Definition Mascara in dark brown always to brown eye shadows and liners.

  16. Ljana

    Yes, absolutely. I always have one in rotation and use it (at least) as often as my black ones. I’m quite fair-skinned with light brown hair and my eyebrows and eyelashes are of a similar color, with blond tips. Black sometimes looks too harsh on me and brown mascara is usually easier to remove.
    The tricky part is finding a good brown – I don’t like muddy blackish brown or greyish versions, so I’m always on the look out for a true, rich, deep brown.
    So far, my favorites are Artdeco All In One in brown (03, I think), YSL Faux Cils in Rich Brown (02) and Chanel Inimitable Intense. I’d love to hear other suggestions too!

  17. grlnxdor

    I like brown when I can find one in a good formula like Dior Extase. I’m a blonde with fair skin—and I’m older so blackest black often looks too harsh. Although my lashes are naturally dark I feel that brown and soft black look the best on me.

  18. Yellowlantern

    For me no since I have black eyelashes. When I was younger I tried brown mascara and it looked a bit strange and obvious that I was wearing mascara since it made my eyelashes lighter than my eyebrows and the rest of my hair.

  19. Avatar of Lisi Lisi

    I go through phases where I love brown mascara, but after a while I return to black mascara to get more drama. At the moment I’m in a brown mascara phase again. I wear it to get the perfect no make up look. I think sometimes wearing less mascara or brown mascara can get you a really young, fresh look.

  20. Avatar of Dominique Dominique

    Yes I have the Benefit Brown Mascara and I love it. It’s both natural and sophisticated.

  21. Avatar of Raquel Raquel

    i don’t like wearing mascara that much because it gives me instantly a strong look, which i don’t like for everyday – i have huge, black, curved eyelashes on my own! but after concealer and some neutral eyeshadows i like to give them definition -most of the time because of the powder fall outs into the lashes- so i try to apply mascara very lightly. i was considering buying a clear mascara but since you talked about browns, i might go that way for everyday use!!

  22. Avatar of Shell Cayleigh

    I like to wear brown mascara with Natural makeup looks. It seems to make the look a bit softer.

  23. no, i’m a redhead and it just looks weird if my lasjes are brown..
    Black might be unnatural, but it looks more natural than brown does on me!

  24. Avatar of Gena Gena

    I have dark brown lashes with golden tips. I don’t like the way black mascara looks; I wear brown pretty much exclusively. Black just looks too harsh. I like to use DiorShow in Chesnut on my top lashes and a colored mascara on the bottom lashes.
    I really do wish more companies would make a true brown mascara, like Chestnut, or at least black/brown; sometimes I have to use black L’oreal Explosive or Maybelline Lash Discovery on the corners, but I always try to find them in black/brown.

  25. jody

    I acccidentally got the brown clinique bottom lash mascara in stead of the black one but decided to use it anyway and now i’m hooked!! It defines my bottom lashes in a very pretty way and really opens up my eyes :) will repurchase many many times!!

  26. Danielle

    I like the idea of brown mascara for a “no makeup” look, but I personally always wear black mascara.

  27. Avatar of Jenny Jennifer

    YES! I have light blonde hair and fair eyes. When a Sephora employee recommended the DiorShow mascara in dark brown rather than black I thought he was crazy. Brown mascara is the only way to go for fair haired folk. My skin color is not fair but rather warm and I tan easily but I only ever wear brown mascar. I still get wonderful lashes but without the harsh black contrast. Honestly, I believe that it helps my undereye circles to not look so pronounce from the black tones.

  28. I use to use brown mascara but I found it didn’t help to define my lashes enough and switched to the blackest ones in a lines. ;)

  29. Avatar of T Violet Lee

    I think it depends on your coloring. If you’re pale and have warmer light brown or blond hair, black can look too harsh. If you have black or very dark brown hair or are cooler toned, black blends in better. I have red hair and use auburn mascara for daily use although I’ll wear black when I’m going out at night.

  30. redshift87

    I’m blonde and fair-skinned, and always wear black mascara! I actually think the black looks good with my pale coloring (just as long as I make sure to cover my eyelash “roots”! Visible, pale eyelash roots at the base of heavy black mascara is a pet peeve of mine), and I almost always wear eyeshadow too. I could see how maybe if you were pale and weren’t wearing much makeup (eyeshadow in particular), then maybe black mascara would be a bit much.

  31. Avatar of Isabella Isabella Rabello

    Yes! I learned how to use them last week and it hass been my day-by-day mascara since them (I use Bare Naturale)

  32. Angla

    I have black lashes but I think dark brown is great if you want less of a dramatic eyelash. The mascara color that is rare and I absolutely love is bronze. I think it makes brown and hazel eyes pop. I am not talking about those mascaras with the highlighters either. I am talking straight bronze or copper colored mascara. Shiesedo and Chanel made one back in the day.

  33. Amanda

    I have black lashes so I stick to the blackest black mascaras.

  34. lauren

    Brown is a must for me, though even it can seem a little too dark. I’m strawberry blonde and get my mascara from Just for Redheads. Their ginger red shade is perfect for me. Only wish it came in water proof :(

    • Roxie

      you may want to try Anastasia’s Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat it is a clear topcoat that its meant to turn your mascara waterproof… I haven’t tried it so I cant speak in regards of how well it works… but you know, just mentioning it.

      • lauren

        I did check it out once and considered buying it for my wedding, but as expensive as it is I’m waiting until the VIB sale to get it.

  35. Avatar of Elisabeth AuntSat

    Absolutely. I’m NC15/20 with very light (almost white) eyebrows and eyelashes and dark blonde hair. Unless I’m going for a very dramatic look, black mascara looks crazy on me.

  36. Avatar of Elizabeth Elizabeth K.

    I have black lashes, but really dark blue circles. If I’m looking rather raggedy and tired it’s just less severe, especially during the day.

  37. I love Bare Minerals Espresso color. Is not a reddish brown, but more like greyish brown. For me it´s perfect for during the day make up.

  38. Avatar of Adriana Adriana RP

    It is interesting… because at really I never tought about buy a brown mascara until now! My eyelashes are naturally long and I use only a bit of black mascara daily (I’m NW20 with medium brown hair). But, since I use just a bit of the black one maybe turn to brown color could be interesting!

  39. i have very dark brown lashes and i wear brown mascara all the time! it makes my brown eyes look so pretty!

  40. breyerchic04

    I have lighter lashes than my eye color, so sometimes I will use brown just for a bit of definition, and I do always keep a brown great lash around, but for most looks I do go with black.

  41. Joni

    I have black lashes but I don’t like wearing black mascara too much. My lashes are fairly thick and very straight and I don’t like how heavy black looks. I don’t want to look like a camel.

  42. Avatar of aykhan akhan

    Not for me. My lashes are very black, so brown mascaras look odd.

  43. beachgal

    Nope – I have invisible lashes and anything other than black or deepest of navy does nothing for me. Brown mascara often has red tone in it and only gives me a crying eye look.

  44. Avatar of Susan Susan Nevling

    I rarely use brown mascara but usually keep a tube of drugstore brand in my collection. The problem is, I only use it once or twice and either lose it or it expires and I pitch it.
    I’m pretty strict on expiration times for mascaras.

  45. Not for me personally, but I swear, every time I see a fair pigmented, blond woman rocking jet black mascara, I want to pull her aside and hip her to the brown options. Maybe it’s their goal, but I feel like black mascara on light lids screams “Hey, lookie here – I’m wearin’ MAKEUP!” I like to think of mascara as the “cheater” cosmetic – if done right, it can really enhance your look, yet look completely natural. *bats lashes at the boys*

  46. I’ve tried it, but unfortunately I have natural black lashes, so brown looks ackward, even dark brown. Having said that, my only true option is black, and the blackest, the better

  47. Leila

    If my lashes and brows were lighter, definitely, however they are a cool black – black, black. Brown would look odd.

    I do wish blondes and other fair-haired people would stop using black though. The contrast is harsh and unnatural and unless you’re doing dramatic makeup, there’s no point, from what I’ve seen, it’s never flattering.

  48. Avatar of Aida Aida

    This might sound extremely unadventurous, but I have never worn any other color but black mascaras :).

  49. Donalene

    Never! Have to use black for stand-out lashes!

  50. Montréalaise

    I wear brown mascara during the summer, when I am going for a more natual look – tinted moisturizer instead of foundation, lip gloss instead of lipstick. I also wear warm colors (like coral and bronze) during the summer, and brown mascara just goes so well with them. Once fall arrives, though, I want a more polished, more dramatic and sophisticated look, and that means black mascara, the darker the better!

  51. Adeline

    Definitely black! I’m Asian with black long hair so brown would just look unnatural on me and I love dramatic lashes =)

  52. Black only. Thanks.

  53. Dia

    I’ve tried wearing non-black mascaras (not just brown, but blue and purple too) but none of them show up well on my naturally black lashes.

  54. Absolutely! I reach for brown or brownish black mascara way more than black. I have light hair, light skin, and long lashes…black tends to look a little garish on me unless I’ve done a bold eye.

  55. VickyM

    Brown mascara is okay, but honestly I prefer blak mascara by far.

  56. Em

    Nope. I have dark skin and hair so it looks very strange, I’ve tried because I’m not that into any kind of eye makeup. I actually have trouble finding mascaras at the drugstore that are black enough. Since my hair is naturally black most of them turn out grey on me. :/

  57. Avatar of Elizabeth Beth Maiorana

    What you’ve stated up there, Christine. I use brown whenever I don’t want the heavily done black rimmed eye, and sometimes I, being older than most of the ladies here probably, just want a pared down definition to my eye. My lashes are so pale and so sparse that black mascara, although really helpful, can look overly much on me. xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-)

  58. Alina Mitchell

    ofcoarse there is, i have light eyelashes, black looks scary on me. I love to wear mascara in the summer as well as in spring! my fav mascara ever is 100% pure cosmetics mascara which i purchase from the USA or my handynatural almond oil mascara is good too, its more gentle and nourishing!

  59. Mietta

    Not really but I have to admit a mascara from Estee Lauder that is 2-sided, one side black and one side brown has really caught my eye. Brown for the bottom lashes (otherwise they look too spidery on me!) and black for the top! Simple work look!

  60. Avatar of Azaza Azaza

    Not really because I like my lashes to be dramatic most of the time. I have used brown mascara before but it just didn’t do it for me

  61. HJ

    No. I do not like brown mascara. I, personally, think if I was going to wear brown mascara, I might as well not even wear mascara at all. I wear mascara to make my eyes pop. Brown mascara just does not do that for me. The blacker and darker a mascara, the better.

  62. Sara M

    Definitely. I’m very fair (N15) with medium brown hair and my lashes are naturally medium brown. Black can look too harsh for me in the day time (fine for night). But in a workplace environment, brown is the only way I go otherwise I look overdone for the office.

  63. Rae

    I have blonde hair, very fair skin, and green eyes but I only wear black mascara. Why? Because my eyelashes are naturally black and I prefer the dramatic eye even during the day time. I personally like the contrast it makes but after reading some of these comments I might just try brown mascara and see how it looks!