Why Clear Mascara Is the Unsung Hero of Any Makeup Routine

If you don't have one in your makeup bag, you're missing out.

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Clear Mascara

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Ask anyone to name their desert island beauty product and there's a very good chance they'll say black mascara. And rightfully so: An inky volumizing or lengthening formula can really make the eyes pop, whether it's the finishing touch to a smoky eye, a subtle no-makeup makeup look, or a bare face.

However, it's time to stop underestimating clear mascara. While a pigment-less formula won't deliver the same dramatic results as a black one, it has myriad of uses – some of which go beyond your lashes.

Ahead, top makeup artists share all of the ways to use clear mascara in your makeup routine, and why you should always have the multitasking product in your makeup bag.

How to use clear mascara on your eyelashes

If you think a colorless mascara will do nothing for your lashes, think again. Katie Mellinger, celebrity makeup artist, says that a clear formula gives lashes a glossy finish, helps lashes hold a curl, and can even act as a primer for colored mascaras.

A clear mascara can also be unexpected finishing touch for a bold eye makeup look such as a smoky eye. "Clear mascara can be used for a smokey eye that looks a little bit edgier because it is unexpected as opposed to tons of black mascara or especially falsie strips. It makes it look a little bit more editorial and clean," says Sebastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and Co-Founder of Veil Cosmetics.

How to apply clear mascara on your eyelashes

To apply a clear mascara, Mellinger has a hack for preventing any clumps (yes, clear mascara can get clumpy, too). "I like to wipe or roll off the excess product from the spoolie on my hand before applying. That way it doesn’t get clumpy on the lash," the makeup artist says. "Start with the brush perpendicular to the bottom of the lash and slightly wiggle back and forth as you coat the length of the lash."

Other ways to use clear mascara in your makeup routine

One of the biggest draws of including a clear mascara in your makeup collection is that it can be used on other areas of the face. In lieu of a clear brow gel, use a clear mascara to tame and set your brows.

"I would use clear mascara to stick eyebrows in the right direction and to groom the eyebrows," Tardif says. "Make sure to use it last after filling in with color, to not streak or remove any color."

Beyond your face, a clear mascara can be used to smooth flyaways and lay baby hairs. "I love using clear mascara to take care of flyaways when doing a ponytail that needs to look a bit more sleek," Tardif shares. "Simply gel or spray the hair in the ponytail and save the clear mascara for last as the ultimate touchup to tame flyaways."

How to Remove Clear Mascara

While removing clear mascara isn't any different than removing a colored formula, there's a right way to take off eye makeup in order to prevent irritating the gentle area around the eyes. Mellinger suggests the following three-step process.

First, use micellar water to remove all face makeup. Then, Mellinger says to use an oil-based cleansing balm to break down any remaining makeup residue. "Scoop a small amount into your hands and rub together to warm, then massage [the] skin and eye area gently," she says.

Finally, massage a cream-based cleanser onto skin to ensure skin is completely cleansed and free of makeup, excess oil, and dirt.

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