For years I was a staunch advocate of black mascara – there’s a reason that it’s just about everybody’s desert island staple and why, as a beauty editor, it’s the one product everyone asks me about.
Of course, there’s absolutely no denying the power of a good, inky black formula. It’s a mainstay in almost all makeup bags. Not only does it have the unrivalled ability to completely change the finish of almost any makeup look, it can also make you look more awake than you feel after a late night, and it finishes off an intense smokey eye like no other product. But you know what? Brown mascara can do all those things too, and, in my humble opinion, it can do them even better.
The epiphany happened last year when a beauty journalist friend went viral (so far it has 2.1m views) on TikTok for telling us all to stop wearing black mascara and to go brown instead – and guess what? For the first time ever, I listened to her.
As somebody with hazel eyes that wears a lot of matte brown and bronze eyeshadow shades (Tom Ford’s Eye Color Quad in De La Creme, £68, and Makeup By Mario Glam Quad in Bronzey, £19 are my current two everyday go-to palettes), adding brown mascara just seems to make more sense for me personally. For a start, it’s much softer, and I find it’s more flattering, too – but it still adds definition and length without being too much of a statement that it overpowers the eyeshadow I’ve meticulously applied.
Don’t just take my word for it, though, because makeup artists agree, too. “Brown mascara is great if you are looking for a softer eye make-up look, particularly if you have a lighter complexion,” says Jesse Walker. “Plus, if you have blue or green eyes, the warmth from the brown will help to accentuate those shades.”