The Best Brown Mascara of 2023, Tested + Reviewed

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Though brown is usually a color we associate with the fall season, when it comes in the form of mascara, it’s a year-round mainstay. For 2023, the trend is bigger than ever and we expect to see many more brands adding brown shades to their lineups. “The soft-girl era is officially here, and the easiest way to soften your look is by trying a chocolate mascara,” says makeup artist Elyse Reneau, executive director of global beauty at Too Faced. “I recommend keeping the full look soft when using chocolate mascara, so try pairing it with a soft glam eyeshadow and a brown eyeliner.” These are the seven best brown mascara formulas we can’t get enough of right now.

Brown Mascara Formulas We’re Loving

1 / 9

If you want a natural look…

Tower28 MakeWaves Mascara in Drift ($20)

Tower28’s widely adored mascara is now available in a rich espresso brown! Water-resistant, vegan and safe for sensitive eyes, this your-lashes-but-better mascara adds natural-looking length and a bit of volume for just the right amount of oomph.

BUY NOW – $20

2 / 9

If you have sensitive eyes…

Westman Atelier Eye Want You Mascara ($45)

Celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman’s eye-makeup lineup gets even better with the addition of Le Brun Clean, a chocolate-brown version of the brand’s lengthening, volumizing mascara that’s made safe for even the most sensitive eyes.

BUY NOW – $45

3 / 9

If you want major volume…

Try Too Faced Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara in Chocolate ($28)

The brand’s signature, best-selling Better Than Sex Mascara now comes in a rich, chocolatey brown that is great for softer glam looks. The fluffy, hourglass brush imparts tons of mascara onto each lash, but not in a messy, clumpy way. Expect tons of volume, but in a slightly less dramatic fashion than the black formula. “This is not your grandmother’s espresso mascara,” says Reneau. “It is a warm, chocolatey brown that pops on the lashes and delivers the same dramatic volume, length and curl you can always rely on from Better Than Sex.”

BUY NOW – $28

4 / 9

If you want dramatic length…

Try Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High True Brown Mascara ($13)

This viral mascara is so popular in the shade True Brown that it’s actually sold out at Ulta right now. The brand’s exclusive flex tower brush lifts lashes higher than you think they can actually go, while the bamboo extract–infused formula ensures lashes stay lightweight and comfortable with zero flaking.

BUY NOW – $13

5 / 9

If you want a waterproof formula…

Try Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara in Chestnut ($29.50)

Dior’s iconic mascara has been used on countless Fashion Week runways and red carpets since its launch in the late aughts. The oversized brush allows you to coat nearly all your lashes with creamy brown pigment in one go, building up to the intensity level you want for each look.

BUY NOW – $29.50

6 / 9

If you want a tubing mascara…

Try Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara in Crystal ($25)

I feel like a broken record professing my love for this mascara as much as I do, but the effortless removal is unrivaled in my opinion. The brand’s Flake-Free Tubing Technology wraps each lash in a little “tube” of firm-hold, super-lengthening mascara, and at the end of the day, it all comes off with water—no makeup remover, no aggressive wiping, no stinging. The brown-black shade “Crystal” is really pretty on my light blonde lashes.

BUY NOW – $25

7 / 9

If you want a 100-percent vegan formula…

Try Well People Expressionist Pro Mascara in Brown ($20)

Natural-looking lashes are a big trend this year, as is vegan beauty products. This everyday brown mascara delivers in both categories and nourishes lashes with plant-based ingredients like jojoba oil, rice brand, castor seed wax and sunflower seed. It helps keep lashes healthy and happy underneath, no matter how many coats you choose to apply (I like a lot!).

BUY NOW – $20

8 / 9

If you want a little more oomph than basic brown…

Try Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes! Mascara in Dream Pop ($29)

This new shade of the brand’s lifting mascara has become a fast favorite and continues to sell out. A unique spin on the classic brown look, this shade has a bit of a berry hue mixed in, giving it a little pop of something different, especially on light lashes. Tilbury says it “contrasts beautifully with every complexion, emphasizing and defining your eye color to bring out the gold in hazel eyes, the green in green eyes, the amber in brown eyes, and the blue in blue eyes.”

BUY NOW – $29

9 / 9

If you want it all…

Try Chanel Le Volume De Chanel in Écorces ($38)

One swipe of this volumizing, highly pigmented mascara is all it takes to create a look that will last all day without smudging or flaking—even in the Florida humidity.

BUY NOW – $38

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