12 Colored Mascaras That Will Instantly Brighten Your Makeup and Mood

Plus how to pick the best one for your eye color.

There’s more to life than black mascara, and the proof is in colored mascara wands that come in all shades of the rainbow: from brown to green, blue, burgundy, violet, and even pink. While a colored mascara might feel intimidating at first, it’s actually a great way to brighten and compliment your natural eye color, or it can add a bold touch to any neutral makeup look. Here, we’re breaking down what to look for when shopping for a colored mascara, what hues might suit your eyes best, plus 12 colored mascara picks to shop.

Best colored mascaras, at a glance:

What to look for in a colored mascara

When determining the right colored mascara for you, there are a few things to consider. Like other mascaras on the market, you’ll want to pay attention to the pigment itself, how long it lasts on the lashes and the finish.

Here’s what to look for when shopping:

The pigment

Powerful pigment is a must when it comes to choosing a colored mascara. If the brightly-colored hue flakes off after a few hours or doesn’t show up, it defeats the purpose of wearing a colored mascara to begin with. Opt for a formula that’s extremely saturated and coats each lash evenly.

The longevity

Like your typical black mascara, you want to opt for a colored mascara that has a long-lasting finish. Colored mascaras aren’t often waterproof (boo!), but luckily, you can opt for either a tubing formula or one that guarantees an up-to-12-hour finish.

The finish

The finish of a mascara is of the utmost importance: you want to ensure it doesn’t clump or dry out after application. Colored mascara formulas with moisturizing ingredients like castor oil, pro-vitamin B5 or peptides will help condition lashes and keep them looking fluffy and soft.

Shop our colored mascara picks



Colored mascara is a great way to bring drama to a neutral makeup look—and these brightly pigmented mascaras do just the trick. Inspired by retro-futuristic beauty, Dark Star comes in three shades: a vibrant red, aqua blue, and electric green that will add a striking, editorial finish and dimension to any bare lash.

Shades: 3

Cruelty-free: No

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Volumizing
  • Long-lasting
  • Highly pigmented

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Pricey



The best colored mascara formulas don’t compromise volume for pigment, which is why Voluminous Original is at the top of our list if you’re in search of both. The drugstore pick comes in five colorways and gives you a highly pigmented finish, all while making your lashes look long, thick, and dense.

Shades: 6 (including black)

Cruelty-free: No

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Contains panthenol and ceramides to condition lashes
  • Makes the lash hairs look thicker
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not waterproof



This mascara is proof that you don’t need to break the bank when opting for a colored formula. It’s a silky brown shade that clings to each lash for a separated, defined look and is great if you’re first diving into the colored-mascara trend. The wand is also extremely flexible and easy to use, making it ideal for getting into every lash nook and cranny.

Shades: 1

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Under $10
  • Available at the drugstore
  • Great for a colored mascara rookie

Cons:

  • Only comes in brown

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This intense, long-wearing mascara is a must if you’re looking for a pigment that won’t budge. It comes in two limited edition shades: an electric blue and a soft plum. We love that it’s volumizing and water-resistant, not to mention—completely flake-free—so it won’t pill throughout the day.

Shades: 4

Cruelty-free: No

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Long-wearing
  • Water-resistant
  • Contains pro-vitamin B5 to condition the lashes

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Limited-edition



It’s possible to achieve long, fluttery lashes with a colored mascara formula thanks to this berry-brown pick. The fine-toothed wand works to coat and stretch every single lash for a lifted, separated, and eye-catching finish.

Shades: 2 (including black)

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Contains a keratin blend that softens and conditions lashes
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Pricey



Brown mascara makes blue eyes pop, which is why this chocolate-hued wand is a must-have. The creamy brown pigment coats each lash for a warming, three-dimensional finish, and the hourglass-shaped brush makes application a breeze.

Shades: 2 (including black)

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Contains peptides to nourish the lashes
  • Long-lasting

Cons:

  • Only comes in brown

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Green eyes will love this pigmented violet formula that’s bold yet wearable. It has a vibrant purple finish with a slight iridescence for a touch of sparkle, unlike any other colored mascara on the market. It’s long-wearing as well, which means you can wear it from dawn to dusk.

Shades: 3 (including black)

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Vibrant with a unique shimmer finish
  • Up to 12-hour wear

Cons:

  • Not waterproof



Green eyes will love this stunning violet formula that’s dramatic yet wearable. It has a vibrant purple finish with a slight iridescence for a touch of sparkle, unlike any other colored mascara on the market. It’s long-wearing as well, which means you can wear it from dawn to dusk.

Shades: 3 (including black)

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Vegan formula
  • Brightly pigmented
  • Under $20

Cons:

  • Not waterproof



Green mascara might sound intimidating to some, but it stands out on hazel eyes. This vibrant mascara pick is one of our favorites for this reason—it adds just the right amount of green hue and gives you a clean, defined, and curled lash finish. 

Shades: 4

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Infused with biotin and caffeine to wake up and nourish lashes

Cons:

  • Some users report that the formula dries out quickly

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PSA: You can find a colored mascara that’s vegan with nourishing ingredients. This soft brown lengthening mascara pick is a must-have in our book for these reasons, plus it’s long-wearing, water-resistant, and gives a natural, lifted finish.

Shades: 2 (including black)

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Contains castor oil to condition lashes
  • Buildable

Cons:

  • Some users report dryness and flaking over time



If you’re looking for a pigmented, waterproof colored mascara formula, let us introduce you to this blue-hued option. It has a flexible wand that separates and coats each individual lash, plus a long-lasting and nourishing formula for a volumized, bold finish. 

Shades: 4 (including black)

Cruelty-free: No

Waterproof: Yes

Pros:

  • Vibrant pigment
  • Waterproof
  • Lengthening

Cons:

  • Limited-edition shade



A buildable, colored mascara doesn’t get much better than this formula which comes in five rainbow shades: brown, blue, purple, green, and pink. It won’t clump or flake and is easy to remove with just water. Add one coat for a subtle colored finish or up to three for a bold look—this one is totally customizable. 

Shades: 6 (including black) 

Cruelty-free: Yes

Waterproof: No

Pros:

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Vegan
  • Smudge-proof
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Some reviewers report that the formula is clumpy

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