Best Clinique mascara

Eye Makeup

Clinique mascaras are all paraben, phthalate and fragrance-free, making them an excellent option for those who prefer clean formulas.

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Which Clinique mascaras are best?

The right mascara can take your lashes from barely there to full and flirty in an instant. If you have sensitive eyes or just prefer gentle, nonirritating makeup products, Clinique mascaras are definitely the way to go. 

Clinique offers mascaras that can help lengthen, volumize, curl or define your lashes. The formulas are also allergy- and ophthalmologist-tested, so you can wear them without irritating your eyes. If you’re looking for a quality mascara that’s versatile enough to thicken, lengthen and define your lashes, the Clinique High Impact Mascara is a top choice.

What to know before you buy a Clinique mascara


Clinique offers several mascara formulas, which users can choose from depending on the effect they want to create for their lashes.

Clinique lengthening mascara helps your lashes look longer. It covers your lashes from root to tip to increase their length, but it doesn’t do much to boost their thickness. Lengthening formulas usually don’t have clumping issues, though. 

Clinique volumizing mascara helps your lashes look thicker and fuller. It’s usually a buildable formula, so you can add extra coats to get your lashes as thick as you want. However, volumizing mascara does have a tendency to clump.

Clinique curling mascara is formulated for straight lashes that aren’t easy to curl or people who don’t enjoy using a lash curler. It features polymers that contract when you apply the mascara, which lifts your lashes for a curled appearance. Curling mascara usually comes with a curved brush. 

Clinique-defining mascara helps increase the volume and length of your lashes while also separating them for a more defined, fluttery look. It works well for short, straight lashes or for people who prefer a more natural look for their lashes. 

Clinique mascara primer is applied before your mascara. It forms a base layer for the mascara to cling to and helps separate your lashes to get them ready for mascara application. 

Wand shape

Clinique offers mascara wands in several shapes, which affect how your mascara is applied.

  • Pinecone wands are the most common wand type and work well for lengthening your lashes and grabbing corner lashes. 
  • Thick wands work well for volumizing your lashes. 
  • Thin, straight wands are excellent for definition because they can coat each and every lash.
  • Curved wands are the perfect option if you want to give your lashes a curled look.
  • Bottom lash wands feature a smaller design that allows for more precision when applying mascara to your lower lashes. 

Bristle type

Clinique mascaras have wands with both nylon wire and molded plastic bristles. Nylon wire bristles typically apply more mascara, so they work well if you prefer a bolder look for your lashes. On the other hand, molded plastic bristles work better for separating and lengthening your lashes. They don’t pick up as much mascara, though, so you may need several coats to get the coverage you want. 


All Clinique mascaras are ophthalmologist-tested. They can safely be used without causing eye irritation, so they’re an ideal option if you wear contact lenses. 


Some Clinique mascaras are allergy-tested too, so they’re not likely to cause an allergic reaction if you have sensitive eyes. 

What to look for in a quality Clinique mascara


Some Clinique mascaras are waterproof, so they feature water-repelling ingredients. That means they aren’t as likely to run when you cry, sweat or are exposed to other moisture. A waterproof formula doesn’t smudge or flake either, preventing dark circles under your eyes throughout the day.

However, waterproof formulas can be difficult to take off and may cause dry, brittle lashes if you use them too often. 

Wear time

Like all mascaras, Clinique mascaras eventually break down throughout the day, causing flaking and smudging. Most formulas can usually wear for eight to 10 hours before smudging, but some offer up to 24 hours of wear time without any smudging or flaking. 


Many Clinique mascaras only come in one shade — black — but some formulas are available in additional shades, such as black/brown or very black. Black is a classic option, but very black mascara can add drama for an evening out or other special occasions. If you prefer a more natural look, though, black/brown is your best bet. 

How much you can expect to spend on Clinique mascara

Clinique mascaras usually range from $13-$23. Bottom lash formulas are the most affordable, costing between $13-$18. Basic lengthening, volumizing, defining and curling formulas generally range from $18-$20, while high-end volumizing formulas typically cost $20-$23. 

Clinique mascara FAQ

What’s the shelf life for a tube of mascara? 

A. You generally shouldn’t use a tube of mascara for longer than three to six months. Because it’s a liquid product, it can grow bacteria very quickly. That can be dangerous around the eyes because it can cause infections and other irritations. 

Can I use Clinique mascara if I wear contacts?

A. Clinique mascaras are actually some of the best for contact lens wearers. That’s because they’re ophthalmologist-tested, allergy-tested and fragrance-free, so they’re less likely to irritate your eyes. 

What’s the best Clinique mascara to buy?

Top Clinique mascara

Clinique High Impact Mascara

Clinique High Impact Mascara

What you need to know: This versatile mascara can give you thicker, longer lashes for maximum impact that works for both everyday wear and special occasions.

What you’ll love: The formula lengthens, volumizes and defines your lashes. It provides a rich color that wears for hours. It’s easy to apply evenly without any clumps. It doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. It’s available in black and black/brown. 

What you should consider: It can take several seconds to dry completely. Some tubes arrive dried out too. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta

Top Clinique mascara for the money

Clinique Lash Power Mascara

Clinique Lash Power Mascara

What you need to know: An excellent long-wearing formula, this mascara can wear for 24 hours without any smudges or flakes. It’s ideal for lengthening and curling lashes too. 

What you’ll love: It wears extremely well even through tears, sweat and humidity. It’s easy to take off with warm water. Its brush is designed to coat every lash. It lengthens the lashes well and even helps with curling. 

What you should consider: It can smudge a bit if it hasn’t dried completely. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta

Worth checking out

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara

What you need to know: A waterproof formula, this mascara has all the benefits of Clinique’s High Impact Mascara but wears even better in extreme conditions.

What you’ll love: It wears very well even in moist conditions. It comes in a highly pigmented black shade that helps lengthen and volumize your lashes. It’s ideal for special occasions. It washes off easily with an oil-based makeup remover. 

What you should consider: The brush can pick up too much mascara, making the application somewhat messy. The heavy formula can drag down straight lashes too. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta


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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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