Can White Lashes Get Some Love?


Here’s me trying to be all serious and shit next to my icy lashed idols, Tilda Swinton and Kristen McMenamy. Can I get some frosty lashes with a side of those cheekbones?

Despite having olive skin from my 25%-Greekness, which leads to my ability to get freaky-tan in warmer months (white blonde hair, brows, and lashes with super tan skin gives a lot of people Oompa Loompa vibes), my lashes convey only my German/English/Swiss heritage. Two parents with white lashes pretty much seals your fate. Growing up, I was called “albino” more times than I can remember (you can count on 7th grade boys to not realize albinism means a complete absence of melanin and not just very fair hair, DUH!).

During high school, I wore mascara without fail, every day. I would have rather died than gone to 4th period (Drawing III) rocking the bare lash. “He CAN’T see me without mascara!”

It wasn’t until college that I came to appreciate my casper eyelashes for their uniqueness. Well that, and I could not be bothered to put on makeup to go to class or anywhere, really (except to Suede maybe, remember that place?!).  All those years of wishing I were golden blonde with dark lashes and brows were suddenly replaced by my excitement in being 'unconventionally attractive.' Of course, living in NYC and going to art school certainly helped heaps in that department.  I started thinking of 'interesting' as more desirable than simply 'pretty.'

And while I am thrilled that the 'no-mascara look' is actually a trend now, I still deserve some options! Seriously, I have tried every mascara out there. Nothing looks natural on me...except for Neurtrogena Clean Lash Tint (R.I.P., bitch). Which makes me wonder: where is the love for my fair-lashed compatriots? Yes, we make up less than 2% of the world's population (I found this figure while Googling), and about 4% if you include our close cousins, gingers. But there is a market for us!

All I’m saying is: taupe mascara. Not dark brown, not black/brown, not chestnut, etc. Warm-colored mascaras look as unnatural on ashy blondes as purple or blue. By candlelight, you might get away with it, but once you're in the sunlight, all you can see are the warm red tones. Light grey would even work. (I know what you are thinking" “Burberry came out with a grey!” Been there, done that. Too dark.)  Diorshow in Chestnut is great for those candlelight situations I mentioned, or sometimes I’ll use Maybelline Great Lash in Brownish Black, which coats the lashes in a natural way but is still too dark for daytime. If I’m feeling inspired in the morning and want to wear mascara pre-sunset, I’ll use Covergirl Natureluxe in Brownby far the lightest brown mascara I've found—by wiping half of the mascara off the wand, applying one coat, and removing any clumps with my fingers. MAC’s Brow Set in Beguile is a great color, but the consistency isn’t right for lashes (too sticky). Sometimes if I want just a hint of definition, I will mix Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #15 Taupe with MAC’s Paint Pot in Groundwork, and use a slanted eyeliner brush to beef up the roots of my lashes and paint a bit on the rest of the lash... More often than not, though, I skip mascara entirely and just shade my lid with Nars Single Eye Shadow in Blondie.

Which means that until the magical moment when a light-ass mascara comes on the market, I’m rocking these bunny-rabbit eyes day to day. Except for maybe my wedding. That is actually something I worry about.

—Jesse Breeden

Jesse Breeden is a Brooklyn-based beauty fiend and michelada connoisseur. Check out her tumblr and Instagram.

Photos by Jesse Breeden

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Kate

    I haven't tried this particular shade but Ilia Beauty makes a mascara in 4 different shades - one of them is a grey and one of them is this super interesting ash brown shade that she specifically made for fairer lashes. That might work!

    • Poulette

      Oh my goodness I was just going to recommend the same! I have the one for fair lashes, it's called Macao & is a coppery brown. Awesome on my green eyes. The grey one would be fabulous as well. At any rate, you are stunning

  • Loulou de Perk

    Don't know if you can get it in the US of A, but Bourjois had a lovely super fair brown mascara, i didn't like the formula that much (it's the "volume clubbing" mascara, super thick) but if you wiped off most of the product before using it, it was the right tint of greyish mink, barely there but really gorgeous on my danish-irish fairy lashes. Hope you'l find your graal soon!

  • lindenen

    Go to a salon and get them tinted. Best decision I ever made.

    • Jesse Breeden

      It's too dark :( and for some reason makes my dark circles way worse?

  • Raevin Long

    Have you ever tried those brow gel/brow mascaras out there on your lashes? I'm sure there's a taupe for brows with a decent brush that could work out those fab snow colored lashes of yours! (PS. Love the Yolandi love.)

  • Raevin Long

    Have you ever tried a tinted brow gel for mascara? There HAS to be a taupe one out there that'd be just perfect for your awesome pale lashes. (PS. Love the Yolandi love!)

  • Janna

    Every day I mourn Neutrogena Clean Lash Tint.

    I actuallly have my eyelashes dyed (well, tinted I guess is the technical term), and I swear it's the best $25 I have ever spent in my life, ever. I haven't worn mascara for weeks. I can cry at that ASPCA commercial without makeup related repercussions. I can rub my eyes. Amazing. I have sensitive eyes, and it doesn't bother me whatsoever.

  • Pemberley Jones

    A lash fan brush would probably help get a more natural and consistent coverage, regardless of the color you use. Perhaps that might help? Otherwise, I think the light lash is so gorgeous and unique!

  • tinaandlarafan

    Yes, have your lashes tinted. I am a ginger with platinum eyebrows/lashes and I have been tinting all of it since I was in college. It's worth every penny!

  • AltE

    Anastasia brow gel. Comes in a range of colors. OR! Get one tube clear mascara & one tube brown ( or grey or whatever) and add the brown brush to the clear until you've reached the desired tint.

  • Strawbry_Blonde

    I hear you... as a strawberry blonde my lashes (& brows) are almost transparent. The most flattering mascara I've found is by Green People. It's brown, but a soft minky brown... maybe you'd still find it too dark but I really like it and the texture is lovely too - quite fine, lengthening and not at all clumpy. Unlike you I don't accept my blonde lashes... maybe when I was younger I could have got away with them, but now they just make my eyes look old & tired (yours don't!). I've never felt prettier than for the two weeks when I had lash extensions.

    A refreshing post to read and I like your thinking! :)

    Nic x
    ps fabulous lipstick!

    • Jesse Breeden

      Thanks! My lipstick is Nars' Heat wave! x

      • Strawbry_Blonde

        Thank you! x

      • D.A.

        Woah! It comes off completely red on you!

  • Turner Turner

    hilarious!!! and yes, youre beautiful too.

  • Sequin Doll

    Thist post made me laugh. I TOTALLY know what you mean. I have really light hair and a fair complexion so I also heard the albino line in school (I mean really, couldn't boys think of anything more original??). I still haven't quite gotten to the point where I will not wear mascara out in public (unless it's a run to the store quick on a Saturday morning in my sweatpants sort of situaiton) but I appreciate your love for us fair lash ladies :)

  • Angela_E

    Tilda Swinton can do no wrong.

  • MoseyM

    Lots of Etsy sellers mix their own mascara formulas, maybe you should contact a few of them to see if they'll do a taupe?

  • That’s Not My Age

    They can when Tilda's wearing them!

  • LilyVonS
    • Jesse Breeden

      Thanks! Will definitely try!

  • moira

    Well I am pale with super dark black eyelashes so I can't really relate, BUT i have been on the hunt for a good white mascara forever. As in white white, not that primer end of a double coat mascara. I want to white them out! So jealous of you "albino" ladies! Suggestions, anyone?

  • kaelani

    That chick from Die antwoord scares the shit outta me.

  • Goforit

    My lashes and brows are clear. I have to have color. The mascara issue I deal with is the quantity it requires to fully coat my lashes since there is no base color. Most mascaras get gloppy and I too have spent a fortune trying every single one out there. The best one by far: Cover Girl Queen Collection Lash Fanatic. Yes the African American line works great for this blonde and I use the blackest black. I have had multiple make up artists ask me what mascara I use. This is hard to find in stores you have to be in areas with heavy Latin/African American customer base or order online.

    • Adrienne

      You are my soul sister. I've tried every high end mascara ever and I faithfully return to CG Last Blast in the orange tube. It's been 6 years and I still can't find something that beats it. (MAC Extreme Dimension comes pretty close, but it's more expensive without being better)

  • Hayfa

    Kinda digging the whole white lash thing!


  • Ewa Bilinska

    Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow into clear mascara

  • Nina

    Thank you for this post, I'm a strawberry blonde with invisible lashes (and brows) too :) I was seriously addicted to mascara until recently when I decided to quit it, I thought of it as a challenge to myself. Everyone asked me if I was sick the first days, ha ha. And my boyfriend isn't thrilled about it. But now I really LOVE that no-mascara look, especially when paired with a bright lip color ( I almost always wear lipstick). Now I think that my black mascara looks way too harsh on my face. I doubt if I'll ever be a regular mascara girl again, no matter what my boyfriend thinks :)

  • Julie

    Aveda makes a brown mascara, this is the lightest I have ever found. It looks really natural, almost too natural for nighttime but it works very well. I have very fair skin, blue eyes, icy blonde

  • Maria Laura

    I have brown lashes but I do love the white ones! I wish i had those!!

  • gf

    Anastasia Brow Gel in Taupe
    YSL Faux Cils has a gray shade.

  • coco

    Love it !

  • Angela S

    I am a redhead and use the MAC blonde brow mascara on my eyelashes. It took me years to figure this out but it looks natural! My lashes are light but not blonde.

  • Behind the Mirror

    I love this. I have white eyelashes and eyebrows (but not white hair dark blonde actually).

  • Sarah

    I seriously am one of the 2% with blonde eyelashes? (AND I'M A REDHEAD!?) How did this happen! Well now I feel unique and just a tad bit more alone ;)

  • Cristina Dias
  • Isabel

    I realise I'm a bit late to the party, and I have dark eyelashes so I probably don't know what I'm talking about, but couldn't you tint a clear mascara with a bit of brown mascara? Or get a white mascara (I don't know who does them, or if you'd just get one that's meant for before black mascara) and do the same?

  • Madelaine McDonald

    As a fellow blonde, I have recently discovered the joys of tinting the TOP lashes only which doesn't highlight dark circles! Just a nice natural light browny colour and voila! Game changer!

  • Can

    I felt like I was reading about my childhood. I had many nicknames besides albino; albino was actually the least offensive nickname of them all. I do embrace my natural look sometimes, but I lack the confidence that I have with mascara. I was completely inspired by your red lipstick... You look amazing, like a porcelain goddess. I'm going to try this look for awhile......btw, my boyfriend loves it! Thank you sooooooooo much!

  • mizzy

    Blonde lashes here!
    I don't wear mascara on weekends. I wear it to work.
    Once, I was in a movie as an extra set in the 1940's and the makeup people gave me very red lips, sprayed up hair and zero mascara. They told me that in the 40s, mascara was not used much.
    I looked fabulous in the movie.

  • Gary

    I am a guy that loves white eye lashes on women, don't change it.

  • Sonny

    Has anyone tried Burberry's Midnight Blonde mascara? It's more of a khaki color. I usually don't like to buy expensive mascara since you have to toss them every few months, but all the drugstore mascaras seem too dark to look natural on a blonde.

  • Libby

    I feel your pain and frustration! I have the same coloring as you except my skin is pinkish not olive.
    I've been coloring my eyebrows and wearing mascara for way too long.
    Maybe we need to just band together and be boldly white eyelashed and mascara free.

    But seriously why isn't there a beige mascara?

  • hitsme

    thank you for this, i feel a little less weird :) i guess it is becoming a trend in japan to look like us. i just ordered a blond mascara from ETUDE. lets see how it works

  • Lashes

    OMG, I so have to agree. I have looked for ages for something to compliment my white eyelashes, not cover them! I even thought clear mascara, or trying eyebrow taupe mascara.

  • Bob

    I have white eyelashes and red haIrso this really helped me,I am probably use light brown... Unless I run into something else in the store!


Dior Diorshow Mascara
CoverGirl Natureluxe
CoverGirl Natureluxe Mousse Mascara in Brown
MAC Brow Set in Beguile
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #15 Taupe
NARS Single Eyeshadow in Blondie