Can You Wear Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions? How to Apply Safely

Woman wearing eyeliner with eyelash extensions

Most women don’t feel the need to wear eyeliner anymore once they try eyelash extensions but sometimes a little extra “humf” is needed. Truth be told, most of the makeup you were using before eyelash extensions can still be used. However, special care is in order to preserve your beautiful lashes. So, can you wear eyeliner with eyelash extensions? 

You can wear eyeliner with eyelash extensions. The best eyeliners for lash extensions are liquid and shadow-based liners while gel and waterproof liners are the worst. You should avoid oil-based eyeliners because eyelash glue can be dissolved by oil if used repeatedly.

Read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of putting eyeliner when you’re wearing lash extensions, what type of liners are safe for extensions, and what type will damage your extensions. We will also cover how to apply or remove eyeliner when wearing eyelash extensions.

Keep on reading!

Pros And Cons Of Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions

Woman wearing eyelash extensions with eyes closed
Eyeliner drawing on hand

Eye makeup is designed to accent your eyes. When you’re wearing eyelash extensions, eye makeup can backfire if you aren’t careful. Before you narrow down on the perfect eyeliner to use with your new gorgeous lash extensions, it’s important to learn how it can help or hurt your extensions first.

Why You Should Avoid Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions

The most frequent argument against eyeliners when you have eyelash extensions is the side effects caused by removing your liner at the end of the day. If you do rub harshly while taking off your eyeliner, your eyelash extensions could fall out prematurely.

Other reasons to avoid wearing eyeliner with eyelash extensions are :

  • Eyeliner is made up of waxes, oils, and other substances so that it stays glossy for a long time without smudging. When you wear eyeliner that touches eyelash extensions or seeps into them, the lash adhesive that glues the extensions with your natural lashes slowly breaks down because of the oil from the liner. This leads to premature falling off of lash extensions.
  • When you apply multiple layers of eyeliner on top of your lash extensions, it can clump the fake lashes together and keep it that way throughout the day, further aggravating the damage.
  • Applying unhygienic eyeliner leads to eye infections due to the bacteria or fungi that are accumulated in the eyeliner bottle.[1]
  • The wrong type of eyeliner can also create irritations and other problems for those who wear contacts or have sensitive eyes.
  • A risk of eyeliner application is corneal abrasion which happens when you accidentally scratch the cornea while applying this eye makeup product.[2]
  • When you use eyeliners daily, it can block the glands around the eyes called meibomian glands. This can lead to acute blepharitis.[3]
  • While applying eyeliner, it’s possible to tug or pull onto the lash extensions, especially if you’re using extremely-dry formulas.

Why You Might Still Want to Wear Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions

Whether you want your eyes to look shapely or sharp, eyeliner polishes your look like magic. It’s a makeup tool that defines the eyes by lining the upper and/or lower eyelids.

  • Eyeliner can change the look of your eyes altogether. It’s capable of making small eyes look big, big eyes look small, and flat ones look round.[4]
  • If your eyelash extensions aren’t full or if you’re wearing the classic set, applying eyeliner can make your lashes look thicker with a bold outline. It opens up your eyes and makes them look brighter too.
  • One common benefit of eyeliner is that it makes your eyelash extensions look more natural as if you’re just wearing bold eye makeup.
  • This is a perfect product for those who like creating new looks because it’s fun if you want to create a smokey eye. It’s even better if you like using different eyeliner stamps or colors to upgrade ordinary styles.
  • Wearing an eyeliner makes your eyes look clean, sharp, and shapely often without the need to apply mascara or eye shadow.

Types Of Eyeliners You Can Wear With Eyelash Extensions

When you want to apply eye makeup around your stunning lash extensions, every product needs to be double-checked first. No, we aren’t vouching for hypoallergenic eyeliners, but something even more important- the formula behind the eyeliner you pick. That’s because all types of eyeliner don’t work the same with lash extensions.

Here are the best types of eyeliners you can wear with synthetic eyelash extensions:

  • Liquid liner: Also known as ‘ink liner’, this eyeliner may come as a liquid liner pen, gel pot, or in a tube. Besides being easy-to-apply, liquid liners are also easy to remove with warm water.
  • Powder eyeliner: Another best companion for lash extensions is the black pressed powder that’s often applying using an angled brush around the eyes. Often called a shadow liner, it’s the best way to define your eyes when wearing eyelash extensions without irritating them too much. Moreover, it’s quite easy to remove with water too.
  • Water-based: Any eyeliner you decide to use with eyelash extensions must be water-based as opposed to oil-based. Try this water-based eyeliner on Amazon to get started.
  • Cake liner: While this type of eyeliner smudges easily, it’s gentle, easy to remove, and perfect for creating a vintage-inspired look.

Types Of Eyeliners To Avoid With Eyelash Extensions

Woman applying pencil eyeliner

Never apply a random eyeliner to your eyes when you’re wearing extensions. It’s important to look for the right ingredients if you want to avoid damaging your lash extensions in the long run.

Here are the main eyeliners you need to watch out for.


Just like you should avoid waterproof mascaras with eyelash extensions [5], waterproof eyeliners are awful for lash extensions. As they’re thick, contain waxes and oils that are hard to remove, they damage your lashes ultimately. The oil in waterproof liner degrades the bond created by lash glue to attach extensions to your natural lashes.

Moreover, waterproof eyeliners are hard to remove because they’re resistant to tears and water-based makeup. That’s why such a liner often requires ruthless scrubbing around the eyes during removal.

As a rule of thumb, if the eyeliner claims not to flake or smudge, chances are it’s waterproof and you’ll have a rough time removing it.

Pencil liner

First off, there are two types of pencil liners. One is mechanical where you need to rotate the bottom of the eyeliner to use as it finishes. The other is the traditional one where you need to sharpen the pencil based on how much product you’ve used.

Both are a big no-no when you’re wearing lash extensions because they can often tug on the lash line during application. In addition, they can both increase the pressure you apply on lash extensions when putting liner to the roots, which will ultimately damage the lash bond created by the glue.

Besides that, most pencil liners are mixed with waxes and oils to prolong their retentiveness.

Kohl liner

Traditionally known as kajal, kohl is generally derived from carbon soot. While a kohl liner is the easiest way to create the smoky-eye look, most kohl liners lead to stubborn stains that are hard-to-remove from eyes at the end of the day.

Gel Liner

Often referred to as the cream liners, gel liner is one of the thickest eyeliners available in the market today. While applying, this type of eyeliner often tugs and snags on the lash line.

On top of it, most gel liners are waterproof and sweat-resistant. They are hard to take-off because you need to swipe back-and-forth around the eyes. This will lead to premature falling-off of eyelash extensions. When used on false eyelash extensions, they leave behind a sticky residue, making removal even harder.

Glitter liner

One of the newest fads in the eye makeup industry is shimmer. But if you’re using glitter eyeliner to realize this, be warned that it isn’t safe for your natural lashes or eyelash extensions. The thing is that glitters can enters the tear film of the eye and lead to irritations.[6]

Moreover, glitter often gets trapped in your eyelashes. That’s why it takes more time to remove than an ordinary eyeliner.

How To Apply Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions

Because eyeliner is applied so close to the lash line where your extensions are fixed, you need to be careful when using them. That being said, eyeliner should be applied on the skin above the lash line (no tight-lining by adding it in-between the lashes) when wearing eyelash extensions. Hence, it mostly doesn’t come into contact with your extensions and is safe to wear with false lashes.

The following is the only checklist you need to keep in mind when applying eyeliner with eyelash extensions safely.

  1. Clean your lashes by washing them, combing them, air-drying them.
  2. Take your liquid liner and place it behind the eyelashes prior to application.
  3. Start drawing from the inner corner of your eye and go towards the outer corners.
  4. If you’re aiming for a winged style, start with the wings first on both eyes.
  5. Avoid having your eyeliner touch your lashes. Always apply the eyeliner above the lash line to prevent touching the extensions.

Applying eyeliner isn’t easy when you don’t have lash extensions. So it isn’t a surprise that it’s even trickier when you have the added job of protecting your eyelash extensions.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • When you can’t step out without eyeliner no matter how thick your gorgeous new extensions look, keep in mind that less is more. The golden rule is to avoid layering that liner again and again. 
  • If you have to put the liner on, keep in mind to apply it in such a way that it doesn’t touch the lash line. Avoid applying your eyeliner to the roots no matter how safe it’s advertised for eyelash extensions. Don’t put the eyeliner between eyelashes or do tight-lining.
  • Do not use any oil-based products.
  • Avoid pressing or pulling down your eyelash extensions when applying the eyeliner as they can get damaged if you do this frequently.

How to Remove Eyeliner With Eyelash Extensions

Removing eyeliner while wearing eyelash extensions is an easy process if you followed our recommendations and avoided waterproof eyeliners. Remember to always take off your eyeliner before going to bed.

Here is how you should remove your eyeliner while wearing eyelash extensions:

  1. Take a lint-free material such as doe foot, scot towel square, or makeup brush.
  2. Dip it in your oil-free eye makeup remover or lash shampoo.
  3. Gently rub off the eyeliner from your eyelids by pressing.
  4. Don’t swipe back and forth or side to side while cleaning.
  5. Once you’re done, wash your eyelash extensions with the cleanser you’re using.
  6. Dry and comb the lashes.

Final Thoughts

Wearing eye makeup without eyelash extension is easy. But once you get lash extensions, you need to be wary about the products you use as well as their application and removal to ensure your lash extensions last for three to four weeks without falling out.

If you’re an eyeliner-enthusiast, you can keep applying it for enhancing your eyes even after you get lash extensions. However, liners with waxes and oils can prove detrimental to the health of your lash extensions.

To avoid the worst, choose an eyeliner that’s compatible with lash extensions. Go for one that’s water-based and formulated without oils. The best choices are those that are easy-to-remove such as liquid or powder liners.

Always avoid waterproof eyeliners, gel or cream liners, pencil liners and glitter liners as these are hard to apply and remove. If you have to use eyeliner, stick to less, avoid applying to the roots, and remove it gently. It’s easy to wear eyeliner if you’re a tad bit careful.

Still feeling lost in between eyeliners and eyelash extensions? Write to us in the below comment box and we’ll get back to you in the shortest possible time.


  1. Health Essentials (2020). Is Eyeliner Bad for Your Eyes? Keep Makeup From Harming Your Health. Retrieved from (Accessed on 12-2-2021)
  2. Vision Source (2014) Retrieved from (Accessed on 12-2-2021)
  3. Dr. Louise Wiseman (2020). Blepharitis: sore, itchy, red eye causes and symptoms. Retrieved on (Accessed on 12-2-2021)
  4. Team BH (2018). How To Apply Eyeliner To Suit Your Eyes. Retrieved from (Accessed on 12-2-2021)
  5. Asako Ito (2021). Can You Wear Mascara With Eyelash Extensions? Retrieved from (Accessed on 12-2-2021)
  6. Mona Adeli MD (2018). Retrieved from (Accessed on 12-2-2021)

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