Putting mascara on eyelash extensions can ruin your lashes if done improperly. That’s why I wanted to cover the “do’s and don’ts” of mascara use with lash extensions.
While it’s true that lash extensions offer you freedom from mascara and several other eye makeup products, not everyone can ditch mascara in a wink. For many of us, mascara offers the crowning touch to our makeup routine.
Get ready to find out the stepwise instructions on how to apply mascara like a pro to your lash extensions.
Let’s get started!
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Can You Put Mascara on Eyelash Extensions?
You can wear mascara with eyelash extensions. However, you should only wear mascara with classic eyelash extensions and not with hybrid or volume lashes. Also, You should avoid waterproof mascara on lash extensions because it’s difficult to take off. Instead, go for a water-based solution.
The first thing to remember is that mascara can’t be applied to all types of lash extensions. While it’s a good bet for classic lashes, the same doesn’t apply to other sets like volume or hybrid eyelash extensions.
Remember that classic lash extensions consist of one extension to one natural eyelash while volume lashes are multiple extensions to one natural lash. A mega volume fan contains six to even sixteen lash extensions per natural lash.
Pro Tip: I have a detailed guide covering the differences between classic, hybrid, and volumes lashes right here!
There are two reasons why you should avoid mascara with volume lashes and hybrid lashes:
- Extra weight. When you wear mascara on a volume fan, it can add a huge weight to your new eyelashes, leading them to weigh down and fall out prematurely.
Instead of applying mascara onto one single lash, you are essentially applying mascara on the multiple lashes composing the fan. Extra mascara = extra weight.
- Closing the fan. Volume lashes give you the advantage of extra… volume! Shocker I know. If you apply mascara on a volume fan, the fan will close and the lashes will be mingled together in mascara. Mascara applied on volume eyelash extensions defeats the purpose.
What Happens if You Put Mascara on Lash Extensions?
Applying mascara on lash extensions can cause the lashes to stick together, resulting in a clumpy look. Moreover, oil-based mascaras can weaken the bond of the lash glue and cause your extensions to fall out prematurely.
Lastly, the mascara wand can also pull and tug on your extensions while you comb through the lashes when applying your coat of mascara. This can loosen or even tear the extensions.
“For these reasons, I recommend avoiding mascara on hybrid or volume lashes and being very careful when applying it on classic lashes.“
How to Apply Mascara With Eyelash Extensions
Unlike applying to natural lashes, mascara on eyelash extensions works differently.
Here’s how to apply mascara to eyelash extensions:
- Wash, dry, and comb your lashes.
- Gently apply a coat of mascara to your natural lashes and extensions.
- Make sure to start applying from the middle and go towards the tips.
- Remember not to apply mascara to the roots.
- Avoid adding more than a coat or two of mascara to false eyelash extensions.
Best Oil-Free Mascara for Eyelash Extensions
Oil-free mascaras (also referred to as “waterproof mascaras”) are best for lash extensions. These formulas won’t damage the adhesive that bonds the extension to the natural lash.
Some of the best oil-free mascaras for eyelash extensions are:
- GladGirl Lashe EnMasse Mascara: I love this mascara for its lightweight oil-free formula and ultra-black color. It’s designed to give a dramatic look without clumping or smudging. it also comes with a dual brush wand to separate your lashes.
- Xtreme Lashes Length & Volume Mascara: This mascara was designed specifically for lash extensions. It’s a water-based formula enriched with vitamin B5 to nourish your natural eyelashes.
- Maybelline’s Great Lash Washable Mascara: This traditional favorite provides a natural look and won’t cause smudging or clumping. This mascara is incredibly easy to wash off which is a big reason why I like it for my clients.
Which Mascara to Avoid on Lash Extensions?
Not all mascaras are good for false eyelashes, regardless of whether yours are made from synthetic or natural fibers.
Pro Tip: Check out my detailed review of the various materials used for eyelash extensions here!
1- Waterproof Mascara
A type of mascara that’s resilient against water, tears, and sweat, waterproof mascara is hardly ever good for any type of lashes.
The key components of this mascara are Teflon (the non-stick coating on your cookware) and Dimethicone copolyol (a type of silicone).
That’s the main reason why they end up damaging the bond created by the lash adhesive and subsequently leading to the early falling-off of lash extensions. Due to its water-repellant nature, this type of mascara often makes your lashes brittle and dries them out too.
If you’re thinking of mascara for daily wear, the waterproof version is definitely not the right one.
Finally, waterproof mascara is very difficult to remove. There are just a handful of ways to remove it without intense rubbing, pulling, or snagging. That’s also why it can cause lash extensions to fall out early.
2- Mascara With Oils
The biggest turn-off in most mascaras for lash extensions is oil. That’s because oil is capable of damaging the eyelash glue and breaking the bond between eyelash extensions and natural lashes.
You must actively avoid mascara with ingredients like lanolin, castor oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, paraffin, mineral oil, turpentine oil, linseed oil, eucalyptus oil, and sesame oil.
Pro Tip: Did you know that standard coconut oil can be used at home to remove lash extensions? Check out my step-by-step guide to remove eyelash extensions here!
3- Tube Mascara
Tube mascara is a product that coats lashes by forming tubes around each lash. While this mascara is easy to remove from natural lashes, on eyelash extensions it sticks like tar. Hence, prolonged use of tube mascara ends up damaging the extensions.
4- Fiber Mascara
This type of mascara comes laden with dry fibers like silk, rayon, or nylon to make your lashes look thicker and denser. Unlike tube mascara, this is very hard to remove and that’s why it’s not recommended for lash extensions.
Pros And Cons of Mascara With Lash Extensions
Mascara enhances your lashes whether you like to flaunt your natural lashes or gorgeous new extensions. But, when you apply this eye product to lash extensions, many things can go wrong unless you know full well what you’re doing.
While eyelash extensions are relatively new, wearing mascara is not. The old and the new can coexist but it’s important to know the pros and cons.
Let’s find out!
History says mascara was used in Ancient Egypt since 4,000 B.C. According to National Geographic, mascara was also used for ophthalmological health. It got so popular, that this eye makeup tool is used by over 106 million women in the U.S today.
Extensions on eyelashes are a game-changer for many. But to keep them looking gorgeous, you need to do routine maintenance until you go back to the salon for a refill.
Here are the temporary benefits of putting mascara on lash extensions:
- Your eyelashes look thicker, ensuring a bold and bright look.
- Mascara can change the color of your extensions if you use contrasting-colored mascara.
- It can increase the length of fake lashes.
- When your lash extensions are sparse and you need a refill, one or two coats of mascara can help you extend the appointment slightly.
- Certain mascaras are infused with ingredients like peptides, stem cell complexes, Vitamin E, biotin, and keratin. That’s how they can help in growing your natural lashes besides keeping them healthy.
Several beauty products contain toxic chemicals and that’s why they might be bad for you. A study looking at the correlation between eyelash loss and usage of mascara found that eyelash fall was observed in 19% of cases.
But what does mascara do to your lash extensions?
- Most mascaras contain oils  like sesame oil, eucalyptus oil, lanolin, etcetera. And, when oil comes into contact with lash adhesives for prolonged hours, it can slowly break the bond between extensions and natural lashes. This will make your lash extensions fall out prematurely.
- As mascaras are typically heavy on natural eyelashes, they turn out to be heavier on longer, thicker, and fuller extensions. This will lead your new lashes to break, droop down, or lose their shape unless they’re lightweight (For example, mink lashes are featherlight). If you wear mink lashes, I wrote a detailed guide on materials used for eyelash extensions that you might find helpful here.
- Mascara lets the cat out of the bag because it makes your fake eyelashes look even more fake. It becomes more apparent that you’ve got eyelash enhancements.
How to Remove Mascara From Lash Extensions
Follow these simple steps to get the mascara off your eyelash extensions without damaging them:
- Use an oil-free makeup remover: you don’t want to use an oil-based makeup remover as it can weaken the adhesive bond.
- Use a spoolie: Dip the spoolie in the remover and gently brush it through the extensions. You can also use a mascara brush.
- Pat your lashes with a lint-free towel: Never use a regular towel since the fibers can get caught in your extensions.
- Rinse with lukewarm water: This will help get rid of any residue makeup that might be left on the lashes.
- Repeat the process until all mascara is removed: Make sure to be gentle when brushing the lashes as you don’t want to tug on them!
Can you wear mascara on bottom lashes with eyelash extensions?
Mascara can be worn on your bottom lashes with eyelash extensions. However, make sure you are using water-based mascara that will be easy to wash off. Because eyelash extensions are typically only applied on top lashes, applying mascara on bottom lashes is less of a concern.
Can you put mascara on fake lashes?
Yes, you can put mascara on fake lashes or strip lashes. The same rules apply as with lash extensions, though. Look for oil-free mascara and avoid waterproof formulas.
Is it bad to put mascara on eyelash extensions?
It’s not bad to wear mascara on classic lashes and it won’t damage your extensions as long as you use water-based mascara and are careful when applying it.
Can you put mascara on mink eyelashes?
Since mink lashes are natural fibers, you can’t wear mascara on them as it will damage the extension. If you want to wear mascara, I recommend opting for synthetic lash extensions instead.
Can I use mascara as eyelash glue?
No, you can’t use mascara as eyelash glue. Mascara is not meant to keep your lashes in place and will not provide a strong enough bond to hold your extensions on. Instead, you should use a dedicated lash adhesive for this purpose.
Can you put mascara on classic lashes?
Yes, classic lashes are the only type of lashes where it’s actually safe to wear mascara.
Can you put mascara on hybrid eyelash extensions?
Mascara can’t be worn with hybrid lashes as it causes the volume fans to shut and clump.
The Bottom Line
While mascara can bolden and lengthen lash extensions, using mascara on lash extensions isn’t normally necessary.
If you still wish to use mascara on your eyelash extensions, make sure you are wearing classic lashes and not volume lashes. Mascara on volume lashes will add too much weight and close your volume fans.
Moreover, certain mascaras can disintegrate bonds created by lash glue to keep the extensions connected to your natural lashes.
Another important thing is to avoid mascaras that come with oils and artificial waxes as they can degrade the retentiveness of extensions too.
Never use waterproof mascara because they consist of silicones and toxic substances that damage your extensions quickly. Also, keep off fiber mascaras. and tube mascaras.
Always stick to water-based mascara solutions when using mascara on lash extensions. These are easy to remove and less drying than the waterproof variety. When applying mascara on eyelash extensions, avoid touching the roots and work from the middle to the tips.
All that being said, it’s a good idea to choose a thicker lash extension (think 0.03mm, 0.05mm, or 0.07mm) than ruining your extensions with repeated use of mascara.
Talk to us in the comments about how you want to apply mascara to lash extensions or what you want to achieve with it and we will help you out!
– Asako 🙂
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- Asako Ito (2021). Eyelash Extension Types: A Helpful Guide. Retrieved from https://divinelashes.ca/blog/eyelash-extension-types/#size (Accessed on 7-2-2021)