Are you asking yourself can you put mascara on eyelash extensions? Do you put mascara on fake lashes?
Even after getting eyelash extensions, going without mascara can make us feel naked and old habits die hard. So can you put mascara on eyelash extensions or will you ruin your new set?
The answer is yes, you can still enjoy wearing mascara on your lash extensions, as long as you have a classic set.
Classic lash extensions offer a thickness boost to those who already sport pretty decent natural lashes. The final look after classic extensions is similar to what you get with a high-quality mascara.
Volume lash extensions apply multiple lash strands to each natural lash, resulting in a dramatically voluminous look. For those with volume lashes or a hybrid lash (a mix of volume and classic lashes), you’ll have to sit this one out. Mascara may actually hurt your lash extensions, so it’s best to play it safe.
If you’ve got classic lashes and want to continue using mascara, you’re in luck. We’ll go over all the ins and outs of how to safely wear mascara on top of your classic lash extensions. Read on to learn how you can put mascara on lash extensions safely, as well as which mascaras you should use ‒ and what kinds to avoid.
Mascara vs. eyelash extensions
If you use a good quality mascara and are handy with an eyelash curler, you might not need anything else to make your eyes pop. The most obvious benefit of using mascara on its own is that you can take it on or off and play with different lash looks.
Eyelash extensions use a special adhesive glue to apply fiber strands to your natural lashes. The benefit of extensions is that you look put together at any time without any effort. You can literally say, “I woke up looking like this.” But, again, you still might be asking can you wear mascara with eyelash extensions.
Pros and cons of putting mascara on eyelash extensions
If you opted for classic eyelash extensions, chances are your lash game is already strong. And you probably won’t feel like you need much else on most days.
But, if you have a special occasion you want to look extra glam for, it can be tempting to reach for your trusty old friend ‒ mascara.
Though putting mascara on top of your lash extensions will help you go the extra mile in amping up the drama of your lashes, you have to remember that it isn’t always good for you or your lashes. The main rule is to stay away from any oil-based mascara products and choose a water-based formula instead.
Types of mascara to wear with lash extensions
OK, so you decided you can’t live without mascara even after getting your classic lashes. Is there a good mascara eyelash extensions can handle? Here’s a list of the least damaging kinds to use.
Water-based mascara is the creme de la creme when it comes to mascara for lash extensions. Because it lacks oily and waxy substances (which most mascaras on the market contain), it won’t ruin your lashes or dissolve the bonding agents in your lash glue. Reach for this kind to keep things gentle.
Oils also dissolve the glue your lash extensions use to stick to your natural lashes, so avoid it at all costs. When looking at mascara ingredients, make sure there are absolutely no oils listed. If it says oil-free on the package, you found a keeper. Also, watch out for any silicone ingredients.
Types of mascara to avoid
Now that you know what’s safe to use with your eyelash extensions, let’s go through the kinds of mascara you should avoid.
Waterproof mascara might be a great option when you don’t have lash extensions, but it’s a total nightmare once you do. These mascaras are hard to wash off and contain many ingredients that dissolve your lash glue. This will ultimately make your lashes fall out prematurely. Another key ingredient is silicone, so definitely steer clear of this one.
Fiber mascaras contain things like silk, nylon, and rayon, which are dry fibers. These fibers make it insanely difficult to remove the product from lashes and will harm your extensions as well as cause them and your natural lashes to fall out. This type of mascara works best on natural lashes.
Don’t let the name confuse you. Tube mascara doesn’t refer to regular mascara that comes in a tube. It gets its name because it uses polymers to individually wrap around each lash, forming tubes. It’s one of the hardest mascara types to remove, and because it forms a tube around each lash, it is definitely unsafe for your lash extensions.
The right mascara brush
When it comes to mascara brushes, avoid the kinds that have a harsh grip. Many mascaras spoolies tend to include intricate brush bristles that cling to your lashes because this guarantees a thicker coating on natural lashes. You don’t want that same effect on lash extensions because the tugging and pulling it produces can damage extensions and the natural lashes they’re glued to.
Disposable mascara spoolies, like the kind you get at Ulta to try out different products, are the best kind of brush to use on your extensions. They’re also insanely cheap and easy to come by.
Lash care while you sleep
This is a fundamental rule to remember. Never, under any circumstances, wear mascara while you sleep. The risks of eye infection increase exponentially if you wear mascara to bed. Keep in mind that this is true with or without eyelash extensions.
No matter how tired you feel after a long day, don’t skip washing off your makeup. Additionally, lash extensions should be treated with care, and wearing mascara on them through the night could damage them or make them more likely to break off.
Sleeping on your back is the safest choice for reducing any kind of bending or breaking while you sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, try an eye mask that’s designed to cushion and protect your lash extensions. You can also try a silk pillowcase to minimize your lashes snagging in the fabric. If you sleep on your stomach, you’ll end up with lashes on your pillowcase in the morning.
How to put mascara on eyelash extensions
Make sure you start with a clean face. Wash your lashes with an eyelash extension cleanser like a foaming shampoo. After your lashes are washed and air-dried, gently comb them with a small lash comb or disposable mascara spoolie. Avoid pulling or tugging.
Have your water-based or oil-free formula ready and apply it to your lash extensions with the same motion you would to your natural lashes, but avoid the base. Only apply the product from the middle of your lashes to the tips.
Can you put mascara on bottom lashes?
Though it isn’t as common as only doing top lash extensions, it is possible to get eyelash extensions on your top and bottom lashes. It’s considered an advanced practice, so not all lash technicians do it.
That being said, if you have lash extensions on the bottom, follow the same protocol as for top lash extensions. Don’t use any mascara that has oils, silicones, or fibers. If your bottom lashes are natural, this is less of an issue, but stick to a water-based or oil-free formula just to be safe.
How to remove mascara from eyelash extensions
Gentleness is key.
Use an oil-free makeup remover. The main ingredient in water-based makeup removers is surfactant, which removes makeup particles from the outer layer.
The applicator you use with your makeup remover should also be lint-free and non-sticky. A smooth washcloth or brush can work well, just be sure not to rub your eyes or tug on your lashes. Instead, use patting motions.
Additional do’s and don’ts
- Do clean your makeup tools regularly. Any time you deal with lashes or makeup, hygiene is crucial. Especially when adding mascara to the mix, you have to be careful not to use contaminated tools.
- Don’t ever share your mascara. When you share products, you risk catching an infection or harmful germs from someone else.
- Don’t pump your mascara wand up and down inside the tube. This pushes air into the tube, which makes your product clump and dry up faster.
- Do avoid touching your lash extensions. You don’t want to accidentally ruin them, so keep your hands off your face as much as possible.
- Don’t take scorching hot showers, the humidity can ruin your extensions.
Takeaways on wearing mascara with lashes
If you splurged on eyelash extensions, you don’t need to wear mascara. Your lashes will look great without it, and you can get away with fewer makeup products in general. But, if you just can’t break the habit or simply want to add more drama, putting mascara on eyelash extensions is possible as long as you follow proper protocol.
Keep things clean, always be gentle, and use the right tools. Most importantly, be sure to never use any waterproof products on your lash extensions or anything that contains fibers and oils. Stick with water-based and oil-free only.
Can you put mascara on lash extensions? Definitely yes, and now that you know the right way, go out and amp up your lash look by getting an extension-friendly mascara.
Laura is a beauty expert with 5 years prior experience working in cosmetics and lash salons. When not writing you can find her experimenting with the trending makeup looks, or reading a good book snuggled up with her French Bulldog Max. Laura is currently a contributing writer and Beauty Editor at BeatyStack.