Ah, the golden question. Can you put mascara on your eyelash extensions? Should you add a coating of the black magic product to something that’s already getting the job done? When you first asked it, you probably didn’t think twice about the answer. Sure, mascara can go over extensions … right?
The truth is that it’s not that black and white. What kind of mascara are we talking about here? What are the ingredients in it, and how will those ingredients react with your lash adhesive versus your natural bare lashes?
Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. In this article, we’ll be deep diving into all things mascara to answer the root of this question. We’ll go from the origins of mascara and its purpose to the formula of various mascaras you’re using all the way to if you should be incorporating it into your daily lash routine.
If these are any of the mascara questions you’ve been wrestling with lately, then join Lashify® as we break it all down below.
The Layers of Mascara
Mascara and eye makeup go back much farther in our history than you might assume. It dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, to be exact, circa the reign of Queen Cleopatra herself (the original makeup guru). In ancient Egypt, the people wore mascara and eye makeup daily, just like we do, only they all wore it: men, women, children; it didn’t matter.
All of them wore a thick green and black powder called kohl around their eyes. According to their writings, this makeup routine was believed to do magical work, so the wearer was protected against infection and illness.
In recent discoveries, it was found that the low doses of lead salt used to craft the makeup could’ve actually been beneficial to the health of the ancient Egyptians. The nitric oxide included in most kohl formulas actually helped to fight off disease, infection, and illness in most cases.
Obviously, that’s not super similar to how we use mascara or eyeshadow today, but it’s fascinating to know how we got from there to here.
How do the different mascaras available now play a role in the effect of your falsies? Most likely, none of them are protecting you from infection, but let’s talk about it.
Mascaras To Use and Mascaras To Lose
Just like anything on the market today, depending on the brand you use, the price of the product, or how well-tested and trusted a product is, you’re going to be faced with different ingredients to sift through. Your mascara has a formula made up of various things that could either be helping or hindering your lash health.
One study on the effect of mascara found that with regular mascara usage, 19% of wearers experienced some sort of eyelash loss. So before you go trusting any mascara out there, let’s go through some of the more common types of mascaras and how they could be affecting you.
Mascaras To Use
- Water-Based Mascara: Water-based mascaras are generally safest for your natural lashes. They (usually) won’t result in excess fallout, lash clumping, or other damage to your natural lashes.
HOWEVER — and this is a big one — you shouldn’t put even this mascara on your Gossamers® (or any other type of lash extensions you may choose). All that tugging and dried product can seriously affect the life of your lashes.
Mascaras To Lose
- Waterproof Mascara: Most waterproof mascaras, despite their largely well-received reputation, are formulated with harmful ingredients that can do more harm to your lashes than good.
Two of those ingredients are Dimethicone copolyol (silicone) and Teflon (a non-stick coating). Dimethicone copolyol works to dry your lashes out resulting in a flaky, itchy, irritated mess.
- Oil-Based Mascara: Any and all oil-based products used on or around your eyes will work against your lash adhesive, breaking it down prematurely and causing fallout of your lashes. That’s a big no-no in the lash world. Only use oil-based ingredients to remove your lashes at the end of their wear, not during.
- Tubing Mascara: This type of mascara forms tubes around your lashes to elongate and thicken them. For natural lashes, this mascara doesn’t harm them, but with extensions, this kind of mascara will latch on and never let go. Prolonged use of this mascara will surely damage your falsies.
- Fiber Mascara: Finally, avoid any and all fiber mascaras. This formula is filled with silk, rayon, and nylon fibers that elongate your natural lashes, but it is almost impossible to remove. This will eventually result in damaged falsies prone to fallout.
How To Get Fab Lashes Without Mascara
Mascara is not a necessity for having fabulous lashes. With lash extensions, temporary lashes, and semi-permanent Gossamers®, etc., the point is to give a similar or improved appearance to mascara that lasts even longer without even needing it. It’s often a better alternative to the constant wear and tear that applying and removing daily mascara can create.
Mascara was there for us in ways nothing else was back when we were taking our baby steps into the world of beauty. Mascara walked so lash extensions could run, and we really will always be in debt to what mascara provided for us back then.
But at the end of the day, innovation must keep moving forward, and we have to find small ways to adapt. Falsies are a precious gift that we must care for as best we can, and one way to do that is to skip the mascara when you’re applying your gorgeous Gossamers. Think you can handle that?
Mascara, My Old Friend
So we ask again, can you put mascara on eyelash extensions? No ma’am! We promise, it’s going to be so worth it to have those beautiful lashes for weeks to come.
Here are some final thoughts and reminders before you set off into the wild once more. In regards to your bottom lashes, this area is not as much of a concern since lash extensions don’t really venture across the pond. So if you want to touch up those bottom lashes for a real Twiggy-inspired look, feel free.
Don’t ever sleep in mascara, no matter how “safe” you feel it is. Mascara of any kind can cause irritation if it’s not removed routinely and the area cleaned.
Steer clear of those fiber and waterproof mascaras. We know they might’ve been your best friend all these years, but for the benefit of your lash health for years to come, ditch those harmful ingredients for a better alternative.
If you’ve been on extensions for a while and still just can’t seem to kick the drug that is mascara, maybe try opting for a thicker lash next time. This might bring you the exact length, volume, and richness you’re trying to achieve with mascara, but haven’t been able to get without. Who knows; it might change you forever!
Whatever your next step might be, we hope this article gave you some much-needed insight into your lash health and proper care. We could all use a little more of that every now and then. Until you need us next, off into the lovely lash wilds with you.
Cleopatra's Eye Makeup Warded Off Infections? | National Geographic
Mascara induced milphosis, an etiological evaluation | National Library of Medicine
Is Waterproof Makeup Safe For Your Eyes? | ProMedica Physicians Vision Associates