Can You Put Mascara On Eyelash Extensions? (Answered)

Reviewed by: Tracy Scott, Lash Expert

Eyelash extensions are an increasingly popular way of adding a little drama to your look. They can elongate, thicken, and add volume to your natural lashes. They’re therefore designed to do the work that mascara does in many ways, but some make-up lovers are still keen to wear mascara. The question is can you put mascara on top of eyelash extensions?

pink mascara bottle and eyelashes on a pink background

You absolutely can wear mascara with eyelash extensions, but don’t do so on volume or hybrid extensions. Take care to avoid waterproof and oil-based mascara too, as this interacts with the adhesive of extensions, causing it to dissolve.

Can You Wear Mascara With Eyelash Extensions?

Lash extensions are a way to get darker lashes without the need for mascara. But If you want to then you can absolutely wear water-based mascara with eyelash extensions. Just avoid oil-based or waterproof, and don’t wear mascara on hybrid or volume eyelash extensions.

You absolutely can wear mascara on your bottom lashes, as these won’t have any extensions in. 

You can also wear it if your extensions are looking a little disheveled between in-fill appointments in order to neaten them up a bit.

Don’t wear mascara on volume or hybrid eyelash extensions. Volume eyelash extensions are designed to give you a fuller, more bodied look. 

You’ll typically have multiple lash extensions applied for every one of your natural lashes. 

If you wear mascara on volume or hybrid eyelash extensions, you’ll interfere with their fan, and the extensions will clump together. This will look awful, but also be very heavy, weighing your eyelid down. 

Essentially, if you wear mascara with volume or hybrid eyelash extensions, you’re defeating the point of getting the extensions in the first place, which is a waste of your valuable time and money!

You should also always avoid wearing oil-based or waterproof mascara with eyelash extensions, as these are difficult to remove, and will interfere with their adhesive.

Should You Wear Mascara With Eyelash Extensions?

woman applying black mascara to her lashes

Whether or not you should wear mascara with eyelash extensions is totally up to you. 

Extensions are designed to add a little ‘oomph’ to your look and can make life easier for you, as it means you don’t need to wear mascara to lengthen your lashes.

However, if you want to wear mascara with eyelash extensions, you can. In fact, you may find wearing mascara with eyelash extensions appealing for these reasons:

  1. Your extensions will look longer and thicker.
  2. It can tidy up your extensions in between your in-fill appointment.
  3. Some mascaras contain ingredients like biotin and vitamin E in order to nourish your natural lashes.
  4. Colored mascara can change the look of your extensions.

Be aware, however, that there are potential drawbacks to wearing mascara with eyelash extensions:

  1. Some brushes might tug or pull on your extensions, causing them to become loose and potentially resulting in premature shedding.
  2. Many mascaras contain oils or waxes that will interact with your lash adhesive and dissolve the bonds it has formed, meaning that your extensions will fall out.
  3. You may find that your eyelids feel much heavier with the added mascara.
  4. Your natural-looking eyelash extensions might look less natural with mascara.

What Type Of Mascara To Avoid On Lash Extensions

woman applying mascara to her lashes holding up a small mirror

The best kind of mascara to use on eyelash extensions is water-based with a natural pH level. 

Avoid any that contain oils or silicone products, including the following:

Waterproof mascara

Waterproof mascara has its uses – particularly if you’re prone to your eyes weeping because of allergies, or if you regularly work out and sweat a lot.

However, if you have eyelash extensions in, you can’t wear waterproof mascara. It’s very difficult to remove, and you may well end up tugging or pulling on your extensions in order to do so. 

It’s also made up of nasty chemicals which can dry out both your natural lashes and extensions, leading to premature shedding.

Oil-based mascara

Oil-based mascaras are not your friend when you have eyelash extensions in. The oil will interact with the adhesive, and you’ll notice your extensions fall out much sooner than they should as a result. 

Avoid any mascara with ingredients like beeswax, lanolin, paraffin, mineral oil, and essential, herbal, or botanical oils when you have eyelash extensions. 

Fiber mascara

Fiber mascara is a kind of mascara used to help natural lashes look thicker, darker, and denser. It’s usually fortified with ingredients like silk or nylon in order to do so.

However, this makes it exceptionally hard to remove, meaning that it’ll wreak havoc on your extensions. 

Tube mascara

Unlike regular mascara, which works by coating your lashes in waxes and oils, tube mascara wraps polymers around each eyelash. 

This forms a kind of tube around each lash, meaning that tube mascara is highly smudge-proof and long-lasting. 

It’s the excessive stickiness of tube mascara that makes it less ideal to wear with eyelash extensions, as it will damage them with repeated use.

How To Apply Mascara To Lash Extensions

Always remember to take care when applying mascara to eyelash extensions. It’s best to be as gentle as possible throughout. 

Otherwise, you can follow the following advice when applying the mascara to extensions:

  1. Use an oil-free product to wash your lashes, before drying them with a lint-free towel.
  2. Use a clean spoolie brush to comb out your lashes.
  3. Carefully apply your mascara to your lashes, starting from the mid-point of your lashes and moving out towards the tip. Avoid applying mascara towards the base or root of your lashes, as this might weigh them down more.
  4. Don’t use more than two coats of mascara, as this will weigh down your extensions. 

What To Remember When Using Mascara On Lash Extensions

What To Remember When Using Mascara On Lash Extensions

Choose your mascara wisely

Not all mascaras are made equal! You want to choose any mascara that you’re going to use on your eyelash extensions with care. 

Remember to avoid waterproof, oil-based, tube, and fiber mascaras. 

You should also avoid any mascaras with a brush that has harsh bristles.

Many mascaras are designed to add volume and body to your natural lashes, meaning that they’re often designed with bristles that cling to your natural lashes. 

However, this might damage your eyelash extensions, so choose a mascara with a fairly simple brush.

Be careful with application

Remember to only apply the mascara from the midpoint of your lashes, sweeping through to the tip. 

Avoid applying mascara to the roots or base of your lashes. This may add extra weight to your lashes, but it might also result in the mascara interfering with the adhesive of your extensions. 

Take care to only ever use a maximum of two coats of mascara on your extensions too, so as to avoid over-coating and over-caking them.

Don’t use oil-based remover

Part of the joy of water-based mascaras is that they don’t require oil-based products for removal. Oil-based make-up removal products are the bane of your eyelash extensions. 

They interact with the adhesive and dissolve its bonds, meaning that your extensions will shed prematurely. 

Avoid any such oil-based products, and always be very careful when removing mascara from your eyelash extensions. 

Never tug or pull on your extensions, as you’ll end up tearing out both these and your natural lashes. 

Use lint-free towels in order to avoid any build-up of residue, too.

Always wash your face before sleep

Never sleep in your make-up, including your mascara. Your eyelashes are designed to keep dirt, debris, and other particles from entering your eyes.

They have a protective purpose and function. 

When you wear extensions, these work similarly. At the end of the day, both your natural lashes and your extensions will therefore have picked up tiny particles of residue – even if you can’t see them.

You must therefore always take care to properly wash your face and eyes free from make-up and the residue of the day before you go to sleep.

Otherwise, you risk sensitivity and irritation, or even eye infections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Mascara Is Safe For Eyelash Extensions?

Water-based mascara with a neutral pH is safe for eyelash extensions, but take care to avoid oil-based or waterproof formulas, as these are hard to remove and may result in premature shedding.

What Can You Not Put On Eyelash Extensions?

Avoid any oil-based products on eyelash extensions. The oil will interact with the adhesive and cause it to dissolve. You should also stay clear of things like baby wipes and shampoo, as well as many make-up wipes, as they tend to have oils in.

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