Can You Use Eyeliner as Mascara? Important Facts

What do you do when you’re ready to go out but find that you’re out of mascara? Can you use eyeliner as mascara? Let’s find out!

Can You Use Eyeliner as Mascara

Yes, you can use eyeliner as a mascara substitute. However, this only works if you have a gel or liquid liner. Just clean your empty bottle’s mascara brush, then coat it with your liquid liner wand, then brush on your lashes to darken them for a fresh mascara look. 

Can You Actually Use an Eyeliner as A Mascara?

Amazingly, yes, you can. This can only be done with a liquid eyeliner or gel-style eyeliner

A pencil eyeliner liner, even a cream-style eyeliner, just won’t work. The bonus is you won’t have to worry about any clumping. 

Here is how.

  1. Clean off your empty mascara brush, making sure it is dry (If you happened to toss your old mascara tube out, you could use a mascara fan brush.)
  2. Next, take your liquid liner, then paint your liquid liner on your mascara brush.
  3. Apply to your lashes as you would your mascara as usual.

The aftermath is darker, more defined lashes.

Are Mascara and Eyeliner Made from The Same Thing? 

No, mascara and eyeliner are not made from the same ingredients, even though both eyeliner and mascara are used to enhance the beauty of our eyes.

The objective of eyeliner is to make your eyes appear larger, whereas the purpose of mascara is to lift, lengthen and enhance our lashes. 

So, let’s find out how they differ.


Whether you use liquid, gel, cream, or pencil eyeliner, it primarily consists of :

  • Iron oxide (for black and brown colors)
  • Ultramarine (for blue color)
  • Chromium oxide (for green color)
  • Titanium dioxide (for white color)
  • Film formers (a thin film that allows it to be applied to your skin)
  • Natural gum and waxes

Eyeliner is meant to be used along the edges of your eyelashes and your eye line.

Best Style of Eyeliner? 

Your choice really depends on the look you want. 

Liquid liners overall are the winner as they are easy to use, letting you create a solid line. Cream and gel liners are great if you want to create a smoky look as they blend well. 

They also are great if you’re going to create a thick, more dramatic line.

Pencils are often viewed as unfavorable as they tend to tug on your eyelids while trying to apply, thus resulting in a not-so-smooth line. 

Waxier than others, though, they offer easy blending for creating smokey and natural looks. 


Used to enhance and define our lashes and help complete our eye makeup look, mascara consists mainly of carbon black or iron oxide pigment to darken the lashes. 

Mascara also contains a polymer to coat the lashes in a film, a preservative and thickening wax. 

Also, oils like lanolin, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, castor oil, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax are included. 

Mascara Types

Mascara is then formulated into two main types: No-water formulations and water-and-oil emulsions. 

The no-water compositions are usually your waterproof mascaras and don’t smear or flake as easily. 

However, they can be tough to remove, leading to lash damage due to scrubbing to remove them from your lashes. 

Emulsion mascaras are easier to remove, and thus they are less harsh on the lashes, but they can flake and smear.

Can You Use Mascara as An Eyeliner?

Can You Use Mascara as An Eyeliner

So, you can use eyeliner (liquid only) as mascara when you are in a pinch, but what about vice versa? Can you use your mascara as an eyeliner? 

While mascaras are made explicitly for lashes and have a completely different consistency than eyeliner, you can. 

How To Use Mascara as an Eyeliner

  • Step 1. Grab an angled brush 
  • Step 2: Swab your angled brush along the mascara wand to coat the angled brush.
  • Step 3. Apply your now new mascara liner to your eyes at the base of your eyelid like your regular liquid eyeliner.

Simple as that! Plus, you will find it lasts impressively longer too.

Best Alternatives If You Don’t Have Mascara 

What can you do if you’ve misplaced your mascara and you need mascara now! Never fear, as we have some mascara stand-ins that can help save the day.

1. Vaseline

The most versatile beauty product out there. It’s an eye makeup remover, it can be used as a lip gloss, and yes, it makes a pretty good clear mascara, too. Here is what you do.

  1.  On one of your fingers, apply some Vaseline.
  2. Using a clean mascara wand or Q-tip, apply a light, smooth coating of Vaseline over the wand or swab.
  3.  Next, apply gently to the lashes as you would your everyday mascara. Vaseline adds an excellent gloss and shine to your lashes and nourishes them.

2. Eyebrow Brush

Don’t have mascara; try brushing your lashes using an eyebrow brush. 

Using like you would apply your mascara; use the comb side to help lengthen and separate your lashes. 

Then use the brush side, which will help add volume and thicken your lashes for a more dramatic lash appearance.

3. False Lashes

Run out of mascara? A trip to the convenience store for some false lashes can help you in a bind. 

False lashes will give you that dark full eyelashes look almost instantly, saving you the trouble of digging for your emergency tube of mascara, which has most likely run out as well.

4. Eye Lash Curler

 You might do this anyway, but your lashes can still benefit even if you are out of mascara.

Curling your lashes will lift your lashes up, making them appear fuller and your eyes livelier.

5. Castor Oil

Castor oil, most of us have this in our cabinets. 

If you don’t, it is easy to run out and get fast. No mascara, no worry, apply it using a clean mascara brush or fan mascara brush. 

If you have one, it acts as a clear mascara giving your lashes a shine and sheen. Plus, it is said to have lash-growing benefits.

Alternatives to Using Mascara: Lash Treatments

Alternatives to Using Mascara: Lash Treatments

What if you still want some lash oomph but want to opt out of having to use mascara on your lashes altogether? Try these other lash-enhancing mascara-free alternatives.

Lash Tints

Are you done with dealing with mascara? Getting your lashes tinted may be a solution. 

Lash tints are a semipermanent dye treatment for your lashes and should be done by a professional lash aesthetician. 

Tinting won’t give your lashes curl, length, or volume (a lash lift or lash extensions will do that), but it will darken and intensify your lash’s color, thus letting you say bye-bye to mascara. 

Getting a lash tint can work well with those with blonde or light-colored lashes who are tired of wearing mascara and want to shorten their makeup routine.

Lash Lifts

Lash lifts are a semi-permanent procedure to lift, curl and lengthen your own individual natural lashes from root to tip, creating a fuller lash look and eliminating the need to apply mascara every day. 

This is especially true if you accompany a lash tint to your lash lift with a lash tint as well. 

Lash lifts can last for roughly 6- 8 weeks, depending on your lash growth. 

Lash Extensions

Not to be confused with lash lifts, eyelash extensions are cosmetic applications that create a full lash look—using individual eyelash extensions made of either mink, silk, synthetic, human, or horsehair. 

They are then glued onto your own individual lashes to enhance the lash’s look, length, and thickness, leaving the need for mascara to be a thing of the past. 

Depending on your maintenance of them, they last around 4 to 6 weeks, and then you need to go back and get them changed.