Can You Put Mascara On Eyelash Extensions?

close-up of woman's eye makeup: mascara and eyelash extensions

Can you put mascara on eyelash extensions? For such a simple question, the answer is actually a bit complicated. Technically, yes, you can put mascara on eyelash extensions.

Doing so will further enhance your eyes. On that note, the type of mascara used is as crucial as the style of eyelash extension. Depending on the extension style worn, the mascara may weigh them down. 

When you’re planning on wearing mascara over eyelash extensions there are some things you should know. To find everything there is to know about putting mascara on eyelash extensions continue reading below!

Can You Wear Mascara With Lash Extensions?

Yes, you can wear mascara with lash extensions. If you want to draw further attention to your eyes, we totally recommend it. It is worth mentioning that only a classic set of eyelash extensions should be worn with mascara. 

Unlike lash extensions intended to add dramatic volume, a classic set adds thickness. The thickness added with classic extensions offers the support necessary for mascara wear.

Meanwhile, a volume set or a hybrid set can become damaged from mascara use. Volume extensions can become tangled or clumped together when mascara is applied, thus leading to lash loss. Now, the type of mascara you use also matters.

Waterproof mascara can prove to be especially detrimental to lash extensions, regardless of the style. It is harder to remove and is extremely drying. The difficulty with removal can lead to increased pulling and tugging, which can lead to damaged extensions. 

On another hand, mascara that is not waterproof is the preferred option when considering eyelash extension care. By being easier to remove, you can assure the longevity of your lash extensions.

Even better? Standard mascara is not nearly as drying as waterproof mascara. With that in mind, you should be keeping up with lash care even after extensions. A little bit of moisturizer won’t hurt the adhesive, we promise.

Should You Put Mascara On Fake Lashes?

While it is entirely up to personal preferences, you can put mascara on fake lashes. Putting a light coat of mascara on falsies can help seamlessly blend the two. You never want to apply heavy mascara or too many coats.

As a stiffening agent, too much mascara can damage fake eyelashes. If your fake lashes become too damaged, they could no longer be reusable. Always clean your false eyelashes after wear.

Neglecting to clean your fake lashes can lead to an eye infection, the development of a stye, or pink eye. When cleaning the lashes, you want to remove any excess mascara and built-up adhesive. Both can trap bacteria and make future wear difficult. 

To keep your favorite falsies clean and reusable, follow the step-by-step process below:

  1. Set the lashes on a clean surface. This can be a countertop, a cotton pad, or a clean towel. 
  2. Use an oil-free makeup remover on a cotton swab to gently wipe away mascara build-up. Be careful not to rub aggressively and brush in the direction of the lashes, away from the band.
  3. Once the swab wipes the lashes clean, move to the band—you may need to use multiple swabs. Again, use a gentle makeup remover to carefully remove excess adhesive. Do not pull at the adhesive as this may damage the band and lashes. 
  4. Let the falsies dry. We recommend returning them to their packaging to help them retain their shape. 

Do note that you are not restricted to using oil-free makeup remover. If that is unavailable then other options are available. Micellar water is recorded to have been effective, as has been rubbing alcohol and even baby shampoo.

If you have little ones, this may be a total score. Whichever your preferred product, make sure you thoroughly clean the set of fake lashes. This is vital to both your future beauty looks and your eye health.

Can I Put Mascara On My Bottom Lashes With Eyelash Extensions?

Yes, you can absolutely put mascara on your bottom lashes with eyelash extensions. You will have to follow the same rule as though you were wearing mascara over your top lashes, however. This means no waterproof mascara and certainly no oil-based mascara products. 

The mascara from the bottom lashes can still transfer by contact to the top ones. Through enough exposure the wrong mascara can cause the extension adhesive to dissolve.

If enough adhesive does end up dissolving, you can experience early lash fallout. In the instance that you lose enough extensions before your next refill, you may have to visit your lash technician ahead of schedule.

If you do choose to make your eyes pop with mascara on your lower lashes, opt for a standard mascara. There are tons of different ways you can apply mascara to your bottom lashes: experiment to find what style you prefer.

Additionally, even though water-based formulas are prone to smudging, it is better than losing out on your lash extensions. A little upkeep certainly beats returning to the lash tech in utter defeat after you use the wrong mascara.

What Mascaras Should I Not Use With Eyelash Extensions?

You should not use waterproof or oil-based mascara with eyelash extensions. These may be fine for natural lashes—we even recommend waterproof for holding curls—but they are damaging to extensions. 

For starters, oil-based mascara can dissolve the adhesive bonds between the extension and your natural lashes. By weakening these vital bonds, your eyelash extensions can come loose, falling out over time.

This is because many oils (not all) weaken the cyanoacrylate in the adhesive. As the lovely folk over at Plume Science specify, not all oils will pose a risk to your lash extensions.

The oils in Plume’s Lash and Brow Growth Serum, like coleus forskohlii root, castor seed, and sweet almond, are safe for use with eyelash extensions. Meanwhile, fan favorites of coconut, vegetable, mineral, and canola oil are no-gos. 

As for waterproof mascara, most formulas are extremely drying and tricky to remove. Not to add, many waterproof mascaras contain glycols. Glycols, although approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are known to cause contact dermatitis.

Furthermore, glycols interact negatively with adhesive and cause it to weaken. Not all waterproof mascaras contain glycols, though it is an immensely common ingredient in multiple cosmetic goods.

What Mascaras Are Safe For Lash Extensions?

The safest mascaras for lash extensions are water-based formulas or those without glycol. You will want to avoid products that have active ingredients that will negatively interact with the adhesive’s cyanoacrylate.

Also, remember only to wear mascara with classic extensions. Although restrictive, volume and hybrid extensions do not have the wherewithal to support mascara, regardless of the formula’s base ingredients. 

The largest factor to consider when planning to put mascara on eyelash extensions is removal. Water-based mascaras are easier to remove than others (i.e. waterproof or oil-based).

So much so that you will need to have touch-ups throughout the day to keep your lashes fierce and your undereye smudge-free. Additionally, if the mascara is properly applied to the classic extensions then your lashes can last an entire 6 weeks.

The best mascaras for lash extensions include:

These water-based mascaras are tried-and-true products, guaranteed to keep your lashes both safe and stylish.

What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Of Wearing Mascara With Eyelash Extensions?

There are some do’s and don’ts of wearing mascara with eyelash extensions that everyone should know beforehand. Some of the following may be obvious, or reiterations of what we previously mentioned, but there is no harm in clarifying.

Without further ado, the do’s and don’ts of wearing mascara with eyelash extensions are as follows:

  • Do wear water-based mascaras or mascaras specially formulated for extensions. 
  • Don’t wear mascara with oil or glycol, as either is known to weaken the adhesive. 
  • Do wash your eyelashes after mascara wear. Even without wearing eye makeup, you should still be washing your extensions daily—twice a day if you are prone to oiliness. 
  • Don’t go long periods without shampooing your eyelashes or removing makeup. Never sleep in your mascara. 
  • Do apply mascara to classic extensions. They are sturdy enough to withhold the weight of the product. 
  • Don’t wear mascara on volume or hybrid Lashes. These stylized sets are meant for adding length and fullness and are too light to support mascara.
  • Do apply mascara lightly to the lashes, from the center up. 
  • Don’t apply the mascara in multiple layers or from root to tip. Doing so can make the eyelashes heavy, the mascara troublesome to remove, and dry out your eyes.
  • Do use a heated eyelash curler if you need to curl your eyelashes (never the extensions).
  • Don’t get a lash lift or a lash perm with extensions. This can both damage the extension and cause fallout.

Final Thoughts: Can You Put Mascara On Eyelash Extensions?

Taking everything into perspective, you can put water-based mascara on classic eyelash extensions. You never will want to apply mascara of any kind to volume or hybrid styles since these lash extensions cannot support the weight of the mascara.

Furthermore, the mascara will ruin the shape of these lashes, making them lose their to-die-for fluffiness. When taking a look at the type of mascara to be wearing, always go for a water-based formula. Any mascara with oils or glycols can pose a risk to your fresh extensions.

Although there are some safe oils out there, they are unlikely to be found in cosmetic products. That being said, always read the content labels if you are curious. It should also be noted that sleeping in mascara is never okay—especially with extensions.

You should be washing your eyelash extensions daily, regardless of makeup use. Luckily, many lash shampoos out there also are fantastic at removing eye makeup. Particularly, lash shampoos can work wonders at thoroughly removing mascara, debris, and dirt. 

Tying everything together, yes, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too: mascara works with eyelash extensions. However, you should take our advice from this article into consideration to properly maintain your extensions through mascara wear.

That is if you choose to put mascara over your extensions. The decision rests with you and, in beauty, you should always do what makes you feel the most beautiful.


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Categorized as Makeup

By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.