Can You Wear Mascara With A Lash Lift?

cosmetologist cleaning a woman's eyes after a lash lift procedure

Can you wear mascara with a lash lift? After 48 hours, yes! When it comes to lash lifts, the procedure is all about enhancing the length of your lashes.

Seen as an alternative to eyelash extensions, lash lifts curl your eyelashes from base-to-tip which then gives the appearance of longer lashes. It is important to know that a lash lift will not really add length to your eyelashes like extensions will—only the look of longer lashes.

Essentially, the process begins by an esthetician (or licensed cosmetologist) placing a small silicone pad at the base of the lashes of closed eyes. This pad will encourage the formation of the desired lash shape and give it structure.

Then, a non-toxic serum will be applied to the lashes and they will be lifted and shaped against the silicone pad. The serum will break down the protein present in the eyelashes to make them more pliable, thus easier to shape.

An immediate follow-up step will be applying a conditioning serum infused with keratin to condition the lashes. The goal of this serum will be to add back in what protein and support was previously stripped.

Another layer of keratin will be applied once the silicone pads are removed to “lock-in” the newly added protein. Since it takes some time for the bonding action of the first serum to fully form, you want to hold off on wearing any mascara for up to two days after your lash lift.

Doing so otherwise can potentially ruin your new, beautiful lift. For answers to any other questions about wearing makeup after a lash lift or general lash lift after-care, feel free to continue reading below.

Can I Wear Mascara With A Lash Lift?

Yes, mascara can be worn with a lash lift as long as 48 hours have passed since the initial procedure. In fact, the earliest you can begin to wear mascara following a lash lift is 24 hours, although most professionals recommend waiting the full 48 hours. 

Furthermore, throughout the 4-6 weeks that your lifted lashes last, you should stick to mascaras that are water-based, or otherwise mineral mascaras.

The reason for this is that waterproof mascaras frequently contain oils that could end up damaging your lift and cause it to lose shape much faster than the standard timeline. Long story short, if you want to keep your lashes lifted then refrain from using any oil-based or oil-infused eye makeup.

Despite that, mascara is a great method to make your eyes pop following a lash lift, considering that you are sticking to oil-free products. The added length with the overall darker shade of your lashes will surely complement any eye, no matter the shape and color. 

What Happens If I Wear Mascara After A Lash Lift?

Hypothetically, if any mascara is worn before the minimal 24 hour period, you could ruin the lash lift. It will not matter if the selected mascara is waterproof or not at this stage, so your best bet would be to just steer clear of any and all types. 

This is the same case for eyeliners, which have a recommended wait time of 48 hours by comparison. More than anything, if you can, do not wear makeup for a day or two following a lash lift. Note that mascara is a considerably heavy product to begin with.

Applying any to a freshly done lash lift can weigh down the lashes, and prevent the serum from properly bonding. Even worse, it can completely reverse the lift by breaking down the chemicals applied during the lifting process.

Will Mascara Ruin My Lash Lift?

With all things considered, yes: mascara can ruin a lash lift. It is pertinent that the appropriate time is waited between a lift and the first mascara application after.

By not waiting the full 24-48 hours afterwards, you could risk interrupting the hardening process of the bonding serum. The lift of your lash will likely fail as a result and your lashes will return to their original shape.

Continuing on, let’s say that you did wait the full recommended time: Good for you! While you will be able to wear mascara with your lash lift, make sure that your preferred product is free from oils.

Generally, this would mean steering clear of waterproof mascaras and, if you opt for wearing it, eyeliners. Oils can damage the chemical bond created during the procedure that is holding your lashes in their beautiful curled state.

Products that have even small amounts of oil can have a negative affect on your lash lift; so, it would be best to stick with mascaras that are mineral or water-based. Although, there are a few other things that can ruin a lash lift besides oil-based eye makeup.

At some point during your lift procedure, your esthetician or cosmetologist should have given you a list of activities to be cautious of, as well as steps to further care for your lashes. This essential aftercare information can easily help you extend the duration of your lash lift hold.

What Can Ruin A Lash Lift?

Neglecting to follow any of the advised aftercare will ruin a lash lift. It is of the utmost importance that you follow all directions given to you regarding lash lift aftercare so you will be able to maintain the lift as long as possible.

That being said, there are a few things that should not be done. In general, do not rub your eyes. This should be a rule of thumb even without a lash lift. Friction caused by rubbing can break your lashes and cause unnatural loss.

Furthermore, the oil from your fingers can add to the oil that is naturally produced by your eyelashes, and for your lash lift that means poor bonding retention. 

Also, dirt. Eye infections are not a fun experience. It is safe to say that unless you are cleansing, you should do your best to avoid any unnecessary touching.

Additionally, refrain from using harsh products. Although these can also create a weak bond within your lash lift, they are also more often than not damaging for your eyes and eyelashes.

Other activities to avoid for at least 24 hours following a lash lift include:

  • Wearing eye makeup of any kind
  • Working out
  • Getting your lashes wet
  • Going to a sauna/spa
  • Using a facial steamer 
  • Swimming in chlorinated and natural bodies of water

More than anything, discontinue use of any eye makeup that includes oils for the time being. The oils used can and will have your lash lift lose its hold, and your lash lift will not last the usual 4-6 weeks.

What Can You Not Do After Eyelash Lift?

Immediately following an eyelash lift do not get your eyelashes wet, apply any eye makeup, or rub/touch them. As tempting as it is, I would recommend against messing with your eyelashes too much after the initial lift.

They need time to finish molding that perfect curl, and any added disruption will interrupt the process. In addition to this, the eyelash is incredibly delicate at this stage.

Thankfully, delicate lashes do not equate to your eyelashes falling out. Instead, you could cause a poor outcome and get bad results—or, worse, no results.

When considering the price of a lash lift and how great your eyelashes are going to look, these immediate aftercare rules are totally worth it.

So to summarize it all, don’t get your newly lifted eyelashes wet. This would mean no swimming, working out, steaming, or spa days for at least 24 hours afterwards.

Also, no makeup for at least a day after, and no oil-based eye makeup or cleansers for 4-6 weeks while you are maintaining your eyelash lift. Avoid waterproof makeup when you can, and stick to eye makeup that is instead based in natural minerals or, better yet, water.

Lastly, please do not touch your lifted lashes at any point in time. This includes gentle sweeping upwards with the tips of your fingers to rubbing the entire eye itself.

Doing so can be damaging to your natural lashes and absolutely ruin your lash lift. Following these basic aftercare rules will usually encourage your eyelash lift to last an entire 6 week period.

However, no two lashes are the same. Depending on a multitude of different factors from genetics to the lifting products used, you may or may not notice your lash lift beginning to fade before or around the 4 week mark.

If you are looking to get another lash lift once yours begins to dissipate, wait at least 6 weeks. Akin to coloring hair, it should not be repeated too frequently.

What Happens If I Get My Lash Lift Wet?

If you get your lash lift wet after the 24 hour wait period, you have nothing to worry about. Contrarily, getting your eyelash lift wet before the 24 hour time period then can affect the bonding property of the shaping serum.

The good news will be that your lashes will still retain some curl from the lifting procedure. Water does not wash it away completely, only weakening the effects.

That being said, while your eyelashes will still hold some curl, they will not be as curled as you would have hoped. By exposing your eyelash lift to moisture before the suggested time, you can possibly ruin the final results.

How Does A Lash Lift Grow Out?

Everyone’s eyelash growth cycle varies, so there is no perfect way or time that a lash lift grows out. A lash lift tends to last 6 weeks, though it can last 8 weeks. Likewise, a lift can only last as long as 4 weeks for some. 

Moreover, unlike eyelash extensions that can last indefinitely with appropriate upkeep, an eyelash lift only lasts as long as an individual’s personal growth cycle.

This primarily has to do with the shedding of the lashes; eventually, you will lose the eyelashes that were treated with the shaping serum. As a result, you will grow a fresh set of your natural lashes that will replace the treated ones.

Saying this, if you fell in love with lash lifts, you may be quite disappointed when this time comes. However, you should not dwell on the loss. All you will need to do to again achieve the gravity-defying lash look is to repeat the process after a minimum period of 6 weeks.

Alternatively, you may also give your eyelashes a breather, and dedicate some time in your beauty regime for some all-natural lash care. It is completely up to you.

Can I Use Oil On My Lash Lift?

No, you cannot use oil of any kind on your lash lift. If you apply oil or an oil-based product to your eyelash lift, then the length of time it is meant to last will be noticeably shortened.

To put it plainly, the oil acts as a relaxer. By applying oil, waterproof mascara, or oil-infused eye makeup and cleansers you are slowly easing the “lift” out of your lashes and straightening them. 

Comparatively, this could be a perfect way to hasten up the time if you do not end up liking your lash lift. As always is the case with oils, use them with care around your eyes and lashes.

Excess oil can block the roots of your eyelashes, trapping dirt and possibly bacteria around the base of your lash line. Coincidentally, this can lead to eye infections like pink eye (conjunctivitis) and styes.

If you are looking to get rid of your lash lift faster than the standard time, then get a small amount of your preferred choice of oil (coconut, castor, olive, jojoba, and almond being favorites) on a clean spoolie.

A cleaned, reused mascara wand will also get the job done here. Next, gently comb the oil upwards through your lashes. Take care to not aggravate the base of your lashes with a side-to-side application; stick to upward strokes. 

Although the results may not be immediate, with regular application over the course of a week you will begin to notice the slow relaxing of your eyelashes.

Moreover, remember to properly cleanse your eye area after the oil treatment to remove any remaining excess oil that could possibly lead to an eye infection.

Does Coconut Oil Relax A Lash Lift?

Yes, coconut oil does relax a lash lift! In fact, coconut oil is a favorite amongst those trying to lose their lash lift. It is generally viewed as a lighter oil—unlike castor, which is significantly thicker—and it is more often than not on-hand and inexpensive compared to some other oil options out there.

On top of this, coconut oil is known to be safe to use around the eye area. Some people use coconut oil as a natural makeup remover and swear by it. More often than not, if you accidentally get some coconut oil in your eye, you won’t have anything to worry about. 

Being renowned for its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is occasionally recommended by some physicians as an at-home remedy for dry eyes.

Still, don’t leave oil on your eyes for extended amounts of time; despite all of its great uses, coconut oil still can leave your eyes unintentionally susceptible to a bacterial infection.

How Long After A Lash Lift Can I Shower?

24 hours after a lash lift is the soonest recommended time by experts to shower. During this first 24 hour window, you should avoid getting your lashes wet by any means.

This would bar activities such as swimming, working out, going to a sauna or spa, and showering. By exposing your new lash lift to moisture soon after the procedure, there is a chance that the curl carefully crafted by the lift could be lost.

Of course, you will retain a small amount of curl and lift, but it would be incomparable to the outcome that could have been if it were not for the exposure to wetness. Thankfully, as soon as the 24 hour waiting period is all said and done with, you are free to shower normally and as often as you like with a lash lift.

Additionally, if the lack of a shower during this time doesn’t sit right with you, it is completely safe and fine to shower prior to your lash lift appointment on the same day. The same rules apply for using any harsh facial cleansing products or oils.

What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Of A Lash Lift?

As with most beauty treatments, there are do’s and don’ts to a lash lift. Although a majority of well-advised “don’ts” were touched on in earlier sections of the article, a review and more in-depth analysis is in order. After all, there is no room for error.

To begin, the “do’s” of a lash lift include activities like regular brushing and using gentle, oil-free products for both facial cleansing and makeup application. Whereas brushing your lashes can provide further fluff and shape, they should not be brushed in excess.

A good comb through once or twice a day should be enough to keep naturally-produced oils and other microscopic debris at bay. To add on to this, using oil-free products allows your eyelash lift to last as long as possible within the provided month long time frame.

Furthermore—if you have interest in it—there are eyelash enhancing serums that can be used to (as it advertises) enhance your lashes. These serums are suggested to promote growth and provide nourishment.

Nonetheless, be weary of applying any new product to your eyes; lash serums have caused allergic reactions in the past, as well as dry and itchy eyes. At the first signs of an issue with the product of your choice, you should discontinue use.

Also, depending on the severity of the reaction, a doctor’s appointment may be in order. Next, let’s address the “don’ts” of lash lifts. For these, most of the more troublesome ones will be encountered within the first 24-48 hours after the eyelash lift procedure.

These short-lived no-no’s include getting your lashes wet, having another beauty treatment (like facials or eyebrow waxing), and wearing makeup. Unfortunately, participating in any of these will result in unwanted results.

More than any other outcome, you will likely lose a large portion of the desired lift and curl. And, if those are lost, what was the point of sitting an hour with some silicone pads on your eyelids? If you want your lash lift to last, adhering to the do’s and don’ts is vital to the success of your lash treatment.

Final Thoughts: Can You Wear Mascara With A Lash Lift?

After taking all of this into consideration, one can argue that a lash lift is a great method to achieve the look of lengthened and curled lashes. Although the treatment is often compared to getting a set of eyelash extensions, there are key differences between the two.

For example, whereas eyelash extensions add actual length to your lashes with the help of individual fake eyelashes and a special glue, an eyelash lift does not actually add length. There is no doubt that an eyelash lift consists of completely your own natural lashes.

Your natural lashes are simply shaped to be given the appearance of being longer than they really are. Additionally, since lash lifts can last anywhere between 4-6 weeks, there are some steps to be taken to ensure that the lift holds.

As with most beauty and cosmetic treatments, aftercare is crucial. In most cases, by sticking to your advised aftercare routine and/or steps, you can get the most out of your lash lift. In general, you should avoid wearing makeup and getting your eyelashes wet within the first 24 hours after getting an eyelash lift.

Also, throughout the duration of having a lash lift you shouldn’t apply anything that is based in oil to your eyes and lashes as these products can encourage straightening in your eyelashes by weakening the chemical bonds. 

Moreover, no rubbing your lashes; whether to satisfy an itch or to dry them, just don’t do it. As it is, friction is damaging already to untreated lashes. If you want to dry your eyelashes, stick with gentle pats.

So, it is to say that oils should be averted unless you are looking to straighten out your lashes after a lash lift. Additionally, yes, showers fall under the “no moisture” umbrella and should be taken either before your lift appointment or 24 hours after.

Moreover, while you have your lash lift avoid eye makeup advertised as waterproof, especially mascaras. Mineral mascaras and water-based mascaras are absolutely safe to wear 24-48 hours following a lash lift.

Otherwise, with proper care a lash lift should last you anywhere from 4-6 weeks. The treatment could be redone every 6 weeks at minimum, as the process is comparable to that of dyeing your hair. 

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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.