What Can I Use As A Substitute For Mascara?

close-up of a woman's eye with mascara

What can I use as a substitute for mascara? Finding the perfect mascara can be difficult, but luckily there are many substitute options. There are many different brands of mascara available on the market, but finding one that is suitable for an individual’s needs can be challenging.

Let’s face it, we all want to be beautiful and have breathtaking eyelashes. But the time and effort that goes into achieving the perfect look is a task on its own. Not to mention how sometimes cosmetic products come with questionable ingredients.

And life being what is, comes with its share of curveballs. In this post, we’ll walk you through some mascara alternatives that are worth checking out. From DIY mascara down to using Vaseline as a clear mascara.

What Can I Use Instead Of Mascara?

For a long time, mascara has had a monopoly over the eyelash real estate. But not anymore, although it’s still the most preferred product, there are some worthy contenders.

Here’s a small list of what you could use instead of mascara:

  • Vaseline as a clear mascara
  • Liquid or gel eyeliner
  • Fake eyelashes
  • Eyelash extensions
  • Homemade mascara instead of store-bought

The list is not exhaustive and there are more alternatives.

What To Do If You Run Out Of Mascara?

Suppose you’re late for work, a grad party, or a family meeting and you realize you’re out of mascara. Or you’re walking around with tired-looking eyes. Now, this might spell eyelash doom. But worry not there are a few fixes for that.

As a substitute, you can use very thin, dark eyeliner. Liquid or gel eyeliner is preferred for this. Using a fine-tip brush, carefully paint the base of your lashes with the dark liner. This will create the illusion of wearing mascara and you’re safe, at least for now.

You can also try false eyelashes. Falsies will give you near-instant dark eyelashes and save you the hassle of looking for your emergency tube of mascara that’s probably run out too.

How Can I Make My Eyelashes Look Good Without Mascara?

As bizarre as it may seem, combing your lashes will make a great deal of difference. The lashes will separate from each other. Also, combing will lift them, making your eyes look awake and lively.

Another option is to use an eyelash curler to lift your lashes and make them seem longer. Take care not to squeeze the curler too hard as this will stress the lashes. Sometimes to the point of weakening and breaking.

Can Vaseline Be Used As Mascara?

Vaseline is considered an occlusive moisturizer. Meaning it forms a protective layer that prevents moisture loss. Although it does not promote eyelashes to grow longer or faster, it performs great as a clear mascara and can be applied the same way you wear mascara.

It moisturizes the lashes making them look lush and full while protecting and strengthening them. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone, its use is discouraged for people with oily, acne-prone skin as it may trigger breakouts.

How Do You Make Homemade Mascara?

We’re going to guide you through how to make charcoal-based mascara at home. The ingredients are relatively to find either at grocery or drugstores.

To make Charcoal mascara here’s what you’ll need:

  • Beeswax
  • Aloe vera
  • Coconut oil and vitamin E oil for moisture and lash health
  • Activated charcoal capsules for black pigment (each capsule contains 260 mg) or cocoa powder for brown pigment
  • Mascara tube for storage or small size jar
  • Bentonite clay (optional)

Measure out half tsp of beeswax, 1 tsp coconut oil, and half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil into a small saucepan and melt them over low heat. Add 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel to the mixture and stir until combined. Add the contents of 2 or 3 charcoal capsules into the mixture for black color.

Or an equal amount of cocoa powder for brown color. Continue stirring until the mixture has a uniform consistency. You can also add about ¼ teaspoon bentonite clay. This will help the mascara dry faster and last longer on your lashes, but it is optional to use it.

Lastly, use a clean syringe to get the mascara into a tube. Or you can scoop the finished product into a jar with a tight lid. Wash any tools used during the process to prevent mascara from caking onto them and there you have it.

A few things to note are that activated charcoal is not Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use as a cosmetic colorant. As such you may replace the charcoal with a safer option such as mica or mineral powder.

Also, since this mascara is preservative-free you’ll need to regularly make a new batch. This should be at about 4 to 6 months. Avoid using the product if it starts to smell.

How Do You Make Homemade Waterproof Mascara?

Making DIY waterproof mascara is just as easy as the steps already listed above with a slight change. To waterproof, you might want to increase the amount of beeswax you add to the mix. From ½ tsp to ¾ or 1 teaspoon.

Since wax repels water, this will help prevent your DIY mascara from smudging and giving you raccoon eyes. The increase in beeswax will also help your mascara survive warmer climates and make it thicker. Giving you increased fullness with each coat.

What Are The Best Mascara Alternatives?

Suppose you’ve grown tired of your mascara routine and you think to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great to find something better?” Guess what—you can! There are plenty of alternatives you could try.

The first of which being fake or faux lashes. These can be in individual flares, adhesive, or magnetic strips. They are a great way to add instant volume and fullness to your lashes just as how mascara would provide.

The next mascara substitute is eyelash extensions. One or more extensions are attached to your natural lashes to give you the coverage you need.

They come in a variety of styles with classic extensions being the most natural-looking since one extension is added to each lash. Followed by volume extensions which are more dramatic and hybrid lashes which are a balance of the previous two styles.

Alternatively, you could try going for a lash tint treatment. Cream or vegetable-based dyes are used to darken your lashes making it seem like you’re wearing mascara. The process takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. And the tint can last for 3 – 4 weeks.

If for some reason the above doesn’t work, you can use eyeliner to darken your lashes. This will need a steady hand. Importantly, make sure that you’re not allergic to eyeliner.

Will Not Wearing Mascara Help My Eyelashes Grow?

You’ve probably heard or read about how awful mascara is for your lashes. Causing them to fall off even faster than they normally should and making them weaker or thinner. The ingredients of mascara such as yellow carnauba wax, shellac, and yellow or black iron oxides irritate the eyes.

They can cause inflammation and infections. Together with blocking the oil glands and hair follicles. These health issues are mostly observed in a few cases and are rarely serious. But it’s not only the product that is to be blamed.

Some eyelash damage results from user error. Here’s where users get it wrong. Poor application of mascara, constant use, and not removing it before bed. With moderate and appropriate use, mascara isn’t as harmful.

Although not wearing mascara can improve eyelash health. And reduce the number of eyelashes lost if they were indeed caused by the product. The growth part is overrated. You will still lose between 1 and 5 lashes daily as per the natural cycle.

Regarding growth, your natural lashes will grow the way they normally do especially without any gentle encouragement. This means that if you already have naturally thin lashes, ditching mascara won’t suddenly make them full and fluffy.

They’ll grow back to the usual pre-mascara length and texture. But you can help the process along thanks to a bit of science. If you’re looking to grow your lashes naturally, there is a way to go about it. You could use essential oils such as olive oil, castor oil, and even coconut oil.

These will not only moisturize your lashes but will also strengthen them and protect them from protein loss. Caution must be taken to ensure you’re not allergic to any of the oils and whether they are safe for your eyes.

The last natural remedy is green tea. Applying cold tea to your eyelashes can encourage them to grow. This is because it is loaded with antioxidants that boost overall health and flavonoids that can stimulate lash growth. This will also clean and stimulate your hair follicles contributing to further growth.

The other alternative is to try drugstore or prescription remedies. This includes eyelash growth serums such as Latisse which contains bimatoprost. The product is FDA approved and promotes the growth of new lashes within 4 to 6 weeks while growing the old ones.

Dietary supplements such as biotin are potential contributors to try out. Biotin is a member of the vitamin B family, and it is said to improve hair health by strengthening keratin, the natural protein that makes up your hair.

Final Thoughts: What Can I Use As A Substitute For Mascara?

Your lashes are like your lips, they’re the first thing people see when they look at you. So why not make them stand out? The internet has a wealth of information, especially beauty tips.

And there are plenty of creative ways to improvise when you run out of your favorite mascara. You can use lash extensions, false eyelashes, or even just use your eyeliner to accentuate your lash line. All of these options work to create a natural eye look and give the illusion of fuller lashes.


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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.