There’s no doubt that lash extensions offer maximum volume and give an intensity to your lashes that you just can’t get with mascara. For most of us, we choose to get them for this very reason, but for others, we want to get the most glam for our buck and find ourselves wondering if we can wear mascara, too. The short answer is: yes! However, there are a few things to keep in mind. The following tips and tricks will help you get the most out of wearing mascara with your extensions.
Why Wear Mascara With Eyelash Extensions?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of reasons to wear mascara with extensions! One of the most common reasons is to fill in the gaps as the individual lashes start to shed. Applying mascara to your real lashes can help extend the time in between fills and work in a pinch if you find yourself in a situation where you can't see your lash tech immediately and want to blend your lashes together.
Depending on the size and style of extensions you choose, you may wish to enhance their length or thickness with mascara. You can also apply mascara in a bold or contrasting color to make your lashes stand out. You may even want to wear mascara for the added benefits and nutrients that some formulas offer such as keratin, biotin, and other vitamins.
How To Wear Mascara With Eyelash Extensions
Types of Extensions to Wear
Wearing mascara adds extra weight, so you should only wear it with a lash set that consists of one extension attached to an individual lash. This is usually referred to as a classic set but there are others such as volume and hybrid sets where multiple extensions are attached for a more dramatic effect. These already have a lot of bulk and weight on their own and wearing mascara can put too much stress on your natural lashes and cause them to fall out prematurely.
Types of Mascara to Use
When you’re looking for a mascara, it's important that you choose one that is water-based or one exclusively for lash extensions. Oil-based mascaras contain oils, lanolin, paraffin, and artificial waxes that can disintegrate the adhesive bond that holds the lashes together.
Not all mascaras are the same, and this is especially true when it comes to choosing a mascara to wear with your extensions. Besides oil-based mascaras, there are other types of mascaras you should avoid wearing:
- Waterproof Mascara - These are formulated with silicones and other toxic substances to make the mascara waterproof. They are extremely difficult to remove even from natural lashes and can cause extensions to become dry and brittle.
- Tube Mascara - This type of mascara works by creating tiny tubes around the lash that won’t smudge or fade with wear. While they’re easy to remove from natural lashes, they’re difficult to remove from extensions and should be avoided.
- Fiber Mascara - These are made with dry artificial fibers such as rayon or nylon to add bulk and volume to the lashes. Fiber mascara is difficult to remove and should not be used.
While you’re usually safe with a water-based mascara, even these can sometimes have ingredients that disintegrate the adhesive bond. The safest bet is to wear a mascara that’s specifically made for eyelash extensions as the formula won’t contain any harmful chemicals and will preserve the integrity of both your extensions and natural lashes.
Mascara designed for eyelash extensions is safe because it’s specifically formulated at a neutral pH to reduce irritation around the delicate eye area. These mascaras also come with a brush that's designed to glide onto the extensions without pulling or tugging. They also dry more quickly and can be removed by only using water.
Besides the types of products you use, another thing to keep in mind when you wear mascara is the way in which you apply it. The process of applying mascara to extensions is not the same as when you apply it to your natural lashes where you start from the root and go to the tip. When wearing extensions, you want to apply it starting from the middle toward the tips and avoid touching the roots entirely.
You don’t want to touch the root, or base, because you can damage the adhesive bond. You also risk snagging or pulling the lashes themselves out with the brush. Lastly, when it comes to applying mascara, remember this: less is more! Your extensions can look clumpy, messy, and obviously fake if you apply too much mascara. One to two coats should be plenty.
When you wear mascara it’s important that you completely remove it at the end of the day. Just like your mascara, you want to choose a water-based eye makeup remover such as micellar water that can effectively remove makeup without having to scrub your eyes. Many eye makeup removers are oil-based, so be sure to check the ingredients.
Once you’ve chosen a water-based cleanser, apply it to a clean mascara brush or use your fingers and gently brush through your lashes until no more traces of mascara remain. You may need to brush through your lashes several times to thoroughly remove everything. Be careful not to use cotton pads or cloths that contain lint as these can pull on the lashes.
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of cleanser you’re using on your face. If you’re using an oil or oil-based cleanser to remove the rest of your makeup, you run the risk of getting the product on your lashes. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid all oils and oil-based cleansers entirely, however, just be extra careful when washing your face and avoid the eye area!
General Care And Maintenance For Your Lashes
Don’t sleep in your mascara! We’ve all heard time and time again how important it is to remove our makeup before bed. Well, the same definitely goes for your mascara. Sleeping in mascara does not only cause nasty buildup and damage to the extensions, but it can lead to discomfort and eye infections.
It's important to avoid touching the eye area as much as possible. This includes rubbing, tugging, and pulling on your lashes as this can break the adhesive bond and cause your extensions to fall out. It can also pull out your real lashes. This can be a hard thing to do, as most of us do this subconsciously without even realizing it!
Many of us choose to wear lash extensions for the sole purpose of not feeling like we have to apply mascara. If you want to completely avoid having to wear mascara in the first place, choose a thicker lash set for more dramatic results and be sure to come in for refills on time. You also run the risk of damaging your extensions with repeated use of mascara, even if you’re using the right one.
What About the Bottom Lashes?
Don’t worry, you can safely wear mascara on your bottom lashes! Ideally, you want to follow the same rules on your bottom lashes as you do for your extensions. Above all else, you should avoid waterproof, fiber, and tube mascaras and opt for one that is water-based as this will be easier to remove.
So, can you wear mascara with eyelash extensions? Absolutely! As long as you choose a quality water-based mascara or one designed for extensions and remove it with a water-based makeup remover, you can wear the two together without worry. To sum everything up, keep these tips in mind:
Don’t apply your mascara starting at the base of your lashes. Start from the middle and work to the tips.
Don’t use oil-based products. This includes mascaras, makeup removers, and any cleansers that will touch the eye area.
Don’t rub, tug, or pull on your lashes.
Do wear a mascara that’s specifically formulated for extensions.
Do ask your lash tech what type of lashes and products they recommend if you plan on wearing mascara.
Do keep up with your fill appointments and stick to a consistent lash schedule!