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There is a heated debate on whether or not you should be applying mascara to your eyelash extensions. Some would forcefully exclaim “no way”, while others may be more lenient to the idea of adding extra product to your individual extensions.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question “can you wear mascara on eyelash extensions?” Isn’t quite as black and white as yes or no. There are a few factors to consider before deciding whether your extensions need mascara or not.
Types of eyelash extension
If you choose a volume or hybrid lash extension style, I would discourage you from even attempting to add mascara to your eyelash extensions.
A volume lash extension look does exactly as it says – creates volume. This eyelash extension type has a large density and is packed with individual lashes to create fluttery volume, because of this adding mascara can often leave the lashes looking extra stodgy and stuck together.
The hybrid lash is somewhere between volume and classic (we’ll come back to the classic lash later), still voluminous but not quite as intense as a volume set. Again, to keep your hybrid lashes in the best condition possible it’s probably best to put the mascara down and just allow your hybrids to shine as their mascara-free self.
With both of these lash extension types you’ll probably find you don’t feel the need to add any extra volume or length with a mascara. After all, lash extensions are widely used for the convenience of not having to apply mascara to your lashes. Eyelash extensions are an easy option for everyday volume and length without having to fiddle with sticking on your own fake lashes or layer up on mascara.
The only lash extension type you could get away with using mascara on is the classic lash. This lash is a much more subtle, everyday style with less lash density. For this reason, applying mascara is less likely to cause excessive clumping and will also be easier to remove any product from.
Reasons for using mascara on eyelash extensions
It is generally advisable not to apply mascara to your eyelash extensions, however, applying mascara to your extensions can be a perfectly good option, it’s all a matter of what look you’re starting with and what look you’re ultimately aiming for.
Are you one of the vast amount of makeup users with very little to work with in the way of natural eyelashes and just see extensions as a way to look ‘normal’? What if the classic extension doesn’t quite cut it for you and the volume/hybrid extensions make you feel like Sasha Velour on a party night? This situation provides the perfect opportunity to wear your classics all day long if you want to, with the application of your favourite mascara when you need to add that little extra oomph.
Similarly, are you due a new full set soon but still have a few too many individual lashes persistently clinging on? This could be the moment you decide, actually, it’s worth applying a coat of your favourite mascara to give them a new lease of life and integrate them into your natural lashes better.
It could even be that you’re wanting a little extra volume for your classic lash extensions, maybe you’re going out-out and your just looking for a makeup look that’s a little more show stopping, or you want to add a bit of colour to your lashes. Whatever the reason it is possible to wear mascara on your classic lash extensions without too much damage, providing you take care of them.
Things to remember when applying mascara to your eyelash extensions
Mascara can leave your lashes looking extra clumpy. Adding extra product onto your extensions can stick the individual lashes together and close the fans, making your lashes look extra fake and honestly, it’s not a good look. Using mascara on volume and hybrid lashes is often strongly discouraged for these exact reasons.
On top of mascara leaving your lashes in a clumpy mess, mascara can weigh down your lashes causing them to droop and fall out. This will dramatically reduce the longevity of your lash extensions and ultimately leave you needing to have a full set applied much quicker.
Some mascara formulas can break down the adhesive that binds your extensions to your lashes. There is nothing more frustrating than paying for a fresh set of full lashes, only for them to start falling out just a few days later. Staying clear of mascaras that contain ingredients with oils will keep your lashes from falling out prematurely.
Mascaras NOT to use on eyelash extensions
It is always best to stay away from waterproof formulas! Mascaras that you find difficult to get off your own lashes will be twice as hard to remove from your lash extensions. Save yourself the heartbreak of loosing your lashes and don’t even attempt to use a waterproof formula.
When deciding on which mascara to use check your mascara doesn’t include oil. As I’ve mentioned before, oil loosens the adhesive holding your extensions to your lashes, so you want to stay as far away from adding extra oil as possible. Instead choose a water-based mascara to apply to your lash extensions.
I would also suggest steering clear of fibre or tubing mascaras. The fibres can get tangled in the extensions and create and unwanted clumpy mess that is pretty hard to reverse.
Instead, elect easy to remove, water-based mascara formulas if you really feel you need to add mascara to your lash extensions.
How to apply mascara to your eyelash extensions
- Start with clean, cleansed lashes. For this you will need a proprietary eyelash extension cleanser.
- Allow your lashes to air-dry fully before applying any product.
- Avoid concentrating too much product on the roots of your lashes as this may loosen your lash extensions. Instead apply product from the middle of your lashes upwards.
- Only apply two coats maximum to your lashes.
How to maintain your lashes
If you do choose to use mascara on your lash extensions, you will need to properly maintain them to keep them lasting and looking fresh. Ensure to remove mascara properly after application to prolong the life of your lash extensions.
Choose an eyelash extension cleanser that is water-based and free from oils. Micellar water is a good option for mascara removal as this is a much gentler formula without added oils.
Stay away from cotton pads to remove your mascara as the cotton fibres can get stuck in the extensions and trying to remove could weaken your lash extensions. Instead opt for a spoolie to brush the makeup remover very gently through your lashes to break down the mascara. You may need to do this multiple times before the mascara is fully removed so be patient.
Once you have fully removed the mascara from your lash extensions allow your lashes to air dry. Once dry you can use a dry spoolie to separate any lashes that may have become stuck or tangled in the removal process.