Can You Put Mascara on Lash Extensions? Will It Ruin the Lashes?

Lash extensions involve the application of individual synthetic hairs that are carefully bonded onto your natural lashes one by one. This process takes great skill and time from a lash technician. Once applied, extensions are meant to give you gorgeous volume and length for 2-4 weeks without any additional products needed.

But mascara isn’t always so kind to these delicate enhancements. Its tugging bristles, drying film, and stubborn removal can all potentially damage extensions over time through pulling, weighing down, or breaking adhesive bonds. When you consider the cost and effort that goes into a full set, you’ll want to prioritize long-lasting wear.

Whether you’re a lifelong user of lash extensions or just getting them for the first time, you may be wondering can I wear mascara with these fancy falsies, or will it ruin them? It’s a common question, as mascara is usually part of our daily makeup routine. However, lash extensions require a different approach to keep them looking their best. Read more and get information: What Is Lip Gloss Made Out of Whale Sperm?

How Mascara Ruins Your Lash Extensions

There are a few key reasons why applying mascara to lash extensions can damage them.

The Tugging

The bristles of the mascara wand are designed to grab onto lashes to coat them with pigment. However, this tugging action can easily pull individual lash extensions off your lash line. The extremely delicate bond holding each extension onto a natural lash is no match for the force of a mascara wand.

The Weighing

When mascara dries, it leaves a film behind that adds weight to your lashes. This extra weight can cause extensions to slip lower on the lash or even fall out prematurely. Eyelash extensions are meant to look light and feather-like, not weighed down.

The Drying

Mascara contains ingredients that dry quickly once applied. As it dries, it can form a tight seal around extensions, essentially gluing them in place. This makes it difficult to clean them properly. Trapped debris and buildup lead to blockages and a higher risk of infections.

The Scrubbing

To remove dry, caked-on mascara, you have to scrub quite vigorously with makeup remover. This vigorous scrubbing is too rough on the delicate bond between extensions and natural lashes. It can break the bonds and dislodge many extensions in the process.

Why You Don’t Even Need Mascara With Extensions

The whole point of lash extensions is to give you full, thick lashes without any makeup required. Extensions are designed to look like your natural lashes but better. You get volume, length, and drama without any products needed. A mascara would just be an unnecessary addition. Extensions already provide bold, wide-awake eyes on their own.

If You’re Going to Wear Mascara Anyway

If you simply must wear mascara with your lash extensions, there are a few tips:

  • Only apply with an ultra-fine brush and very gentle strokes. Avoid tugging or pulling lashes.
  • Use a small amount of a lightweight, non-clumping formula. Heavier formulas add unnecessary weight.
  • Apply mascara to just the outer 1/3 of your natural lashes to avoid the extensions as much as possible.
  • Make sure to remove mascara completely every night with oil-based makeup remover to avoid buildup.

However, experts still don’t recommend routinely wearing mascara with extensions as it’s just not necessary and risks damage. It’s best to enjoy the fullness of just your extensions.

Avoid These Mascaras at All Costs

Some mascara types are a definite no-go for extensions due to their ingredients or formulas. Stay away from:


As the name implies, waterproof mascaras are very difficult to remove completely. They tend to flake off in small pieces that get trapped under extensions.


While great for removal, oil-based formulas contain ingredients that can break down the adhesive in extensions over time.


Fiber mascaras use tiny clumps to create the volume that can get tangled in or pull out extensions.


These mascaras form flexible silicone tubes around lashes that don’t fully remove, leading to buildup and breakage of extensions.

Take Key Points

  • Applying mascara to lash extensions risks pulling the delicate extensions out or causing them to slip lower on the lash line due to mascara’s tugging and extra weight.
  • The scrubbing needed to remove dried, caked-on mascara can be too rough on the bond between extensions and natural lashes, leading to breakage.
  • Waterproof, oil-based, fiber, and tubing mascaras should especially be avoided with extensions due to ingredients or formulas that damage adhesives or cause buildup.
  • Lash extensions alone provide full, thick lashes without any makeup needed, so mascara is an unnecessary addition that isn’t worth the damage risks.
  • If you must wear mascara, use a lightweight, non-clumping liquid formula applied gently just to the outer tips of natural lashes only.
  • Be sure to remove all mascara completely every night with oil-based makeup remover to avoid trapped buildup that damages extensions.
  • The safest approach is to enjoy the wide-awake look of lash extensions alone without additional mascara products.
  • Proper lash extension care and avoiding risky mascaras will help keep them looking full and glamorous for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you put mascara on eyelash extensions?

The tugging and weighting of mascara can pull extensions out or cause them to slip lower. Drying and scrubbing also risk damage and breakage.

Is there a mascara you can use on eyelash extensions?

A lightweight, non-clumping formula applied gently to just the outer tips may work, but most experts don’t recommend routine mascara use.

What mascara is safe for extensions?

No mascara is completely safe, but the least risky are thin, non-clumping liquid formulas removed with oil. Many say extensions alone are best.

Final Thoughts

Lash extensions provide fullness and glamour all on their own. There’s no need to add mascara and risk damaging your expensive, time-consuming extensions. Enjoy the wide-open, awake look the extensions alone give you! If you must wear mascara, take extra care applying and removing it as described. But mascara-free is always the safest bet for keeping your lash extensions looking their best.

It revolutionized the way we view eyelash enhancements by providing dramatic volume and length with zero daily maintenance required. Their application takes skill and they aren’t cheap either, so you’ll want to properly care for your investments. This includes avoiding mascara use as much as possible to prevent damage from tugging, weighing down, or stubborn removal issues over time.

While a lightweight liquid formula applied carefully to just the outer tips may work on rare special occasions, experts strongly advise enjoying the wide-awake look of extensions alone. They were designed to be the no-makeup makeup option for full, glamorous-looking lashes. Why risk your lash tech’s artistry and hard work to add an unnecessary step like mascara daily?

If you simply must scratch that mascara itch, at least avoid waterproof, oil-based, fiber, or tubing varieties that are the worst culprits. And be diligent about complete nightly removal to prevent any buildup underneath. With the right care, your glam extensions can last weeks looking Fresh-from-the-salon beautiful.

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