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- Tubing mascara is completely smudge-proof and is perfect for sensitive eyes.
- It’s super-easy to take it off without any makeup remover.
- Made of film-forming polymers, tubing mascara wraps around each lash to lengthen and curl it dramatically.
Tubing mascara is basically magic. It’s as though this unique formula descended down from the heavens to redeem those of us who simply cannot get mascara to stay on our friggin’ lashes. Tubing mascara forms perfect little tubes around the lashes to make them long and defined, and once they’re on, they can’t be removed except intentionally.
Keep reading to learn exactly what tubing mascara is and how it works! But, before we get into that, we’ve selected the best tubing mascaras out on the market. Then, we explain tubing mascaras and how they differ from regular mascaras, as well as all of their benefits. We have easy-to-follow instructions on how to apply and remove tubing mascara as well, with a few exclusive tips added to each section.
Tubing Mascara 101: Contents
- 17 Best Tubing Mascaras to Try
- What Is a Tubing Mascara?
- The Benefits of Tubing Mascara
- How to Use Tubing Mascara
- How to Take off Tubing Mascara
These are the best tubing mascaras you should try! Each one has its own unique features that make it extra great, so there’s something for everyone here.
1. Best in Luxury: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
Let’s start with this truly high-performing luxury tubing mascara from Kevyn Aucoin. It is slightly more volumizing than many other tubing mascaras and has a wand with short bristles for a clean and precise application. It’s also infused with squalane and jojoba oil to give luster and health to the lashes. It’s available at Sephora.
2. Best in K-Beauty: Eyeko Black Magic Mascara Drama & Curl
Eyeko hits all the sweet spots with this tubing mascara out of Korea. It comes in the brand’s signature squeeze tube, which makes it easy to get the most out of your mascara. The formula is only partially tubing but is also infused with some wax, so it also gives decent volume. The curved brush is designed specifically to get the lashes looking curly. Buy it from Ulta or Amazon!
3. Best Lengthening: MAC Cosmetics Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara
MAC rarely stumbles, so it is no surprise that this is one of the best tubing mascaras, especially for lengthening the lashes. The smudge-proof formula comes with a brush that is on the smaller side for a precise but still quick application, and the shade itself is as dark a black as can be. Get it at Nordstrom!
4. Best for Curling: Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
This Japanese-made tubing mascara is a cult-favorite item that has thousands of fans all over the world, and it’s even budget-friendly. It holds a curl extremely well, and also offers serious length since, in addition to the tubing effect, it also contains 5mm fibers that grab on to the lashes. The formula is boosted by essence ingredients that help nourish and condition the lashes throughout the day. Order it on Amazon!
5. Best for Sensitive Eyes: Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula
If your eyes are sensitive (especially to fragrance), this is the best tubing mascara around. Clinique is known for going above and beyond to ensure that their products are non-allergenic, so this tubing mascara is as gentle as can be. It also functions ideally, giving the length and longevity for which tubing mascaras are known. Find it in black or brown at Ulta, Sephora, and Amazon!
6. The Original: blinc Tubing Mascara Original, Extreme Longwear
We must give credit where it is due, as Blinc is one of the first brands to popularize tubing mascaras. Sure, some brands have made formulas that are a bit more volumizing or lengthening, but this is still a fantastic option that is long-wearing and gentle. The brush has a classic, medium-sized shape that makes the application quite easy. It’s sold online in 6 shades through Amazon.
7. Best Fiber-Infused: DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection
This is another one of the best tubing mascaras from Japan. It has a slim brush for separation and mixed-in fibers for extra length. It includes a touch of antioxidant vitamin E as well to keep the lashes in a healthy condition. It’s a favorite long-lasting option since it truly does not smudge no matter what. Get it from Dermstore!
8. Best for Separation: Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara
Our winner for the best tubing mascara for separating the lashes is this formula from Estée Lauder. It has microfiber bristles that help to detangle the lashes to prevent clumps and to really give the lashes a defined effect. Beyond that, it’s a classic tubing formulation that doesn’t smudge or flake but comes off in seconds when it’s time. Pick it up from Sephora!
9. Best Two-in-One: L’Oreal Paris Double Extension Beauty Tubes
This tubing mascara comes with two ends, so it’s two products in one. One end is a white primer that builds up volume, while the second is the black mascara itself, which colors the lashes and seals things with a lengthening tubing effect. It’s basically the best of both worlds, giving magnificent, massive lashes. Buy it online from Amazon!
10. The Most Elegant: Surratt Relevée Mascara
Surratt products just scream elegance, including this fantastic tubing mascara. It has a lovely microfiber formula, so in addition to tubing, it also provides added length, with a small brush that grabs even the smallest of lashes. The formula itself is on the thin side, so it never clumps and even helps to hydrate the lashes with lots of humectants. Grab it at Nordstrom!
11. Best Drugstore Fiber: Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara
Tubing formulas and fibers are a match made in eyelash heaven, and this Revlon option is the best tubing mascara with fibers from the drugstore. It gives unparalleled length in seconds thanks to the combination of effects. The brush is thick and tapered, which is great for volumizing and separating the lashes, but also allows for some precise control. It is sold on Amazon.
12. Best Cruelty-Free: Elizabeth Mott It’s So BIG Volumizing Mascara
This is the best tubing mascara that is also certified by PETA as cruelty-free. It was designed to offer both length and volume, though we definitely think length is where it excels. The wand has an hourglass shape, which offers versatile application options, but might be a little messy for those with a smaller eye shape. It’s available through Amazon.
13. Best Vegan Formula: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
Not only is this an excellent tubing mascara, but it’s also totally vegan, with plant-based waxes replacing beeswax. It creates natural-looking tubes around the lashes, so it’s a great mascara for day-to-day use. It is rich in ingredients that are nourishing for the lashes, like shea butter, B5, and orchid stem cells. Order it from Ulta!
14. Best Colorful Option: Maybelline New York Snapscara Washable Mascara
This intense tubing mascara has a unique wax-free formula, which gives it added opacity with a brush that is great for separation. When it comes to color selection, we think it’s the best tubing mascara, with traditional shades like black and brown, as well as some unique ones like ultraviolet and black cherry. Find it on Amazon!
15. Best Slim Brush: Trish McEvoy High Volume Tubular Mascara
The ultra-slim brush on this tubing mascara makes it a dream to use for anyone who usually ends up with smudges around their eyes immediately after application. It allows for a very precise and defined application and is even easy to use on the bottom lashes. It offers all the benefits of a tubing mascara as well, from easy removal to smudge-resistance to exceptional length. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
16. Most Long-Lasting: Boots No7 Stay Perfect Mascara
Sure, all tubing mascaras are long-lasting, but we think the Stay Perfect formula is the best tubing mascara going above and beyond. We think it could even withstand a dip in the pool or extra inclement weather. This also means that at the end of the day, removing it takes a bit more work: either with the help of a cleanser or a cotton pad held over each eye for 30 seconds or so. It’s sold on Amazon.
17. The Chicest: Glossier Lash Slick
The thing about Glossier is that you can’t help but feel really cool when using their products. Not many realize that their Lash Slick is a tubing mascara, but it truly is one of the best ones. It offers an opaque black coating over the lashes and lots of length thanks to both fibers and tubing. It’s free of parabens and fragrances, so it’s great even for sensitive eyes. Get it from Glossier or Amazon!
Tubing mascara is an innovative mascara formulation that solves a few of the typical issues with regular mascara, and that often works extremely well for those who cannot wear regular mascara for a variety of reasons!
The unique feature of a tubing mascara is that instead of coating the lashes with pigment in the traditional way, it wraps around the lashes to become a solid tube – hence the name. This is because tubing mascaras are made of film-forming polymers instead of the usual mixture of wax, oil, and pigment.
Tubing mascara adheres to the lashes in a totally different way, attaching to itself instead of to the lashes. This makes tubing mascaras easier to remove but also a lot more long-lasting as long as the lashes are not disturbed.
Where tubing mascara truly excels is in its ability to lengthen the lashes. The tubes it forms around the lashes extend quite far past their natural tips, giving false eyelash-like length.
Additionally, they do a great job of holding a curl in place. They are also good for separating the lashes, although this depends more so on the brush than on the mascara.
However, unlike traditional mascaras, tubing mascara is notoriously not as good for volumizing the lashes because of their thinner consistency. You might want to use a lash primer before applying your tubing mascara to get a more volumizing effect.
If you can’t figure out whether the mascara you are going to buy is tubing or not, look for words like “polymers” or “easy to remove.”
Tubing mascaras are a wonder, and they have a whole range of amazing benefits. Read them to see if tubing mascara is right for you!
• Easy to Remove
All you need to remove tubing mascara is some warm water and a bit of friction from your fingers. It is mess-free and doesn’t require using any disposables. We give a step-by-step guide with some tips later on in the article!
While the process of removing tubing mascara is a piece of cake, it’s also quite specific, and otherwise, it totally stays put under almost all circumstances, including a long workout session at the gym or a walk in the rain. However, you will need to be careful and to abstain from rubbing your eyes completely.
• Better for Sensitive Eyes
Tubing mascara is usually great for those with sensitive eyes or sensitive skin around the eyes, for two main reasons. The first is that removing it doesn’t require any harsh rubbing, so the delicate skin stays undisturbed. The second is simple longevity – even if your eyes tear up regularly, you don’t need to worry about the mascara smudging, running, or getting into your eyes and irritating them more.
• Durable in the Face of Oils
The thing about having oily skin is that almost all mascaras suck at staying in place. Most mascaras (and especially waterproof ones) are made to come off with a swipe of oil-based makeup remover, but if your skin is oily, that sebum often functions in the same way, causing mascara to smudge under the eyes. Tubing mascara, however, is totally oil-resistant, so it stays put without smudging, making it the best solution for those with oily skin.
• Very Lengthening
With tubing mascara, every additional coat significantly increases the length of the lashes. This is because the tubes that form around the lashes are already quite long, but more coats adhere to the tubes themselves, leading to incredibly long lashes.
• Gets a Curl to Stick
The polymers in tubing mascara act a bit like hairspray, so they can really hold a curl. If your lashes often resist the ministrations of the eyelash curler and seem to droop shortly after you’ve applied mascara, a tubing formulation is a must.
• Potentially Safer for Eyelash Extensions
We haven’t verified this ourselves (let us know if you did!), but according to multiple sources, tubing mascara is considered safe for eyelash extensions in a way that no other mascara can be. If you have had lash extensions done and are absolutely dying to also amp things up with mascara, you can take the risk and give tubing mascara a try.
Tubing mascaras are simple and easy to use, and the process doesn’t differ too much from a regular mascara application.
• Once you’re at the point in your makeup application when you’re ready to apply mascara (ideally, once you’ve applied all eye makeup and powder products), you can get started.
• First, curl your lashes to open up the eyes and to get more lift – believe us, it makes a difference!
• Then, get yourself into a position where you are looking comfortably into the mirror, and if you need help keeping your hand steady, rest your elbow on the counter or table.
• Unscrew your tube of mascara, and wipe off the wand on the rim of the tube to remove any extra mascara and to avoid any clumpiness.
• Bring the wand under your lashes, as close to the upper lash line as possible.
• Wiggle the tubing mascara wand gently to get the bristles to slide in between your lashes, and then continue wiggling as you pull it upwards towards the tips of your lashes.
• Give the tubing mascara a few moments to dry down, and then apply a second coat if necessary.
• If you would like to apply mascara to the lower lashes, do so gently to avoid ending up with dreaded “spider lashes.” You can wipe off the wand on a tissue before applying so that only a small amount of mascara gets deposited on the lashes.
• Once you’re happy with the length of your lashes, you’re done, so it’s time to move on to the second eye!
• You can follow up the tubing mascara with a coat of volumizing mascara if you really want to achieve out-of-this-world lashes.
One of the best things about tubing mascara is that it is so simple to remove! All you need is a bit of warm water, and it’ll come off in seconds.
• You can remove your tubing mascara while washing your face, or you can do it separately. Keep in mind that oil or balm cleansers and makeup removers are not going to do a great job of taking it off, so you can either remove the tubing mascara first and then remove the rest of your makeup, or you can take your makeup off first and finish off with the mascara afterward.
• Either splash your face with a bit of warm water or dampen your hands.
• Next, with your eyes closed, hold your ring finger gently over your lid and drag it downwards over your lashes. You might need to repeat this a couple more times, especially if you have big eyes and a long lash line.
• With that motion, the mascara will easily come off in tubes that will collect under your eyes.
• Using another splash of water or a damp cotton pad, wipe off the mascara tubes.
• Once your entire face is clean, nourish your eyes and lashes with a bit of eye cream.
Photos via @serenawylliemakeup, @la.vie.stella, @honey.matcha.glow