Best Mascara for Lash Extensions: Our Top 10 Products Picks

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on June 22, 2023
best mascara for lash extensions
⏱️ 9 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ingredient analysis, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

Lash extensions are a great way to add volume and length to your existing lashes. They are relatively long-lasting and easy to maintain, plus they help you look put together without any eye makeup.

But, sometimes you want to add more definition to your extensions, and luckily you can achieve that by using specialized mascaras.

In this blog, we cover the best mascara for lash extensions by ranking our top 10 product picks, plus we give some useful tips on proper mascara application and removal.

Can You Wear Mascara on Eyelash Extensions?

It depends.

Lash extensions are synthetic fibers that are attached to your natural lashes with a lash glue.

The final look of your extensions depends on your tech’s customization, as they choose the best extension length, thickness, and curl according to your eye shape and desired outcome.

The factors that determine whether you can safely wear mascara on your eyelash extensions are the formulation of the mascara itself and the type of lash extensions – it’s only okay for classics.

Which Types of Mascara Are Suitable for Lash Extensions?

Deciding on the best mascara for lash extensions can be quite tricky when not knowing what to look for ingredient-wise. Here’s what to look for when choosing the best mascara formulation:

Water-Based Mascaras

Water-based mascaras are the safest option for lash extensions. They can be easily removed with water, reducing the need for harsh makeup removers that may affect the adhesive. Look for formulas that are specifically labeled as water-based or extension-safe.

Oil-Free Mascaras

Oil-based mascaras can weaken the adhesive bond of your lash extensions, leading to premature shedding, so you’d want to avoid using them. Opt for oil-free formulas that won’t interfere with the longevity of your extensions.

Best Mascara for Lash Extensions: Top 10 Picks

Sometimes it can be quite difficult to find the best mascara for lash extensions according to formulation, so we decided to help you with your purchase by researching the top 10 mascaras safe to use on lash extensions.

Our product picks are all water-based, easy to wash off, tested, and reviewed across all platforms. Check out our top 10 list below!

1. Xtreme Lashes Length & Volume Mascara

Our fave for long-lasting lash extensions is the Xtreme Lashes Length & Volume Mascara. It is specially designed for use on lash extensions.

The formula is water-based and infused with vitamin B5, so it adds a moisturizing element to the natural lash. But the most important thing is that it enhances the look of your extensions without compromising their bond and it’s really easy to remove!

• Safe for sensitive eyes
• Sulfate and paraben-free
• Enriched with vitamin B5

• Not ideal for natural lashes
• Not the most dramatic volume

2. Alluring Max 2 Water-Based Mascara

The Alluring Max 2 Water-Based Mascara is the perfect addition to your makeup routine, whether you have lash extensions or not.

This formula is all about length, and the slightly longer wand helps you really get in there and comb every lash. It is very easy to remove with just water, so you don’t have to worry about any tugging or pulling with this one!

• Great lengthening effect
• Smudge-proof formula
• Comes with a long, easy-to-use wand

• Takes some time to fully remove
• Can cause clumping

3. BL Lashes Noir Mascara

The BL Lashes Noir Mascara is specially formulated for eyelash extension wearers. It is water-based and won’t dissolve or affect in any way the lash adhesive.

Plus, it’s enriched with vitamin E and keratin – both of which are useful in conditioning and strengthening your natural eyelashes.

This mascara obviously isn’t waterproof, but many reviewers agree that it’s smudge-proof and long-lasting regardless.

• Promotes lash growth
• Perfect for in-between lash fills
• Compatible with extensions and natural lashes

• Some users reported clumping and flaking
• Not a really dramatic effect

4. Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara

When it comes to drugstore mascaras that are lash extension-friendly, the Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara is our tried and true.

It is a traditional favorite that provides a natural look and doesn’t cause any smudging or clumping. This mascara is incredibly easy to wash off which is a big reason to consider when purchasing a drugstore, extension-friendly mascara.

• Affordable
• Great for both natural lashes and extensions
• Hypoallergenic

• Can be thick and cause clumping
• Takes some time to remove

5. GladGirl Lashe EnMasse Mascara for Eyelash Extensions

The GladGirl Lashe EnMasse Mascara has an oil-free formulation that is lightweight and safe to use on your lash extensions.

It’s designed to give a dramatic look without clumping or smudging. An added benefit is that it comes with a dual brush wand so you can achieve both a separating effect and a volumizing effect, depending on your mood.

• Dual-tipped wand for different looks
• Vegan and safe for sensitive eyes
• Great color payoff

• Dries out relatively quickly
• Can be runny

6. Benefit Bad Gal Bang Volumizing Mascara

Finding a water-based, extension-safe mascara that will also build your natural lashes and create volume is quite the challenge. But the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Volumizing Mascara can do just that, plus more!

If you’re looking for a versatile mascara that you can use during all stages of your lash extension journey – this is the one.

• Smudge-proof, transfer-proof formula
• Great for natural lashes and extensions
• A dramatic, volumizing effect

• Hard to remove from extensions
• Can be pricey

7. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Noir Balm Volumizing Mascara

For lash extensions, the Noir Balm Washable Mascara is a great, affordable option. It’s water-based and comes with a flexible brush that separates and lengthens lashes, which is perfect for the tips of your lash extensions.

It is formulated with vegan ingredients and is free from parabens and mineral oil. This mascara comes in black and brown and is incredibly pigmented – so, a little goes a long way!

• Washable multipurpose mascara
• Free from parabens and mineral oil
• Conditioning ingredients

• Can be clumpy
• Flakes over time

8. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

If you’re looking for a healthy dose of volume, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara can help you achieve just that.

This formula is made to thicken, lengthen, and give volume and curl to natural lashes, but is also quite safe and effective when used on extensions. It is also free of parabens and can condition the natural lashes from within.

• Multipurpose – lengthens and curls
• Conditioning, collagen-infused formula
• Long-lasting

• Hard to remove from extensions
• Can be pricey

9. Lash Affair Eyelash Mascara

The Lash Affair Eyelash Mascara is specially designed for eyelash extensions and has a creamy, highly-pigmented formula.

The formula is long-lasting and doesn’t budge throughout the day. It effortlessly coats and lengthens lash extensions, plus, clumping is not an issue with this mascara!

• Highly pigmented formula
• Doesn’t budge or flake
• Suitable for sensitive eyes

• Kind of goopy
• Can be pricey

10. Clinique High Impact Mascara

If you’re looking for something a bit more lux, the Clinique High Impact Mascara is the perfect option for a subtle enhancement.

The formula is water-based and very easy to wash off, plus it doesn’t smudge or flake. The pigment itself is very natural-looking, so adding this to the tip of your lashes may just be the right amount of tint you need.

• Light formulation that doesn’t clump
• No flaking over time
• Relatively long-lasting

• A very subtle effect
• Can be a bit goopy and runny

Which Types of Mascara to Avoid?

Now that we’ve covered the best mascara for your extensions, here’s a look at formulations to avoid:

Oil-Based Mascaras

As we mentioned, oils can loosen the adhesive on your lash extensions, so you should avoid mascaras and other products that contain them.

Waterproof Mascaras

Removing waterproof mascara from your lashes can be challenging and requires either some friction or the use of oil-based products.

Friction can cause some of your extensions to break or fall out prematurely, while oil-based makeup removers can weaken the bond of your extensions.

Tube Mascaras

Tube mascaras get their name from polymers found in their formulation that individually wrap around each lash and form so-called tubes.

They are specially designed to be smudge-proof, which makes them hard to remove, plus they lead to clumping and are definitely unsafe for your lash extensions.

Fiber Mascaras

Fiber mascaras contain ingredients like silk, nylon, and rayon, which are dry fibers. These fibers can add length and volume to the natural lash but are the hardest to remove from lash extensions.

Since premature shedding and hair damage are the main issues when it comes to removing fiber mascara, we say they’re a hard pass.

Learn more about the pros and cons of wearing mascara over lash extensions here.


Image source: Freepik

Can You Wear Mascara on All Lash Extension Styles?

No.

It is safe to wear mascara on classic lash extensions, but not on hybrid, volume, and mega volume lash extensions, and here’s why:

Excess Weight

Volume lashes and mega volume lashes consist of a large number of extensions that are wrapped together in fans, and attached to the natural lash.

This already puts some weight on your natural lashes, and when you add mascara on top of it, it can result in weighed-down lashes that break and fall off.

With classic lash extensions however, this isn’t the case, as one extension is applied to one natural lash, so the weight from even a couple of layers of mascara won’t cause any damage.

Closed Fans

No one wants lashes that are stuck together. Volume lashes are made up of lash fans that can close when mascara is applied over them. This leads to a clumpy, stuck-together lash look that is later on harder to untangle and clean properly.

How to Apply Mascara on Eyelash Extensions

Applying mascara on natural eyelashes isn’t the same as applying mascara on extensions. So, here are our tips for applying mascara to eyelash extensions:

  • Do a lash bath before applying any product.
  • Dry your lashes and comb them with a spoolie to separate them.
  • Gently apply a coat of mascara to your lashes and extensions.
  • Make sure to start applying from the middle and go towards the tips.
  • Remember not to apply mascara on the roots of your lashes.
  • Only apply one or two coats of mascara to your lashes.

How to Safely Remove Mascara from Extensions

The proper aftercare and maintenance of lash extensions implies cleaning them regularly and that includes removing makeup residue. Follow these simple instructions to safely remove mascara from your eyelash extensions:

  • Prepare an oil-free makeup remover, a spoolie brush, and a lint-free towel.
  • Dip a clean spoolie in your makeup remover and gently brush through the extensions.
  • Place a lint-free towel underneath your lashes.
  • Rinse your lashes with lukewarm water. The best way to do this is to get a rinse or irrigation bottle.
  • Repeat the process until all mascara is removed.
  • Make sure your lashes are completely dry before preceding to apply mascara again.

To Sum Up

While mascara can bolden and lengthen lash extensions, using mascara on lash extensions isn’t normally necessary.

If you still wish to use mascara on your eyelash extensions, make sure you are wearing classic lashes and not volume or mega volume lashes, as mascara can make them quite heavy on the natural lash, causing it to break.

The best mascara for lash extensions has a water-based formula that doesn’t contain any oil and has some nourishing properties as well that will protect your natural lashes. When applying mascara on eyelash extensions, avoid touching the roots and work from the middle to the tips.

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