What Even Is Tubing Mascara?

What Even Is Tubing Mascara? featured image
Thrive Causemetics
We may earn commission from links on this page. Each product featured has been vetted and chosen by our editors.

The beauty industry has been a little slow to jump on the tubing mascara bandwagon, but we’re already seeing a big shift so far this year. Want brow-grazing lashes and the easiest removal process ever? Hop on board. It’s hands down one of my favorite beauty product discoveries of the past five years. Like dry shampoo, tubing mascara is one of those innovations that has truly changed my routine. No more makeup remover, cotton rounds or raccoon eyes. Here’s what to know about how it differs from traditional mascara, how to use it, and our favorite product picks.

What Is Tubing Mascara and How Is It Different?

Though tubing mascara isn’t new—a company called Blinc pioneered the technology in 1995—more brands are finally taking notice. “Unlike conventional mascaras, tubing mascaras contain polymers that wrap around each individual lash,” explains Vanessa Eckels, global makeup artist and artistry trainer at Hourglass Cosmetics. “Not only does this create an enhanced lengthening effect, but it also ensures a smudge and flake-free formula that is extremely easy to remove at the end of the day. Each tube slides right off with warm water.” (Here’s a quick video of me using it.)

Karissa Bodnar, makeup artist and founder of Thrive Causemetics, says that the lightweight polymers create a “tube” around each individual lash, hence the name tubing mascara. “They build and extend beyond the lash for maximum length without weighing the lashes down. It’s truly a lash extension–like effect. The best tubing formulas are also long-lasting and flake-resistant.” Donni Davy, makeup artist and cofounder of Half Magic Beauty also notes that although tubing formulas are not waterproof, they don’t smudge throughout the day. “Even if you have long lashes that touch your skin, this type of mascara will never transfer color,” she says.

Tubing mascaras are primarily beloved for their lengthening benefits, but if you choose the right one, you can also achieving some volume and curl. Additionally, in my personal experience (I think I’ve tried every one on the market), some products may also require more coats to achieve the look you’re going for. My blonde lashes often need more oomph.

How to Use Tubing Mascara

“For maximum volume, start with the wand at the base of your lashes and slowly sweep through from root to tip to define and lengthen every lash,” says Bodnar. “Apply additional coats while your lashes are still wet to seal in all-day, flake-free wear.”

With most traditional mascaras, you can freshen up your lash look with additional coats throughout the day. “However, if you apply another coat of tubing mascara to an already-dry layer, you’ll start to get a spikier look,” says Davy. “I have never felt like my tubing mascara needed to be freshened up though. Because it doesn’t smudge, it has that fresh, ‘just applied’ look to it, even after wearing it all day. That is, unless you sobbed your eyes out or got stuck in a rainstorm.”

How to Remove Tubing Mascara

“The major advantage with tubing mascara is that you never get raccoon eyes,” Davy says. It doesn’t leave you with raccoon eyes because it doesn’t smear onto your skin during removal. If you are taking your makeup off in the shower, let your face get wet first—give it a minute or two. Then, gently pull the tubes of mascara off of your lashes. If you’re washing your face outside of the shower, wet your lashes with water and then gently remove the tubes. The key is to make sure your lashes are wet enough so that you don’t have to pull or rub.

“One of the best parts about tubing mascara is that is doesn’t damage the lashes or irritate your eyes. This is because there’s no rubbing or tugging at sensitive skin when you need to remove it,” adds Bodnar. For contact lens wearers, no longer needing to scrub your eyes repeatedly each night is a welcome change. It’s a reprieve for the delicate skin under the eyes, too.

The New Trend: Colored Tubing Mascara

“One big trend we’ll be seeing this summer is colored mascara,” says Davy. “In addition to black, our Half Magic tubing mascara comes in violet and teal.” Thrive Causemetics recently expanded its tubing mascara collection to include limited-edition shades purple, pink and green. “Each new shade is designed to bring out the natural eye color: Green brings out the multidimensional gold tones in hazel eyes, purple brightens green eyes and pink enhances cool blue eyes. They’re great for someone who is just starting to explore adding color to their routine and might be intimidated by a colorful eyeshadow or eyeliner.

The Top Tubing Mascaras to Try

“Not all tubing mascaras are the same,” says Bodnar. “Formulas and ingredients are everything.” This could not ring more true. If you’ve tried several tubing mascaras, you know how different they can be in terms of pigment, performance and quality. Davy predicts we’ll see more tubing mascaras coming to market soon. “Once people fall in love with tubing formulas, it’s really hard to back to regular mascara. I think the strip lash is losing popularity, too. Those consumers will be looking for other options with a similar effect.”

Below are the top tubing mascaras we love. I have recommended these formulas to family, friends and colleagues, and they’re all hooked!

1 / 7

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara ($32)

“Using film-forming technology, this mascara coats each lash in lightweight fibers that lock in place for a high-impact, fanned-out finish and smudge-proof wear,” says Eckels. “The molded brush makes for more precise application to expertly and immediately define, lengthen and separate the lashes. It’s truly the look of lash extensions in an instant! It’s the ideal tubing formula for gorgeous definition, length and lift that lasts all day.”



2 / 7

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extension Mascara ($26)

Swap out your falsies for this powerhouse mascara, which is beloved by thousands of fans and celebrities alike, including Busy Philipps and Padma Lakshmi. Just read any one of the nearly 40,000 reviews! “This mascara has a lot of proprietary ingredients and technology in it, including our Orchid Stem Cell Complex, which encourages and supports longer, healthier-looking lashes and is powered by plant stem cell technology,” says Bodnar. “It is also infused with shea butter and castor seed oil to condition lashes during wear.” It comes in black, brown and dark blue, and also won multiple NewBeauty Awards for Best Tubing Mascara.

BUY NOW – $26

3 / 7

tarte tartelette Tubing Mascara ($27)

Flake-free and sweat-proof, this vegan formula gives my blonde lashes more of a “no makeup makeup” look with good lash separation and definition. Shea butter, castor oil and carnauba wax keep lashes conditioned; however, in my personal use, I noticed this one does not come off as easy as others where the actual tubes are more visible.



4 / 7

Half Magic Eyelectric Extreme Lengthening Mascara ($25)

Take short lashes to new heights with this colorful creation from Davy’s artistic imagination. “Our two colored tubing mascaras are actually pearlescent, which gives them this incredible life and prettiness.”

BUY NOW – $25

5 / 7

Beauty Pie Wrap Star Tubing Mascara ($30)

Utilizing Korean Absolutube technology, this black mascara gives lashes a smudge-proof, super glossy finish. It’s fantastic in the lengthening department, and nonirritating for those with sensitive eyes. And if you’re a Beauty Pie member, it’s only $13!

BUY NOW – $30

6 / 7

Wyn Beauty by Serena Williams Big Vision Lengthening & Defining Tubing Mascara ($19)

From Serena Williams’ new beauty brand comes this tubing mascara that won’t flake or smudge for up to 24 hours. The tennis icon wanted to create products that would last on and off the court, and this formula delivers. We also like the double-arched brush that makes it really easy to coat every little lash with jet-black pigment from root to tip.

BUY NOW – $19

7 / 7

Alleyoop Go the Distance Lengthening & Strengthening Tubing Mascara ($22)

It took Alleyoop four years to develop this formula, which is infused with lash serum for double-duty benefits. Biotin and peptides help strengthen the lashes as shea butter conditions them.

BUY NOW – $22

Related Posts

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.