The 6 Best Water-Based Mascaras to Keep Your Lash Extensions Intact
As a recent convert to lash extensions, one of the things I oddly miss in my makeup routine is using mascara; there's something therapeutic about brushing lashes that calmed me as I got ready in the morning. As any lash expert will tell you, you must try to avoid using mascara to make your extensions last as long as possible. But if you're desperately wanting to add volume and colour to them, turn to water-based mascaras.
"It is the only type that is safe to use with lash extensions," says makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen. "An oil-based mascara would break down the glue and loosen the extensions."
So what exactly is a water-based mascara? "Water-based mascaras are free of added oils and are a neutral pH, which also means they are chemical-free," says makeup artist Lisa Aharon.
They also have a lot of benefits other than being lash extension– and false lash–friendly. "Water-based mascaras contain fewer additives and chemicals than most mascaras, which usually are easier to wear for people with sensitive or people with allergic reactions to eyes," says makeup artist Robert Sesnek. "It [also] removes easily and quickly and dries faster than an oil-based/waterproof mascara, but it may take more coats to lengthen and build and have to be reapplied more often."
We asked several makeup artists to share with us their favourite water-based mascara, and we also picked a few of our own. Scroll down to see what they are.
"Maybelline Great Lash is a classic. It coats beautifully but won't give you much else. It's great for a natural look," says celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg.
"A classic that looks light and natural—almost like a soft lash tint. No fillers or waxes and wearable for the most sensitive eyes," says Sesnek.
"I have been using Great Lash by Maybelline for years. No, make that decades. It's reliable because it works on literally everyone. It can be layered and layered again, and it's jet black," says Reiss-Andersen.
Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara Black ($44)
"My favourite water-based mascara is Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara. I love this mascara because it separates and lengthens the lashes. The brush design is perfect to get coverage on every single lash, giving you a full open-eye effect. It's also hard to find a water-based mascara that will keep the lashes curled, but this formula does just that," says makeup artist Katelin Gan.
Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils ($57)
"YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils is another amazing mascara. The Black is super black and incredibly rich. It's a great mascara for people who really want to build a lash that after a few coats really gives the look of false lashes. Plus the brush is incredibly full for building tons of volume," says Sesnek.