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When it comes to long-lasting mascaras, there’s no denying that waterproof formulas take first place. And while they may not budge during a dip in the pool, on a humid summer day, or during a marathon viewing of The Notebook, the downside is that they can be admittedly hard to remove. You’re going to need a dedicated waterproof eye makeup remover for sure, and even then, it often requires more than a little bit of elbow grease to fully take off these budge-proof mascaras. All of that harsh scrubbing can end up taking a toll on your delicate lashes, often making waterproof mascaras almost not worth it.
Enter tubing mascaras, which originally started in Japan, gradually made their way stateside, and have continued to grow in popularity over the past few years. Unlike traditional formulas, which paint your lashes with pigment, these use polymers that essentially shrink wrap each individual lash with tiny tubes. The result? Not only a long and lengthened effect, but increased staying power to boot. Tubing mascaras won’t smudge, but will also come off with only a little bit of warm water and a washcloth or cotton pad—could it get any better? (FYI, if you’ve never tried these, you will see the little tubes coming off, but don’t worry, those aren’t your actual lashes.) If you’re curious to get in on the tubing mascara trend, try any one of these seven standouts.
Best Overall: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
Consider this the OG of the bunch. As a general rule, tubing mascaras are usually best for adding extra length, simply based on the way in which they work and how the tubes wrap around and extend each lash. But when you want both length and added fullness, reach for this option. Not only does it contain the fibers it also has bold pigments to help thicken and separate lashes. Added jojoba oil keeps your fringe both soft and shiny, and the super skinny brush makes swiping and application easier than ever. Reviewers repeatedly not how it never leaves them with raccoon eyes, a major win in our book.
Best Budget: NYX Professional Makeup Doll Eye Mascara
This is one of the most affordable tubing mascaras out there. Using both natural oils and nylon fibers, it instantly lengthens lashes. And for when you need added staying power, it also comes in a waterproof version, as well as one that adds more volume. Bonus points for the addition of vitamin E, which helps condition lashes to keep them soft and fluttery.
Best Volumizing: Blinc Mascara
While most tubing mascaras are choice for lengthening, this adds volume, too, and is available in both black and brown. You can also layer multiple coats until you achieve your desired effect, just make sure to swipe them on within two minutes of one another. Once the formula sets, it sets, so you don’t have to worry about smudges or flakes.
Best Conditioning Formula: DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection
This super-lengthening Japanese formula contains beeswax and vitamin E, which condition the lashes while you're wearing it and also give them an alluring sheen.
Best Drugstore Option: L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes
This two-step formula promises up to 80 percent longer-looking lashes. The dual-sided tube contains a base coat infused with conditioning ingredients such as ceramides and panthenol; swipe this on first to both protect and strengthen lashes, while also creating a base for the tubes to come. Next, apply the tubing top coat (there’s no need to wait in between) for impressively long lashes. Reviewers repeatedly comment on how well it stays on, without smudging, even on lower lashes.
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Clinique Lash Power Mascara
As anyone with sensitive eyes will tell you, mascara can quickly become more trouble than it’s worth. Happily, this lengthening formula is both allergy-tested and ophthalmologist-tested, fragrance-free, and won’t irritate contact lens wearers. With unique thermal technology, it also touts an impressive 24 hour wear-time. Plus, the thin and slightly tapered brush makes it easy to reach your bottom lashes, as well as the tiny ones on the inner and outer corners of your eyes.
Best Natural Formula: Thrive Cosmetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
Vegan, cruelty-, paraben-, and sulfate-free, this uses a long list of natural ingredients to improve both the look and feel of your fringe. Buildable fibers add faux lash-like length, while Korean plant extracts strengthen lashes. It also contains an orchid stem cell complex to help encourage lash growth (yes, please), and a combination of vitamin B5 and sodium hyaluronate to moisturize, which is why so many pleased customers rave about how smoothly it glides on.
Best Humidity-Proof Formula: Surratt Beauty Relevée Mascara
Celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt’s eponymous makeup line is largely inspired by Japanese technologies and innovations, so it’s no surprise that he created a tubing mascara. Choice for muggy summer days, the humidity-proof formula contains microfibers to extend lashes, along with a slim and angled brush that helps lift and fan them out simultaneously. Also nice: The packaging is recyclable, which is not often the case with cosmetics.