12 standout water-based mascara for eyelash extensions

Taryn Davies
Published: April 10, 2018

Eyelash extensions don’t necessarily need mascara, but for those who really want to use it, water-based mascara is the only one you should be using. Here are the best ones to try.
If you like the extra dramatic look, or want to apply mascara to the bottom of your lashes when wearing eyelash extensions then as long as they’re free of any oil and they’re not waterproof then your eyelash extensions should stay intact.

Eyelash extensions are already perfectly uniformed and curled, with practically no need for mascara, but for some people going without mascara might seem strange.

If you want to use a mascara with your eyelash extensions, then a water-based, oil-free mascara is the only option.
Anytime you use mascaras with oil or mineral oil, the oil in these products can loosen the lash extension bonds, making your extensions come off at a faster rate. The oil in some mascaras will loosen the bonds of the glue meaning your extensions will come off at a much quicker rate.

If you’re wearing eyelash extensions it’s also important to avoid eyeliner or heavy eye makeup with oil, and of course any kind of oil-based makeup remover too.
Lash extensions thankfully usually eliminate the need for additional products, but if you choose to enhance your look, stick to only water-based products which are much gentler and won’t have your lashes falling off at a quicker rate.

Given the cost of good eyelash extensions, you’ll want to ensure proper care to get the most of your treatment.

Wonder Lash DV Glowing Mascara

This is another great water-based mascara option, becuase it won't shorten the life of your extensions at all. But it'll still provide some extra definition to your eyes. The formula is water-soluble, and when you apply it, it won't make your lashes clump together. We're big fans.

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Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux CilsYves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

This mascara from Yves Saint Laurent is incredibly pigmented, so if the blackest black lashes are something you want then this is the product for you. The Volume Effect Faux Cils is great for building up volume on the lashes and gives a false-lash effect, which might be perfect for a couple of weeks in when your false lashes naturally begin to fall out.

Maybelline Great Lash MascaraMaybelline Great Lash Mascara

The Maybelline Great Lash Mascara is one of those products we’ve all had a tube of at some point, and if you need a mascara for your eyelash extensions it’s time to repurchase. The Lash Respect formula boasts no artificial waxes, is smooth and lustrous and doesn’t dry crunchy.

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Laura Mercier Long Lash MascaraLaura Mercier Long Lash Mascara

The Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara is perfect for your lower lashes when wearing extensions, because it extends the shortest lashes that are really hard to reach. It separates them with ease and adds lengths in one quick motion. This is a mascara you’ll reach for even when you’re not wearing eyelash extensions because it has a beautiful eye-opening effect.

Clinique’s Naturally Glossy Mascara

A gorgeous mascara that grooms the lashes more than any kind of volumising or lengthening effect. It really makes them sleek and shiny. As your eyelash extensions begin to fall out – when the lashes they’re attached to naturally shed – you might want to use a mascara to fill in the gaps and make the lashes look more even. It’s not waterproof so it’s easy to remove and it doesn’t smudge or drop throughout the day.

Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara

Lancome Definicils MascaraLancome Definicils Mascara

The Lancome Defincils mascara is another great option for when you’re wearing lash extensions, as the grooved bristles ensure that the product is distributed evenly through the lash, ensuring your lashes look perfect from the root right to the top. This mascara creates more a natural look, but it’s a pretty finish that doesn’t have any clumping.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash MascaraBenefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara

Now this is the product you’ll want if you want to make a real big impact. On their own this mascara is like an instant set of false lashes, so you’ll only need the tiniest amount of product to fill in the gaps or add some more drama to your eye look.

The mini travel-version available from Boots might be a good buy.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye MascaraBobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

The Smokey Eye Mascara from Bobbi Brown is the perfect choice for those who prefer a smouldering eye look, the brush is designed to coat your lashes evenly from root to tip, it’s a bushy brush at the base to get all of your longer lashes and the pointed tip means it’s really easy to catch the smaller lashes too.

MAX2 Special Mascara Gold

Give your lash extensions a little extra boost of length and volume, ideal for big events, with this mascara and rest easy because they'll all still be intact at the end of the night. The mascara removes easily with water, so tears aren't appreciated, but this mascara ensures there is no damage to your extensions or the bonds of glue.

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Sara Hill Jet Black 4 In 1 MascaraSara Hill Jet Black 4-in-1 Mascara

The Sara Hill Jet Black Mascara works in four ways to lengthen, add volume, curl and condition the lashes. The curved wand has been designed to lift your lashes, which is perfect for when you’re wearing lash extensions and your natural lashes just don’t seem to playing ball. Plus, a little of this mascara goes a long way and you won’t need multiple applications to see a difference to your eyes.


Urban Decay Mascara ResurrectionUrban Decay Mascara Resurrection

The Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection is an oil-free gel that’s designed to help you perfect your lashes and apply another coat later on in the day if you need it. The gel is designed to be used when you’ve already applied mascara and it has dried, you then use this to soften the mascara that’s already there and make it easier to apply another coat on top that goes on smoothly.

It’s a great choice for those wearing lash extensions who have applied mascara and haven’t managed to spread it out evenly, or would like to fix their extensions into a new place.

Volume Up Oil-Free Mascara

Add some volume to your lashes without damaging your lash extensions with this Volume Up Oil-Free Mascara. This separates the lashes easily and gives them a more defined look.

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Cleaning mascara and makeup from your eyelash extensions

To remove mascara, use a water based cleanser and thoroughly cleanse with warm water and, finally, pat dry. To wash off eye makeup (without the use of mascara), use an oil-free makeup remover with Q-tips to gently go around the eye area, then wash your face with an oil-free cleanser, again, going around your eye.

You can also clean your eyelashes by using a teeny bit of baby shampoo diluted in water; gently dip your clean mascara wand in the solution and brush lashes, then rinse with water. To dry, a washcloth can be used, or simply air dry.