The 10 Best Tubing Mascaras of 2023

These little tubes have magical lengthening powers.

Woman model with long lashes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking at yourself in the mirror to find that your mascara is a smeared mess can feel like the final nail in the coffin of a long, stressful day—trust me, I’ve been there. But what if I told you that there’s a mascara formula out there that actually delivers on its promise to stay smudge-free? Even better: This type of mascara doesn’t require makeup remover and tons of scrubbing to take off. It may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s not. It’s called tubing mascara, and it may just be the answer to all of your beauty woes. 

Tubing mascara is made up of polymers that wrap around each individual lash, which is different from typical mascara made with oil or wax that coats the lash, explains pro makeup artist, Lauren O’Leary. She adds, “It creates a lengthening effect and is applied the same way you would apply a normal mascara, but is meant to not budge all day.” Sounds too good to be true, but after testing a few myself, I can personally attest to the magical powers of tubing mascara. 

To convince you, I’ve outlined all of the benefits of tubing mascara over standard and waterproof mascaras, courtesy of O’Leary. Then when you’re ready to test the waters for yourself, I’ve provided exactly what to look for when shopping for tubing mascara, plus top-rated and a few editor- and pro-approved picks from the drugstore and beyond. Rest assured that all of the mascaras on this list are long-wearing, budge-proof, and lengthening as hell.

The Benefits of Tubing Mascara

Tubing mascaras use different ingredients than your run-of-the-mill mascara, and as such, they perform differently and have different benefits. All in all, it's important to consider your personal needs and goals when it comes to mascara, but here are a few benefits you can expect from tubing formulas:

  • Lengthening and defining: Because tubing mascara essentially wraps around each lash with tiny tubes, lashes are extended and seriously lengthened. O’Leary also explains that because the polymers coat each individual lash, lashes are noticeably more defined, too. 
  • Easy to remove: The little tubes around your lashes are typically easier to remove and can come off with warm water alone, explains O’Leary. She adds this also makes tubing mascara a great option for those with sensitive eyes.
  • Long-wearing: Tubing mascara has some serious staying power, too. “Tubing mascara is longer lasting and doesn't come off until it's removed,” O’Leary says. “It's not waterproof but does usually claim to be water resistant, meaning it's less likely to smudge or transfer until removed.”

What to Look For in Tubing Mascara

  • Ingredients

While most tubing mascaras will generally label themselves as such, not all do so. It’s best to take a look at the ingredients if you really want to be sure. If you see polymers such as glyceryl stearate, and propanediol or simply see the words “polymer” or “copolymer” in the ingredients list, then you’ve got a tubing mascara on your hands. 

  • Brush shape 

Everyone has a different effect they are going for when it comes to mascara, so it’s important to consider the right brush shape and size for your personal goals. Typically, a denser and smaller brush will give you voluminous lashes, whereas a thinner, longer brush will result in lengthened and clump-free lashes. But don’t be afraid to mix two mascaras to achieve the effect you want—it’s actually O’Leary’s favorite trick. “I feel like this helps the longevity of my mascara and helps to separate and define at the end of my mascara application,” she says. “But you must do the tubing mascara after a normal mascara because tubing mascara dries quickly and is meant to be longer lasting, making it harder to apply more coats once it's applied.”

The Best Tubing Mascaras

Meet the Expert

Headshot of Lauren O'Leary, pro makeup artist
Lauren O'Leary

Lauren is a New York City/Minneapolis based makeup artist, men's groomer, and beauty expert. She grew up in Minnesota but had her heart set on living in New York City since she was very young. As a lifelong artist, she was always on top of the latest beauty trends. Lauren specializes in beauty, editorial, celebrity, commercial/print, film & TV work. A few of her clients include Guess, Maybelline, Saks Fifth Ave, Samsung, Conde Nast, and celebrities Niki Taylor, Kaia Gerber, Joey Fatone, Shaq, Charlotte Mckinney, Hannah Brown, James Van der Beek, and more.

Brooke Knappenberger