13 Tubing Mascaras That Are an Underrated Holy Grail Makeup Product

Don’t sleep on the lengthening powers of tubing mascaras.

Cropped shot of an attractive young woman lying on her back
(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. But what if I told you that there’s a mascara formula out there that delivers on its promise to stay smudge-free, yet doesn't require gallons of makeup remover to wash off? Behold the tubing mascara, your newest best friend in beauty. Celebrity makeup artist Brandy Allen explains that this popular formula "is made of polymers for a lash painting technique that layers the pigment to wrap around each individual lash for an extension effect." As a result, she says, tubing mascaras "are non-budging, which is great for oily skin, teary or sensitive eyes, and smaller eyes." She adds that because of its unique formula, a tubing mascara can be removed with water alone.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about tubing mascaras, courtesy of Allen, professional makeup artist Lauren O’Leary, and Marie Claire editors. From identifying ideal formulas to shopping for your next go-to product, we've got you covered.

The Best Tubing Mascaras

Julia Marzovilla wearing mascara

Marzovilla says Hourglass' mascara has all of the definition without any of the crunch.

(Image credit: Julia Marzovilla)

Brittany Holloway-Brown wearing Urban Decay Perversion mascara

The Urban Decay Perversion Volumizing Mascara takes Holloway-Brown's lashes to the next level.

(Image credit: Brittany Holloway-Brown)

Jenny Hollander wearing Kylash mascara

Jenny Hollander tested out the Kylash mascara over the course of several humid, busy New York City days.

(Image credit: Jenny Hollander)

Jonelle Afurong wearing mascara

Jonelle Afurong wears Laura Mercier's Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara on a hot summer day.

(Image credit: Jonelle Afurong)

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Why a Tubing Mascara?

  • Lengthening: Because tubing mascara essentially wraps around each lash with tiny tubes, lashes appear noticeably longer and, according to O’Leary, more defined.
  • Easy to remove: O'Leary explains that tubing mascaras create "little tubes around your lashes," which are easier to remove than the pigments of non-tubing mascaras. Thus, they can wash off with warm water alone. This makes tubing mascara a great option for those with sensitive eyes who can't tolerate makeup removers.
  • 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 usually claims to be water resistant, meaning it's less likely to smudge or transfer until removed.”

What to Look For in a Tubing Mascara

  • Ingredients

Ingredients are what truly set tubing mascaras apart from their contemporaries. Allen advises looking for polymers such as Dimethicone, Propanediol, Polysilicone-11, Cera alba, Glyceryl stearate. Ingredients may also simply list "polymer" or "copolymer." Any of these compounds make your mascara a tubing mascara.

  • 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.”

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
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she specializes in crafting shopping stories—from sales content to buying guides that span every vertical on the site. She also oversees holiday coverage with an emphasis on gifting guides as well as Power Pick, our monthly column on the items that power the lives of MC’s editors. She also tackled shopping content as Marie Claire's Editorial Fellow prior to her role as Associate Commerce Editor.

She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.