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Should you be using a tubing mascara? Experts explain the benefits

This unique mascara variety is totally tubular — literally.
Woman applying mascara
Kara Birnbaum/ TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Lengthening, curling, volumizing, oh my! If you're anything like us, you can barely keep track of all the traditional mascara varieties, let alone all these fancy new formulas that keep popping up. The latest on our radar? Tubing mascaras. You've probably seen videos of it land on your TikTok For You Page.

Shop TODAY enlisted the help of a few makeup artists to learn about all the benefits tubing mascaras have to offer. Plus, we gathered options that are well-loved by our editors and shoppers across the internet.

What are tubing mascaras? | Shop TODAY editor picks | More to try | Meet our experts

Shop TODAY Snapshot

What are tubing mascaras?

Traditional mascaras are known for painting your lashes with pigment, but tubing mascaras work a bit differently.

"They're made with polymers that wrap around each individual lash to create tiny tubes," makeup artist Mone't Howard tells us.

Every mascara has their own set of benefits and tubing mascaras are no different. Here are just a few reasons why the professionals love them:

  • They last all day: "These mascaras are long-lasting and prevent the fallout that often occurs with a traditional mascara. They beautifully define the lash without causing smudging," Howard says.
  • They're gentle: "Tubing mascaras are great for someone who has oily eyelids and wants something that is water-resistant, yet gentle on the eyes," celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa tells us.
  • You don't need makeup remover to wash it off: "The tubes will slide off easily with a washcloth and warm water," Figueroa says.
  • You'll use less product: "Only one coat is needed for beautiful length and pigment," Figueroa notes.

Tubing mascaras sound pretty awesome, but as with any product, there are a few potential cons to consider. Clumping was the main one mentioned by the experts we polled.

"They can be prone to clumping and dry out quickly, so it's difficult to build up the mascara and volume once it is dried," Figueroa warns.

Shop TODAY editors' favorite tubing mascaras

BareMinerals Lashtopia Mega Volume Mineral-Based Mascara

What we like
  • Reviewers love how it's not made with "toxic content." 
  • "Easy to wash off." 
Something to note
  • Some reviewers dislike the "thick formula."

When she's not using Clinique, editorial assistant Sierra Hoeger says she's using this tubing mascara from BareMinerals. "I like [both of] them because they don't come out clumpy or with excess on the wand, and I usually get my desired amount with one or two swipes," she said.

Clinique High Impact Mascara

What we like
  • "The formulation is perfect."
  • Reviewers call this mascara a "classic" choice.
Something to note
  • Some reviewers noted issues with delivery. 

This Clinique choice is a favorite of Hoeger's. It's also popular amongst shoppers, with one Ulta reviewer calling it "great for sensitive eyes" and "the perfect shade of black."

KVD Beauty Full Sleeve Long + Defined Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • Adds length and volume
  • "Lives up" to hype
Something to note
  • Sticks to eyelashes
  • "Clumps"

A Lancôme loyalist, it was hard for associate editor Kamari Stewart to ignore the noise surrounding tubing mascaras, prompting her to try this one.

"It’s so good," she says. "It makes my lashes look super long and it never transfers/gives me raccoon eyes, even after wearing it for 8+ hours, which is a problem I’ve had with many others, even the Lancôme. It’s as easy to take off as the experts say and it doesn’t pull at your lashes or anything like that. This mascara converted me to a tubing mascara fan. I even wore it on a run the other day and it didn’t smudge!"

Urban Decay Perversion Volumizing Mascara

What we like
  • Doesn't smudge, according to reviewers. 
  • "Non-flaking." 
Something to note
  • Some reviewers reported this mascara is clumpy. 

Commerce editor and producer Julie Ricevuto says she's tried tons of mascaras but now sticks to her "tried and true" top three. This Urban Decay pick made the cut with benefits like "voluminous definition for the dramatic look of false eyelashes," according to its description.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara

What we like
  • Lashes look longer after use, according to reviewers. 
  • "like lash transformation in a tube." 
Something to note
  • Expensive compared to other options that perform the same. 

Another in Ricevuto's top three is this cult classic from Too Faced. More than 15,00 shoppers have given it a perfect five-star rating on Ulta's website, with one shopper even calling it their "holy grail."

Lancome Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara

What we like
  • "Gives great definition and length" to lashes. 
  • Reviewers love the curved brush. 
Something to note
  • Reviewers claimed it's "difficult to wash off." 

Rounding out Ricevuto's rotation is this popular volumizing mascara. One Sephora reviewer decided a perfect five-star rating wasn't enough and titled their review "10/10." Shoppers agree that this mascara boldly defines their lashes without getting clumpy or leaving you to deal with any dreaded smudging.

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

What we like
  • Makes lashes "long and thick." 
  • Long-lasting. 
Something to note
  • Lashes "dried out quickly." 
  • High price point. 

Deputy editorial director Ali Deabler can't stop raving about this mascara. "My lashes looked so good, my sister bought it too and became a convert," she says, adding that she likes tubing mascaras because she doesn't feel like she "has to rip her lashes out to get it off."

She admits it can get a bit flaky but avoids that by not applying it on her bottom lashes and says the volume she gets is well worth it.

More tubing mascaras to try

essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • Affordable, "amazing" price. 
  • Reviewers call this their new "go-to." 
Something to note
  • Not smudge-proof, according to reviewers. 

Looking to wade into the tubing mascara waters but not ready to commit just yet? This $5 find might just be your perfect match. The popular product offers volumized, defined lashes with its tubing formula and is free of parabens, oil, perfume and alcohol.

Maybelline Snapscara Washable Mascara

What we like
  • Reviewers love how the curved brush fans out lashes. 
Something to note
  • Reviewers note that this mascara clumps and is "gummy." 
  • Some reviewers experienced packaging and delivery issues. 

Figueroa loves this voluminous mascara that provides intense color. "This formula is a great drugstore option that is free of wax, which helps with amazing color payoff. It is also very easy to remove and lasts all day. This brush is great because it is naturally curved to the shape of your eyes," she says.

No7 Stay Perfect Mascara

What we like
  • "Good value for a tubing mascara." 
  • Doesn't budge, according to reviewers. 
Something to note
  • Some reviewers note that this mascara clumps. 
  • "Difficult to apply" for some reviewers. 

No7 is a brand that's known for its awesome skin care solutions, but the company also has some great makeup must-haves, like this mascara that uses tubular technology to offer volume for days. The brand says its long-lasting formula goes the distance for up to 24 hours and washes off like a dream. Plus, it's so affordable!

Elizabeth Mott It's so Big But Better Volumizing Mascara

What we like
  • "Easy to apply," "stays on well." 
  • "Really is smudge-proof," according to reviewers. 
Something to note
  • Formula changed, is different compared to prior versions. 

The tubing polymers in this mascara wrap around each lash to provide ample lift. With the help of its shaped brush, you can cover hard-to-reach lashes and it's even safe to use on lash extensions. It has over 4,500 verified five-star ratings on Amazon. Plus, the lightweight formula won't weigh lashes down.

L'Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

What we like
  • This mascara has "length and hold." 
  • "Really volumizing," according to reviewers. 
Something to note
  • New formula is worse compared to prior versions, according to reviewers. 

This two-step wonder comes with a primer and mascara that offer up to 80% longer-looking lashes with the help of nourishing ingredients like ceramides. It's kind of like getting lash extensions without the hefty price tag!

Milani Highly Rated Lash Extensions Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • "Exceeded every expectation," according to one reviewer. 
  • "Easy to remove."
Something to note
  • "Wet formula." 

According to the brand, this mascara provides "flake-free, clump-proof and smudge-proof wear" for up to 16 hours. It's also formulated with shea butter and castor seed oil to help keep your lashes nourished. "I have barely there lashes and have tried every lengthening mascara out there, drug store to high end and this mascara is the best!" raved one five-star Ulta reviewer.

Tower28 MakeWaves Lengthening + Curling Mascara

What we like
  • Gives lashes a "natural" look. 
  • A "must-have" for lashes. 
Something to note
  • Dries up "pretty quick," according to one reviewer. 
  • Flakes. 

An Allure Best of Beauty 2022 winner, this mascara has a unique-looking brush comprised of three flexible suspended bands that are designed to reach every single lash for a uniform look. One Sephora reviewer called it a "game changer" and their "new holy grail."

Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara

What we like
  • Provides a "full, feathery" look. 
  • "No drip, no mess."
Something to note
  • "Not lengthening, very clumpy," according to one reviewer. 

With over 204,000 "hearts" on Sephora's website, this mascara is clearly a favorite among shoppers. The brush is designed to lift, lengthen, curl and volumize your lashes all at once, so you can say goodbye to pesky (and sometimes scary) eyelash curlers.

Caliray Come Hell or High Water Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • Gives lashes length and volume
  • "Holy grail" mascara
Something to note
  • "Clumpy," for some reviewers

Made with 2% argan oil and packaging that is comprised of 100% recycled ocean plastic, this mascara is good for both your eyelashes and the environment. It promises zero smudging, water-resistance and long-lasting wear.

Eyeko Rock Out & Lash Out Lengthen Mascara

What we like
  • Reviewers are repeat buyers. 
  • "Separates lashes" and doesn't leave them "clumpy." 
Something to note
  • Those with sensitive eyes noted it wasn't a fit for them. 

This powerhouse mascara's combination of polymers, waxes and cellulose powder provides buildable color and major volume. It has a unique guitar-shaped brush that helps curl and thicken lashes and a zero-waste squeezable tube that helps prevent dreaded drying.

Tarte Tartelette Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • Makes lashes "thicker and longer." 
  • This mascara is "game changing." 
Something to note
  • "Major flaking." 

According to a clinical study conducted by the brand, this mascara is sweat-proof and provides 24-hour long wear while remaining flake-free and smudge-proof. With results like that, how could you not want to try it for yourself? It's also touted as safe for contact wearers and contains key ingredients like shea butter and castor oil to keep your lashes conditioned and moisturized.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

What we like
  • Easy to apply. 
  • Great for "on-the-go" women. 
Something to note
  • Leaves "eyelashes clumpy." 
  • Flakes into eyes. 

This award-winning option rivals the results of lash extensions with flake-free tubing technology and offers dramatic lashes that last all day. It also features an orchid stem cell complex that promotes longer, healthier lashes, so your lashes will look and feel good.

Velour Lashes Pretty Big Deal Tubing Mascara & Peptide Lash Serum

What we like
  • Adds length and volume to lashes. 
  • "Goes on without clumping," according to reviewers. 
Something to note
  • Many reviewers received a dried up product. 

This lengthening mascara comes with the Sephora customer seal of approval. The three-in-one formula features a peptide lash serum that helps lashes look fuller and healthier. Plus, it’s free of parabens, phthalates and mineral oil.

blinc Amplified Tubing Mascara

What we like
  • "Comes right off" when removing. 
  • "Doesn't smudge." 
Something to note
  • Dries out lashes; flakes. 

Blinc has several bestselling tubing mascaras and this one has over 2,900 verified five-star ratings on Amazon. It offers your lashes buildable, water-resistant coverage that won't smudge or fade as you go about your day. The popular mascara is ideal for sensitive eyes and comes in two colors: black and dark brown.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Volume Mascara

What we like
  • Makes lashes look like "feathers." 
  • Provide good coverage according to reviewers. 
Something to note
  • Reviewers noted issues with delivery. 

Celebrity makeup artist Amber Amos adores this award-winning volumizing mascara that resists clumping and smudging. "It gives instant volume and length to lashes and literally one coat will do the trick. It wears all day without smudging or crumbing, and the super tiny mascara wand allows you to really get in and coat every lash," she says. "As an added bonus, it’s great on bottom lashes since the wand is so small."

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara

What we like
  • "No clumping, no running, no flaking," according to reviewers. 
  • Gave reviewers "fuller" lashes. 
Something to note
  • Not waterproof. 
  • Gives "spider legs." 

This mascara is described by the brand as a "high-impact, 100% vegan mascara that delivers the look of lash extensions in an instant." It boasts results like intense length, lift and definition, instant payoff and smudge-proof wear.

How we chose

The Shop TODAY editors and writers search the internet to find the best products out there. We interview expert sources, comb through customer reviews and even use our own personal experiences to make shopping easier for our readers.

We combined a list of tubing mascaras via editor recommendations and internet finds based on expert insight.

Meet our experts

  • Mone't Howard is a Miami-based celebrity makeup artist.
  • Nydia Figueroa is a celebrity makeup artist and the owner of Faces by Nydia Makeup Studio and Bridal Suite in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
  • Amber Amos is a celebrity makeup artist.