Mascara is a key tool in your makeup arsenal. Whether you’re going glam or for an all-natural look, mascara can be worn anytime. It lengthens, thickens, darkens, and intensifies your natural eyelashes.
But what happens if you’ve run out and you’re having a makeup emergency? Or maybe you’re looking to cut down on the number of cosmetic products you carry around.
Many wonder: “Can eyeliner be used as mascara?” The answer is yes, eyeliner can be used as mascara. But it’s not a very good solution.
We’ll explain below.
Can Eyeliner Be Used as Mascara?
Technically yes, you can… (wait for it) If you use a waterproof gel or liquid eyeliner (like this one from NYX ), you can apply the eyeliner to your lashes.
You put a tiny pea-sized amount onto a palette or just on the top of your hand. Use a clean mascara wand or a very small stiff fan-brush to apply to your lashes.
But you really don’t gain much from this.
Even if you happen to have forgotten your mascara at home, you probably don’t have a clean brush or an extra clean mascara wand on hand.
If you are looking for a technique to minimize cosmetic supplies for the sake of convenience, this probably won’t help.
You have to add more tools to your list in order to use your “hack”. And using eyeliner as mascara is way messier and time-consuming than… just using mascara.
Strange how that works.
The right tools for the job
There are reasons they make specific tools for specific functions.
Sure, if you’re in a pinch and you don’t have what you need on hand, you can sometimes improvise and make due. If all goes well, then you accomplished your goal.
But “making due” is something you do in an emergency. It’s not how you are supposed to live your life.
Then why is everyone asking about this?
There is a K-cosmetic trend that is circulating everywhere, whereby using mascara as eyeliner to create a smokey lower lash effect is a big thing right now.
That’s the reverse of what we’re talking about. See this article for details.
This may be where some of the confusion is coming from.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Eyeliner as Mascara
Simply put – eyeliner was designed to be topically applied to the skin, not meant to be put on lashes.
Mascara contains moisturizing ingredients and was specifically formulated for use on your lashes.
Liquid or gel eyeliner is also runnier than mascara. And there’s more of a chance of it seeping into your eye.
All eye cosmetics should be safe enough to put near your eyes, and liquid eyeliner should not cause serious damage.
But you’re using it in an unusual way.
If it runs into your eyes, you have to rinse thoroughly. Otherwise, you risk a chance of infection if there is any left behind.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Mascara?
If you’ve just run out of mascara, or your eyes are extremely sensitive to cosmetics, a little jar of is one of the best all-purpose beauty products you can have.
Not only can it remove eye makeup, and makes a great in-a-pinch lip gloss, but yes, it also makes a pretty good clear mascara, too!
Apply a small dab of Vaseline to your finger and coat a Q-tip.
If you have a bit too much, you can smooth it out with a piece of damp tissue.
Lightly apply the Vaseline to your lashes just as you would mascara.
Vaseline will not only help define your lashes and make them glisten, it will also help to strengthen and moisturize them!
Can eyeliner be used as mascara? It can, but you don’t really accomplish anything.
If you are especially sensitive to cosmetics around your eyes, or if you’ve just run out of mascara, you’ll do better if you use Vaseline. It makes for a great clear mascara alternative.
Otherwise our advice is to use mascara as mascara.
Here are some of our favorites: