Can You Use Eyeliner As Mascara? Mascara Substitues

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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. Are there any substitutes or hacks?

Can you use eyeliner as mascara?

The answer is yes, you can use some types of eyeliner as mascara. But it’s not a very good solution.

We’ll explain below.


Can You Use Eyeliner As Mascara?

Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

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.


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.


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.


Why Is The Eyeliner and Mascara Thing So Popular, Then?

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.


Mascara Substitutes If You Don’t Have MAscara On Hand

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!


Take Away

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:

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 0.27 Ounce Full Size
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 0.27 Ounce Full Size
Hourglass shaped brush for voluptuous volume; This formula thickens, lengthens, and curls after just one coat
$18.48
MILK Makeup KUSH Volumizing Mascara - Vegan, Clean, Cruelty-free - Fuller, Healthier Lashes - 0.34 Fl Oz
MILK Makeup KUSH Volumizing Mascara - Vegan, Clean, Cruelty-free - Fuller, Healthier Lashes - 0.34 Fl Oz
Formulated to keep lashes soft while promoting stronger, healthier lashes
$31.90
Eyeko Sport Mascara , Black, Full Size
Eyeko Sport Mascara , Black, Full Size
100% Waterproof, sweat proof, budge proof; designed in London; waterproof
$25.00
Sale
Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Waterproof Mascara for up to 12x More Volume & 24H Wear - False Lash Effect - Black
Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Waterproof Mascara for up to 12x More Volume & 24H Wear - False Lash Effect - Black
WAVY FIBERS - Innovative bristle fibers for quick volume and sensorial application.; BIG FORMULA - Our blackest formula with longwearing polymers and volumizing supple waxes.
$21.23
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara in Black 0.13 FL OZ (Travel Size)
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara in Black 0.13 FL OZ (Travel Size)
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara in Black 0.13 FL OZ
$12.95
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara - #01 Black 8ml/0.34oz
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara - #01 Black 8ml/0.34oz
Clinique; Make Up; Clinique - Mascara - High Impact Curling Mascara; High Impact Curling Mascara - #01 Black
$34.99

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).