How Does Mascara Make Your Eyelashes Longer?

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Most of us, despite what it may sometimes seem, were not born with a set of long, fluttery eyelashes. That is why they make mascara! All those celebrities and Insta-fluencers are taking full advantage of the benefits of mascara and other lash enhancements.

Mascara has come a long way since it was first used over 4000 years ago and is now available in different formulations that claim to make your lashes fuller, thicker, and longer.

Now it’s easy to understand how mascara can make your eyelashes thicker, but longer? How does mascara make your eyelashes longer?

In this article, we are going to find out if mascara actually makes lashes longer, and if so, how. We are also going to take a look at a few other ways to lengthen your eyelashes.


Can Mascara Actually Make Your Lashes Longer?

lengthening mascara

There are so many different kinds of mascara formulations, but if you want longer-looking lashes, you should opt for a lengthening mascara .

Believe it or not, lengthening mascara does actually work.

While lengthening mascara doesn’t actually help your lashes to grow longer, it does indeed make them appear longer while you are wearing it.

So, how does mascara make your eyelashes longer?

How Does Mascara Make Your Eyelashes Longer?

lengthening mascara

Here’s how: Lengthening mascara contains the waxes and pigments that are found in all mascaras. But unlike other mascara formulas, lengthening mascara also contains small rayon or nylon fibers that cling to your eyelashes.

When you brush on lengthening mascara, these small fibers attach from the root of your lashes upward to the tips, making your lashes appear to be longer.

A lot of lengthening mascaras also contain eyelash curling properties to make your lashes curl upwards, which makes them look even longer.

If you apply a second coat, you get an even more lengthening effect.

Pro Tip #1: When using lengthening mascara, brush it on carefully and don’t use more than two coats, as it’s more susceptible to clumping because of the tiny fibers contained in the formula.

Pro Tip #2: When applying more than one coat, let the first coat sit for 30 seconds before applying the second coat.

Here are a few popular lengthening mascaras:

How To Get Really Long Lashes

Covergirl lengthening mascara

Now lengthening mascara can make your lashes look a bit longer, but if you have particularly short lashes, and you want to go really long, lengthening mascara won’t give you the length you are looking for.

But don’t worry, you have some other options.

The length and thickness of your natural lashes will depend on a few factors, but is mostly determined by genetics, which you have no control over.

That said, there are some different lash enhancements you might want to look into that will give you those long, luscious, fluttery lashes you always wanted.

Fake Eyelashes

Glue on Lashes

False eyelashes are the strip lashes you’ve probably seen at the drugstore, or beauty supply store. Fake lashes are available pre-glued, with adhesive already on the strip, or without glue and a separate lash adhesive is used to apply the lashes.

False eyelashes adhere to the top of your natural lashes. They are usually light-weight and range in style from very natural-looking thin wisps to full-on glam.

False lashes are really meant for one-time use, but you may be able to wear them multiple times if using the lashes with the separate lash glue, you are careful when putting them on, taking them off, and clean them properly after use.

They are relatively easy to apply and are perfect for a special event, or just because you feel like it!

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Magnetic Lashes

Magnetic Lashes

Magnetic lashes are similar to traditional lashes in that they come in a strip. But instead of a lash adhesive, magnetic lashes use tiny magnets to keep them on.

No fussing with glue, they just snap into place!

When magnetic lashes first came on the market, they had two strips of lashes for each eye, both of which had magnets. One strip went on top of your natural lashes and the second one went underneath.

When the magnets were properly lined up, they’d snap together, essentially sandwiching your natural lashes between the two strips of magnetic lashes.

There were a couple of problems with this design.

Magnetic lashes were supposed to be more convenient than using fake lashes and better for your lashes because you don’t need glue.

But trying to line up the little magnets was more difficult and time-consuming than using false lashes.

And with two strips of magnets clamping onto the lashes, a lot of people found this type of magnetic lashes to be heavy and pull on the lashes.

The newest evolution of magnetic lashes has only one strip of lashes with tiny magnets. These lashes use a magnetic eyeliner that contains iron oxides that the magnets in the lashes adhere to. So instead of clamping onto and pulling your lashes, they are actually sticking to the eyeliner, which is applied to the eyelid, right at the lash line.

And now, they are much easier to apply.

Unlike fake eyelashes, there is no glue and you can reuse magnetic lashes up to 50 times before having to replace them.

Lash Extensions

Unlike traditional false lashes and magnetic lashes, lash extensions are a more long-term solution to lengthening your lashes.

Lash extensions are applied at the salon and last about six weeks. They are a perfect solution if you want everyday added length, but you don’t want to be fussing with fake lashes on a daily basis.

Lash extensions come in four varieties – classic, volume, hybrid and cluster extensions.

Classic Eyelash Extensions

Classic eyelash extensions ocus on creating length, tend to look the most natural and are good for everyday wear.

The application process involves one false eyelash being applied to every natural eyelash. The lash extensions used for classic extensions tend to be thicker than those used for volumizing and hybrid extensions.

If you have relatively full lashes but just looking for added length, the classic extension is probably what you are looking for.

Volumizing Eyelash Extensions

Volumizing extensions are great for creating a dramatic, fuller, thicker lash look, rather than length. Anywhere from 2 to 6 fine volumizing lashes are placed for every natural eyelash, one at a time, arranged in a fan formation.

They are aptly named 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, or 6d extensions based on the number of lashes you choose to get per lash.

These extensions are great if you have very thin, sparse lashes.

Hybrid Eyelash Extensions

provide a combination of the extra length of classic extensions with the extra thickness of volumizing extensions. These are particularly good if you have short and sparse eyelashes. Hybrid lashes involve using 30% classic lashes to 70% volumizing lashes.

This creates a more texturized, fuller look than classic lashes but is not as uniform in appearance as volumizing lashes.  

Cluster Lashes

unlike the classic, volumizing and hybrid extensions, are pre-made fans, or clusters, of lashes that are applied all at once to one natural lash, rather than each lash extension being individually applied. These clusters are not as customizable as the other types of extensions.

Cluster lashes also require a lot more lash glue to apply than the other types and if used too frequently, can actually cause your natural lashes to fall out.

We’d recommend avoiding cluster lashes altogether.

Eyelash Growth Serums

Revitalsh Serum

We can’t talk about longer lashes without touching on eyelash growth serums. Long story short: most over-the-counter lash growth serums do not work.

In order for a lash growth serum to really make a difference, it has to affect the growth cycle of the hair. There is only one product, called Latisse, that has been proven to do this and has been approved by the FDA as a lash growing serum. It is available by prescription only.

The active lash growing ingredient in Latisse was originally developed to treat glaucoma. Doctors and their patients noticed that their lashes grew longer and thicker while using the treatment.

If you think that Latisse is something that you might want to try, you need to see your doctor, but just know that Latisse is not an instant miracle. It takes months of religious application to see results. Note: Revitaliash  is an over the counter “clone” of Latisse, and is your best bet for OTC lash serums.

It’s also not without its side effects. Latisse has been shown to discolour the eyelids and actually change the color of the iris, especially those with blue or lighter coloured eyes.

Take Away

Lengthening mascara does work to make your lashes look a little bit longer.

But if you want a show-stopping full flutter, then you might want to consider fake lashes, magnetic lashes or lash extensions.

OTC lash growth serums are not proven to work. Latisse, which is only available by prescription, is the only lash growth serum proven to grow lashes longer and thicker.

Each method of lash enhancement has its benefits and drawbacks, but now you have all of the information to make a choice that’s right for you. 

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).