What is Tube Mascara?

Kelly Ferguson

Tube mascara is an alternative to traditional mascara. While traditional mascara coats the eyelashes with color, tube mascara encases the eyelashes in tiny tubes that essentially act as eyelash extensions. Most of the time, the tubes themselves are colored, instead of the tubes being applied first and the color painted on top. Tube mascara is intended to add significant length to the eyelashes, instead of the illusion of length that traditional mascara provides.

Most brands of tube mascara are intended to be smudge-proof and water-resistant.
Most brands of tube mascara are intended to be smudge-proof and water-resistant.

Most tube mascara is applied in two steps. First, a lash primer or base coat is applied to the eyelashes. In addition to adding an extra layer of fullness, this primer often contains vitamins that are intended to condition and protect the eyelashes. After the primer, the tubes are brushed on in the same way that regular mascara is brushed on. Depending on the brand, various colors are available, from standard black to green or purple.

Mascara is a makeup that is applied to the eyelashes in order to make them look longer, thicker, and fuller.
Mascara is a makeup that is applied to the eyelashes in order to make them look longer, thicker, and fuller.

Most brands of tube mascara are intended to be smudge-proof, flake-proof, and water-resistant. Most manufacturers claim that the mascara will not come off until the wearer wants it to, usually with the combination of warm water and gentle rubbing from showering. Several user reviews confirm this, stating that the mascara lasts through daily activities and workout sessions, without flaking or leaving rings around the eyes.

Smudge and waterproof mascara may not run as easily as other types.
Smudge and waterproof mascara may not run as easily as other types.

The technology behind tube mascara is newer than that of traditional mascara, and so the price tends to be higher. Some brands are available in drugstores, while for others it may be necessary to visit specialty makeup stores or go directly to the manufacturer. Some users complain that the higher price may not be worth it, as the tube mascara makes it more difficult to apply layers of mascara without clumping or to achieve lasting curl after curling naturally straight lashes. Others allege that the results are not as dramatic as advertised.

Many people claim that when removed in the shower or sink at the end of the day, the used tubes often slide off of the eyelashes still whole, and actually look like tiny solid tubes. The relatively durable construction of the tubes makes it important to remove the mascara before bed to maintain lash health and avoid getting a solid piece of mascara in the eye from a fallen eyelash. Some users confirm the process of removing the mascara to be as effortless as advertised, while others experience considerable trouble, especially with the waterproof versions. Rare complaints of temporary eyelash loss when removing the mascara have also been reported.

Mascara may help enhance the appearance of a person's eyes.
Mascara may help enhance the appearance of a person's eyes.

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Discussion Comments


Tube mascara is easy as pie to remove. Mine comes off all by itself when I shower. I just clean my face as normal with a wash cloth, and off comes the mascara -- no mess, no fuss and before that, it lasts all day without any smudging.

The formula is not capable of smudging as it dries to a coating around the lashes. If you try to remove it without first moistening the area with warm water, then of course you will pull your lashes out!


I don't plan on ever going back to regular mascara again. Once I started using the tube mascara I was hooked. I really do feel like I am putting extensions on eyelashes when I put this on.

What a difference between using tube mascara compared to traditional mascara. Many days I am gone from early in the morning until evening. No matter what I am doing, I know this mascara will hold up all day.

I have not noticed any difference in removing this than any other mascara I have used before. I always make sure and remove my makeup before going to bed and this just becomes part of the normal routine.


@John57-- Yes, I have lost eyelashes using tube mascara and I quit using it. I have eyelashes that are hard to see anyway, and losing them because of using the tube mascara really frustrated me.

I bought some Blinc mascara because I have sensitive eyes, yet want my eyelashes to have some color on them. My only complaint with this mascara was how hard it was to remove and losing eyelashes, as I mentioned.

It is also pretty pricey compared to the mascara I was using before. Never in my life had I spent over $20 for a tube of mascara. Maybe they will start coming down in price as more women start using it, but I will probably stick with my traditional mascara for now.


I will say that tube mascara works great at staying on your lashes all day and it is the best waterproof mascara I have found. Sometimes it works almost too good, if that makes any sense.

I have found this to be very difficult to remove and that is one reason I don't use it every day. I will use this type of tube mascara for special occasions, but for everyday use stick with the traditional mascara which is much easier to remove.

I found myself going through a lot of eye makeup remover and cotton balls to get this mascara off my eyelashes. I was afraid to use soap and water and a washcloth as all of my washcloth's would be stained with mascara.

Another thing that bothers me is I was afraid I would start losing eyelashes with this type of mascara. Has anyone had this happen to them while using the tube mascara?


I rarely leave the house without applying mascara since I have such light lashes. I am one of those people who looks very different if I don't have mascara on my lashes. I have never even heard of this kind of tube mascara before.

All these years I have been using the traditional mascara, but now I understand why some women have mascara that stays on all day no matter what they do. They must be using this type of tube mascara.

I see women at the gym after work who look like they just applied fresh mascara, but it must be the tube mascara since it stays on so well. Their eyelashes look the same after a hard workout where mine look like I hardly have any mascara on at all.

I am going to have to go out and try some of this mascara and see if it works better than what I have been using all these years.


@Zipline-- I think the tube mascaras that were available several years ago were not as good as the ones now. Now there are so many different kinds made of different ingredients and with various kinds of wands. It's easy to pick the right mascara that works for your lashes best.

I personally use water based tube mascaras with a curved wand. I have thick, long lashes and this kind of mascara works the best for me. It doesn't weigh my lashes down, curves them nicely and also coats lower lashes.

There are also wax and gel based tube mascaras for people with thinner, shorter lashes. As well as different shaped wands. There are straight wands, tapered wands, even spherical wands. They all serve different purposes.

I think tube mascara is the best mascara. I respect everyone's opinion but I can't imagine using any other kind of mascara.


@feruze-- The traditional mascara is cake mascara. It's still on the market but it's not as popular as it used to be since tube mascara came out. It's very understandable for you to have never seen it or heard of it before.

Cake mascara is basically wax and black dye. It requires using water and a brush to apply it. Many professional artists and stage performers use this kind of mascara. But it takes a long time to apply and can be very messy. Most people really don't have the time or the skill to apply this kind of mascara every single morning.

That's why tube mascaras have been a huge hit since they came out. Rimmel and Maybelline mascaras were the first tube mascaras on the market. It's not messy, applies easily and quickly. You don't need much precision or skill to use it and lashes turn out great. It's a lot better than the original cake mascara in many ways.


I'm a little confused because I thought that all eyelash mascara was tube mascara. What's the "traditional mascara" the article mentioned?

I started using mascara when I was about fifteen years old. Tube mascaras were really popular and are still very popular. I always thought that this is how mascaras were always packaged. Since I haven't tried anything other than tube mascara, I can't make comparisons. But I think tube mascara is really easy to use and works well.

I'm in love with mascara. Even if I don't have time to wear any makeup, I always make time for mascara and carry it with me in my purse. I love how it opens up my eyes and makes me look awake and lively. Not to mention that it gives a really fresh look when you have to wake up early.

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