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What Is A Tubing Mascara & Should You Be Using One?

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“What on earth is a tubing mascara?” is a fairly typical response when you’ve just suggested that a friend swaps their faithful formula for one that ‘tubes’ their lashes. Admittedly ‘tubing’ does sound like something you’d find in B&Q for your bathroom or kitchen sink. However, it could be the answer to your eyelash woes. 

Let’s face it, while a lot of us might not leave the house without a quick brush of mascara, we’ll also happily bemoan the failings of our latest purchase. From clumping together in between lashes to flaking after a few hours of wear and smudging under our eyes, there are plenty of shared gripes. 

If you’re in the market for a new mascara that promises long lasting, flake-resistant staying power, it might be time to give a tubing formula a chance…

How Does A Tubing Mascara Work?

While the technology is still relatively new in the UK, tubing mascaras have been popular in Japan for years. “Tubing mascara contains tube-like polymers which wrap around each individual lash, generating an enhanced lengthening effect,” says cosmetic chemist Zoe Woodhouse, who is behind the very popular Instagram account @the.skin.scientist

The result is long-lasting, flexible wear that doesn’t smudge or flake. And, unlike waterproof formulas that take gentle persistence and a good eye makeup remover to take off, tubing mascaras require just a flannel and warm water. “That’s probably one of the best parts,” says Marc Reagan, Hourglass’ Cosmetic Global Director. “There’s no rubbing or tugging at sensitive skin when you need to remove it.”

How Do They Differ From Traditional Formulas?

“Traditional mascara contains pigment and wax, which is painted onto your lashes,” says Zoe. “These can be hydrophilic ‘water-loving’ and therefore easily smeared throughout the day or hydrophobic ‘water-hating’ making them water-proof.” As we mentioned, tubing formulas create tube-like polymers around each lash, which can be weakened with warm water and allow the mascara to come off in tubes.

Should You Apply A Tubing Mascara Differently?

The term ‘lashings of mascara’ doesn’t apply tubing formulas as you just need one coat. The trick is to get the brush as close to the roots of your lashes and wiggle the wand left-to-right as you sweep upwards. “I love tubing mascara because it’s designed to wrap about every lash, giving precise definition from root to tip,” adds Marc.

What Are The Best Tubing Mascaras?

Whether you want serious length or baby doll definition, there is a tubing mascara to suit your lashes needs. Here are the three formulas that we’ve tried, tested and approved…

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For A False Lash Effect

Hourglass Unlocked Lash Extensions Mascara

As the fastest selling mascara in Space NK’s history, it’s safe to say that there was a lot of hype around Hourglass’ NEW formula. And, we can promise that you won’t be disappointed. The formula lengthens, lifts and curls lashes instantly and the clever brush coats even the shortest, tiniest lashes.

For Noticeable Lift and Volume

Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

It goes without saying that eyelash curlers are the best way to lift and curl polka straight lashes. But, if you’re blessed with a natural curl and just want to gently ramp up the volume, this mascara genuinely does live up to its name.

What we love most is the slender brush makes reaching the inner corners of your lashes easy. You don’t have to worry about accidentally brushing your skin or smudging your eyeshadow. It’s also one of the few formulas that doesn’t leave your lower lashes looking spidery.

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For Lash Lengthening Definition

Surratt Relevée Mascara

There is something incredibly flattering and elegant about defined lashes. With a slim brush and precisely placed bristles, this mascara defines and lengthens with one stroke.

Another noteworthy quality of this particular mascara is the colour. If you find too many formulas dry to a brown-black rather than the jet black colour promised on the packaging, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the inky tone.

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