Home Makeup Does Mascara Make Your Eyelashes Longer?

Does Mascara Make Your Eyelashes Longer?

by Gabbi

The quest for the perfect long and luscious eyelashes is a journey that can include trying different beauty treatments, application techniques, and products to see what delivers the best-looking lashes.

While false lashes can help you achieve the look of fluttery, full lashes, the effects are temporary and only last until the falsies are taken off at the end of the night. Eyelash extensions are another option. However, they can be costly and require frequent maintenance to keep up their appearance.

The makeup product with the goal of creating longer looking lashes is mascara, and it is one of the most common beauty products that people do not skip in their daily routine.

There are mascaras available for every eye shape and lash type, with formulas that are meant to deliver results from added volume, elongated definition, and a lifted curl. While your wearing mascara, your lashes will draw attention for their long, full appearance.

However, does mascara make your eyelashes actually grow longer? While mascara will give your lashes the illusion of being longer, fuller, and more curled, the effects only last until you wash the product off at the end of the night. Mascara does not lengthen the actual lashes, but can help enhance the lashes that are already there.

Below, we discuss what mascara does for your lashes, how to use mascara to make your lashes look longer, and what products will actually lengthen your natural lashes.

Eyelash Growth Cycle

The growth cycle for eyelashes is unique as each individual lash on the eye has a different cycle from another. Eyelashes grow in three stages and begin to shed as new ones take their place. As a result your eyelashes grow at different paces, creating a cycle that lasts about 4-8 weeks.

Throughout their cycle, it is normal to shed a few lashes every day. On average, there is up to 200 lashes on the upper lid, and up to 100 lashes on the lower lash line. Each person’s lashes are unique, in terms of length, shape, density, and color.

As the lashes naturally shed over the course of their growth cycle, it can take up to eight weeks to fully replace a lash. Most commonly, there is a desire for longer, natural lashes that can appear to be elongated and full without mascara or other eyelash treatments.

Mascara is easily used to achieve the temporary style of lashes we desire, but should be removed at the end of each night in order to not interfere with the lash growth process or cause any eye irritation.

Does Mascara Make Your Eyelashes Longer?

Mascara will to give the appearance of longer, fuller lashes but does not make the actual lashes themselves grow. Mascara is a great makeup item if you are looking to draw attention to your eyes, as it coats the lashes to deepen their color, add volume, and elongate their shape, however the effects are temporary.

There are many mascara formulas on the market that can create any style of lashes you are looking for. There are types that focus on adding length and definition to the lashes, and there are also ones that focus on increasing the volume and fullness of the lash’s appearance.

The effects of the mascara on the lashes will only last for the amount of time you are wearing the product. Once the mascara is washed away, your lashes will look back to their regular state. 

There are many formulas of mascara available, and a good portion of them include ingredients that have properties to condition the natural lashes. While these formulas may keep the lashes feeling healthy as you wear the product, it will not help to grow or thicken the natural lashes at the lash line.

What Mascara Works For Elongating Lashes?

Depending on how you like your lashes to look, there are several different options to look for when finding a new mascara. In general, mascara has a shelf life of about three months after it has been opened before it begins to expire.

In order to keep your mascara fresh, and avoid any potential irritation or infection of the eye area, it is best to replace your mascara every three months.

If you are looking to elongate your lashes, you want to look for mascaras that have a lengthening or defining claim to them. Often mascaras that are lengthening also focus on providing definition to each individual lash, to enhance the effect of elongating them.

If you are looking to add fullness to lashes, you want to look for mascaras that have a volumizing claim to them. While often paired together, length and volume do not achieve the same results.

Volume will give a thicker, more dense appearance to the lashes, while length will focus on separating and defining, as well as elongating.

Brush choice is also an important part of choosing the right mascara to achieve your desired look. Lengthening mascaras often have a thinner brush, as it can help get to the root of the lash to begin separating and elongating the lashes from the base.

Rubber bristles can also help to separate and define the lashes, which also contribute to lengthening their appearance.

Products to Use to Elongate Lashes

Although there are many mascaras available that achieve an elongated effect, there are also a variety of products that help to boost and encourage the natural lash growth.

The most important step to ensuring your lashes can grow strong and healthy, is to ensure the lashes are being conditioned properly while wearing any mascara.

Mascara Primer

Using a mascara primer before mascara will not only help the mascara stay on longer, but also condition the natural lashes throughout the day.

Mascara primer creates a barrier from the natural lash to the mascara, and offers many conditioning and strengthening properties to the lashes as it is being worn. It helps the mascara perform to its best abilities and, most importantly, keeps the lashes from feeling dried out or brittle.

Mascara primers, such as this one, work similarly to a conditioner for your hair. They often include properties that are going to nourish the lash hair, including ingredients like vitamins or peptides, which helps to fortify the natural lashes to be strong and healthy.

Mascara primer is applied before your mascara, and often has a white color, and is then covered completely when your mascara is applied.

Conditioning Mascara

Pairing a mascara primer with a conditioning mascara, such as this, will help to protect the natural lashes, while also enhancing how the mascara performs throughout the day.

Primers can help mascara stay on longer without any risk of flaking or smudging, and can help the product define and separate the lashes better for a more elongated appearance.

Lash Serum

Along with makeup products like mascara and primer, there are also a number of lash growth serums that can help to strengthen and grow the natural lashes. Lash serums, such as this one, focuses on being a lash conditioner that will nourish and strengthen the lash to grow longer with an enhanced curl.

The formula includes many peptides to protect the lashes against environmental factors, as well as biotin to condition the lashes, to encourage them to remain strong without feeling brittle.

Other lash growth serums, such as this, also focus on strengthening the lash to encourage not only added length, but increased thickness as well. This formula is rich in amino acids to nourish, as well as vitamin E to strengthen the lashes.

Although lash serums are an ideal way to encourage the growth and strength of your lashes, those products tend to have side effects on their own.

While you will start to see the effects of the serums on your lashes within the first few weeks, there is the chance for potential irritation, darkening of the eyelids, or allergic reactions.

Beauty Treatments

If you are still looking for a way to make your lashes look longer, there are also beauty treatments that can help. Eyelash extensions, for example, add length and volume to your lash line by adhering additional lash hairs to create a fuller appearance.

A lash lift treatment can also give the appearance of longer lashes, by using a chemical substance to curl and lift the natural lashes for an elongated effect.


While the effects of mascara while you’re wearing it will be lashes that are sky-high in length, or dramatically thick in volume, the results will only be until you wash the product away at the end of the night.

Mascara is a key beauty product that most of us cannot go without, due to the easy application and added attention it draws to our eyes.

The desire for elongated and thickened eyelashes is a popular goal, which can temporarily be achieved with your favorite mascara formula. However, if you are looking to grow your real, natural lashes so they appear long and full without any product, mascara is not the item to do the job.

Although there are lash growth serums and beauty treatments that can deliver the results you are after, the most important step is to make sure your natural lashes are nourished to be strong and healthy, with or without product.

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