We've seen the future and it's tubing mascara.

Image: iStock

So, I’ve heard you ask the question: what exactly is tubing mascara? To be fair, you did say it in your sleep. It was a bit creepy that I was there to hear it, but now you get to wake up and have all the answers. Lucky you! (Also, nice wallpaper.) Now I don’t want to oversell this, so I’ll show some restraint, but basically tubing mascara is the future. If you’re a lover of long wear, smudge-proof, volume-seeking lashes, that is.

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If that’s all you need to know, then feel free to scroll down and start looking at the pretty stuff. But if you’re into technical biz, here’s your explanation.

How do they work?

Image: Flickr

Rather than using traditional waxes and oils in the formulation, tubing mascaras make use of a special polymer (stay with me, stay with me) which, as it dries, wraps itself around the entire surface of the eyelash. You can really build volume and length with tubing mascaras because they tend to apply as a wet formula, and as they dry they shrink-wrap themselves around the lash.


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Think of it like a nice tight blankie for your lashes; the more coats you apply of the product, the heavier and thicker the blanket becomes. Ahhhh, cosy. It's kinda like babushka dolls, but different.

How are they removed?

Tubing mascaras are removed with water, but you don't need to fret about being caught in the rain or having a few little tears escape your peepers.

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Rather, when you wash your face with a normal amount of water, the H2O loosens the polymer grip on your lashes, which then slide off easily. They come off in little tubes (ah-ha!) which means no rubbing, tugging and pulling on the delicate eye area when you're trying to wipe that stuff off at night. And really, it's kinda fun.

Who should use them?

Tubing mascaras are perfect for anyone with sensitive little eyes because they don't flake off during the day. They're also perfect for those of us with oily eyelids, due to their no-smudge properties. Panda eyes be gone! I'm a contact lens wearer and I find they don't irritate my eyes throughout the day. So really, winning on all fronts. Okay, so we got through the mumbo-jumbo and now you want to know who makes these amazing little heaven-gifted products. I know you too well. These are my picks of the best tubing mascaras on the market. I'm warning you, though: they are addictive. You'll never go back to "normal" stuff again. But who likes normal?