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10 best tubing mascaras for smudge-proof lashes

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If you’re finding your mascara is ending up in places other than your actual eyelashes it’s time to rethink the kind of formula you’re using. And, switching to a budge-proof tubing mascara might just be the answer.

Regular mascaras work by coating lashes in waxes, oils and dyes that can easily smudge, smear and crumble. Tubing mascaras work differently, wrapping polymers around each eyelash to form a tube (hence the name). Not only are they smudge-proof, but they’re super long-lasting – staying in place until you’re ready to remove.

In fact, the removal is the best bit. Unlike, stubborn regular formulas you don’t need any form of make-up remover, just a little warm water will do and cotton or a flannel if you choose. You’ll see the formula literally slide off in tubes or little clumps.

There’s no middle ground with tubing mascaras though, you’ll find you either love them or hate them. Those with oily lids, hooded or sensitive eyes prone to watering will firmly be in the “love” category and so will those that have long days and need ultimate staying power.

The drawback for some is tubing mascaras are much more natural-looking and can’t go as big and bold as the more traditional formulations. So, if you’re after that false lash effect these aren’t for you and you’ll firmly sit with the haters.

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How we tested

To pick you a winning wand, our tester wiggled her way through the latest tubing formulas. To make the curated edit the mascara had to be budge-proof, without any smudging or flaking – staying in place all day. However, they also had to be effortless to remove with just warm water and no tough rubbing. It sounds like a big ask, but these 10 stood up to the test…

The best tubing mascaras for 2021 are:

Best overall – Victoria Beckham future lash mascara: £26, Victoriabeckhambeauty.com Best for colour range – Eyeko lash alert mascara: £7.50, Lookfantastic.com Best waterproof mascara – L’Oreal Paris air volume mega waterproof mascara: £10.99, Superdrug.com Best for volume – Kevyn Aucoin the volume mascara: £22, Lookfantastic.com Best for natural-looking lashes – Glossier lash slick mascara: £14, Glossier.com Best high street mascara – No7 stay perfect mascara: £13.50, Boots.com Best for sensitive eyes – Clinique lash power mascara: £17.43, Lookfantastic.com Best value – Essence bye bye panda eyes volumising and defining mascara: £3.49, Feelunique.com Best for curl and lift – Mac extended play gigablack lash mascara: £18, Boots.com Best for adding length – Estee Lauder double wear zero-smudge lengthening mascara: £24.50, Boots.com

Victoria Beckham future lash mascara, 4.8ml Best: Overall Rating: 10/10 Much anticipated in the beauty world, this didn’t disappoint when it launched earlier this year. The petite, slightly curved wand hugs every lash, even those pesky hard-to-reach tiny lashes creating a more defined, fanned-out look If you’re looking for a do-it-all mascara that is still on the natural side, this is it – creating volume, length and lift for a real eye-opening effect. It even cares for your lashes too with nourishing and strengthening ingredients like niacinamide, pro-vitamin B5 and shea butter. This truly is a zero-budge formula that we found can even withstand sweaty workouts. One of our favourite mascara launches of 2021. You can also check out our full review of the Victoria Beckham future lash mascara to find out more. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Eyeko lash alert mascara, 4ml Best: For colour range Rating: 8.5/10 The whole mascara line-up from the British brand uses tubing technology so you’ll find one for every want, need and preferred brush size. This one has the edge over the others for us as it has a caffeine-infused formula, coupled with curved brush that creates the lift and curl you’d expect to be created by eyelash curlers There’s a travel-sized option, so you can try it for yourself before you commit to the full-size, and it’s now available in a range of colours including blue, green, purple and brown. The latter looks great on blondes. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} L’Oreal Paris air volume mega waterproof mascara, 8.5g Best: Waterproof mascara Rating: 7.5/10 You can always rely on L’Oréal Paris when it comes to producing a brilliant high-street offering and this waterproof formula is up there with their very best. We’ve tested this through every weather type the great British “summer” has thrown at us, and it’s stayed in place just as well through heatwaves and heavy rainfall. Just as the tube suggests, the large cushioned brush makes easy work of building thicker lashers that feel featherlight. We even put this through its paces swimming in the North Sea and it didn’t budge. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Kevyn Aucoin the volume mascara, 5g Best: For volume Rating: 9/10 Part of the legendary make-up artist’s legacy, this mascara still packs the best volumising punch against newer formulations of tubing mascaras. It still doesn’t build the high impact volume you may find from other traditional wands, but if you’re looking for thicker lashes combined with ultimate staying power make this your go-to. The fuss-free, straight brush is nice and petite, perfect for hooded or smaller eyes too. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Glossier lash slick mascara, 8.5g Best: For natural-looking lashes Rating: 8/10 This unique mascara has the ability to subtly enhance a flutter for those that like a “no make-up” look. It adds natural definition by darkening, separating and adding slight length to each lash. The thin wand has a fine tip that makes easy work of getting to every hair, and layering – but no matter how many coats you apply your lashes will still look natural. With vegan biotin, continued use will condition lashes, so they stay soft and strong. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} No7 stay perfect mascara, 7ml Best: High street mascara Rating: 8/10 For a purse-friendly tubing mascara, reach for this wand that No7 promises not only to be budge-proof, but sweat-proof and humidity-proof too. We put the claims to the test over a humid spell of weather and found it lived up to its promises. The flexible, short brush makes easy work of applying, especially great if you’re not a mascara whiz and find you get more on your lids than your lashes. Expect a well-defined lash line with a natural finish and good staying power – perfect for everyday wear. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Clinique lash power mascara, 6ml Best: For sensitive eyes Rating: 9.5/10 Fragrance-free and safe for even the most sensitive eyes, reach for this tube if your eyes are easily irritated or prone to watering. This uses another tiny brush, but this one has a tapered shape, great for getting into corners with and picking up hard to grab lashes. It does everything a top tubing mascara should do, stays smudge-free and looks as fresh as when you first applied it all day long. This one goes the extra beauty mile as it’s also waterproof (we tested this) and is speedy to remove with no sore eye rubbing needed. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Essence bye bye panda eyes volumising and defining mascara, 16ml Best: Value Rating: 7/10 It’s hard to beat this tubing mascara when comparing both performance and value for money – you get change from a fiver which is unheard of these days for a decent beauty product. With an oversized brush, it picks up lashes well coating them evenly for thicker, defined lashes after a few swipes. Expect it to still build volume on the natural side of the scale, rather than competing with falsies, but it stays put all day until you’re ready to wash it off. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Mac extended play gigablack lash mascara, 5.7g Best: For curl and lift Rating: 9/10 This cult classic uses an eye-opening lifting formula that makes lashes look longer for an enviable fluttery effect. The slim-line brush does take a little getting used to if you’re used to bigger wands but makes easy work of coating root-to-tip. Promising 16-hours of wear, we put the long-wearing claim to the test and can confirm this will last through a day’s work and evening without the need for a top-up. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Estee Lauder double wear zero-smudge lengthening mascara, 6ml Best: For adding length Rating: 9/10 You can always rely on the double wear collection for long-lasting results and that includes this much-loved mascara. Our tester has turned to this formula time and time again, especially in the summer months because it’s meltproof in higher temperatures and humidity. The micro-fibre bristles grip to lashes seamlessly, elongating and separating drawing attention to the lash line. After a flick of the wand at 7am, it still looked flawless at 10pm, so we can confirm the 15hr staying power is no exaggeration. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}}

Tubing mascara FAQs What is a tubing mascara? The name is confusing, as all mascaras come in a tube, but the “tubing” part of the name actually refers to how the formulation works. Conventional mascaras work by brushing thick pigments onto lashes, whereas tubing mascaras form a tube-like cylinder around each lash that dries quickly so can’t smudge. “Regular mascaras, although they’re great for volume, can run, travel and flake throughout the day,” says Nick. “A tubing mascara is typically long-wearing and stays put.” But the best thing about a tubing mascaras are how easy they are to remove. Put away the micellar water or cleansing oils, all you need is a little warm water and it slides off in little tubes or strips. Contradictory for formulas with such staying power, but it works. The verdict: Best tubing mascaras Our best buy goes to the Victoria Beckham future lash mascara. It’s worthy of its luxury price tag because it separates and elongates lashes highlighting every last lash for a full, fanned-out natural-looking flutter. If you’re looking to spend less, try the Mac extended play gigablack lash mascara for a long-lasting, budge-proof finish. Voucher codes For the latest discounts on tubing mascaras and other make-up, try the links below: Boots discount codes Feelunique discount codes Going for something more dramatic? Check out our round-up of the best false eyelashes

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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