Let me take you back 6 months. I have an important meeting in the afternoon, so I make my face up in a minimal, natural, no-makeup-makeup sort of way. It’s perfect! I’m wearing Too Faced mascara, you know the one, and my lashes are full and epic. I walk into the meeting, interact with confidence, and leave feeling amazing. Until, that is, I catch my reflection and see the mascara smudged and smeared across my upper and lower lashlines. Thanks, oily lids.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried everything to prevent my mascara from smudging. I tried waterproof formulas. Those still smudge, but come with a joyful extra feature of being extremely difficult to remove too. I tried powdering my lids. No dice, the oil takes longer to break through, but break through it does. I’ve tried eyelid primer. Same deal. I’ve tried eyelid primer PLUS powder. Smudging, but my lids are super dry now too. Until the oil breaks through, that is. It’s not okay!

Eventually, I gave up entirely on mascara and thought I’d just work the blonde lashes look. It’s cute, but I pined for the days when full lashes were easy and drama-free. Enter Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara.

This one never, ever smudges. Ever. Mind blown, life changed, lush lashes forever!

That wasn’t enough for me though – I’m a scientist and I needed to know why, so that I may never suffer from smudged lashes (or buying and subsequently binning a smudgy mascara) again. The short answer is, it’s a tubing mascara. The long answer? Regular mascara contains oily waxes and black pigment, which coats lashes. Unfortunately, oil dissolves oil, so your skincare around the eyes or the oil from your skin will start to dissolve it, hence the smudges. Waterproof isn’t the answer, as it’s oil we need to protect from, not water. A tubing mascara works by wrapping lashes in a polymer that’s less susceptible to dissolution by your eyelid’s oils. They’re also brilliant for sensitive eyes. And to remove? Just warm water, with no smearing or raccoon eyes. I know. The dream!

So how do I know if mascara is tubing, you ask? Or not necessarily tubing, but more smudge-proof? Well. My first instinct was to Google “best tubing mascaras,” which I did, but I wanted to know what the ingredient list should look like… mainly because I read ingredient lists for fun. So I put all the ingredient lists of mascaras I had tried and smudged into a spreadsheet. I chatted to my beauty blogger friends Reece and Christina, and compiled a list of mascaras we knew did not smudge, and I put all the ingredient lists of those into a spreadsheet, and I used my special scientist skills to find the magic ingredient, and here it is;

What you want is to find some iteration of Acrylates Copolymer in the first 5 ingredients of the mascara - the higher the better. That was actually pretty easy, right? Now keep scrolling for my oily-lid-proof list of mascaras that won’t smudge.


LashXtend, Model Co

Words by Hannah English & Cover Image via. InStyle