Tube mascara is an alternative to traditional mascara. While traditional mascara coats the eyelashes with color, tube mascara encases the eyelashes in tiny tubes that essentially act as eyelash extensions. Most of the time, the tubes themselves are colored, instead of the tubes being applied first and the color painted on top. Tube mascara is intended to add significant length to the eyelashes, instead of the illusion of length that traditional mascara provides.
Most tube mascara is applied in two steps. First, a lash primer or base coat is applied to the eyelashes. In addition to adding an extra layer of fullness, this primer often contains vitamins that are intended to condition and protect the eyelashes. After the primer, the tubes are brushed on in the same way that regular mascara is brushed on. Depending on the brand, various colors are available, from standard black to green or purple.
Most brands of tube mascara are intended to be smudge-proof, flake-proof, and water-resistant. Most manufacturers claim that the mascara will not come off until the wearer wants it to, usually with the combination of warm water and gentle rubbing from showering. Several user reviews confirm this, stating that the mascara lasts through daily activities and workout sessions, without flaking or leaving rings around the eyes.
The technology behind tube mascara is newer than that of traditional mascara, and so the price tends to be higher. Some brands are available in drugstores, while for others it may be necessary to visit specialty makeup stores or go directly to the manufacturer. Some users complain that the higher price may not be worth it, as the tube mascara makes it more difficult to apply layers of mascara without clumping or to achieve lasting curl after curling naturally straight lashes. Others allege that the results are not as dramatic as advertised.
Many people claim that when removed in the shower or sink at the end of the day, the used tubes often slide off of the eyelashes still whole, and actually look like tiny solid tubes. The relatively durable construction of the tubes makes it important to remove the mascara before bed to maintain lash health and avoid getting a solid piece of mascara in the eye from a fallen eyelash. Some users confirm the process of removing the mascara to be as effortless as advertised, while others experience considerable trouble, especially with the waterproof versions. Rare complaints of temporary eyelash loss when removing the mascara have also been reported.