The Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes in 2023
Having sensitive eyes can be annoying and downright irritating, especially if you love wearing mascara. Although your eyes may get itchy and red from the slightest wrongdoing that you do to them, it doesn’t mean that you need to stop wearing makeup.
The trick for sensitive eyes is finding the right makeup that won’t irritate your eyes. We’ve put together the best mascaras for sensitive eyes in 2023! Get ready for beautiful lashes without your eyes batting an eyelid!
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1. Rimmel Wonder’luxe Mascara
Show off eyes that look like they’re on a caffeine diet with Rimmel’s London Wonder’luxe Volume Mascara. That’s right. Want wide-awake wispy eyes that look natural? This is your mascara.
The wand has both short and long combs that can be used for both your upper and lower eyelashes.
They’re the perfect length to safely snuggle into your lash roots. It won’t poke your eye. And it’s not going to give you any accidents like huge wands typically do.
It is infused with four luxurious oils. Namely argan, maracuja, marula & camellia oils. They condition your eyelashes and lash line to easily help sprout some new strands over time.
The formula is wet enough to coat your lashes for a more voluminous and lengthened look. All while keeping your eyelashes looking realistic.
The effect makes for long and natural-looking lashes. However, you can build it up for thick lashes too. It doesn’t clump or flake and it’s still smudge-proof even after applying three coats!
- Dermatologist tested
- Doesn’t curl
Rimmel Wonder’luxe Mascara can be bought from Amazon | Look Fantastic
2. Maybelline The Falsies Instant Lash Lift
Away with falsies and uncomfortable lash glues! Fake the look with Maybelline’s The Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Volumizing Mascara instead.
It’s got a chunky double-curved wand with twisted combs going in all directions. It’s the mascara you need for extreme, bold and luscious volume.
The brush design is easily the best thing about this mascara. It separates your lashes for an even coat.
One coat is all you need for instant fabulous eyes. Two coats make you look like a glamorous diva. And three is giving Lady Gaga a run for her money!
This mascara product is 101% volumising with an all-day wear formula. It curls your lashes too and it won’t smear easily.
Naturally, the formula lives up to the amazing brush concept. It has a fibre-infused formula that grabs onto your lashes at the root to lift, thicken, and lengthen.
It’s been tested by ophthalmologists and is guaranteed suitable for contact lens users and sensitive eyes.
- Suitable for contact lenses
- False-lashes effect
- Long-wear formula
- Not clump-free
Maybelline The Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Volumising Mascara can be bought from Amazon
3. Physicians Formula Killer Curves
With all the advanced tech around, I’m surprised there’s no heated eyelash curling machine thingamajig yet. The next best thing to that, for now, is the Physicians Formula Killer Curves Voluptuous Curling Mascara.
It curls your eyelashes with its amazing lash-lifting polymers and volumizing collagen formula— providing you with the perfect combination of curl and volume.
It’s infused with Provitamin B5, Peptides, & Amino Acids to nourish and strengthen the lashes. The wand has a large hourglass bristle brush that coats and sets even the tiniest lashes.
The curves form the best lash-lift effect out there. Manually curling your lashes before or afterwards is optional but a warning- you probably won’t need it!
It won’t irritate your eyes and it will keep your lashes fluffy all day. You can absolutely enjoy having lovely curled lashes every day all day! It’s definitely worth trying!
- Dermatologist Approved
- Ophthalmologist Approved
- Clinically Tested
- Safe for Contact Wearers
- Not clump-free
Physicians Formula Killer Curves Mascara can be bought from Amazon | Boots
4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Volume Mascara
The secret to fluttery, volumized eyelashes is a micro-aerated texture formula. It gives you featherlight lashes with an intense maximum-volume look. And you’ll only get that from this mascara- the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Volume Mascara.
Its exclusive formula contains ceramides and thickening Carnauba Wax that strengthens and volumizes your lashes.
You’ll achieve a full-blown falsies look, minus the weight! It’s buildable and still clump-free. The thing I like best about this product is how weightless it feels. It doesn’t harden the lashes but still gives them an effortless fanned-out look.
It has very strong pigment, yet it can still be easily removed. The formula stays on your lashes all day long, not around your eyes!
The wand is a big tapered bristle brush that will really help you dig into your lash roots, especially your inner and outer eyelashes. It’s easy to use plus you get loads of additional benefits!
- 100% allergy-tested
- Safe for contact lens wearers
- Lightweight formula
- Lengthening and volumising
- Bad smell
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Volume Mascara can be bought from Amazon
5. MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash
Want volumized lashes that look like lashes and not the hard and clumpy 5-eyelash-strand look? Then you need to check out MAC’s In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara.
Its incredible moulded brush with plastic bristles all around separates your lashes while coating. A brush like this coats your eyelashes without simply grouping them together and then calling it a “volumized” look. Nuh-uh.
It evenly coats each of your lash strands and separates them into the stunning eye crowns that they are.
The results will wowzer you! It’s like getting a full eyelash treatment package all from a simple mascara. You’ve got the perm, the lift, the volume, and the length. The best part is they still look like individual hair strands.
- Safe for contact lens wearers
- Curling and lengthening
MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash can be bought from Ulta
6. Diego Dalla Palma MyToyBoy
While the product’s name is awfully unconvincing, the formula sure is a nice surprise. It’s a mascara that makes your lashes naturally longer, voluminous, thick and tug-resistant in a month or so!
On top of its cosmetics use, this mascara indulges your hair root bulbs with Biotinyl-GHK. A vitamin that stimulates the growth of keratinocytes in the eyelash bulb and strengthens it, reducing its loss and favouring healthy hair growth.
It also has Panthenol and Provitamin B5 that help repair damaged eyelashes by strengthening them.
The wand is designed for those with piercing big eyes and thick lash strands that don’t work well enough with smaller wands. It’s also a long-wearing formula and won’t melt or flake away. 24 hours, the brand claims!
I can’t relate to the product name— maybe it’s an Italian thing, but I sure can relate to the amazing benefits this mascara offers!
- Alcohol & fragrance-free
- Allergen & latex free
- Long-wear formula
- Promotes healthy hair growth
- Defines and lengthens
- Volumising and thickening
- Huge wand
- HUGE wand
Diego Dalla Palma MyToyBoy Mascara can be bought from Look Fantastic UK / US
7. delilah Intense Day to Night
Why put up with toxic mascaras that do more harm to your lashes than it is worth the beautifying aspect?
Truly a gem of a mascara product for sensitive types, the delilah Intense Day to Night Volumising Mascara is a buildable long-wearing mascara that is comfortable to wear. You’ll forget you’re even wearing anything!
It’s lightweight and makes for a soft, textured lash lift. The mascara has a bristle brush wand that’s the perfect size for those with short and thin lashes. It’s elongating and volumising.
The formula contains Jojoba Extract to help nourish and strengthen your lashes. It’s buildable and clump-free. A mascara that’s straight-up fuss-free and safe!
Overall, it gives a dramatic effect that still looks natural. Expect no sticky strands, nor specs of hardened flakes suddenly appearing on your face.
You’ll have no worries tugging your lashes away when it’s time to remove them thanks to the incredible easy-wash vegan formula.
- Dermatologically tested
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Lightweight and buildable
- Clump and flake-free
- Perfect wand size
- Not long wearing
delilah Intense Day to Night Volumising Mascara can be bought from Look Fantastic UK / US
8. INIKA Long Lash
Get guilt-free beautiful long luscious lashes with this gem of mascara. The INIKA Long Lash Vegan Mascara is a luxurious formula that uses 100% plant-derived and natural ingredients to boost your lash length, volume and span.
The wand features fanned bristles all around that will deliver the same effect to your eyelashes. It delicately separates each strand all the while coating it with pure mineral pigments.
Formulated with Carnauba Wax to boost volume and length, expect show-stopping lashes as you sashay through the streets. It will surely make you talk with your eyes even if you’re wearing a mask.
It blends the astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of Magnolia Bark Extracts with the nourishing benefits of Vitamin E. Making for a safe and protective film of soft pigment on your lashes.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Natural ingredients
- Long-wearing formula
INIKA Long Lash Vegan Mascara can be bought from Amazon | Look Fantastic
9. Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara
This mascara’s wand alone is very intimidating! Check out how packed and thick it looks, well, that’s what it will do for your eyes too! Only finer and more spread out.
The Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara lives up to its name!
It lengthens without clumps, and boy does it make your eyes look like they’re wearing an eye wig! (They should name falsies “eye wigs” from now on).
It makes even the finest lashes look thick and plenty. It’s formulated with triple-length Cellulose Fibers that contribute to the appearance of extra length and thickness. The pigment is silky and lightweight.
Most of all it makes you look like you cashed out some bucks for an expensive lash perming treatment.
You’ll also love the squeeze tube packaging, it ensures that you get all your money’s worth down to the last coat!
- Dermatologist tested
- Allergy tested
- Lightweight and buildable
- Defines and gives volume
- Great packaging
- Not long wearing
Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara can be bought from Amazon
10. Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme
If you like the falsies effect without all the stickiness and clumping, try Estée Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Lash Mascara.
The mascara creates outrageous volume, lifts and curves for an audacious, false-lash effect. It makes your eyes look brighter, wider, and more seductive.
The large tapered bristle wand thickens like a brush and defines like a comb. It separates your lashes by tugging at them, ensuring that you still have all your lashes with you before, during, and after wearing this.
Its formula is a blend of three high-volume fibres in a mousse-light base. The pigment feels silky and comfortable to apply. It acts almost like lash extensions, multiplying and growing the look of lashes.
This mascara is also made with a conditioning Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex. It helps condition your lashes and doesn’t hinder them from naturally growing no matter how many times you apply and wear them!
- Ophthalmologist tested
- Clump and flake-free
- Defines and give volume
- Non-sticky formula
- Thickens and lengthens
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara can be bought from Ulta
What to Look Out for In Mascaras for Sensitive Skin
Contrary to popular belief, waterproof mascaras aren’t all they’re hyped up to be for sensitive eyes. While it addresses watery eye problems and other aesthetic reasons, the problem comes down to removing it.
It takes a lot more effort and rough contact if the formula proves to be really tough. That will only cause you irritation that you’ve intentionally avoided. However, not all waterproof mascaras can end up in a nasty situation.
Just be sure that the formula is guaranteed safe and easy to remove with a sensitive makeup remover.
So how do you know mascara is generally “safe” for your skin?
The trick is when browsing for mascaras for sensitive eyes and skin, look for key terms like hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, clinically-tested, dermatologist-tested, and ophthalmologist-tested on the product. Be sure to do your research thoroughly.
The most optimal criteria for mascara is to have all of those and be ophthalmologist tested. It indicates the product’s testing was overseen by an eye doctor and therefore safe for even the most sensitive eyes.
Tips you need
1. Patch Test
Patch tests are essential, if not a mandatory step before using beauty products, and whether’s really for sensitive skin or not. Apply a small amount to both thin and thick parts of your skin to really help you gauge the safety of the product.
For mascaras, do a patch test by swiping the tiniest amounts of the product on your outer lashes and then wait a few hours. If you generally have sensitive skin and eyes then proceed with caution and look out for any side effects.
2. Avoid The Roots & Lash Line
For sensitive eyes, avoid getting too close to your lash lines. This is especially helpful if you haven’t gone through a thorough patch test.
Apply your mascara by starting on the very middle of your lashes, then gently zigzagging out to your lash tips. From there, you may apply closer to your lash line with each coat, but never fully apply the product to your skin.
For your bottom lashes, master the art of using the wand’s tips and design features to dig into your bottom lashes without touching the lash line. It may sound tricky to pull off, but actually, it’s really easy! It just takes a little getting used to!
3. Gently Remove
The best practice is to never sleep with your makeup on. Eyebrows, lipstick, mascara— all that. And an even better practice is to remove your mascara and eye makeup in separate steps. This is to minimise the tugging and possible hair fall.
First, remove your mascara. Saturate a cotton ball with your safe makeup remover, and gently press over your lashes for 10 seconds. Or more.
By doing this, the makeup remover has time to break down your mascara. This means fewer sweeps and rubbing for you. Check out the best gentle makeup removers!
Given that, it is essential that you are also using a makeup remover for sensitive skin (or eyes) since you’ll be soaking it on your skin for quite some time. Once all of your mascara is off, you can then remove the rest of your makeup.
4. Follow the 6-month rule or expiration date
Some products go bad quicker than others, like the organic INIKA Long Lash Vegan Mascara on our list.
Since it’s organic, it can go bad really fast and must be changed immediately. So no matter what, throw away, or stop using your mascara if it’s expired already.
Best practices would even recommend stopping altogether once the six months are up and that is usually the time the product starts to smell tangy.
No matter how good the mascara smells, if you have sensitive eyes, I recommend getting rid of it once it’s passed the expiration date and not a day later!
Types of Mascaras and Their Uses
1. Classic spoolie/bristle mascara wand
There are a few variations to this classic mascara brush. It can come with bristles, rubbers, or even a comb. One thing that is common with all variations is that the combs go all around the wand and they are typically dense.
This type of wand is mostly for lengthening and giving volume to your lashes. The dense bristles ensure an all-around coat to your lashes, giving it the look of darker thus more volumised lashes.
2. Tapered comb mascara wand
A tapered wand can resemble an arrowhead or simply have the tip of the comb tapering to a curve or point. The pointed end of a tapered mascara wand will help you reach and coat shorter and thinner lashes.
These are good for separating and defining strands too. The larger or thicker part of the brush is more useful on your outer lashes. This is most useful when you’re going for a fox-eye or a cat-eye look, where the lashes look longer as near your outer eye corners.
It’s a must-have wand if you want all your lashes coated evenly. These aren’t usually for volume, however, exceptions can depend on how long and dense the brush bristles are.
3. Curved comb mascara wand
The purpose of the curved mascara wand is to curl your lashes. It mimics the natural curl of your lashes and helps create an almost cartoon effect with the way the comb separates your lashes.
This type of wand is also best for doing your bottom lashes if you can’t go with the tapered wand. It makes for the easiest applicator and doesn’t leave you with the aftermath of misdrawn pigments all over your under eyes.
4. Hourglass or double-curved mascara wand
This type of wand greatly helps separate your lashes while giving them a dense, volumized look. It also helps with slight curling effects and does a great job of defining your eyelash shape.
They also come with quite a lot of variations. Name ball-tipped wands or triple-ball wands. Nevertheless, they shape and coat your lashes with the same goal.
5. Skinny mascara wand/ Precision-tip wand
These types are for thinner, ultra-fine lashes. They’re the best for an even coat that won’t instantly clump product on your lashes. You’ll get much more control over the application.
As you can see, there’s a whole market out there for sensitive eyes in makeup! All of these mascaras are amazing and will do your makeup and skin some serious savings.
Get ready for beautiful lashes that won’t get red, or irritated with these best mascaras for sensitive eyes! For more tips check out how to grow thick and long lashes here!
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown CeraVe Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior Dyson ELEMIS Elf Cosmetics Estée Lauder Fenty Beauty First Aid Beauty Fresh Hourglass Huda Beauty Jane Iredale L'Oreal lancome La Roche-Posay Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Mario Badescu Maybelline Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila Tarte Cosmetics The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL
Thank you so much for your mascara review! I really have to watch what I use, I get irritation so easy and when I rub my eye, it will get all over and get even worse. That can’t be good for the eyes. Maybelline looks promising to me, I wish they have a less clump but I think that is normal when it comes to thickness and length. I have yet found one that doesn’t clump yet. La-Roche is another good brand that I like as well, I think I can take the smell, it is far from my nose and I think no stranger can smell that. I may go for Mac as well as long as it doesn’t irritate my eyes then I am up for it. Thanks for taking the time to share all the options!
I love the Maybelline one and generally don’t have a problem with clumping. I find that my mascaras start to clump when it’s time for me to throw them out!
Thanks for stopping by:)