What is Gel Mascara?

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  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2019
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Gel mascara is a type of eye makeup used primarily on the eyelashes and eyebrows. Some brands are color-tinted, but the majority of gel mascaras are transparent. Many people who use this product find it beneficial in smoothing flyaway hairs, as well as separating and lengthening lashes. Professional makeup artists often share tips on the best application, use and care of gel mascara.

There are many potential advantages that the use of gel mascara can provide as a cosmetic. First, errant eyebrow hairs can be slicked down and shaped. The gel in the mascara could have a similar effect as hair gel, molding hairs with a flexible, yet strong, hold when the product dries.

Eyelashes can be primed for darkened mascara by first adding a layer of gel for the color tint to adhere to. Depending on the type of wand used, gel mascara can create fuller-looking, curled lashes. Some even use the gel as a convenient way to tame stray, frizzy hairs on the head while on the go.

To apply gel mascara properly, the accompanying wand should be coated with a thick amount of product without clumps. Many professionals warn against “pumping” the wand in and out of the mascara tube before use, as this action could create air bubbles. This effect could dry the mascara out.


Those with thick eyelashes and eyebrows may wish to use only gel mascara, which is typically clear. It can also be used as a base coat applied before a second, color-tinted product. Regardless, the wand should be swept across lashes and brows from the root of the hair to the tip. One can help shape small hairs with a controlled movement of the wand.

Many mascara users prefer translucent gels, which may require less skill to apply. Smudges and smears from quick drying, clear gels are unlikely; if mistakes do occur, however, they will probably be undetectable. If an individual is planning on activities that may cause her to perspire or come in contact with water, gel mascaras might be a good option.

It is important to switch out tubes of mascara at least every six months. Likewise, if the makeup begins to smell different, this could be a result of bacterial growth. As the eyes are susceptible to infection, individuals should not keep or use old eye makeup.

One can purchase gel mascara at a number of places. Drug stores, specialty makeup shops and department stores commonly sell a variety of cosmetics. Many brands are a relatively inexpensive addition to a daily makeup routine.


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Discuss this Article

Post 10

You know, I wish I had stumbled on this article a few weeks ago. I just had an eye infection, and I think an old tube of gel mascara was to blame! I don't wear makeup often, so a lot of times I forget how long I've had it and end up using the same tube of mascara or the same liquid eyeliner for way too long.

I found a way to solve this problem though. When my eye got better and I got a new tube of mascara, I put a piece of masking tape on the tube and wrote the date on it. That way, I won't have to remember when I got it, it will be right there on the tube.

Post 9

@sunnySkys - I think clear gel mascara is great for people that already have long and dark eyelashes. Or if you just want to add a little bit of polish to your look, clear mascara is great for keeping everything in place.

I personally use clear Dior mascara for work every day. It makes me look pulled together, but it doesn't make me look like I have a lot of makeup on. It's very subtle, which I really like.

Post 8

I've never seen the point in using clear gel mascara. I've seen a lot of positive mascara reviews for this kind of product though. But I still personally prefer colored mascara!

After all, the whole point of mascara is to add a little extra color and give a boost to your look. So why in the world would I want to use mascara that's totally clear? I guess maybe I would use it as a primer, but definitely not just by itself.

I actually think the best use for clear gel mascara is probably taming flyaway hairs on your head.

Post 7

The first gel mascara I bought was clear and I liked the way it gave my eyelashes more fullness and also worked as a good lengthening mascara. When that tube ran out I bought a colored gel mascara, but for some reason I was not as happy with this.

I seem to have much better results using a clear gel mascara on my eyelashes first, and then applying a darker color. The brands were different, so that may have also been part of the problem.

Once I find a brand of mascara that I like, I will usually stick with that for awhile. I have found the best mascara brands may not necessarily be the most expensive. If the mascara stays on a long time without clumping when I apply it, I will continue to purchase that particular brand.

Post 6

I was glad to read the suggestion about using clear gel mascara to tame flyaway, frizzy hairs on top of my head. I thought I was the only one who used mascara to do this.

It drives me crazy to look in the mirror and see these hairs that stick straight up no matter what I do. I could just pull them out, but I already have thin hair so I don't want to get in the habit of doing this.

The gel mascara helps to keep these hairs flat and in place. I will also use it on my eyelashes if I know I am going to be getting wet. It doesn't run like regular mascara does and keeps my eyes smudge-free.

Post 5

I have long eyelashes, but they are very light so I need all the help I can get when it comes to making them stand out more. I like to use a clear gel mascara on them, followed by a black mascara.

When I use the gel mascara I have noticed that my lashes seem thicker, but what I really like is that the color seems to stay on longer.

If I don't use the gel mascara first, I feel like I need to apply more mascara before the day is even over to keep the dark color. Since the gel mascara keeps the color longer, I can go all day and not have to worry about applying more mascara.

Post 4

I use gel mascara on my eyebrows. The older I get the harder it is to control my eyebrow hairs as their texture seems to be changing. In order to keep them in place, I use the gel mascara which works great.

On the days that I don't use this, I can really tell a difference in my eyebrows. Simply using an eyebrow brush to shape them isn't enough and I depend on the gel to dry and keep them where they need to be.

I tried using this on my eyelashes a few times, but didn't really notice much difference, so I use the gel mascara for my eyebrows and regular mascara for my eyelashes.

Post 3

@feruze, @MikeMason-- I don't know about clear gel mascara. I've only used black gel mascara. It's supposed to be a volume mascara, but it doesn't give volume at all. It ends ups clumping and weighing my lashes down. Instead of curling, my lashes look straight and droop down.

I guess this kind of mascara isn't good to use for color, especially when you want to do multiple layers. I might try a different brand in the future, but so far, I'm not very impressed.

Post 2

@feruze-- That's a good question. I haven't tried one with a serum but I have read reviews and I think most brands don't work as well as they claim to. Plus, it costs a lot more when it claims to make lashes and brows grow as you said. I'd rather try brands that are more affordable. If I don't like it, at least I won't feel like I wasted my money.

I use a simple gel mascara simply to tame unruly brows and curl lashes. The one I have now is like the best gel mascara ever. It fills in my brows and keeps them in shape all day. It also curls my long lashes and makes them look


The best part about gel mascara is that you don't have to worry about it running and getting all over your eyes when it's hot. Even waterproof mascaras don't last very well in the summer when there is a lot of heat and moisture. I hate to have to clean up my eye makeup every couple of hours in the summer because of runny black mascara. Gel mascara has completely solved this problem for me.

Post 1

I have really thin, short and sparse eyelashes so I use a gel, clear mascara that has a special serum to help them grow. It cost more than most gel mascaras, but it has definitely been worth it.

It's been a month since I got it and my lashes do look fuller and longer. The great part is that I can wear mascara over it, so I don't have to go around with colorless lashes. The label says that it can be used for eyebrows too but I haven't used it that way. I bet it works well for growing and grooming brows too.

My sister is skeptical about it though. She thinks that my eyebrows aren't longer but just look longer because the gel spreads them out. I don't know, I don't think so.

Is anyone else using gel mascara for eyelash growth? Do you think it really works or we just think that it does?

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