Have you ever wondered the difference between volumising and lengthening mascaras? What makes them different? How can a mascara be that way and promises you all these things when your lashes are the same and the mascara is just a mascara, unless it has some magical elements in it.

There are so many mascaras out on the market, all of them promise to give us something we want. Some of these mascaras are designed to lengthen, some to volumise, some to curl and some to do all of these things. But how? The main things the companies want to take the attention on is either volumising effect or lengthening effect. It is easier to achieve volumised lashes, all you need to apply a few coats of mascaras then you get full looking lashes. However, how can a product make the lashes look longer? Fibre mascaras, like L’Oreal Paris False Lash Flutter mascara, can give this length, but not every mascara has fibres in it (sometimes I check the ingredients). Except fibre mascaras, I actually have a few theories! Maybe I am so wrong but at least these are what I could think of…

Let’s start with the first one, if you ever checked your lashes closely you will see that the end of the lashes are so thin, some of them are almost hard to notice. So when you apply lengthening mascara then just because mascaras get the thin parts of lashes more visible, can we actually consider them as lengthening? Even with volumising mascaras, you can get to those bits anyway, right?

My second theory is the formula of lengthening mascaras can somehow create a physical bond or even chemical like how we learnt in chemistry classes. How likely is it though?

My third and the last theory is those mascaras have micro particles, something like fibre mascaras, then this theory is basically same as my second one. 

Advertisements can be fooling as the companies have a super saviour like Photoshop to make everything look like how they promise, but in reality it is not like that most of the time. Volumising effect is more believable than lengthening effect, so maybe it is the volumising effect that fools us, who knows? So I don’t really believe in this lengthening effect, I might change my mind in the future, however, so far I haven’t found one that would wow me!

What are your thoughts about lengthening mascaras? What do you think makes the difference between volumising and lengthening mascaras? I am open to any theory!

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  • Hi Ela, I prefer the lengthening mascaras over volumising as my eyelashes are quite short. Great post. Gemma x

    • Volumising ones are my favourites. Have an amazing weekend x

  • Myeah, the ads can definitely be deceiving!

  • Maybelline mascara is the best for me. love it.


  • I’m so lost when it comes to mascaras. There is too much to choose from. I tend to pick whatever is on special offer at Boots.


    • There are so many out there and it is really hard to make a decision 🙂

  • I really believe some mascaras do work but I’ve only really found Maybelline ones work for me!

    Alice ♡ // beautybyalicee

    • Maybelline ones are great and they do work for me as well.

  • I do find that some mascaras are more lengthening than others, yet to me, it is only a question of wand and curl: some of them create very curved roots which gives the illusion of length but, at the end of the day, it is still our lashes!


    • “illusion of length” totally agree with that! Some advertisements make it sound like they actually do some miracles to lengthen the lashes.

  • Love your theories, in my opinion you are absolutely right, thank you for sharing!!!



  • Wow! I have never really thought about it to be honest. Interesting post!


    • Whenever I see the adverts and see the actual result, it kinda bothers me 🙂

  • I always wonder what makes different mascaras different…lengthening, thickening, volumizing…etc. Honestly I just love mascara that doesn’t leave my lashes clumped and wet. I have covered my favorite mascaras on my blog – check them out.

    • I hate the mascaras which leaves my lashes wet and get them clumpy!

  • Ivona Iwarra Josipovic

    You made me think about my mascara 🙂 I like Max Factor Falls Lash Effect one, not sure how it works but it does 😉

    Ivona from http://www.thesmokedetector.net

  • I think it is where most of the product is deposited. Bt without fibre, the amount of length you can get is very limited, I think.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Totally agree with that. It is understandable with fibres however without them it just doesn’t make sense how they can make difference with length.

  • Carina Vardie

    I like your theories, especially agree with the first one. I hadn’t given it as much thought. Awesome post!


  • Hanna

    Thanks for sharing your picks –Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Is Course Hero Worth Using?

  • Loved reading this, Maybelline Lash Sensational works perfectly on my lashes, love it! Xx


    • Lash sensational is one of the best drugstore mascara. x

  • Very informative. I think I need to go mascara shopping now 😛

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  • Truthfully, I’ve never gotten real lengthening from any mascara. That being said, my lashes are red, and very hard to see at the ends. When i have mascara on, it gives a lengthening effect, because you can see the ends.


    • It is all about making the lashes more visible then we think it gives length, it is all about illusion of length!

  • My problem has been the exact opposite. I have no problem finding a mascara that lengthens, but gives no volume. If it tries, I get a lot of clumps. LOL The closest has been UD Perversion for me. Mascara is definitely a struggle for everyone.

    • When I use more than two coats then I get clumps so I make sure not to overdo!

  • Well, I have to say I love the packaging of the Smashbox one! I like your theories analysing the various theories. I’ve come to find that I really just need to test something out – still searching for the holy grail mascara though. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Smashbox packaging is really catchy and different than any other mascara 🙂 I don’t think I have a holy grail mascara, I just love trying different mascaras 🙂

  • Lenya

    Great and informative post. Thx for sharing your thoughts.


  • Hmm, this is definitely interesting and I never ever thought about it that way, definitely something to think about. Btw, I see the Smashbox X-rated mascara in your picture, what are your thoughts on it?

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • I haven’t found any mascara that actually gives length so I wonder how the companies come up with lengthening mascaras. I still haven’t made up my mind about X-rated, I have to try it a bit longer, however so far I don’t think it is worth that much money.

  • I’m so funny with mascaras, I have super curly eyelashes so the majority of mascaras make no difference to them haha, the Benefit They’re real mascara is one of the few that work for me.




    • They’re real is a good one, it is one of my favourite! x

  • I love these types of posts! I’ve never thought about mascaras like you, I’ll have to think about my theory haha 🙂


    • Whenever I am bored, I end up thinking useless things like that ha ha 🙂

  • I’m a mascara junkie! I tried so many of the over the years I even posted a side by side comparison on my blog: http://loveofmode.com/2016/04/30/the-ultimate-mascara/

    Personally I prefer lengthening over volumizing because I hate clumpy eyelashes! Lovely post!


    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

    • I hate clumpy lashes! I only apply two coats to get volume. x

  • Corinne C

    I love trying new mascaras but I’m always disappointed. I never understand how the lengthen, though. Even the fibre ones!

    Corinne x

    • I have no idea how it is supposed to work, I haven’t found one that actually does the trick. x

  • Charlotte

    I love how in-depth you’ve thought about it as it’s got me thinking about them now!
    Charlotte // http://www.charlottespicks.com

  • My only real hope for mascara is that is doesn’t clump 🙂 after that, I’m not too fussed about its claims!
    Becca | theBeautyInbox

  • Great post! I think the texture of the product & the wand make the difference – some get right down to the roots easily but the bristles are sparse so can lengthen but not add volume if that makes sense? I always go for volume over length! xx

    Beautylymin| Bobbi Brown Define & Glow Palette Gift Set Giveaway

    • I also prefer volume over length, I couldn’t find any that actually gives length. x

  • I prefer volume over length in general. I have used one lengthening mascara, the Majolica Majorca Extended Lash *something* which REALLY lengthened them! The tips reached right up to my brow bone! I guess it’s just about find the right mascara.

    Advaita | Blush Canvas

    • I wonder how mascaras do that, I couldn’t find any lengthening one that wow me.

  • I have to say I’ve never thought about it like this before! Fibres make a massive difference but I have no idea how mascaras do their thing I’m just happy when they do 🙂

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

    • Fibres make difference which is understandable, however how about the regular fibre free mascaras 🙂

  • Blogger Pro

    Hello, I spotted you on Tanya’s blog and decided to come and say hi! I have been really enjoying reading your blog. It would be cool if you checked out mine, too. Are you open for any collabs?

    Good luck!

  • As someone who has always had naturally super long lashes any mascara was good for me so I’ve never really given much thought to there claims. However, since having my son recently my lashes are doing crazy things and now I really struggle to find mascaras I like. Really enjoyed reading your thought process on this subject, definitely something I will have to think about myself. X


    • I don’t have short lashes, however not that long but I just can’t understand how companies can claim length. I couldn’t find any that actually does the trick for me. x

  • Karina Guimarães Ribeiro

    I prefer lengthening mascaras in general because my lashes are so small. But i use volume mascaras too, no problems! 😉 xx

  • Roberta Romeo

    I don’t believe in lengthening or volumizing effect!! I think there are so many different mascaras but they never changed my lashes so…I use mascara essentially for the pop of color it gives to my lashes ^-^

    • I don’t believe it either, it is just false claim 🙂 x

  • Katie

    It’s an interesting question, I’ve never thought about it before! Perhaps mascaras just make your eyelashes darker so that they are more noticeable (and therefore longer) from farther away? I think your first theory makes the most sense!


    • I think that’s the only explanation, because I can’t think of anything else 🙂

  • I’ve wondered the same thing! I never really knew what the difference was or how to determine it for that matter, so this was really helpful in understanding the difference. I’ve never really found one that’s wow’d be either, so who knows if there’s truly a product that does all of what it claims to do! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you’re having a great week so far!



    • I just think it is a false advertisements but nothing more. Volume is fine but length, no idea how 🙂 x

  • Interesting post! I’ve never thought of it before really!

    Makeup Monster

    • Whenever I am bored, I think about useless things 🙂

  • Hmm, you make many good points Ela! I think the quality of mascaras that claim to ‘lengthen’ is that – as you’ve said – they improve visibility of the lighter tips of our lashes. So ultimately, it all depends on how long (though perhaps thin/light) your lashed are naturally! I hope you find a mascara that totally ‘wows’ you soon 🙂 Personally, I adore Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Twitter | Instagram x

    • I have that mascara on my wishlist, I need to finish the ones I already have so I can open a space for the new one 🙂 x

  • SamanthaSeries

    Hmm, I think it’s all down to fibres… If it doesn’t have fibres then I don’t know how it can be classed as lengthening.

    Samantha Series

    • Yes definitely! Fibres are understandable, but without fibers it is almost impossible.

  • This is really interesting! I think its that the mascaras make the ends of your lashes darker as you said and this claims to ‘lengthen’. Then I find that the voluminizing ones are thicker and sort of clump your lashes to make them look fuller. The world of mascaras is so confusing though 😛

    Rachel xx

    • Ha ha yes I wonder who came up with mascara… “hey I found I found something, let’s name it something meaningless… how about mascara” 🙂 xx

  • I haven’t really thought about it much – I like your theories! I haven’t bought a mascara in years though, I tend to use trial or sample size ones as I only wear it to the office so I’d never get enough use from a full size before it dried up!

    Your comments on my blog made me giggle – most of my pregnancy ‘weight’ was fluid retention and swelling from the humidity. I’m certainly not doing anything special to lose weight, I don’t even have any scales (other than kitchen scales, ha!) at home. Just eating as healthy as I normally do and breastfeeding which is probably the biggest factor.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Mascaras are confusing, full of claims and some of them are bullsh*t 🙂
      I heard that breastfeeding is good for weightloss, also I guess dealing with two kids isn’t easy so you end up losing weight.

  • I love your thoughts on this. I wear mascara sometimes but daily no since I prefer a fresh face natural look for daily unless I’m doing projects. This is great 🙂 http://www.bauchlefashion.com

  • I’m going to go with the first theory – I feel like that’s the easiest for makeup companies to prove. Good ideas!

    xx Yasmin


  • I have short lashes and find legthening mascara useless, because they’re usually very natural-looking mascaras that don’t really lengthen anything. I much more prefer volumizing mascaras because at least they give a nice definition to the eyes!

    • I prefer volumising over lengthening as I couldn’t find any that actually lengthens the lashes. False advertisement…

  • Trang Do

    Sounds interesting!! Great post about mascaras dear!!

    Kisses and hugs from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Chlariss

    So far, I find the Benefit They’re Real mascara and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudging Lengthening mascara works for me. Always thought that they had some kind of “special” formula in it, but after seeing this post, I’m not so sure already…
    Anyway, this post really changes my thoughts and views on mascaras! Great one!

    Chlariss | Silent Dances And Glasses

    • They are good with volume but I don’t think they any length to my lashes.

  • Have you tried the L’Oreal False Lash Sculpt? It works wonders!! P.s, congrats on the wedding again and married life must be bliss ♥


    • I haven’t tried it, I will keep it in mind. Thank you so much 🙂

  • I use a Lancome lengthening mascara which is quite good but I’m always on the look out for a new one. I don’t find the Benefit They’re Real all that effective on me

    • It gives volume after 2 coat but nothing lengthening.

  • sasha anderson

    Dying to try the one by Benefit!

  • Love the They’re real!





  • I use mascaras that do both since I have super straight lashes. I like Heroine’s long and curl mascara, it’s just tricky to remove.


    • I have super straight lashes too, so I can’t do without curler!

  • I actually agree with your view. I don’t really believe in lenghtening mascaras as well. I find them ridiculous and hard to believe and also, they are usually disappointing :/

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • They are so disappointing, I haven’t found any that gives length. I wonder why they claim it 🙂

  • Hi Ela, I absolutely agree with you on the whole lengthen gimmicky kind of thing. I have tried many that claim this but all I have observed from this is hat they just make the ends of the eyelashes more visible. So I tend to go for thickening formulas and build up thin layers so my eyelashes immediately appear longer and fuller ☺ I really recommend you to try out the Clarins mascaras 😉

    Have a great friday!
    x Josune @ Your Beauty Script


    • I think thickening formulas make the lashes more visible then it is like illusion of length. I haven’t tried Clarins mascaras yet, definitely goes to my wishlist!
      Have an amazing week! x

  • Mascara is something I always need before I leave home, I tried They’re Real by Benefit and it did not work for me at all, it might be because my lashes are long!

    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    • It is one of my favourite mascaras, it gives nice volume.

  • Ellie Adams

    I really love Benefit rollerlash because it really does lengthen but it manages to create enough volume too. I think lengthening formulations usually tend to separate the lashes which makes them look more defined and lengthened. Mascaras are such a minefield nowadays!


    • Totally agree with you! They don’t actually do much but make them more visible xx

  • Gellie Ortiz Abogado

    I have learned that expensive mascaras aren’t a necessity. You can buy a volumizing drugstore mascara and still be able to use it effectively just as how the more expensive volumizing and lengthening mascaras do. True that just add a few more coats and you’ll be fine. 🙂


    • Totally agree with you! There are so many mascaras in the market so you don’t need to pay so much to find your perfect mascara! x

  • Mascara is a necessity, for sure. However, most of them don’t do anything for me, as I have quite short lashes. My current favorites are both from Avon – Big and False Lash which gives so much volume and lengthening Super Shock mascara.


    • I haven’t found any mascara that gives length so I go for volumising mascaras 🙂

  • Siffat Haider

    I’m not sure if there is a difference between volumizing and lengthening, but I do know that some work for me while others don’t. My favourite is Benefit’s ‘They’re Real!’.




    • They’re real is my favourite too, I love the volume it gives! x

  • Bernadette

    All these mascaras look awesome. The packaging of that smashbox mascara look interesting.


  • I do prefer a volumising mascara but there are some that I find work well on me lengthening wise such as Benefit’s Roller Lash. I feel like volumising mascaras do both though where are lengthening ones don’t. My favourite is Lancome Hypnose Drama which I absolutely can’t get enough of x

    • It is one of the mascaras that I really want to try out, everyone is raving about it so it must be good 🙂 x

  • This was really interesting to read Ela, as I have often thought about this too. I definitely see volumising effects when I use my Maybelline Lash Sensational. But in terms of lengthening, if I look close enough, they don’t actually look that much longer. So I think that adding volume to your lashes can make them ‘seem’ longer. But in actual fact we’re just being fooled, by the thickness of the mascara.

    http://www.youtube.com/veebzboo – Natural Pretty Daytime Glam Tutorial

    • Agree with you! It is easy to achieve volume but length, it is all illusion 🙂

  • Great read Ela! My favorite one at the moment is Miss Manga by LOreal.

    Happy Friday Doll!! Ps: I’m hosting a Giveaway. I’d love if you entered!


  • You make a great point Ela. I am one of those odd ones that already have thick lashes, but use mascara to tame my lashes rather than lengthening them. It’s still a hassle to find a perfect mascara.Happy weekend dear. x/Madison

    • It is hard to find the perfect mascara when there are so many in the market! Have a lovely week. x

  • I have been wondering whether it’s really possible for a mascara to lengthen as well since I’ve never witnessed it working on me. I’m on the hunt for a new mascara and this was extremely helpful, as were all of the comments and suggestions!

    • I haven’t found one either and I don’t think there’s any lengthening one.

  • Thanks for sharing! While I’m partial to Maybeline’s Colossal mascara – but I recently was gifted Dior’s Diorshow mascara and I’m obsessed! It’s a little pricier – but totally worth it… especially with some eyelash primer 😉

    Love, Lindsey

  • That Smashbox mascara is so cool looking lol. I used to absolutely love Maybelline Illegal Length mascara but I’m pretty sure they’ve discontinued it because I can’t find it anywhere!! 🙁

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

    • I hate it when companies discontinue their favourite products 🙁

  • I find eyelash curlers more effective than lengthening mascaras if I want my lashes to appear longer. But normally I use two different mascaras (one for length, one for volume) to get the best of both worlds 🙂


    • When I have something special, I use two different mascaras to get my lashes more defined. It seems to make a big difference 🙂

  • Aditi Oberoi Malhotra

    Great read!! Thanks for sharing!

    Adi xx

  • Thanks for sharing! My favorite mascara is Lashgasm by Too Faced!

    Je M’appelle Chanel

  • Little Miss Fashion Queen

    Thanks for the tips! I like Better Than Sex mascara.

    God bless,

    XO, Claire


  • I love your insight and thoughts! For some reason, most of my volumnizing mascaras just lengthens but I never see much drama! 🙁

    • It is hard to achieve that dramatic effect with one coat and then after 3 lashes get clumpy… It is really hard to get everything right 🙁

  • I love the maybelline lash sensational and the benefit ones ! X


  • The Sunday Mode

    I’ve not really thought about how mascaras work, i’m just happy when they do work. I’ve tried so many and have found that sometimes how you apply specific mascaras makes a big difference, like the Maybelline Lash sensation. I really didn’t like it much on first try but once I discovered the trick to applying it, it became one of my favourites. I’ve found quite a few mascaras that “lengthen” my lashes but not really curl them. I rely on my lash curler for that 🙂


    • At first I hated lash sensational, it was too wet then a few months later it was just right and it happened to be my favourite mascara now 🙂

  • Mascara adverts are so annoying and fake, especially when you can clearly see false lashes -_- I always pair a ‘lengthening’ one with Benefit’s they’re real, if I don’t I have to do at least three coats to get the look I want. I feel like the mascaras that don’t give volume just kinda coat the lashes and make them stand out a little more, but don’t necessarily add length.

    Iqra | The Blushing Giraffe x

    • Totally agree with you! It is all about making the lashes more visible, so it is just the illusion of length 🙂 x

  • I probably have the most difficult lashes ever
    I’ve only used two mascara that properly work on me
    which are any of the no7 and benefit

    I hate mascra ads cause they always use fake lashes and give you flase sense of hope until u buy it and start wondering why your lashes aren’t curlying lol

    • Mascara ads are annoying, you can clearly see the fake lashes!

  • I haven’t really found a lengthening mascara because I do think they’re gimmicks! I do love Too Faced Better Than Sex though. It makes my lashes look really fluttery!

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    • I haven’t found any lengthening one either, so I stopped getting lengthening mascaras. I like volumising ones, at least with a few coat my lashes look fuller. x

  • I love Lash Sensational so much, it’s been my favourite mascara for a while now!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

  • I just tried YSL latest couture mascara and its amazing! great review x


  • Julia Lundin

    Coolest bottle design!


  • Adaleta Avdic

    I do love my lengthening mascaras and the one I recently got from Lune + Aster is incredible! xx adaatude.com

  • Elena Dal Maso

    I love both lenghtening and thickening mascaras 🙂


  • Samileen

    I agree with you, I have never found a mascara that is lengthening. They are either volumizing or plain defining. I love maybelline lash sensation combined with loreal telescopic mascara, the two some how makes my non-existent lashes look pretty.

    Sam || Beautydetour

  • The Guerlain waterproof mascara gives me loads of length. If I use more than one coat it gives me volume too. I do love big lashes, even if it’s just for everyday haha 😀


  • Maybelline’s Falsies and also Maybelline’s The Colossal Volum’ (I hope this is it’s name. It has yellow packaging and purple letters) are the ONLY ones that have given me that lengthening look, and it surprises me how these two drugstore products are the best ones. In volume, Benefit’s They’re Real are perfect and my favorite. So you can guess that my mascara routine is basically using these!

    xx | http://www.recavi.com

  • The packaging of the Smashbox mascara is impressive! It looks gorgeous. I really like Benefit They’re Real and also Roller Lash is a great one from Benefit too for lengthening.

    I love Clarins Wonder Perfect mascara in black, find it works so nicely!

    Great post, I do love a great mascara!

    Laura xo