Here's What You Can Substitute For Mascara

Mascara, how do we love thee? It not only makes lashes look long and lush, but it makes eyes appear bigger and brighter. Even the simplest makeup-in-a-minute routine usually involves a quick swipe of the mascara wand. 

But what can you do if you misplace your mascara and you're having a makeup emergency? Never fear, you're not doomed to the dreadful fate of leaving the house with a naked face. Just as you can sometimes substitute ingredients in a recipe, there are also several stand-ins for mascara that may help save the day.

Substituting Vaseline for mascara

Vaseline (or any old generic petroleum jelly) is one of those all-purpose beauty products. It can remove eye makeup, it can be used as a lip gloss, and yes, it makes a pretty good clear mascara, too. PureWow advises applying a small dab of Vaseline to your finger, then dipping a clean mascara wand or Q-tip into it until there's a smooth coating of Vaseline over the wand or swab. 

If the Vaseline clumps, you can smooth it out with a little piece of damp toilet paper. Lightly apply the Vaseline to your lashes just as you would mascara. Not only can Vaseline help your lashes "glisten and catch the light," according to Los Angeles makeup artist Carol Shaw (via CNN), but it can also help to strengthen and moisturize the lashes.

Substituting eyeliner for mascara

If you want to use eyeliner in place of mascara, it's got to be the liquid or gel kind — an eyeliner pencil just isn't going to do the job. Cosmopolitan recommends brushing the liner onto a clean mascara wand, while BellaOnline suggests applying it to a mascara fan brush. 

If you don't have either implement on hand, you can always hold the eyeliner just below your lashes, and then very carefully blink onto the nib of the liner brush to pick up some tint on your lashes. The benefit of using gel or liquid eyeliner is that it does not clump in the same way that mascara does, and may even be preferable for women with light lashes.