TikTokers are using Vaseline on their lashes for a natural lengthened look—but is it safe for your eyes?

Natural makeup lovers are ditching their mascaras for Vaseline eyelashes

Vaseline eyelashes: three close up images on women's face and eyelashes, and one image of someone curling their eyelashes/ in a pink template for MIL's 'Real Influence'
(Image credit: Getty Images: (L) Lara Callahan / Refinery29/ (M & R) Caroline Tompkins / Refinery29)

With new trends hitting our feeds every day and countless influencers working to decipher them for us, the overwhelm over which ones deserve our attention is *real*. So our Real Influence series takes the latest social media trends to the experts—doctors, dermatologists, sex experts and more—to go behind the trend and debunk what it's really about, if it'll actually work and, most importantly, whether it's safe to do.

It seems mascara is out and 'Vaseline eyelashes' are in, with TikToker's dubbing this so-called Vaseline eyelash curler trick, the secret to achieving long, gravity-defying natural lashes. But is this hack actually safe for our delicate eyeballs? We quizzed the experts and even tried it out ourselves...

TikTok has become our go-to for all things beauty, from recommendations on the best non-comedogenic foundations and best office perfumes to tutorials on the latest and greatest concealer hacks. But every now and then, a beauty hack will crop up that might not be exactly kind to our skin, eyes, or hair—remember that eyelash glue bangs hack?!

Enter the Vaseline eyelash method, where instead of applying mascara, users are curling and coating their lashes with petroleum jelly products like Vaseline for a natural but defined look. Here's what the experts have to say about this latest trend and whether it really works...

What is the Vaseline eyelash curler trick?

So what does the Vaseline eyelash trend really involve? Well, to put it simply, it's where you cover your natural lashes in petroleum jelly products, like Vaseline or Aquaphor, before curling them with an eyelash curler. 

Vaseline—which is made from 100% petroleum jelly, as opposed to Aquaphor's 41%—is supposed to hold the curl, thanks to its oily and ever-so-slightly tacky formula, while also giving a lengthened effect.

The hashtag 'Vaseline on eyelashes' itself, has over 8 million views to its name, with users gnarring thousands of likes and views for their tutorials on how they create their natural lash looks. Take a look for yourself...


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And while it's clearly a popular trend, the question still remains...is it actually safe for your eyes?

Is Vaseline on eyelashes safe? A MUA and dermatologist weigh in...

Now Vaseline itself has a whole range of uses, from moisturizing and soothing irritated skin, to lip balm and even helping to make your perfume last longer—yes, really! In fact, the brand's website actually outlines over 101 uses for its OG Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, with number 44 listed as: "Can be used instead of mascara to create glossy lashes."

So, while it's having a surge in popularity over on TikTok, it's clearly an age-old trick for shiny, natural lashes and is generally, safe to use. But are there any potential risks or pitfalls to its use? We asked FalseEyelashes' resident makeup artist, Saffron Hughes and Dr. Ifeoma Ejikeme, Skin Expert and Medical Director/Founder of Adonia Medical Clinic, to weigh in...

While Hughes suggests that using Vaseline on your lashes is indeed safe, she doesn't necessarily recommend it for everyday use, adding: "While this is a fun hack for natural looking, long lashes, it’s not something I’d recommend wearing every day. Applying too much Vaseline could lead to it transferring to your eye throughout the day, blur your vision and cause irritation. Not washing Vaseline off correctly after you’re finished experimenting can lead to irritation or even a stye."

And while it might be tempting to follow up this hack with a coat or two of mascara, Hughes says to put your fave wand back into the depths of your makeup bag. "Applying mascara to lashes coated with Vaseline or Aquaphor could cause transfer to your eyes throughout the day, causing either a makeup mishap or even eye irritation," says Hughes, adding: "Instead, think of this as the petroleum jelly is taking the place of mascara in your makeup routine for a much more natural, ‘clean girl’ look.”

Dr. Ifeoma Ejikeme takes a similar stance to Hughes, noting that: "When used sparingly and with caution, applying Vaseline or Aquaphor on the eyelids or close to the eyes can be safe." She does, however, warn to avoid direct contact with your eyes and using excessive amounts, as "it can potentially cause discomfort or blurry vision."

If you have particularly sensitive eyes or have known allergies, you should also be wary of this trend.

Are there benefits to using Vaseline on eyelashes?

As for the benefits of using Vaseline on your lashes, Dr. Ejikeme says: "Vaseline/Aquaphor can provide a protective barrier on the eyelashes, which helps to prevent moisture loss and potentially keep them hydrated. However, they do not have any inherent nourishing or conditioning properties specifically for eyelashes." For a targeted lash treatment, she recommends using a lash serum formulated with ingredients like peptides, vitamins, and plant extracts.

Many also attribute petroleum jelly products for helping their lashes grow longer, but Hughes comments that there's "little evidence" to suggest this. Your lashes may however "temporarily look darker, thicker and be more malleable so they can hold their shape longer when curled." Hughes also notes that these products act as great moisturizers, hence why they're so popular in the beauty hack space.

Can you use the Vaseline hack on false eyelashes/extensions?

Alas, on this question petroleum jelly products don't score any points! Hughes says: "This hack is best used for natural lashes only. Aquaphor and Vaseline are both oil-based products so this hack is not to be used in conjunction with eyelash extensions as it could lead to fall out and misshaping the lashes."

So, I tried the Vaseline eyelash curler hack...

Since we now know that this Vaseline lash hack is safe and a great way to create a natural but curled lash look, I just had to give it a whirl myself.

Quizzing MUA Hughes on the best application, she said: "This trick works by using the Vaseline or Aquaphor’s gel-like texture to keep curled eyelashes in place for a fluttery lash lift."

According to Hughes, the best way to apply is:

  1. Brush your lashes through with a clean mascara brush
  2. Curl your lashes (pulse your curler on your lashes for 5 to 10 seconds)
  3. Using either your finger or clean brush, gently apply a small amount of Vaseline or Aquaphor to your lashes
  4. Curl your lashes once more (again pulsing your curler on your lashes for 5 to 10 seconds)

Following her instructions carefully, I went about gently curling and applying a small amount of Vaseline to my lashes and—as a natural makeup lover myself—I was pretty impressed by the results. Behold...

Naomi seen with natural lashes (left) and with Vaseline on her eyelashes (right) / in a pink template

On the left, my lashes are eau naturelle but on the right, I have curled and applied Vaseline.

(Image credit: Future / Naomi Jamieson)

As you can see, my lashes went from pretty non-existent to lifted and defined—without the help of mascara.

I was initially skeptical that my lashes would drop back down, but to my surprise, they did indeed stay curled all day long. I was also convinced that I would notice the slight oiliness to my lashes and find it uncomfortable, but a little goes a long way with Vaseline—you really don't need much for the desired effect and within two minutes of application I forgot I even had anything on my lashes at all.

Then, by bedtime, I was delighted to find that while my lashes looked great—I didn't have to spend 5 minutes trying to remove my mascara. I simply gave my eyes a once-over with my makeup remover and that was it.

I'll definitely be using this hack for those no-makeup-makeup days, when I want to look fresh, but don't want to deal with pesky mascara flaking or smudging!

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.