One such factor is how prone you are to irritation. “Water-based mascaras are typically better tolerated for sensitive eyes,” explains Neil Scibelli, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York City. Water-based mascaras also tend to be less heavy on the lash, “which can lead to less fallout if that’s an issue,” he says. Therefore, if your lashes are delicate, an oil-free formula is worthy of your consideration.
Water-based mascaras are also better for those who swear by lash extensions. “Oil would break down the glue and loosen the lash extensions,” points out Steve Kassajikian, Global Makeup Artist for Urban Decay. While many skip mascara when wearing extensions, lash lovers know that more is more. If you’re someone who loves layering on coat after coat of mascara for maximum impact (whether you’re wearing extensions or not!), an oil-free mascara formula is your best bet. Scibelli notes that water-based mascaras also dry faster, which makes it “a lot easier to build and layer the lash without clumping,” adds Kassajikian.