Mascara is a cosmetic product that is applied to the eyelashes to thicken them. It can also add color, or lengthen and curl them. It is typically sold in a tube and applied with a wand, although it is also available as a cream or cake formula.

TikTok loves a good code word and’mascara’ has become the latest one to make waves. But what does it mean, exactly?


Whether or not you’re a TikTok fan, you may have noticed that people on the app have been talking about mascara lately — with no tubes of the product in sight. This trend, set to the song Constellations by Duster, has racked up over 100 million views. And it’s not the kind of mascara talk you’d expect.

As it turns out, the word “mascara” has taken on a completely different meaning on TikTok, as part of a new secret code language that’s been taking over the app. This euphemism is essentially a workaround to avoid getting censored on the platform.

It involves using mascara as a code word for something much steamier — and it’s not the only time TikTok users have employed this strategy. Others have used phrases like corn emoji to mean “porn” and nip nops to refer to vibrators. This type of slang, known as algospeak, has been around for a while, and is often cited by people who want to avoid getting censored on social media.


For a wide-awake, fluttery fringe that looks like a natural extension of your lashes rather than a thick coat of makeup, reach for this eco-friendly formula. The unique skin-loving formula and expertly designed wand elongate each eyelash by wrapping them in tiny, lengthening fibers made from sugar beets. It’s also water-resistant and smudge proof, which means it won’t flake or fade even on the sweatiest days.

Another favorite of Buster, this mascara is formulated with conditioning ingredients to strengthen and moisturize each lash while giving them a dramatic look. It’s also dermatologist and ophthalmologist-tested, which makes it safe for those with sensitive eyes and contacts.

A makeup artist fave, this product has been in the beauty closet of celebs and editors for years thanks to its incredibly precise brush. The curved tip of the wand gives you more control over shorter lashes, and its adjustable texture allows for multiple layers so you can get the exact results you want without clumping or flaking.


Whether you’re looking to enhance your lashes or create a false-lash look, there’s a mascara for everyone. But what separates the good from the great is understanding that not all formulas are created equal.

This mascara from Charlotte Tilbury is a fan favorite because of its ability to volumize and lengthen lashes with a single sweep. It’s formulated with a special brush to grab and coat every lash, leaving your eyes looking bold and gorgeous.

TikTok users love this mascara because of its ability to “create a natural-looking, full and voluminous lash look.” Its creamy, jet-black pigment is long-wearing and it also contains nourishing ingredients like shea butter and marine collagen to keep your lashes hydrated.

Remember to keep your mascara fresh by tossing any tube that’s over three months old, as using expired products can introduce bacteria around the delicate eye area. Also, if the product starts to smell or change texture, it’s time to get a new one!


Mascara thickens and defines eyelashes. It can also tint or curl them, depending on the type. It is sold as a liquid cosmetic in a tube and applied with a wand. It was first introduced in 1957.

Many beauty influencers recommend that you curl your lashes before applying mascara because if you do it afterward, it can cause your lashes to look clumpy. They can also get stuck in the curler and break, which makes them look brittle.

The “mascara talk” trend started a few weeks ago and has exploded on TikTok. Some people use the term as a code word to discuss certain dating topics and avoid TikTok’s content moderation. But what’s actually going on here is a lot more complicated than just hiding sex talk behind the “mascara” hashtag.

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