Remember when choosing the right mascara was as simple as: Brown or black, waterproof or not waterproof? You went to the chemist, there was one brand on offer, two if you were lucky, and away you went, wand in hand. Things are so much more complicated these days! Boots stocks 243 mascaras! Max Factor has a whopping 16 in their line alone. Lengthening, curling, defining, volumising, false effect, growth enhancing, eye-colour popping, even Vibrating! And finding the right one is only half the battle... It’s what you do with it that counts. The way you apply your mascara can make a huge difference. Here are my top tips for big, flutterful lashes...
Coat them first
If you want more volume, and who doesn’t, coating them first can make a HUGE difference. There’s plenty of mascara bases out there like Lancome’s Cils Booster but I find the best and cheapest option is to coat them with powder. You know how dry shampoo thickens and adds texture to your hair? Well this has a similar effect. Dab some face powder over the lashes, it thickens the hair and gives your mascara something to cling on to. BOOM!
Start with the tip!
Use the tip of the applicator to deposit product to the roots first. Dab it on, wiggle the wand, then comb it through (rotate the wand whilst you do it if you want extra lift). You get lots of formula where it’s needed at the base and the excess is combed through to the ends. If you don’t already do this, you’ll be shocked by the difference it makes. A must-do if you’re going for the doll eye look.
Paint both sides
It’s shocking how many people don’t do this. It’s got to be the easiest way to create more volume and when you blink the lashes look more polished. It’s essential if your lashes are a different colour to your mascara, no one wants dip dyed lashes – well not yet anyway!
Brush both ways
This is a bit of a hairdressing tip. Mine taught me that blowdyring your hair in the opposite direction of where you want it to fall helps to stretch the hair follicle. Well the same applies to lashes. Diagonally comb mascara through lashes to the left, to the right and back again. The dragging effect lengths and plumps the hair. Bring them back to the centre if you want the eyes to look wider or leave them pointing diagonally outwards (not inwards, that would look weird) if you’re going for the cat eye look.
Use more than one mascara at the SAME time
You can totally mix and match your mascaras to achieve a custom look. I’ve even dipped the wand of one into the formula of another – shock horror! I frequently have two, even three mascaras on the go at the same time. I start with something like L’Oreal Telescopic which is great for separating and defining my lashes, then Benefit’s They’re Real to bulk them up and max out the volume. If I need to I’ll use a small wand wipe off any excess and lightly coat the bottom lash.
Break the rules
Mascara instructions always advise waiting for one coat to dry before applying another. Well I’m telling you not to. I find that applying another coat whilst the lashes are still damp or tacky really lets you drag them to new heights. Be careful, go too far and you’ll look like a transvestite, but get it right and you’ll have falsies without the false.
Rid the smudge
I hate mascara smearing. Since my lashes are so long (poor me, I know!) I get smudges from my bags up to my brows. We all know that using a waterproof mascara will help prevent this, but they’re a pain to take off. Instead I’ve found that using an eye shadow primer all over the lid and a little UNDER the eye will prevent mascara and eyeliner smudge. My favourite is Urban Decays’ Eye Primer Potion.
Go liner less
Ok, eye liner rules! For many of us is non-negotiable. I remember the first time a make up artist tried to convince me to go liner free and I looked at her like she was crazy. But as I get older I find myself wearing it less and less (in the daytime at least) and every time I go liner free people always comment about the length of my lashes. If you think about it eye liner covers the first mm or so of the lash, ditch it and you have an instant lash extension.
For years I was faithful to my trusted Lancôme Hypnose but these days some of my favourite mascaras are the cheapest ones! 17, Maybelline, Collection they’ve all opened my eyes. Play the field, you’ll be surprised what you can find.