Thursday, 14 February 2013

Brush up your technique: The Mascara Tips you NEED

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.
Go cheap
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.
Phew, who knew mascara wearing was such a complicated game. Hopefully my tips will make it easier, feel free to share your own in the comments box. Want more on mascaras? Check out my tried and tested post.


  1. I LOVE your eyebrows. thanks for the mascara tips, I'm off to read your eyebrow posts now!!

  2. I love this post, full of ideas and tips, really enjoyed the read and cant wait to try the powder tip. I layer different brands of mascara but recently make sure i start with rimmels Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara becouse its got a growth serum in it and it never makes your lashes crispy, i hate hard lashes...then i go over with either my Lancome hypnose or loreal false lash telescopic (i love that for length and de-clumping)

  3. I have never even thought about doing the other side:o but that makes perfect sense thinking about it.
    I hate waiting till dry for a second coat, i think it looks clumpier like that.

    Your blog was the first one i ever read and its still one of my favorite :D

    Lorna xxx

  4. I love this idea - love the "curse of long lashes" that we struggle with. I've lost count of the mascara's I have opened at the moment which is bad as I can't remember when I've opened them but it's hard to stick to just one!!

  5. This is the first time i've ever read your blog and im very impressed! Useful information, what every girl wants to hear and had me LOLing all the time x

  6. Love this post!!! Must try the powder technique!! I may try it in the morning!!! Xxx

  7. Love this post!!! Must try the powder technique!! I may try it in the morning!!! Xxx


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