Mascara is the most indispensable piece of makeup we keep in our beauty arsenal for a few reasons: it's simple, quick, and universally flattering. On days when we have about 17 seconds to go from bed head to instant glam it adds instant definition and a polished look to our otherwise naked palette, and for big nights out it adds the finishing touches and makes us stand out.
Here are some of my best mascara tips & tricks..
- Start fresh. It sounds ridiculous but remove your makeup remover before applying mascara. The oils and leftover product can cause makeup to breakdown and smudge in all the wrong places. I suggest using a baby wipe or oil-free face towelette to gently wipe your eyes & lashes.
- Use an eyelash curler. The slope of your natural lashes can make them look shorter than they really are, an eyelash curler will change the angle and make them look two to three times longer. Here's how, before you apply mascara start at the base of your lashes and squeeze at the roots three times, move to the middle and repeat, move to the tips and repeat. Apply your mascara. As it sets, hold your finger horizontally against the base of your lashes and press for a few seconds to give them added lift.
- Clean your wand. Every time you use it wipe away any blobs or clumps with a dry paper towel, you'll get a much cleaner application and longer looking lashes.
- Start from the base. Lashes need a strong foundation. Wiggle the wand at the base of lashes and move out. Nothing looks worse than mascara just on the tips of lashes.
- One is good, two is better, four is dangerous. One or two coats the right way to go. Layer coats when mascara is still wet or it will start to clump and stay away from any more than three. You'll look like your wearing a fuzzy sweater on your eyelids.
- Clumps happen. Wash off an old mascara applicator instead of trashing it with the tube and use it to comb through any clumps that sneak up on you.
- The cure for spider lashes. Dip your clean mascara applicator in makeup remover and rake through lashes from the middle to the ends until lashes become fluffier.
Now for a list of mascara don'ts..
- Pumping the wand. This pushes excess air into the tube which dries out mascara causing clumps and flakes.
- Mascara hoarding. If you can't remember when you bought it, trash it. Old formulas can harbor bacteria and won't give you as good an application. I suggest writing the date you open it on the tube is sharpie, takes out the guess work.
- Too much pressure. Don't push too hard at the base, too much pressure can smudge mascara onto your lids.
My favorite mascara? BADgal Lash Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics. The matte black formula and fluffy voluminous brush make the need for false lashes pretty much unnecessary. Works great for both lengthening and volumizing. $19. Check it out here!