Are you using the right mascara?
In the days of PBW (pre-beauty writer), I thought that a mascara was a mascara. It didn’t matter the brand, the wand or the formula. They were all the same and seemed to do the trick to coat my lashes in black, lash-enhancing goodness.
Boy, how wrong I was. There are a gazillion mascaras out there that all do different things and create different effects. And it can be really, REALLY confusing and terrifying trying to figure out which one is the right one.
So if you find the world of mascaras just as daunting as I did, then allow me to lend a helping hand. You first need to figure out the effect you want your mascara to have – do you want your lashes fuller? More defined? Thicker? – and then we can figure out which mascara is the one you’ve been searching for.
IF YOU WANT…LENGTH
If your eyelashes are a touch shorter than you’d like and you find yourself dreaming about lashes that smack you in the forehead when you blink, then you’ll want to get your hands on a lengthening mascara.
Tip: to ensure you coat your entire lash with the lengthening formula, start at the root of your lash and wiggle the brush up all the way to the tip. This will also give extra definition.
L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara
ModelCo FIBRE LASH
Natio Super Long Lash Mascara
IF YOU WANT…VOLUME
So your lashes are a bit sparse are they? And you’d love nothing more than to have the densest lashes this side of the hemisphere? Well, you’re in luck because a thickening or volumising mascara is exactly what will help you with that teeny tiny problem.
Tip: apply eyeliner on your top water line between the roots of your lashes. This will fill in the gaps and give the illusion of thicker lashes. Pretty nifty, right?
Avon Mega Effects Mascara
Mirénesse Lash Transplant Volumising
Lancôme Hypnôse Custom-Wear Volume Mascara
IF YOU WANT…DEFINTION
For some, there’s little more appealing than lashes that look gloriously long, luscious and well defined. So if you’ve had it up to here (picture my hand placed next to my head) with clumping, then you best be on the lookout for a defining or separating mascara.
Tip: Always, always, ALWAYS make sure you have zero product on your lashes before applying your mascara. Any left over mascara will mean there’s a bigger chance of clumping. For better results, wipe your lashes thoroughly with a cotton ball soaked in eye make-up remover.
COVERGIRL LashExact Mascara
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara
Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara
IF YOU WANT…CURL
Sometimes (read: a lot of the time) lashes just don’t do what you want them to, and if yours are straighter than if you’d left them under the iron, then it sounds like you’re in the market for a curling mascara.
Tip: curl your lashes before applying your mascara. Make sure to clamp the curler right at the base of your lashes, then squeeze tightly and push up. Oh, and don’t apply mascara on the top of your lashes (so the side that sits closest to your lids) as this will weight down your lashes.
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
Face of Australia Impact-Curl Mascara
La Prairie Cellular Treatment Mascara Instant Curl
IF YOU WANT…A CATEYE EFFECT
There’s no denying that a winged or cateye effect stands out and adds a hint of sexiness to your eye look. To achieve this look, you’ll need a mascara that adds volume and density to your outer lashes.
Tip: this look is all about the application. Instead of sweeping your mascara wand up, sweep your lashes out to the corner, ensuring that your outer lashes get as much length as possible.
Maybelline New York Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara
jane iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara
Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour
Illustration credit: Rikki Markson
Follow Rikki on instagram @rikkimarkson
What are you trying to achieve when using mascara? Which mascaras work best for you?
Have you tried any of the products mentioned above?
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