Twist, open, apply. Pump, open, apply again. And for some of us, pump and apply some more.
Most women (and some men of the rock star persuasion) have worn mascara at some point in their lives. And we can probably all safely agree, it isn’t rocket science.
But there comes a time when we want something more from our mascara – other than the typical layering and possible clumping we have come to accept as mascara wearers. The truth is: We might not actually be using our mascara to its full potential. “A common mistake is skipping the root,” says Jen Evans, makeup artist and educator at the MAKE UP FOR EVER New York Academy. “Working the mascara into the root of the lash is key to enabling the lashes to sit properly and look seamless. The best way to apply mascara is to work in small back-and-forth motions from root to tip and comb through the ends. This will also ensure the lashes are evenly separated without clumps.”
Another mistake, says Planet Beauty Newport Beach Makeup Artist Monica Wilkins, is not allowing coats to dry for 30 seconds in between applications and applying from the outside in, rather than the opposite. “For an added pop of drama, close eyes and coat just the tips of your lash,” says Wilkins. “For extra curl, apply mascara and hold for 10 seconds to set the lash.”
Barbara Rattigan, owner of the LashSpot Eyelash Extension Spa in Costa Mesa, says a lash curler is a must; curl first, then apply mascara. Also, for a thicker, blacker application, try coating the top side of lashes on the upper lids, brushing root to tip and upward while wiping any excess mascara off the brush with a tissue. Then apply the mascara as you normally would, under the upper lashes. For more drama, add more coats.
Carina Lindgren, owner and makeup artist at Flawless Faces Makeup & Skincare Lounge in Costa Mesa, stresses the importance of replacing mascara every eight to 10 weeks because of bacteria buildup. “A lot of women keep their mascara too long because they like it better when it’s a bit drier, so they can really clump it on,” says Lindgren.
Once you have the basics of proper mascara use down and want to mix it up, Evans says you can achieve a dramatic look of heavily coated lashes by gently squeezing lashes together with your index finger and thumb or coating the lashes without combing completely through. To make eyes look larger, Evans says, apply mascara on top lashes and on only the center of the bottom lashes.
To achieve the classic Hollywood look, Rattigan says to simply apply more coats of mascara on the outer edges of your top lash line. For a more dramatic version of the look, cut a strip lash in half and apply a piece to each eye from the middle of the lash line to the outer corner, followed by thick coats of mascara to blend the strip into the natural lashes of the lash line.
You can also try color mascara – which is in – including brown, which Evans says, “is a beautiful departure from black and softens any look.”
“My personal fav is ultramarine blue,” says Lindgren. “Takes me back to the ‘80s!”
So many mascaras and so little time. Here are some of our favorites to help get you started.
Eyeko London: Skinny Brush Mascara Long & Tall is perfect for that classic Hollywood look, helping to extend lashes seductively without clumping while Curvy Brush Mascara Curl & Hold uses shea butter, keratin and a brush with tiered bristle clusters to condition and curl. $19 each at sephora.com
Inglot: Get volume and color with Colour Play Mascara, available in brown, green, blue, purple, and navy blue; or go for all-out drama with the ultra-thickening False Lash Effect Mascara. Colour Play $10, False Lash $12 at Inglot/Newport Beach
Urban Decay: True to its name, Big Fatty Mascara is housed in a thick tube complete with a thick brush to give you thick lashes, plus lengthening and curl while Lush Lash Mascara offers both instant length and long-term nourishment through its special growth serum and conditioner. $20 each at urbandecay.com
Too Faced: A little intimidating at first, the Size Queen Mascara’s giant, corkscrew brush engulfs lashes to dramatically thicken and darken in one quick stroke. $21 at Planet Beauty/Newport Beach
Shavasana: Formulated for use with eyelash extensions applied at LashSpot Spa (which will also soon be offering a professionally applied semi-permanent mascara), Max2 Special Mascara Gold is water-based instead of oil-based in order to not damage extensions; on natural lashes, it offers a subtle yet enhanced look. $26 at LashSpot Spa/Costa Mesa
MAKE UP FOR EVER: Intensify your look with the original Smoky Lash in black or add some deep color with Smoky Lash Couleur in deep brown, green, dark blue, or plum. $23 each at Sephora/South Coast Plaza