Making Mascara Work for You

We’ve all done it.  You run out of your high end foundation so you stop in a drug store to pick up a quick replacement.  Or you spot a really cute eye shadow palette when you are doing your other shopping.  You get it home and it’s just not the same. Once you’ve started using higher end cosmetics, it’s hard to switch back to drug store brands.  It’s also hard on the wallet.   So how can we stretch our makeup dollars further without compromising the performance and finish that we crave?

One answer is mascara.  Working as a professional artist, I quickly learned that mascara was not something I wanted to spend a lot of money on for my kit. There are a few reasons for this: First, I go through a ton of it.  Secondly, I have to use a new disposable wand every time I dip in to the mascara tube.  Double dipping and sharing mascara wands (or any eye makeup) isn’t just in bad taste, it’s downright dangerous.  It’s the best way to spread viruses and infections such as pink eye.  Most importantly, the magic of mascara is really in the wand and application.  I could carry Dior Show or Benefit Bad Gal Lash in my kit, but it’s not going to get the same performance as it would if I could use the wand it came with.

To get the best performance out of your mascara, it’s important to know what tools will work for you.  Start with curling your lashes.  Do this before you apply your mascara.  This helps open up the eye area and it also helps separate your lashes.  Curling the lashes will also make short lashes appear longer.

Now, you want to make sure you chose the right wand.  If your lashes are short, choose a brush that has small bristles.  This will allow you to get right to the base of your lashes and create a longer line with the mascara.  This is also the easiest wand to coat the bottom lashes with.  Don’t forget your bottom lashes!  If you want to make your lashes look thicker, choose a wand that has lots of bristles.  Another great trick is to wiggle the mascara wand at the base of your lashes.  This will separate your lashes and get a good amount of product on them without looking clumpy.  Clumpy is never good.  My favorite way to avoid clumps is to use a lash primer.  This coats, thickens, and lengthens lashes without using too much mascara.  If you do put too much mascara on, using a clean wand is a quick and easy way to declump and fix the mistake without disturbing the rest of your eye makeup.

A lot of people wonder why they would use waterproof mascara instead of regular.  If you’re going someplace you might get emotional, if you live in a humid area, if you’ve got oily eye lids or you may sweat, waterproof mascara is a good weapon to have in your arsenal.  I’ve also noticed flaking from non waterproof mascaras that I’ve never had with waterproof.  If you’re going to with waterproof mascara, make sure you also have eye makeup remover to take it all off at the end of the night!  Regular cleanser or a general makeup remover won’t do the trick.  Eye makeup remover is gentler on your eyes, which is important with waterproof because the mascara itself is tougher on your lashes.  Also, no matter what formula you wear, you never want to start the next day’s makeup on top of the lumpy leftovers of yesterday’s makeup.  Always allow your skin, eyes, and lashes to breathe at night and make sure you remove all makeup.

I find that black mascara works pretty universally on everyone.  If you’re very fair with very light hair, opt for brown mascara.  The black will be too shocking against your skin.  Colored mascaras can highlight your eye color.  Navy mascara is nice for blue eyes and plum will accentuate brown and green eyes.

I’ve tried a lot of different mascaras over the years and the ones that have found a home in my kit are:

Revlon Lash Fantasy :  a double sided double threat with a primer and mascara.
Loreal Voluminous: Great formula even with the disposable wand.
Cover Girl Lash Blast collection:  They have something for everyone:  length, volume, and fusion which will give you a little bit of both.  They also offer waterproof brown mascara, which is hard to find in the drug store aisle.

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  • Lisa Brown

    April 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I sometimes like to do black mascara on the top lashes and then a colored mascara on the bottom. Great mascara tips and mascara recommendations. […] Read MoreI sometimes like to do black mascara on the top lashes and then a colored mascara on the bottom. Great mascara tips and mascara recommendations. Thank you! Read Less

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