Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tips for Applying Mascara

In recent posts I reviewed a new mascara by Givenchy and also announced a Great Lash mascara giveaway. From some of the comments I've received, it sounds like I need to give out some tips for applying mascara. So...here goes. If I missed anything, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Mascara is the most important eye product I use. I'll gladly forgo eyeshadow, blush, even eyeliner. But I won't give up my mascara!

When applied properly mascara makes lashes appear longer, darker, thicker. A quick coat of mascara opens up the eyes, giving a more alert look (perfect on days when I've stayed up too late!). Mascara defines the lash line, enhancing the shape of the eyes. Best of all: you don't have to spend a fortune on mascara if you don't want to. In my humble opinion, mascara is, perhaps, the best bang for your beauty buck.

To sum it up: use mascara anytime you want. If you're getting all dolled up for a special event, a coat of the blackest black mascara is essential. If you're trying to go for a more natural look, mascara will help you look polished but not over done.

Mascara only needs to be applied once a day. I find it's best to put mascara on last...after all other eye makeup is applied. My routine for eye makeup goes like this:
  • brow shaping (with a brow brush and pencil, if needed)
  • lash curling (click here to learn how to save yourself some cash on a lash curler)
  • eyeliner
  • eye shadow
  • mascara
Follow these simple steps:
  • Pull the wand out of the tube. DO NOT pump the wand in the tube--doing so will increase your chances of sloppy application (i.e., clumps) and forcing air into the tube apparently speeds up the growth of nasty bacteria thingys you don't want anywhere near your eyeballs!
  • Wiggle the mascara brush at the base of your lashes. This makes your lashes look thicker and defines your eye shape.
  • Slowly drag the brush through your lashes, up to the tip.
  • Move slowly and carefully as you go and try not to blink. Any sudden moments could result in a mascara disaster. Trust me...I've had my share. The last thing you want are those annoying black mascara dots you can get on your lids if you're not careful.
  • Applying mascara to your bottom lashes is not necessary. If you want to define your bottom lashes, go for it. My advice here: use a very light touch.
  • Once you have your coat of mascara on, don't keep applying. One coat is usually all you need. The more coats of mascara you apply, the greater your chances of clumps or what I call spider lashes.
  • After you're done, gently rake a lash comb through your lovely lashes to further separate them and to remove any residual mascara gunk. I like lash combs with tiny metal teeth--they seem to do a better job than their plastic counterparts.
It depends on what you need your mascara to do. If you're not a big fan of makeup, I suggest going to your local drugstore and picking up almost any brand of mascara there. You really don't have to spend a lot of money to get amazing looking lashes.

If you've read my blog, you know I have my favorites. If you want a drugstore brand, go with my pick: Great Lash by Maybelline. If you want to hit up your local Sephora, Lorac's Lotsa Lash is my fave, and it's by no far the most expensive of the "prestige" brands.

When it comes to picking a color, your default choice should be a classic black. I'm very fair skinned and blonde and I wear black mascara every day. Black just makes lashes...all lashes...look better. That said, if you love brownish black or the blackest black on the market, go for it.

You can also get colored mascaras that will give your eyes a whole different look. Many people swear by blue mascara, but I just can't pull that look off. Blue supposedly makes your eyes look brighter, so if you need some lightening in the eye area, you may want to try it out. If you want to try out a trendy color, I highly recommend that you purchase a drugstore brand for your maiden voyage. That way if you hate it, you didn't blow a huge chunk of your beauty budget on a terrible mistake.

The final mascara decision you need to make is waterproof or regular mascara. I don't think I have ever knowingly purchased a waterproof mascara. For the majority of us, the regular formula is all we need. However, if you plan to cry a lot, if you're going to get your face wet (and you need to have great lashes), or if you live in an extremely humid environment, waterproof mascara may make more sense. Remember, you'll need an eye makeup remover to get it off!

  • Never share your mascara with someone else. It's not hygienic and eye infections are nasty and down right gross.
  • I do not advocate trying out mascara samples at stores. I've seen women do this and it freaks me out. It's right up there on the gross factor with trying shoes on without socks, touching doorknobs in public bathrooms, or trying on earrings (I actually saw this happen at Costco once....ick!)
  • You need to replace your mascara every 3 months or so. I know that sounds a little obsessive compulsive, but come on. Mascara isn't very expensive. An eye infection? It could set you back a few bucks and cost you a few days at work.
There you have it...all the advice I could muster up about mascara. Like I said: if I missed anything, please let me know!


Michelle said...

Hi Lydia,

You seriously need to try Rimmel's new mascara 'Glam Eyes' I would say for $6(maybe) it is competition for Great Lash. t give you very long lashes. Which I was very surprised by, considering I have been a great lash gal for years. Plus the packaging is very burlesque. That was the original reason why I bought this mascara, it looked pretty.

Leslie said...

I think that the gal in that picture is a faker. Her mouth isn't gaping open, which we all know is a prerequisite for applying mascara. ;)

I'd like to see a post about when to throw out all other makeup products. I'm so clueless about this stuff.

Signed, the girl who's been using the same mascara for the past 1+ year ;)

Randi Troxell said...

loved the paragraph on waterproof mascara... i own and operate a cosmetic studio and so often women ask if they need a w/p mascara and i almost always say NO! plus it tends to pull lashes out... and we all need the most lashes we can get!

JennySue said...

Great site, I really enjoyed your take on mascara and completely agree it's my #1 product! I am a self confessed makeup junkie and haven't heard of the Lorac mascara, so I'm def gonna go out and try it!!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that brown mascara is better for blonds.

Is it true?