Mascara. The bane and boon of women’s cosmetics. We love the way it makes our eyes look bigger and more expressive. Also, we completely hate the whole spider lash clump-fest that happens nearly every time we attempt to apply this makeup wonder product. Luckily, there are some makeup professional-approved tips and tricks to ensure that your mascara experience is a success every time. Here are a few simple ways to apply mascara like a pro.
1. The Right Angle Bend
The right angle bend is a makeup artist trick for getting the best application of mascara. Take your mascara wand and bend it just below the brush. This lets you settle the brush right at the base of your lashes without poking yourself in the eye. It’s also a more stable way to apply, which should lead to fewer smudges.
2. Apply a Primer
Mascara primers can be found online, in many drugstores, and at the makeup counter of big name department stores. Applying a base coat of primer can help your mascara stick to your lashes better and, in the process, avoid those unsightly clumps.
3. Bottoms Up
Some people find that applying mascara to the bottom lashes first is another way to ensure maximum length and thickness, without ending up with the dreaded raccoon eyes. Simply start at the inside corner, and work your way towards the middle.
4. Coat It
If you’ve ever read the packaging on a new tube of mascara, you’ll notice that the instructions say to apply two to three coats. But just what does that entail? Most women take it to mean to swipe the wand over their lashes a couple times, allowing them to dry thoroughly between coats. In order to avoid those unsightly clumps, however, it’s important to act fast. You’ll want to layer the second and third coats on before the previous one dries. Otherwise, you end up with tarantula eyes, and nobody wants that.
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5. Put a Little Wiggle In It
One of the easiest (and most effective) ways to really add length and thickness is to wiggle the wand. No, that’s not a euphemism. Start by placing the wand at the base of your lashes. Then wiggle gently from left to right. Pull the wand up and through the lashes, wiggling as you go. This motion will help separate individual lashes as you lengthen.
6. Be Blob Free
Excess mascara on your wand causes clumps and black smudges. Take a lint-free cloth or tissue and wipe off the excess mascara before you apply to cut down on blobs. A lash brush can also help cut down on those killer blobs. Simply run it through your lashes right after applying your mascara.
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If lash brushes scare or confuse you, you can still banish clumps and dramatize your eye makeup with the use of spoolies. Available online, at makeup stores and even in most major drugstore chains, spoolies are nothing more than a new, clean makeup brush. Simply run a clean, dry spoolie through your lashes while the mascara is still wet. Don’t want to hunt down new mascara wands? No problem. Make your own spoolies by recycling old wands. Simply remove all traces of mascara first by cleaning it in a small dish of eye makeup remover, followed by washing it with baby shampoo or makeup brush cleanser. Finish with a thorough rinse in cool water.
8. Mix and Match
Unsure whether you want mascara that lengthens or one that gives you thicker lashes? Why not both? For movie star lashes, utilize a trick that Hollywood makeup artists swear by. Start with one coat of lengthening mascara followed by a coat of thickening. Use a spoolie or clean brush to remove any excess.
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9. Color Yourself Beautiful
Black mascara is universal. For very light skinned women, a dark brown or brown/black is a good alternative. But to truly make your look pop, consider a colored mascara. Look for colored mascaras designed for specific eye colors. Plum and deep blue mascara will make brown eyes stand out. Burgundy or lavender is an excellent choice for blue eyes, while green and hazel eyes will do great with all shades of blue and even gray. Experiment with different mascara and eye shadow combinations for a fun and dramatic eye look.
10. Dump Old Mascara
Many women keep their mascara in a drawer for years at a time. The truth is, mascara has the shortest shelf life of just about any cosmetic product in your bag. To avoid a dried out wand or bacteria-laden tube that can cause clumps, smudges, and (scariest of all) a nasty eye infection, toss your mascara every three to four months. An easy trick for keeping track is to use a fine point marker to label the cap with the date your purchased it.
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If you want to learn to apply mascara like a pro, follow these ten tips and the result will surprise you. What are some of your best ways for applying mascara?