If I had to pick one item of make up I couldn’t live without it would be mascara. I literally will not leave the house without it – even if it’s just nipping to the shops to grab a pint of milk. Everyone has their weakness, their kryptonite if you will, and a world without mascara would be mine. Even if I’m having a no makeup day at home I’ll often still put on a dash of mascara because I really dislike the way I look without it (I know, I have issues…)
I’m lucky in that I have very, very dark lashes but I’m constantly cursing the fact they are poker straight – naturally sticking straight out – so despite the fact there is actually quite a lot of length to my lashes, without mascara they look sad and stubby.
I think I’ve just typed possibly the most #firstworldproblems sentence right there. My bad.
Anyway, I embraced the power of mascara at a young age and, over the years, I’ve refined and perfected my mascara technique, becoming somewhat of the go-to girl amongst friends and colleagues for mascara advice. If you wear makeup regularly then you’ll probably know these already however, if not, here are four quick mascara tips I swear by.
01 | CURL YOUR LASHES
For YEARS I didn’t do this, after a lot of painful attempts as a teenager, however the trick to painless AND effective eyelash curling is to use a gentle pumping action rather than having a death grip on the curler and your lashes. Curling your lashes shouldn’t hurt so, in the nicest possible way, if it’s hurting you – you’re doing it wrong.
I usually do 20 “pumps” per lash which gives a good curl, makes eyelashes look longer (because they’re pointing up, rather than sticking straight out) and makes my eyes look bigger. It’s like magic and I’m super annoyed with myself for avoiding eyelash curlers for so long.
One final IMPORTANT note: always curl your eyelashes before adding mascara. If you attempt to do it after applying mascara (and I have been that person…) your lashes can stick to the curler and get pulled out and TRUST ME – it hurts! A lot. Don’t do it.
02 | HEAT YOUR EYELASH CURLER
Once you’ve mastered the art of using your curlers then this is the next trick to add to your repertoire. Curling your eyelashes will make them look longer and generally give you a better look but heating your eyelash curler first makes your lashes look even better, and keeps the curl in place even longer.
There are many heated eyelash curlers available but I’ve always used my regular metal curler and heated it up with a hair dryer. Again, IMPORTANT – This one actually could hurt you if you’re not careful so use common sense and caution if you try this. Obviously if you get your curler too hot you could burn yourself, so take care and pay attention if you’re doing this. You really only need to heat them with your hairdryer for a few seconds. I do a tap test on the metal with a finger to check the curlers haven’t over-heated before they go anywhere near my eyes, it should feel warm but not hot. If it makes you pull your hand anyway, put the curlers down and step away!
As a side note – you hear people saying that heated curlers have damaged their eyelashes but, personally, I’ve been doing this for a good few years now and have never noticed any damage or lash loss. I do tend to stick to using a heated eyelash curler for special occasions / nights out rather than this being an every day thing and, as I mentioned above, I never allow the curler to get very hot so, again, exercise some caution if you do this and keep an eye on the condition of your lashes.
03 | USE WATERPROOF MASCARA
This is something I only realised in the last eighteen months or so, after accidentally picking up the waterproof version of my beloved DIORShow mascara, but waterproof mascara really helps ‘set’ your lashes – holding the curl in place for a much longer time than a regular mascara.
Yes, you’ll need to grab yourself a decent eye makeup remover to get waterproof mascara off (it’s called waterproof for a reason!) but the results are well worth it. I’m currently using this Simple eye makeup remover and it’s been doing a great job. Soak a cotton pad in the eye makeup remover and hold in place over your lashes for a few seconds before gently wiping across your lashes. Repeat as necessary until there isn’t any mascara coming away onto the cotton pad. Gently is the key world here – don’t scrub at your eyelashes when you’re removing your mascara or you could end up losing a lot of lashes.
04 | LAYER YOUR MASCARA – DIFFERENT MASCARAS DO DIFFERENT JOBS
Different mascaras do different jobs and I’m yet to find one mascara that does everything I want. Because I’m demanding. I want length, definition, volume, a mascara that holds a curl well, doesn’t smudge or smear – the list goes on. What I’ve discovered is that I get the best look when I combine two or three layers of mascaras. Again, I tend to only do this for special occasions / nights out simply because it is more time consuming and I just can’t be bothered for an average day but, for super enhanced eyelashes without resulting to false lashes, this always gives fantastic results.
I usually go in first with a waterproof mascara designed for defining the lashes – to set the curl and really elongate and separate my lashes – followed up by one to two layers of a mascara that will add volume and make my lashes look thicker, which is where my beloved DIORShow mascara comes in.
Take some time here to make sure you’re applying this in thin layers so you don’t end up with clumpy lashes but, when done properly, this really does give the best look for my lashes. Nothing is going to give you the exact same effect as wearing false lashes (despite what the mascara advertisements would like us to think) but this really is the next best thing.
So, those are my quick and simple mascara tips that I swear by. Any tips and tricks you use that I’m missing out on?