5 Mascara Mistakes to Avoid
5 Mascara Mistakes to Avoid (+ Our Best Tips to Try Instead)
Mascara might very well be the ultimate eye accessory. When you find the perfect one, it’s like a match made in heaven. But mascara is not without its difficulties – from clumpy lashes to stubborn waterproof formulas, we’ve all had our fair share of mishaps.
The good news is that mascara is not one-size-fits-all. That means it’s really all about finding the formula and application that are right for your lashes.
Since we’re on the topic: what about all those ads that claim to give you the same impossibly long, luscious lashes the model is wearing? The truth is while the model may be wearing said mascara, it’s usually worn in addition to lash inserts.
Reality check in place, having fabulous lashes doesn’t have to end in wasted time or money. We’ve put together some essential advice when it comes to choosing and applying your next tube of mascara:
The 5 Most Common Mascara Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: Skipping your lower eyelashes. For the lower lashes, hold the mascara wand perpendicular to your eye and move it back and forth. Then use a clean mascara wand to remove any excess.
Mistake #2: Judging a mascara by its price tag. Expensive mascaras are NOT necessarily better than inexpensive mascaras. Mascaras from the drugstore can be just as good (if not BETTER) than those you'll find at the department store. One more reason the reviews on Beautypedia are essential because wasting money isn't pretty, and it certainly won't help you get longer lashes!
Mistake #3: You use waterproof mascaras on a daily basis. Removing waterproof mascara requires a good deal of tugging and wiping around the eye area, and doing that day after day, year after year, can cause the skin to sag and the lashes to fall out. Of course, there are occasions when waterproof mascara is called for (e.g., emotional events), but think twice about daily use.
Mistake #4: Relying on waterproof mascara to prevent smudging or smearing. A good waterproof mascara stays on when you're crying or swimming, but it comes off easily with an emollient makeup remover. Anything even slightly greasy, like a moisturizer, concealer, foundation, or your skin, will cause waterproof mascara to smear.
Mistake #5: You curl your lashes after applying mascara. If you use an eyelash curler, use it before you apply the mascara. Curling your lashes after you've put on mascara can pull hairs out and lead to unnatural-looking, severely bent lashes.
Our Favorite Mascara Tips for Better Lashes
Check our mascara recommendations on Beautypedia Reviews. For safety and hygiene purposes, NEVER test mascaras at the cosmetics counter. We've already done the work for you, so all you need to do is check out the Best Regular Mascaras or Best Waterproof Mascaras list for our top picks (and the critical details of what makes them great).
Stick to black or brown mascaras (at least for everyday). Every so often, makeup lines come out with trendy colored mascaras, such as blue, purple, or green. While they may be fun to try, for many they can’t replace the daily use of a black or brown mascara—think of trendy shades as a “just for fun” option.
Try applying mascara after eyeshadow and eyeliner. We all know the shape and impact that eyeliner and eyeshadow provide! Applying mascara on after your other eye makeup means you may find that you need less than you thought.
Be sure to check for smudges after each application. It's tricky to not get mascara on your skin during application. If you end up with a smudge, wait until the mascara dries, and then gently swipe it away with a cotton swab. If necessary, carefully touch up the makeup you might have dinged.
Keep an old, clean mascara wand in your makeup bag. This works wonders when you need to remove excess mascara or clumps, or need to separate the lashes. Be sure to wash the brush after every few uses to remove built-up mascara (and you may want to keep it in a small Ziploc/plastic bag to protect it from picking up whatever can lurk in the bottom of your makeup bag.
Give your mascara layers time to dry in-between coats. Start with one or two strokes on one eye and then go to the other and do the same, then go back to the other eye. Rotating in this way will help you build great lashes—but be careful to not overdo it. Applying too many coats not only can look messy and overly thick, but also increases the likelihood of flaking, chipping, or smearing. If your lashes look clumped or spikey, you've gone too far.
Utilize the entire wand. Taking the length of the brush to the lashes in parallel, upward strokes is a great way to build intensity, but it’s not the only way! Try using the tip of wand to stamp in-between lashes for a fuller base – this mimics the look of eyeliner without the extra step.
For longer (or more) lashes, consider using Latisse or RapidLash, or Revitalash.Latisse is a prescription-only topically applied liquid used to grow lashes. It really does work and makes applying mascara a cinch with just one or two strokes of the wand, although it does have side effects you need to discuss with your physician.
RapidLash and Revitalash, which are sold on the Internet and over the counter, contain an ingredient similar to the ingredient in Latisse. They are less expensive than Latisse, and do grow lashes, but it also poses the same potential risks as Latisse.
Note that RapidLash is sold in two versions, one with the lash-growth ingredient and the other without. See our Beautypedia Review of RapidLash for more information.
One last note: Latisse and RapidLash (or Revitalash) are the only products that contain ingredients clinically proven to grow lash hair. Don’t fall for the gimmick of “lash enhancing” products, which aren’t proven to grow anything but your shopping budget. For more info, check out our article, Lash Growth Products That Work.
Find more of our favorite tips and tricks at PaulasChoice.com/Expert-Advice/