While applying mascara may seem like one of the easier steps in our makeup routine, it isn’t as completely foolproof as we think. Without even realizing it, there’s sure to be some slip-ups taking place before, during, and even after application. To get on the right track to making our lashes all that they possibly can be, below we’re filling you in on the mistakes you probably didn’t even know you were making with your mascara—and how to fix them.
1. Pumping It: This is the number one thing that we’ve probably all done and definitely shouldn’t. While we think pumping the wand works to get the most product on it (so we can then achieve some killer lashes), what we’re actually doing is pumping air into the mascara, which will make it dry out quicker.
2. Applying All of It to Your Lashes: Once you pop the wand out of the tube, it’s usually overloaded with product. To avoid clumps, wipe some of the product off of the wand before you apply. You can always go back and add more, but getting rid of excess formula when it’s already on your lashes isn’t as easy.
3. Not Wiggling It: If you’re pulling the mascara wand through your lashes and left wondering why you’re not achieving a ton of length and volume, it’s because your technique is a little off. In order to completely coat them, start by wiggling the wand horizontally through your lashes as you pull it up from the root through the tip.
4. Only Putting on One Coat: Many of us are afraid of applying more than one coat because we don’t want to end up with the clumpy look. We shouldn’t be. Generously applying 3-5 coats of mascara will take your lashes to their full potential, just refer to #2 on our list before doing so.
5. Not Cleaning Up After It: More often than not, we seem to end up with mascara on places other than our lashes. Be sure to check if you’ve accidentally gotten any mascara on your skin (common occurrence) and make sure you wipe any tiny spots away. Don’t go after them immediately, as the mascara will still be wet and smudge, creating an even bigger mess. Instead, wait until it dries and go in with a cotton swab. It will easily (and efficiently) wipe right off.
6. Holding Onto It Forever: While you can hold onto mascara for a long time, we don’t suggest doing so for all of eternity. The shelf-life on mascara is about six months, so remember once it has reached that point, it’s time to toss it.