Mascara is a beloved beauty product, but after a couple hours, lashes can deflate, flake, or even smear, basically ruining your overall beauty look. To keep your lashes looking lovely, we turned to a couple top beauty experts for their fool-proof ways to keep mascara looking fresh, from how to keep your lashes curled, to even how to apply falsies that can last all night long.
Ditch Your Lash Curler
Gina Mondragon, director of innovation at LashDip, is not a fan of eyelash curlers. “Lash-curlers are not your friend,” she says. “They are designed to bend and crimp your lashes causing breakage and lash-loss.” Instead, she recommends using a felt mascara wand, “a gentle, flexible tool that’s perfect for creating contoured definition without damaging the integrity of the lash line.”
However, if you’re attached to curling, take a tip from celebrity make-up artist Nyrie of Artmix Beauty, who swears by the classic Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($20, shuuemura-usa.com). “It only takes one squeeze and lashes stay curled all day,” she says.
Hydrate Your Wand
Rather than touch up your mascara mid-day, which could make clumpy, flaky lashes even worse, Nyrie suggests starting your application off right by hydrating your mascara wand with a light mist of water spray, like Avene Thermal Water Spray ($12.50, drugstore.com). “Mist the wand before dipping back into the tube and then apply,” she says.
Toss Your Old Mascara
Mondragon says that flaky mascara is often a sign of old mascara. “Mascara has one of the shortest shelf lives of all cosmetics,” she explains. “When the ingredients in your mascara begin to oxidize and degrade, the product loses its conditioning component and it’s all downhill from there.” Be sure to keep your mascara out of extreme heat and cold and always re-fresh your supply every three months.
To avoid mid-day smears, Nyrie suggests using a powder shadow on your top lid along with a dust of translucent powder under your eyes. “Smearing is generally caused by oil, so if there is a little smear mid-day, clean gently with a Q-tip to remove the mascara,” she also advises. “Once you have cleaned up once, all should stay in place the rest of the day.”
Go Almost Waterproof
If smearing is a major problem for you, try a tubing mascara, Nyrie suggests. “It won’t rub off at all until you wash your face and it will wash off when you want it to, unlike some waterproof mascaras,” she says. Blinc Mascara ($26, sephora.com) is a great option. The product is a true problem-solver for the smear-prone.
To really keep smearing at bay, consider semi-permanent mascara, Mondragon suggests. “Professional services are applied once a month and won’t flake, run or smear ever—your tube-pumping days are over,” she says.
Prep Your Falsies
If you’re pumping up your lashes with false ones, Mondragon says it’s all about the preparation when it comes to making them last. First, be sure your lash strips fit your lash line and trim them to ensure they do not go past the outer corners of your lash line. Second, always apply your strips to a clean, dry lid. (“Concealer and eye-shadow will create a barrier between the strip and your skin, causing the adhesive to fail and your strips to lift,” she warns.) Third, less is more when applying strips: Using an excess amount of adhesive will only make for a messy (and failed) application. Dab on a thin layer of glue using a Q-tip, dab a thin layer beginning with the inner corner near your nose to seal the strip to your lash line.
Fix Falsies in a Flash
Nyrie suggests carrying some pointy makeup cotton swabs with you when you go out so you can carefully reapply glue to your lash strip if it happens to lift. However, she says that individual lashes, like the ones made by Ardell Naturals, won’t give any lift once applied. “But they can take practice, so try them out a few times before your big night out,” she says.
Read more: Tricks to Help Makeup Stay Put