Fabulous eyelashes: every woman on Earth wants them, and we’re willing to go to increasingly extreme lengths to get them. But you don’t have to resort to implants to get amazing lashes—not when everything you need for more volume, length and curl is already in your bathroom. Here are 7 brilliant hacks to get the best eyelashes of your life.
1. Use eyeshadow for added fullness.
By now you’ve probably heard that brushing baby powder onto your eyelashes in between coats of mascara is a great way to build volume. The issue is that the white powder under black mascara shows through even the darkest formula, making you look like you fell lashes-first into a powdered doughnut. Hard pass. Instead, use matte powder eyeshadow in the same shade as your mascara between coats; you’ll build volume without any strange white residue.
Bonus tip: Try layering a shimmery shade between coats to show the world your commitment to Sparkle Motion.
2. Mix your colors.
No matter your coloring, eyelashes aren’t one solid color from root to tip—there’s a definite dark-to-light gradient happening. So if you’re aiming for a natural lash look, a thick coating of solid black all over is hardly your best bet. Instead, try layering two colors of mascara. Begin with a coat of black applied at the roots of your eyelashes only—use a mascara with a narrow brush and wriggle it as close to the lashline as you can—and follow up with a coat of brown mascara overtop, extending out to the tips. This creates a color gradient that looks natural, yet amplified.
Bonus tip: If you’re feeling bold, use a bright blue or green mascara overtop the black. This will give you a gorgeous, subtly bright gradient.
3. Heat your curler.
Instead of heating up your entire eyelash curler with your blowdryer, hold just the curling part in a glass of hot water for about five seconds, dry it off, then curl your lashes. The water means that the metal heats up far more evenly, plus you won’t accidentally burn your fingers with your dryer.
4. Prime before curling.
One of the cardinal rules of beauty is NEVER CURL YOUR LASHES AFTER APPLYING MASCARA—unless you want all your eyelashes breaking off. But applying lash primer before you curl is another story altogether. Primer is less brittle than mascara so it won’t stick to the curler pads and snap or yank the hairs out—plus it gives that little bit of extra hold to ensure your lovely lashes stay curled all day.
Bonus tip/warning: If you’re priming before curling, don’t also heat your curler. It makes it way too easy to bend your lashes back at a 90 degree angle, which is a hard situation to remedy.
5. Layer your formulas.
We love waterproof mascara, but hot damn is it hard to remove—we’ve scrubbed our under-eyes raw and yanked out more lashes than we can count trying to take it off. To make it easier to remove while maintaining its longwearing properties, layer a coat of waterproof mascara overtop your regular formula. Voila, the best of both worlds.
6. Add eye makeup remover to resurrect dry mascara.
If your mascara has dried up before its time, bring it back to life by adding two to three drops of alcohol-based eye makeup remover to the tube. It will re-liquify the solution, giving your favorite formula a serious second lease on life.
Bonus tip: Don’t, under any circumstances, use an oil-based makeup remover for this. It’ll ruin your mascara and give you greasy lashes.
7. Clean your spoolie with contact lens solution.
We know that clumpy lashes are in right now, but you’re getting the spiderleg look against your wishes, dried-up clumps of mascara on your brush might be to blame. Instead of buying a whole new mascara, clean your spoolie with a paper towel soaked with contact lens solution. Not only will it get rid of all the old product gunking up the works, it’ll also rehydrate the bristles—ensuring you’ll have smoother application in the future.