Brilliant Mascara Tips for Your Best Lashes Yet

Victoria Moorhouse
how to apply mascara


Not all of us are genetically blessed with the dream of having naturally full and voluminous eyelashes. But luckily, we can trust in the power of mascara to get that falsie-like look in no time at all. Grab your wand and follow these tips and secrets below to learn how to apply mascara better for your best lash look yet. Flutter along now, everyone!

Brush From Root to Tip
To avoid clumpy lashes while still making them dark and defined, brush the formula through your lashes from root to tip. The amount of product that sits on the wand is generally meant to be dispersed through that entire area. While concentrating on applying only at the ends will definitely give you that ’60s doll-like look, you’re also almost guaranteed to get clumps. If that’s not your end goal, work that wand through the length of your eyelashes.

Invest in a Primer
Similar to what you apply before foundation, mascara primers create a base for the pigmented product you’ll swipe on next. They allow the actual mascara formula to slide on with ease and amplify the entire look. What’s more, mascara formulas attach to primers, giving you more wear throughout the day. They’re also great to use on their own if you want natural-looking lashes. Try Estee Lauder’s Little Black Primer ($24), which can be used to waterproof your eyelashes as well.

Don’t Over Swipe
There’s no hard rule that says you can only apply mascara in, say, two coats, but you should avoid applying it in excess. Coating your eyelashes in layer after layer after layer of mascara is a surefire way to get clumpy, flaky lashes.

Refresh Your Look
Unlike lipstick, freshening up your mascara is a bit more complicated. It doesn’t reapply overtop our other mascara in the same way and often makes your lashes look spidery and dry. Since we don’t always have time to start from scratch at 5 p.m., the easiest option is to apply a clear primer to rejuvenate your look or try out a formula like Urban Decay’s Mascara Resurrection ($16) which softens the lashes, getting them prepped for another coat of mascara.

Apply Mascara at an Angle
Fake bigger eyes by taking the wand and brushing up and out. If you’re trying out this trick, limit your coats to two to avoid clumps, which will defeat the entire purpose.

Curl Before Applying
Some mascara formulas claim to help curl your lashes, but you can give them an extra hand by using an actual eyelash curler before applying. NEVER curl your lashes after applying mascara—it can cause them to break!

Study Brush Shapes
Not all mascara wands are created equal: most brushes are made in a certain way to get a particular look. Something with lots of tiny silicone bristles is going to give you a more natural look than a spherical wand with fibrous long bristles. Also, brushes that are made with various bristle sizes are ideal, as not all your lashes grown in at the same length.

Make a Cocktail
Bottom lashes are tinier and way less full than top lashes, so it only makes sense mascara would apply differently. Use a volumizing mascara with a fuller wand on top and breakout that more delicate, lengthening brush to enhance your bottom lashes.

Grab a Tissue
For your lashes, not your nose. Use the tissue to wipe off any extra mascara formula from the wand before you brush it through. This will be more important on wands that have bristles made with that broom-like, fibrous material.

Apply Translucent Powder Between Coats
Interestingly enough, brushing on a very small amount of translucent powder with a makeup brush between coats of mascara will give you a fuller overall look.

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