Why Your Mascara Brush Shape Matters

Victoria Moorhouse

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Other than the disposable brushes you can find at the end of the beauty store aisle, mascara wands aren’t products you can generally buy without a formula to go along with it. But that doesn’t make them any less of a tool. The touch of a mascara wand is great. In fact, even the greatest mascara formula can feel the effects of a less-than-adequate wand, clumping together your eyelashes in a way that ends up making it look like you had less than before you even applied product. A brilliant mascara wand, however, has the type of transformative powers you’d equate to something in a “Harry Potter” movie. OK, maybe not that magical in a literal sense, but they really can boost up your barely-there lashes, making it look like you applied a set of falsies in a blink of time.

Beauty brands get how wands change the eyelash game, and because of this, have developed tools that can give you sculpted, curled, lengthened, and thickened results. Some are just manufactured in a way that reach the tiniest lashes—or help get to the ones on the bottom that are even shorter, a bit more delicate, and strangely more difficult to treat than the ones on the top. To give you an idea of how far wands have gone and an up close view of what they look like out of the package, we rounded up 8 of the coolest brushes on the market right now and broke down what each can do for you.

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Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


Benefit Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara, $24, benefitcosmetics.com
As you might have guessed from the handle and the clear clue in the actual name of the product, this mascara is all about curling you lashes. The brush is fairly thin, with even thinner bristles, and is just slightly curved. They call it the “Hook & Roll” brush. Because of it’s curved shape, it attaches to your lashes comfortably at the root and as you wiggle the brush up to the end of your lashes, it curls them up along with it. You won’t have to worry about too much product gathering on your lashes either, as the bristles are spaced apart and are made of a material that isn’t so susceptible to clumping.



Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


Rimmel LONDON Scandaleyes Rockin’ Curves, $5, walmart.com
In another curvy shape, this wand looks like one half of a heart, or as Rimmel puts it, a “broken heart-shaped” wand.  A thick base curves into a tiny tip, all made up of “fringe” like bristles of various sizes. The curve helps the brush fit snugly against you lashes, and the tiny tip of the graduating brush we mentioned before is designed to reach the inner lashes in the corner of your eye. The bristles hold and disperse a lot of product—but not too much—allowing you to get a full and voluminous lash-line.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Waterproof Mascara, $31, sephora.com
When you first clamp eyes upon this mascara brush, you might be a little confused—and we get that! It kind of resembles a medieval flail. The bristles are situated over the entire brush, except obviously the base. How you hold this brush, which curls your lashes, matters big time with the look you get. It’s suggested to first hold the brush in a horizontal fashion to coat and curl each lash. Then, you hold the brush in a vertical fashion to pump up the roots or at a diagonal to pull lashes out instead of up. You can also lightly apply the brush on the bottom lashes to get that Twiggy-like look.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Kat Von D Immortal Lash 24 Hour Mascara, $20, sephora.com
It’s usually hard to get a mascara wand head to coat each lash without over-applying on other lashes. That’s when you get that odd, half-clumpy look. Your lashes don’t grow all at one length either, so this wand features silicone diagonal spikes (your lashes don’t grow out horizontally, after all) of varying lengths in a spherical fashion so that each little lash is addressed without going overboard. The head is super flexible, so it can move along with your hand, which still reaching from root to tip, in the direction that you wish.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


FLOWER Beauty Outstretched Lengthening Mascara, $8, walmart.com
The perks of this brush add up, but that doesn’t translate in the price—it rings in at less than $10. Drew Barrymore‘s FLOWER Beauty collection recently introduced this mascara product designed specifically to lengthen your lashes. To do this, the tube is paired with a three-way wand with three differing types of bristle designs on the one brush. One side features two rows of lots of tiny bristles to apply the product. The other side features less bristles that are longer and spaced farther apart to comb the product through. There are also a couple spikes at the top, allowing you to reach the lashes in hard-to-reach corner.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara, $6, walmart.com
This brush is a Maybelline specialty. They call it their Supersonic Brush—and it’s a patented creation with micro bristles that extend out of the hot pink base. These bristles are flexible, and once dipped into the tube of product, are neatly painted with the formula. But since they aren’t traditional fringe-y, hair-like bristles, the product smoothly attaches the fiber and then transfer onto your lash without clumping. The result is a super full, voluminous look.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23, sephora.com
It’s subtle, but this brush actually holds an hourglass shape, which the brand explains was inspired after a woman’s body. While it’s inspired by a natural silhouette, this product gives you amplified results. Basically, you’re going to look like you’re wearing false lashes with this product. The hourglass shape hugs your lashes and honestly makes the roots of those lashes in the center of the line easier to reach. One coat gives you a lengthened, slightly curled look, but to get that “better than sex” look, it’s suggested that you apply three coats. The last coat (of which is the layer that seals in the intense color) is applied by running the brush over the tops of your lashes. The brush also is thin enough to coat the top without smudging up against your lid.


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom, $9, cvs.com
Another product that speaks to it’s name, this CoverGirl mascara is all about creating a full “bloom” of a look without dryness or stiffness. The wand itself is of classic shapes and is composed of a 360 degree brush-head with rows of flexible yet spiky bristles that won’t bend out of shape but really comb your lashes. Let’s face it—this wand looks like a comb. In-between each row of bristles is a tinier row of even smaller bristles. You can tell by the shape that it’s really addressing volume and not curling, as the brush head is rather straight. What might be just as cool as the wand, which the brand designed in a “petal-shaped” way, is the formula which includes beeswax so that the formula doesn’t dry up and do that spidery, flaky thing we hate so much.

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