6 Mascara Mistakes We All Make — And Shouldn’t

Woman applying mascara

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We all make a big to-do about finding the best mascara, because let’s face it, it’s hard to find one that provides that perfect length and volume. But if your lashes aren’t living up to their potential, part of the problem might lie in how you swipe the wand. Nix these mascara mistakes for long, luscious lashes—without the extensions or falsies.

Not Curling Your Lashes
Mascara will give you lift, but to get that extension you see on the red carpet, you need to use a lash curler. But make sure to curl before applying mascara. Curling after when the lashes are hard can cause breakage.

Applying Too Many Coats
The more coats you apply, the more likely your mascara will dry during application, causing clumping and that unnatural spidery look. If a single swipe of mascara isn’t giving you the volume boost you need, consider switching to a thicker formula.

Pumping the Wand
When you pump the wand in and out of the tube to get more product, you’re actually adding air to the tube. This dries out the mascara and causes it to clump when applied to the lashes and even flake off. Instead, when you want more product for a second coat, dip the wand in once. Not enough mascara? You’ve probably run out.

Using Expired Products
After three months, you should part ways with your mascara. At this point, bacteria starts to grow on the wand and inside the tube, which can lead to red, itchy eyes and and even pinkeye. With a product that goes so close to the eye, you want to be extra careful. Even if you’ve only used the mascara once or twice, the three-month rule still applies.

Coating Just the Tips of Your Lashes
To get lashes to their full potential, you can’t just swipe mascara on the ends. You need to wiggle the mascara wand to really hit the roots and give lashes that extra lift.

Smudging on the Lids
When in a rush, we often apply mascara too fast or too hard, brushing past the lashes and onto the lids. Mascara only takes a few seconds, ladies. Take your time! And if you still have a slip-up, dab a bit of Vaseline or makeup remover on a Q-tip and swipe it off. No need to redo your entire eye.

Read more: The Best Mascaras for Lush Lashes