We know we’re not the only ones who consider mascara a beauty product we could not live without. We just feel totally incomplete without it—it’s basically like the makeup version of a security blanket, and we’re not about to give it up any time soon. And yet! There are so many things that can go wrong with mascara application, like smudging and clumping, that we spend as much time resenting it as we do loving it. Fortunately, we’ve perfected our technique over the years, thanks to these majorly beneficial mascara tricks.
1. Don’t pump the wand in and out of the tube to build up more product, as this forces air into the container, therefore drying the formula out faster—and who wants that? If you want to really coat the wand, swirl it around the inside of the tube instead.
2. Wiping off excess mascara with a tissue before applying prevents clumpy lashes, and that feeling of growing horror when you realize all of your lashes have stuck together irreparably. Just wipe the tip of the wand, where product tends to gather, to keep your lashes clump-free.
3. Don’t curl your lashes all willy-nilly: Start by gripping the roots of the lashes, closest to the lid (don’t pinch yourself!), for lift, and then follow up by curling the middle of the lashes as well for maximum volume and curl.
4. For thick, full lashes, first wiggle the wand back and forth at the roots of the lashes to deposit product, then sweep upward to the tips of the lashes. It’ll give that desired fullness at the base and lengthen without clumping or squashing your hard-earned curl.
5. If your mascara is a little too thick or dry to use, soak the tube in a cup of hot water for a few minutes to loosen the formula and give it a more liquid-y texture that’s easier to apply.
6. For the best curl ever, heat your curler with a blowdryer before using. It’ll give lashes a better, longer-lasting bend, just as hot tools work to style your hair. Just be sure that it isn’t too hot—you definitely don’t want to singe or weaken your lashes.
7. Waterproof mascara has serious staying power, but the same properties that make it infallible also make it pretty difficult to remove. Applying a coat of waterproof mascara over regular mascara will keep your lash look waterproof, but because there’s a foundation of regular mascara, it’ll be much easier to remove at the end of the day.
8. If you’re serious about a dramatic look, start with a lash primer. You’d never apply foundation without primer, so why shouldn’t your lashes be the same? Lash primer will give better grip to the lashes, so your mascara will go on smoother and just better. We’re into it.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 10 Mascaras That Will Not Clump (No Matter What)