Hey guys! Today I wanted talk about lashes - more specifically - mascara and all the little tips and tricks I've gathered and learned along the way in achieving really pretty lashes. I don't have the world's longest or thickest lashes, but with the way I apply my mascara I don't ever feel the need to put on falsies. That's right, I never wear false lashes. Even if my natural lashes are shorter and thinner and they don't give that dramatic effect that a strip of false lashes can, I choose to sport what I have. If you love fake eyelashes, then by all means do what makes you happy. But, I think with enough patience and with some really good products you can achieve a look that is perfectly fine, no falsies needed. My biggest tip of all? Do what you know works for you. Everyone's lashes are so different, and what works for me simply may not work for you. Mascara is highly subjective, and you really do have to find what works best for you.
Experiment and fine what formula works best for you - I have been wearing makeup for as long as I can remember, and finding a mascara that I really love has been quite hard to do. Your lashes are uniquely your own, nobody else in this world has the same ones. We each have our own technique and ways we like to apply makeup, so mascara ends up being hugely subjective. Buy different types and formulas (lengthening, thickening, waterproof, rubber bristles, classic wands, really dry ones, really wet ones, etc.) and see what you like and what works best for you. Everyone is different and what works for you might not work for the next person.
Eyeliner is always the perfect prep for lashes - Sometimes I wear eyeliner on my lid and sometimes I don't. When I do, it's normally a wing using a liquid eyeliner. When doing liner on your lid just make sure it's not too thick, otherwise it can mask the true length of your lashes. The eyeliner that I think is so important to always prep your lashes with is a dark brown or black liner in the tight line (waterline on the upper eyelid). Lining the tight line and having a really dark base at your lashes really helps to elongate them and make it appear your lashes are longer than they actually are.
Don't ignore your bottom lashes - Again, do what you like, but wearing mascara on your bottom lashes adds so much drama and definition to any eye look. Whenever I see someone really go all out on the lid and upper lash line, I'm always aghast that they would leave the lower lash line and eye area totally blank. I happen to have somewhat long lashes on the bottom, but no matter the length, I think all lashes look prettier with a little mascara on them. I love a really blended out smokey under eye with a great coat of black mascara - adds so much drama to your look.
Set the makeup under your eye - I get a lot of questions about what mascara I use that is good for not smudging or giving "raccoon eyes" by the end of the day. Yes, there are some mascaras that are prone to doing this, but another thing to think about is the makeup you are using under your eyes. If I use anything that is luminous or balmy in texture, I have a greater chance of my mascara transferring under my eyes. If I use a concealer under my eyes that stays kind of tacky I almost always notice smudging. My lashes are kind of long on the bottom, and when I put mascara on them they actually touch my skin. So, it is super important to pay attention to what I've got going on underneath my eyes so that everything kind of stays put. I actually no longer put foundation/BB Creams/CC Creams/etc. all the way up under my eyes anymore. I use concealer under my eyes and I just don't like to layer products on my skin like that anymore. I really try to use the smallest amount of makeup possible. I normally begin all my makeup looks with a clean washed face that is moisturized and has been protected with some sunscreen. (It is also important to use moisturizers and eye creams and things that absorb quickly and work well under makeup). Then, I apply my foundation to my face avoiding the under eye area. Next, I apply a concealer under my eyes to brighten, and then set that with the smallest dab of setting powder. That is ALL I do under my eyes, and usually I don't really struggle with transfer or smudging or the dreaded raccoon eyes.
Really work each coat of mascara in each lash section - I separate my eyes into 4 quadrants and work on each section at a time. I have the upper and lower lashes of my left eye, and the upper and lower sections of right eye. Take your time and really work each individual coat of mascara. Instead of piling on layers of product and risking really clumpy lashes, instead I repeatedly glide the wand through my lashes without re-dipping my wand for more product. I usually end up dipping my wand a total of 4 times when I do my makeup: once for the left upper lashes, left lower lashes, right upper lashes, and right lower lashes. If I really want some drama and use a 2nd coat, with most of my mascaras I find they do better if I layer them right away. If I do one coat and let it dry, then most of the time when I go back to do a 2nd coat it looks clumpy and spidery.
Wiggle and pull through - As far as techniques go, I always start out with the wiggle and pull through method. To do this you simply place the mascara wand horizontally at the lash line, wiggle it slightly at the base of your lashes, and then pull the wand/brushes all the way through to the tip of your lashes. This deposits more product at the base of your lashes and thickens that area up more quickly. A great way to jumpstart the mascara application process.
Use your wand as a paintbrush - After I have wiggled and pulled through several times, I use the wand like a paintbrush and really try to give them a really good coat of mascara. Sometimes it's quick strokes just here and there, other times it's slower more purposeful strokes in one area. I grab each individual lash that sprouts from my eye and I aim for really pretty, kind of fanned out from every direction lashes.
Hold those babies up - After I have wiggled and pulled through and have painted on a good coat of mascara, I use my mascara wand to hold my lashes up and curl them. Hold your wand horizontally, only this time at the tips of your lashes. Use the wand to push them up and back towards your eyelid to curl them while your mascara is drying. Holding your lashes up for even just a few seconds really helps them stand at attention. I am not a big fan of using a lash curler, so this really is a good alternative to using one.
Use the tip of the wand - The very tip of the mascara wand can be an excellent tool for getting really pretty lashes. You can really get in the inner corners of your eyes and coat those shorter lashes that are hard to reach. And, I like to hold my wand vertically and use the tip on my really long outer lashes as well. It coats them with mascara but also pushes them up and separates them beautifully.
Take your time and don't rush - Getting a really dramatic effect with your lashes is going to take a few minutes. I know it's time consuming and aggravating, and you're not always going to have the time to really set and get things perfect. I think this is why so many people reach for false lashes, you can swipe some glue on them, stick 'em on and you're done. Quick and easy and you've got a really dramatic look. But, using false lashes just isn't me. Maybe for super fancy occasions (my wedding day, etc.), but for everyday looks I choose to rock my natural lashes.
Experiment with the buddy system -There have been so many times I have used a mascara and been totally underwhelmed, then have paired it with another mascara and totally loved the look. Finding a good combination is going to require just some good ole trial and error. I am almost a strictly drugstore mascara kinda gal, so I never pay too much for a tube of mascara. But, I don't care how cheap and affordable it is, if I pay for it I really want to use it. So, instead of using something a couple of times and then tossing it in the garbage because it's not my favorite, I will try my best to make it work. Layer it on top of another mascara, next time try it under another mascara. Maybe it'll be one that you use specifically on the lower lash line, or vice versa. A combination I really like is using a volumizing mascara on top of a lengthening one. Worst case scenario is you have clumpy lashes for a day, no big deal.
Q-tips are your best friend - I get mascara EVERYWHERE when I am applying it! Sometimes it's not so bad, and then other times I will have smudges from my eyebrow to my chin. Q-tips are the handiest tool for cleaning up these little messes, they work like you wouldn't believe! When cleaning up smudges that you get with your mascara application, just let it dry (super important) and then wipe them off with a dry Q-tip. They will literally wipe away. I always take a few Q-Tips in my bag for the day as well, and use them for touchups the remainder of the day. Wipe away flakes, creasing, smudging in no time at all, and they won't mess up your eyeshadow looks that you worked so hard creating!
To curl or not to curl - This is something I do on occasion. Kind of just if I feel like it. I have purchased and own several eyelash curlers, and I do really like them. I just think they have to be kind of harsh on your lashes, and I prefer kind of babying mine, lol. Where I only wear natural lashes, I try to be very gentle with mine, take the best care of them I can. But, I will not deny the fact your lashes look SO much longer when they are curled. If I am trying to be extra fancy I will pull one out and use it. And, if I'm REALLY wanting to be fancy, I do curl them sometimes after I apply my mascara. I know, a total no-no in most people's books. But, I use a squeaky clean eyelash curler when I do it, and I make sure to do it after my mascara has dried completely. I pulse the curler, never clamping down on my lashes too hard or too long, and after a few seconds they are literally touching my brow bone. Again, I do this on rare occasion. For my everyday look I just let my lashes do their own thing.
Set your makeup - The final step in all of my makeup looks, no matter how simple or dramatic, is makeup setting spray. After I've done everything - my face, eyes, lipstick, lipgloss, everything - I mist a few sprays of a setting spray to kind of lock everything in place. My favorite is the Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray, which is great for oily skin. It not only sets your makeup but it helps keep oil at bay as well.
Take it off gently - As much as I love makeup, nothing feels as nice as taking your makeup off at the end of the day! I always use eye makeup remover on a cotton pad to remove my eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, etc. I take my time and do it gently, no pulling or tugging. I hold the cotton pad over my eye and allow the remover to soak off my eye makeup, then I simply wipe it clean and finish with the rest of my skincare routine. Your eye area is delicate so always remember to treat it as such! My favorite eye makeup remover is Bioderma, and here in the US you can get it through Amazon.
While I choose to do most of my makeup reviewing and such via a blog, I have done a few YouTube tutorials showing how I do my makeup. If you are interested in seeing how I do my mascara looks, you can watch those videos here: