How To: Apply Mascara To Devastating Effect

By Lynnie | June 18 2009 | 33 Comments


It’s a bit like the Boots ad for people taking vitamins and supplements in some wierd and wonderful ways, this one: every woman seems to have a different method for mascara application. Mascara is also the product that most often crops up on those “What One Beauty Product Would You Take To A Desert Island?” type lists, which is indicative of its transformative power. While you might be wondering what odds the way you apply your mascara could possibly make and muttering under your breath “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”, putting your mascara on properly can make a huge difference to the way the product performs.

And the best bit? It’s dead easy to get right.

  • Before you start, gently remove any excess or particularly gloopy looking bits from the tip or bristles using a tissue: this will help to prevent clumping and smudging.
  • Start with the short lashes at the inner corner of the eye, and then work out to the long lashes at the outer corner.
  • Holding your mascara wand horizontally, get it right in at the underside of the upper lashes. You want it nice and tight against the roots without smudging mascara onto your eyelids.
  • Now wiggle it from left to right while still holding that position at the base of your lashes. This will enable the bristles of the brush to seperate and coat individual lashes, and will give a build up of colour at the base which creates the illusion of thickness and length.
  • Continue with the wiggling motion and twirl the wand as you pull it up through your lashes. And do pull it up rather than simply out – this will help create and hold curl. Looking down into a hand-held mirror as you apply mascara will pretty much force you to, ahem, assume the correct position.
  • If you apply mascara to your lower lashes, do it carefully to avoid smudging! I’ve often been told by make-up artists and SAs alike to hold the wand vertically when tackling the lower lashes, but I find it impossible to wield the wand like this without poking my eyeball – and getting smudges all over the shop. So instead I just continue with the horizontal brush orientation (who knew mascara was so technical, wha’?), working carefully and making sure the wand’s not overloaded with product.
  • For a sexy/nighttime look, focus on the outer corners; for a more kittenish/cute look, apply to the inner lashes of the lower lashline only.

And remember: you shouldn’t be pumping the wand in and out of the tube to get mascara onto the brush – this forces air into the container and will cause your mascara to dry out rapido. Instead, twirl the wand around in the tube to allow the brush to pick up product.

Now flutter those luscious lashes, ladies!

Eyes, Tutorials ,

33 Replies to " How To: Apply Mascara To Devastating Effect"

  • Ellie Bellie says:

    Great post ladies!!!

  • xgirl says:

    I’d also like to add using a lashcomb to these wonderful tips – combing through after applying mascara can make a huge difference in separating out clumped together lashes.

  • ceci says:

    So when applying mascara should you always be looking down? I have always applied it with my eyes fully open!!!

  • tcup says:

    what do ye think about the new wands that are out at the mo i think penelope cruz has an ad for it? on one of my eyes at the outside corner the lash falls down and no matter what i do it always hangs low so frustrating!! i usually dont bother putting any mascara on it.

  • xgirl says:

    tcup – I have one of those uncooperative lashes too! It always hangs down and I can’t fix it with mascara, so I don’t put any on it, and if some does get on it, I wipe it off so it’s not obvious.

  • Tara-Koala says:

    hat happens to me too! One last is just different from the rest, i usually pluck it out :(, ick i know!

  • tcup says:

    that’s exactly what i do to! i wonder if i (ouch!) pulled it out would it know that growing up is essential and growing down is unacceptable??

  • Tara-Koala says:

    i don’t know, i always pluck it in an upwards direction in hope that it will get the message to grow up! :)

  • Lynnie says:

    Xgirl I swear by the lashcomb too I have to say! Sometimes using one can redeem a mascara that’s otherwise fairly rubbish :D

    I have one of those wonky lashes too (eek girls – don’t pluck it for the love of Banoffi – can cause ingrowns!!!) and xgirl’s tip works v well.

    Actually, re-reading this post has reminded me that I fancy a new mascara… and that today’s payday ;)

  • maggie says:

    I always apply mascara with my mouth WIDE OPEN i can’t help it

  • ceci says:

    lol maggie, i am the exactly same. tis tres embarrassing if i am running late and have to do my mascara on the train

  • Lynnie says:

    Maggie/Ceci – I don’t open my mouth, but I do open my eyes really wide and sort of stretch my upper lip downwards when I do the lower lashes (sounds attractive, I know!) I find it helps tauten the skin under the eyes so there’s less of a chance of smudginess.

  • mary says:

    my beautician advised me that you should apply masacra downwards on your lash first and then apply masacra upwards.

  • Becky Clark says:

    I have one lash that feels like it attaches itself to one of the lower ones- like the way velcro works, but only when I’m wearing multiple coats or my “good makeup”. Then I end up blinking like I’ve something in my eye all day.

  • Polly says:

    Mary – I read that somewhere too. Brush downwards to coat the upper part of the lashes and then brush upwards to coat the other side and lift the lashes.

  • Lynnie says:

    Mary/Polly, that’s to coat the tops of the lashes as well as the underside (well duh, sez you!) but I think it might only be an issue if you’ve quite fair lashes or are maybe using madly coloured mascara, so that you don’t end up with them being one colour underneath and one colour on the top?

  • Keila says:

    I thought I was the only one with a mutant lash, poker straight and all, so annoying sometimes!

  • xgirl says:

    Oh and mine did eventually fall out of it’s own accord and I waited to see if it would grow back nice and curved, but no :(

  • LanaLamont says:

    This must be one of the few things I have gotten right on my own!

  • lou says:

    I’m a ‘mouth opener’ as well – thought I was the only one!

    Can I ask an eye-liner related question while we’re talking eyes?? What colour liner for brown/hazel eyes – I’d like to be a bit more adventurous than going for brown all the time..

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