How To: Apply Mascara To Devastating Effect


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!

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