If you’re like most women, mascara is one of your top two or three can’t-live-without beauty products. But even though you may think you know everything there is to know about applying mascara, you can probably still learn a trick or two. Here are five new twists on how to apply mascara from a couple of top pros.
1. The best method for applying mascara is a two-step method, says Andrea Q. Robinson, a onetime Vogue beauty editor, beauty industry exec and author. Step one: Hold the wand close to the lid horizontally and in a quick back-and-forth — almost vibrating motion — move the brush from the roots to the ends of the lashes. This will give you coverage. Step two: Change the wand to a vertical direction and move back and forth like a windshield wiper. This is for separation and will help prevent clumps.
2. Waterproof formulas are too tough on your lashes for everyday use, Robinson says. You’ll have to rub hard to loosen the color, and in doing so you risk breaking your lashes. Save the waterproof mascara for those times you know you’ll be tearing up — like a weepy movie or your best friend’s wedding. And keep in mind that most regular formula mascaras will wear well throughout the day without smudging, and are easily removable with soap and water or makeup remover.
3. Do you have droopy lashes that won’t stay curled? Try curling them twice, suggests Hollywood makeup artist Brett Freedman. First curl them before you apply mascara and then give your lashes a second curl after your mascara is on (and dry).
4. If you’re going to pump up your lashes with individual false lashes, apply them after the first coat of mascara.
“That way you can see exactly where you want a little extra fullness and length,” Freedman says. “Then apply another coat of mascara to marry your real and false lashes together.”
5. Colored mascara looks gorgeous in candlelight. Purple, blue or emerald mascara “reads black,” Freedman says, until you get next to light, when your lashes show a touch of hue. It’s subtle, but it gives your lashes a little more interest. Use a coat or two of your regular black mascara, then layer just the tips of your lashes with a colored mascara. Tip: Deep blue mascara looks good on every eye color.
Shelley Levitt, managing editor of The Style Glossy, is a former West Coast editor of Self and senior writer at People.