15 Mascara Tricks and Tips

1. Ace your mascara application with a three-step process :
A. Wiggle the wand left to right at the base of lashes. It's the mascara placed near the roots, not the tips.. that gives the illusion of length.
B. Pull the wand up and through lashes, wiggling as you go.
C. In this final step, close the eye and place the mascara wand on top of lashes at the base and pull through to remove any clumps.

2. How to use a lash comb. For some, lash combs are simply too fussy. But for some makeup artists, they're a great invention and keep lashes glob-free and perfectly separated.
So how to use ? Apply mascara at the lash base. Then wiggle the lash comb through to the tips of your lashes. Not into the lash comb ? Get rid of clumbs without them by removing excess mascara from the wand. Wipe wand on tissue, this eliminates blobs before you start.

3. Try a spoolie (a clean mascara wand). Sweep a clean, fresh mascara wand through lashes when they're wet. Don't worry, you don't have to buy them. When you finish a mascara, clean the wand in a capful of eye makeup remover, then wash with soap and dry. Keep it clean by washing it whenever you wash your makeup tools.

4. Don't shy away from colored mascara. Basic mascara rules are simple: Black works for everyone but can be harsh on blondes. Blondes should opt for brown/black by day and reserve black for night. Blue mascara, however, can brighten blue eyes while purple mascara makes brown eyes pop. The most popular mascara sold in the US is Maybelline Great Lash mascara, a great buy at under $6. The company estimates one tube is sold every 1.6 seconds in the U.S.

5. Thin, short brushes are best. A thinner brush allows you to get into the corner of eyes. Short brushes give you more control.

6. Give a few coats to the edges by blinking. Blink onto the brush to give ends an extra coat.

7. Powder under the eye before applying mascara. Sometimes mascara smudges because it's attracted to oily concealer or eye creams.

8. Use an eyelash curler Curling lashes gives eyes the appearance of being wider and brighter. Shoot warm air from your blowdryer on the mascara curler for 3-5 seconds to warm it up before curling lashes. Touch it first to make sure it's not too hot. It's a myth that you have to curl lashes before you apply mascara. You can curl lashes after mascara application, just make sure the mascara is dry first. Shu Uemura makes the most popular eyelash curler on the market ($18-$22).

9. Zig-zag the wand. Zig-zagging the wand back and forth during application helps cut down clumps.

10. For a dramatic look, apply mascara only to the upper lashes. To make eyes seem wider, apply to the bottom, too. But make sure you give lashes a light touch. Not great at getting those bottom lashes? Try putting a tissue under them before application.

11. Use a mascara primer. Primers coat lashes and separate them before you apply mascara. Makeup artists swear by mascara primer. I tried it and like it, but because it's an added step, I usually use primer only on special occasion when I spend more time on my makeup.

12. Want that 2nd coat ? Just make sure to do it before the first coat dries, otherwise you'll get clumps.

13. Do NOT pump wand in and out of the tube. This only introduces air into the tube, which will cause your mascara to dry out sooner than it should.
14. Another smudge-proof tip bend the wand. A top makeup artist once gave his secret to his steady hand: he always bends his wand at a right angle.

15. Wait five seconds before blinking. You don't want to paint your lids, do you ?

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