Sometimes the only way to get what you want is to do it yourself.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you have tried a multitude of mascaras in your life, (Tens! Hundreds! Thousands!) searching for your magic formula—one that makes your eyelashes long and luscious, standout and dramatic, but in the most unnoticeable manner possible. Everyone wants to hear “you look great!” but few can muster the same zeal for “your makeup looks great!” (“Gee, thanks…”)
The trick is to master your own tricks. Use your feminine wiles to manipulate and enhance what you’ve got.
Layering: Here’s a simple yet effective idea: layer your mascara. So you want lengthening and volumizing? Instead of scratching your head in front of the mascara endcap at Sephora, trying to determine which mascara can aptly manage both, apply a layer (or two) of a volumizing mascara AND a lengthening mascara.
The lash-extending polymers in Too Faced Lash Injection or the lash-adhering fibers in Imju Fiberwig will be great to elongate your lashes. If you then want dramatic volume, apply thicker, blacker mascara with a fat wand.
Extra tip: It’s easier to layer a detail brush, or a separating brush, overtop a thicker one. One of the easiest, thus most awesome ‘2nd layer mascaras’ is Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes with the spherical head, and 360 degrees of bristles. L’Oréal Telescopic, or anything with a similar applicator works just as well to get all the way to the inside corner lashes, bottom lashes, and everything in between.
The Swap: For detailed, defined lashes, you’d use a baby brush—small, spaced bristles, perhaps synthetic bristles almost like a comb, right? For curlier lashes, you’d most likely look for a curved brush that will lift the lashes as you apply, and for volume, the brush that will deliver that most product possible. Sound logical?
Cosmetic companies introduce another factor by manufacturing formulas that have a life of their own–regardless of the brush. Of course they choose the brush they think best suits their goal, but sometimes that’s just not the brush for you. Why not use the brush you like?
Makeup Forever makes a thick, superblack mascara called Smoky Eye. A company rep visiting a Sephora asked a customer if she’d tried it yet, to which she said, “No…I’d like to, but I love my Lash Injection Pinpoint—the brush is the best thing I’ve ever used.” She had fallen in love with the tiny Pinpoint brush because she always got mascara all over her eyes when she used normal to bigger sized brushes. “You know,” the rep told her, “you should dip your Pinpoint brush into the Smoky Eye, that way you get this awesome formula with the same ease of application. And hey, that way you’re not married to one mascara for the rest of your life.”
The Bend: Any doctor can tell you, one tiny adjustment can profoundly change your life. Maybe it’s a universal truth, because this holds true in cosmetics. Take any straight wand and bend the head in the middle, either with your hands, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, or over the edge of the mascara tube to create a curved wand that provides more lift and curl to your lashes. For many, it will be easier and quicker to use. Or bend the bristles from where they attach to the shaft for a more ergonomical applicator.
The more creative you get with your mascara, the more likely you are to find your magic wand and get the lashes you’ve always said you’d die for.