Tales of Prodding, Plumping, Lengthening & “Fleeking”…
There are two vanity-related subjects I possess a tremendous amount of experience with and passion for: hair and eyelashes. I have attempted to “play” chemist in my bathroom more in one month’s time than I have fingers and toes. The hair on my head has long been my favorite guinea pig and one of my most utilized creative outlets. However, lashes are a close second. I’ve likely owned more mascara varieties in my life than I have had boyfriends and crushes. True story. Just like every romantic encounter I’ve ever had, some mascara experiences have provoked me into a momentary trance, some have been moderately lovely, some nothing special and some have been simply dreadful.
In addition to my string of personal trysts with various mascaras, please keep in mind that until recently, I was a makeup artist for almost seven years. Therefore, I can confidently attest that I have a plethora of mascara knowledge, both fortunate and unfortunate. So, please give me your attention.
There is not a week that goes by that people do not ask me one of the following questions:
Are those your real lashes?
What kind of mascara do you use?
Do you use Latisse?
I share that not to boast, but to gain your trust that I know how to properly care for eyelashes. It is not a matter of having been blessed with the greatest eyelashes in the world. I was blessed with decent lashes, but the magic is in my dedication to take care of them and choose mascaras which compliment my lash type.
Handle Your Lashes With Care
Consider this: If you were to apply a cement-like substance to your hair day after day, never nurturing or conditioning it, what do you think would happen? Your hair would become brittle and break off, right? Well, your lashes should be viewed with the same level of care. Your lashes are fragile hairs which must be nurtured if you wish for them to remain as long and strong as possible.
Below are a few rules you must follow if you desire for your lashes to achieve their maximum length and fullness:
Stop sleeping in your mascara.
Stop tugging on your lashes when removing your mascara. Just stop it!
Waterproof mascara is not appropriate for daily use.
You must condition your lashes in a similar way you condition your hair.
I am absolutely certain that lightly applying castor oil along my lash line several nights per week prior to bedtime keeps my lashed in optimal condition while stimulating and supporting their natural growth.
Get Your Best Lash Game
There are a multitude of factors to consider when choosing a mascara. Some formulas are thin and wet, some are drier and more dense, and some are in between. Some brushes are large and fluffy like a teddy bear, whereas some are much more compact and therefore ideal when desiring a great deal of precision.
Please understand that just like skincare, haircare and forms of fitness, choosing a mascara should never be a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, I have naturally wavy, somewhat coarse hair. My eyelashes have natural shape and curl, therefore it is never necessary for me to curl them. However, asian lashes tend to be straight and more difficult to shape, therefore curling prior to applying mascara as well as the use of a slightly firmer, less moist formula is likely going to achieve a better result for such a lash type. Consider your lash type when choosing a mascara.
But, First… Prime.
Priming prior to applying mascara offers a multitude of benefits. First, it protects and nourishes the lashes. Second, it will ensure that your mascara adheres to the priming agent and, therefore, stay in place much longer than if applied directly to a fine lash. Third, it will do wonders for improving the appearance of your density and length. I find that no mascara performs as well alone as it does with a quality primer. I have tried countless primers, and the following is by far my favorite:
Note: Allow the primer to “set” somewhat, but never dry. Allowing the primer to dry often results in a clumpy disaster. I typically apply my primer to the top and bottom of both lashes, and then I immediately return to the first lash I primed and begin applying mascara.
Christian Dior Maximizer
The following list is an update version of my original article on mascaras. Although I still stand behind every mascara on my original list, the following are currently my most highly-recommended.
Mascara Hall Of Fame
YSL Faux Cils Babydoll Mascara
The original YSL Fauxcils mascara has long been one of my most beloved cosmetic products of all time. I first tried it in a department store about nine years ago. It was love at first stroke. I found myself, within mere seconds of admiring its effect, frantically digging through my purse to find my debit card. I have long felt that there were a few mascaras which satisfied me almost as much, however none which thrilled me quite as much.
However, after trying the Fauxcils Babydoll formula, I am not sure I will return to the original. They are both incredible and, while I still highly recommend the original, I have yet to recommend the Babydoll mascara to anyone who did not later thank me. With even the first couple of coats, the effect is incredible. It creates a lengthened and “fanned” appearance. It also lifts and shapes somewhat, so if you prefer a doe-eyed, alert and actual “babydoll” appearance (as I do), you will likely appreciate this immensely. Unless your eyelashes are super straight, stubborn and shapeless, you will not need to curl them when using this mascara.
YSL Shocking Mascara
This is another incredible YSL mascara. It is most appropriate for someone who desires lush, thick lashes. It creates a vampy black appearance, and does an incredible job of creating volume without appearing clumpy or obviously fake. However, if your lashes are incredibly straight, you may want to opt for the Babydoll formula instead. This does not offer the same level of control, shape or hold. However, it offers the most in terms of volume and “drama”.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!
This mascara may be a game-changer. I have only been experimenting with it for about a month, however I am rapidly becoming enamored by it. I admire the integrity of the brand and always feel confident that I am using a product which is not harmful to the environment or to myself.
One simple stroke of this mascara creates jaw-dropping length and volume while maintaining a plush appearance. There is no risk of creating a spidery, clumpy, hardened mess (which I most detest).
Note: The formula is among the wettest of my recommendations, therefore you may need to keep this in mind when applying. It does not dry or “set” as quickly as the others.
Budget Buy: L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly in Midnight Black
This is my favorite drugstore mascara of all time, and is what I reach for most often. I opt to save the higher-end formulas for special occasions. I have tried more than a dozen drugstore mascaras, but have never used one which remotely compares to the quality of this. If the formula did not dry out so quickly, I would rank it just as high as my more expensive recommendations. Still, it is a fantastic option. Either the original or midnight black formulas will suffice. Read my detailed discussion of it here.
The Magic Lies Within The Application…
Application will make a night-and-day difference in terms of your results. Do not underestimate this! Grip the wand at the base of your lashes and while maintaining a somewhat firm hold, use smooth, even strokes, allowing the energy from the wand to extend beyond it. Do not apply too quickly. Allow the mascara to coat the lashes fully. This will allow you to achieve your desired thickness. Then, using short, staccato type of movements, further stroke the tips of the lashes using an upward motion in order to achieve your desired length.
©TheDailyDoll.com / Lacey Johnson 2015