Mascara Essentials: From Clear Mascara To The Best Volumizing Mascara

Be it a simple clear mascara, the best cruelty free mascara formula, the 'best volumizing mascara,' or a waterproof mascara to see you through that date night movie tear-jerker --- mascara comes in a dizzying array of formulas and packaging. No matter what your desire, there is a mascara formula for everyone.

If you want to volumize, thicken and lengthen, there's a product for that with a straight brush, curved brush, and even no brush. Even a rainy day is no match for a waterproof or long-wearing product. We're confused when we hit the makeup aisle, so we've broken it down for you.

Eyelash Basics In 3 Steps

  1. Start with an eyelash curler. A lash curler will add length and shape before applying mascara. No fancy heated eyelash curler required. Just purchase the best drugstore eyelash curler you can find. We've listed a few at the bottom of the article.

  2. Knowing how to apply mascara is key: start from the root of your lashes, then moving the wand from side to side, and continue towards the end of your lashes.

  3. Apply a light coat, and then let dry before applying the next coat. Always reload the wand when you move to the other eye. Layer more coats until you achieve the fullness and definition that you want.

What makes a top rated mascara? Depends on what you are trying to achieve. Whether you seek the best curling mascara, a lengthening mascara or a voluminous mascara, there's a product for you. You can even find 3 in 1! Ideally, you want a formula to help to increase the lash volume, the length of the single lashes, and a product that defines each lash. No matter which product you choose, you'll want a formula that completely coats the lashes in a single application.

Mascara Primer

If your lashes are straight and thin, a lash primer is an additional wise step to gain longer and stronger lashes. The best mascara primer formulas provide nourishing vitamins and proteins to improve the health of your lashes, but when layered underneath mascara, it turns up the volume and the curl all day long. Apply a primer, then leave for a few minutes to plump up those lashes. Follow with your favorite mascara.

The Right Formula

A girl needs options. The mascara aisles will not disappoint whether you are looking for the best lengthening mascara, the best waterproof mascara a cruelty free mascara, or the best non clumping mascara. Choose a formula based on the look you are going for: lengthen, define, volume or a combo of those looks. A light formula will stop the lashes from drooping, while a thicker formula might clump. We recommend building drama from additional light coats, not a single thick coat. Remember, always reload the wand when you move to the other eye and let each coat dry before applying the next one.

Pro Tips: If your mascara is flaking, you may be using the wrong formula or the wrong brush. For example, if you are using a definition formula and applying layers to build volume, try using a smaller amount of a volume formula. Look for a no smudge mascara with a different brush for the upper and lower lash mascara application.

The Mascara Brush Applicators/Tools

The size and shape of the mascara wands will have an impact when applying your layers. Pay close attention to the brush and the bristle definition. Generally, the thicker the brush, the more drama you can create. Is the brush straight? Are the bristles spaced apart? That is typical of a lengthening formula. Is the brush curved with dense bristles? You've probably picked a volume or defined formula. If you're like us and have control issues, you may even want to try a professional eyelash and brow wand. These brushes have been designed to coat every inch of your lashes from root-to-tip, delivering a flawless finish.

An Eyelash Curler or Curling Mascara: Choosing The Best Eyelash Curler

Will a curling mascara save you some time? Our experience tells us that they don't work as well as using an eyelash curler on your lashes before applying mascara. Curling is a step that you don't want to miss.

Waterproof vs. Long-Wear

For weddings, funerals, hitting the gym or deep sea diving, you may need waterproof mascara. These formulas will contain wax and silicone to stop you from looking like a raccoon (not that raccoons aren't cute in their own way). But the formula can dry out lashes. And you'll need an oil-based cleanser to remove the mascara, followed up with a face cleanser. It's not low maintenance, and you risk having lashes fall out. If it's hot and humid, we'd suggest a clear mascara which will give an added benefit of a glossy, healthy sheen to your lashes. Or try a top coat product which seals your mascara into place no matter how hard it rains.

The right products with the right brush can be a game changer for your lashes. Follow our advice and your lashes will soon be ready for take-off.

Reminder of our mantra @Revelere, beauty is a personal journey, not a destination. Experiment with different looks until you find something that makes you feel comfortable. And when you decide it's time for a change, shake it up.


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