Mascara is one of my desert island beauty products (you know, the beauty product you literally can’t live without and would want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island because at least your eyelashes could look good if you’re going to be stuck there), and so it’s hard for me to imagine anyone struggling with it. I can’t even think about being without it! But a few months ago, I was talking to a friend and discovered that not only had she never used mascara before, but she didn’t even know how to. This fact surprised me so much that I had to actively stop myself from asking if she was joking. It also reminded me that you don’t hop out of the womb full of mascara knowledge, and so some girls need beauty tips on how to use it.
There’s no shame in that! We all have to start somewhere, and if you’re a makeup newbie, you might as well start with mascara. It’s easy to use, it’s not as intimidating as it seems, and one little swipe of the right formula can transform your face. Mascara obviously makes your eyelashes look longer and more full, but it also makes your eyes look wider, larger, and more awake. Once you find a product that you love, you won’t be able to go without it. I’m personally obsessed with Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, and I recommend it to everyone, FYI. Grab your choice and let’s get started. Here are 19 beauty tips and tricks on how to use mascara.
1. Before you learn how to use mascara, you have to find the right one for what you want. Let’s start with wand types. All mascara wands look different, but there are types, and each does a different thing to your lashes:
2. Here are some more to be familiar with:
3. These three are the most common types of wands. This graphic shows pictures of what lashes look like after using each one, which is really helpful:
4. Now that you know more about wands, here are some examples of them in actual products:
5. There is an overwhelming amount of mascara choices out there. This Birchbox guide helps break down a few popular brands for you:
6. Here is exactly how to apply mascara. This guide is great – it goes through each step and breaks them down.
7. You could just apply in one swipe, but doing it right is worth it. Here are the three techniques to keep in mind:
8. This infographic shows this pulling technique in even more detail, if you prefer real photos. It also shows the difference between doing mascara quickly, and putting this small bit of extra effort in:
9. Even makeup experts sometimes have trouble keeping mascara from smudging, especially with bottom lashes. Use a spoon to keep mascara off of your skin. A spoon is great because it also lifts your lashes into place, which gives better hold.
10. One major trick is to get mascara on the roots of your lasshes so it looks more natural. See the difference here:
11. You can also try using an old mascara wand to get a more precise root stamp.
12. If the thought of doing that seems too confusing or hard, another option is to tightline with eyeliner for the same effect. Tightlining makes mascara look more natural.
13. If you want your lashes to look more thick and full and you find your mascara isn’t getting the job done, try using a little powder in between coats.
14. Mascara residue can get in your eyes and irritate them. Get rid of it without messing up the rest of your makeup by using a Q-tip:
15. As mascara gets older, it gets dry and clumpy. Loosen it up a bit by sitting it in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. This makes it a lot easier to apply.
16. Another way to avoid clumps is to twirl your wand while taking it out. But don’t pump! Pumping gets air in the tube and can make mascara more dry.
17. Some eye drops can also revive old mascara:
18. Want to treat your lashes? Use a little castor oil on them at night. You can also try Vitamin E oil, which is what I use. It makes lashes really soft, which makes applying mascara a lot easier.
19. And remember: any time you’re having trouble, keep these hacks in mind:
Which of these mascara tricks is your favorite? What’s your favorite mascara? What did I forget to include? Let me know in the comments.