7 Mascara Mistakes All Makeup Beginners Make

In theory, mascara should be one of the easiest kinds of makeup to apply. I mean, sure, it’s hard when you first start wearing it–any kind of taper-like instrument that close to your eyes is bound to awaken at least a few primal, instinctual terrors within–but once you get used to putting a pointy, globbed-up stick up against your eyelashes in the name of making them longer, darker, and more voluminous, it’s really not that bad. It doesn’t require a lot of techincal skill, like contouring or liquid eyeliner, nor does it carry the same risk of bleeding and shade malfunction as lipstick does.

But, if you have been using your skills of critical reading, the overly-confident intro to this post should lead you to conclude that mascara, as easy as it may appear, is actually not that easy. Or, rather, it’s easier to mess up than you might think. It’s not a big deal, obviously–worse things have happened in life than slightly messed-up makeup–but, if you want to learn how to prevent these mistakes, check out what they are and what you can do about them here:

You Pump Your Mascara Wand

This common mascara practice--you know, moving the applicator up and down a couple times before you take it out of the container--is actually a big mistake. (Huge!) This is because it can overload your brush with product, making your chance of clumping go way up, and get too much air moving in there, which makes it so that your mascara dries up way faster than it should.

Image source: iStock

You Leave Too Much At The Tip Of The Wand

Even if you don't pump your mascara, you're probably still pulling out way more than you need, especially if it's a new bottle. This can lead to clumping and lots of smudging throughout the day. It's a simple fix, though--just use a tissue or paper towel to wipe off the little bit of mascara at the end of the wand that you see when you pull it out before you put it on, and you should be good to go.

Image source: iStock

You Put On Waaaaay Too Many Coats

Hey, we've all been Spider-Lash girl before. It's a definite Look, and not necessarily a bad one. If that is not the look you're going for, however, make sure you don't exceed two coats of mascara when you're putting it on. That might not sound like a lot, but most mascaras were only meant to have two layers. If you do more than this, it could dry out between coats and lead to that clumpy, spidery look we are all familiar with on some level.

Image source: iStock

You Only Coat The Bottom Of Your Lashes

Most of us just do a quick swipe of mascara under our top lash and call it a day. But if you really want to be thorough, you should start a coat on the topside of your lashes, then do it on the underside for a more cohesive look. This is especially important if you've got light lashes, since it prevents your lashes from looking two-toned when you blink.

Image source: iStock

You're Missing Your Roots

Don't forget your roots! This is true in life, and also with your mascara specifically. Instead of just doing an upwards swipe, make sure you put the wand at the base of the lashes. Then, to really get at the root, wiggle a little bit at the base. This will fully coat them and help you stay clump-free.

Image source: iStock

You're Keeping It For Too Long

If you've had your mascara for longer than three months, toss it. I know this is hard--particularly if you balled out at Sephora on a Holy Grail mascara and haven't actually run out of the product yet--but mascaras are basically a hotbed for germs that can lead to pink eye and other eye infections. So, it's better that you throw something out than subject yourself to the same infectious diseases over and over.

Image source: iStock

You Share It With Your Friends

On A similar germ-based note, do not share your mascara with your friends. Period. This is another foolproof way to get germs in your makeup, and, more concerningly, all up in your eye. Plus, if you do end up getting pink eye or something, you have to throw, like, all of your makeup away before you have to. To prevent this from happening, just don't share.

Image source: iStock

Were you surprised by any of these mistakes? Have you ever done any of them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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