15 Mistakes You’re Likely Making When You Apply Mascara

Applying mascara is pretty straightforward, right? You unscrew the cap of your favorite mascara tube then coat your lashes until they’ve reached the desired thickness, length, and volume. That’s true to a point, but there are some finer details about it. And breaking them can turn the flirtiest lashes into spidery, clumpy lashes that make you want to chuck your mascara tub.

I want your lashes to look on point. Furthermore, I don’t want you to chuck a perfectly good mascara tube that you think is letting you down when it’s really a mistake you’re making that’s ruining it. So, have a look at 15 mistakes you’re probably making when you apply mascara.

1. Not enhancing the outer corners.


Want eyes to look wide awake? Of course you do. Then ensure you don’t ignore the outer corners of the eyes. They’re the secret to a lifted look. At the end, it can be helpful to go over the outer corners to ensure they’re flicked.

2. Forgetting about the little lashes on the inner corners of the eye.


I’ve talked about the outside corners, now let’s focus on the inside. Look closely at the inside corners of your eyes. You might not have noticed that you have tiny, possibly light lashes there. Any lashes can have mascara applied to them. That includes these little fellas. Supersize them with a few coats of mascara.

3. Thinking that a big mascara wand is best.


Most people think that bigger is better when it comes to mascara. The logical thought process is that a bigger brush equals bigger lashes. Not so. The bristles, shape, and material of the wand impact the mascara along with brush size. What’s more, some people actually find that bigger brushes are more awkward to work with because they’re easier to get product on other parts of the eye.

4. Not curling lashes before applying mascara.


Eyelash curlers are scary tools. The trouble is that they really do make a difference with a wide-awake look. Even if you don’t use mascara on curled lashes, you will notice a difference. When you combine the two together, your eyes will be bright and extra round.

5. Not using all angles of the brush.


The majority of mascara brushes can be used 360 degrees. Most of us probably use one side. That’s not using the product to its full advantage. Try using the tip for the inner corners of the eyes. Try one of the other sides when you’re applying mascara to your other eye. Go over a spot with the mascara wand at a different angle. It will make a difference because it will coat lashes that might not have been coated before.

6. Failing to start at the roots of lashes.


Applying mascara just to the tips of lashes is only going to lengthen them so far. If you want to extend your lashes as far as they will go then you will need to start at the roots of your lashes, aka the “base” that’s closest to the eyelid. I know this might risk smudging your eyeshadow. Be careful and do the technique because it makes such a difference.

7. Pumping the wand.


Mascara doesn’t last long. When you’re pumping a wand, you’re ruining it that much faster. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not putting more mascara on the wand. You’re actually adding air into the tube which will make the product dry out and the mascara not work as good.

8. Thinking that black mascara is automatically the best.


Black mascara is the most common. There are multiple different shades from soft black to blackest black. They’re not necessarily the best. If you have fair lashes or red hair, you might find that black is too harsh. Brown, black-brown, purple, or even auburn can be very flattering. Let’s not forget about clear mascara. If you want something fun, try colored mascaras. They will make eyes pop.

9. Not looking for mascara for contacts and sensitive eyes.


If you have sensitive eyes and/or wear contacts, you need to be very careful about what you put on your eyes. Modern cosmetic companies are very careful about formulas but there are ones specifically designed for your condition so make sure you take advantage. Otherwise, you could risk irritated, watery eyes. And obvs your mascara won’t look good.

10. Not wiping off the excess.


More mascara isn’t always better, especially when there is a blob of product on the end of you mascara wand. You might think that it will help you but it can result in some major clumps. Some makeup artists actually wipe excess mascara off on a tissue before applying it. It’s better to build up slowly than flood lashes.

11. Blinking too fast after your mascara application.


Blinking accidentally after applying mascara equals smudge central. The open mouth technique can prevent it. Some people actually develop a technique where they blink when they’re applying mascara and it coats the lashes. You’ll sometimes see makeup artists applying mascara this way. If you’re a blinker, you might want to consider trying the technique because it’s better than accidentally blinking and ruining flawless lashes.

12. Not doing the wiggle and swoop method.


To get the most of you mascara no matter what it is, it’s helpful to apply the wiggle and swoop method. That involves literally wiggling the mascara brush back and forth at the root of the lashes to distribute the product from the brush then applying it to the tips of the lashes in a continuous curve.

13. Using an old tube of mascara.


You might not think that this deserves its own point, but I beg to differ. Mascara involves your eye health and our eyes are very sensitive. They’re not something to slack with. Experts say that mascara tubes should be replaced every three to six months — or sooner if you have an eye infection. I know that you want to get your money’s worth, but be vigilant about sticking with the rule. Write the expiry date on your mascara tube and/or calendar if you have to.

14. Applying too many coats.


Hands up if you fall into the habit of applying coat after coat of mascara in the name of long lashes? It’s a habit most of us get into. The trouble is if you apply too many coats, lashes will become clumpy and unnaturally thick. It’s best to apply a few coats, wait, comb lashes, then add a few more.

15. Not considering bottom lashes.


It’s a personal choice where you want to apply mascara. Putting mascara just on the top lashes will make eyes look awake. The trouble is when people get so focused on applying mascara to the top lashes they don’t even consider applying it to the bottom. Your mascara is just like the rest of makeup you wear so have fun and experiment with different looks.

What’s your all-time favorite mascara? Let us know in the comments!


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