Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mascara

image: IMAXtree

image: IMAXtree

We all want our eyes to allure, to pop; we want our lashes to speak volumes without say a word, right? Otherwise, we wouldn't focus so much on mascara, and the mascara industry wouldn't be such big business. You've seen the commercials with the name brand models and actresses whose lashes are out to there. We all can't help but wonder whether the latest "high-tech" mascara will give us the same glamorous results. Is there really a secret beyond being born with natural long eye lashes? Or keeping falsies close at hand? With a little bit of research I've found out the answers to some of these burning questions. Hint: most of it is how you wear it.

Color Mix

These days, mascara comes in a rainbow of colors, which is awesome for those of us who like to experiment and wear a wild look from time to time. But what about incorporating color for extra effect that works at the office? Makeup pros mix brown and black, usually black on top and brown on the bottom to make eyes pop. Black on top and magenta on the bottom gives a subtle effect that flatters all eye colors.

Application Don'ts

According to makeup artist Kate Lee who spoke to Allure, most mascaras are only meant to be coated twice, so skip that fifth application. Always wait a few seconds for one coat to set before applying another. Use gentle pressure and wiggle the wand at the base of the lashes before moving upward to the tips.

Expiration Dates

We all keep our mascaras for far too long. If you can't remember when you bought it, toss it. Buying a new tube every few months is a good habit to form. Don't pump the wand to reapply the formula to the brush, this forces extra air into the tube that wears your mascara out faster. 

Choose Your Effect(s)

Different brushes (and formulas) usually give you one stand-out effect. So it pays to have more than one mascara in your arsenal. Use one type for the first coat, and another for the second. While most packages will tell you what their special effect is, here's some extra info: for long, soft lashes, go for a package that promises zero clumps. Thin brushes are ideal for bottom lashes. You'll notice fat brushes with flexibility and plastic bristles give volume, as they have more coating surface area. For lashes like a doll, choose a fast-drying formula that holds the bend you put in with your lash curler. For out-there lashes that are truly outrageous, try TOO FACED Better Than False Lashes. First you brush on one coat, then a second coat of special nylon fibers and finish with a third coat. Perfect for going out.

Read the Label

We've all been frustrated with mascara that smudges and bleeds. According to WebMD, if you check out the placement of water as an ingredient on the label, you can avoid such formulas. The lower water is on the ingredient list, the less water it contains, which means the more you can trust its staying power. Waterproof mascaras typically have less water, but be careful, don't go for one that doesn't contain any water, they're especially hard to get off and can damage your lashes in the process. 

Go for the Gold Standard

Why try every mascara that comes on the market when there are so many magazines and outlets that list the best ones for you? Real Simple loves Hard Candy Curl Up and Dye Mascara $6Boots No. 7 Extreme Length Mascara $7.99 and Shiseido Perfect Mascara Full Definition $24

Remove it Right

Most women don't think much when it comes to scrubbing off their makeup. They continue the harsh, rigorous motion right over their eyes and eyelashes. That's a no-no. Choose a gentle liquid makeup remover, coat a cotton pad or ball and gently press it against your closed eyes (making sure you cover your lashes) for at least 10 seconds. This breaks down makeup and makes waterproof mascara easier to remove. Gently wipe your pad down and outward to sweep away makeup. Vigorous rubbing can damage lashes and over time contribute to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.