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How to Choose the Best Mascara

Looking for the right mascara? Follow our tips for the best mascara choices and application.

Fotolia 41214069 XS1 thumb How to Choose the Best Mascara

30 Days of beauty Day 27: All About Mascara

Examine Your Lashes

Choosing the right mascara starts with an evaluation of your eyelashes. Before you can even begin to research the many different types of mascara available today, you need to have a good idea of what your natural eyelashes look like. This can only be achieved by using a makeup mirror with advanced magnification.

Most makeup mirrors today come with two sides, the first side is generally labeled 1x, which is the standard mirror view. The second side labeled 2x doubles the magnification and allows you to see much closer. Use the 2x side to examine your lashes. Identify your lash type. Are they skimpy or thin? Do they curl naturally or are they straight? Are they long or short?

Choose Your Mascara

Identify the main types of mascara that will meet your needs . There are approximately four different types of mascara: Thickening, also known as volume building, lengthening, waterproof and non-clumping.

There are many brands that claim to be able to plump up your lashes or give you extra volume. However, if your lashes are naturally full, you don’t need this kind. In fact, thickening mascara can make your eyes look heavy and overdone. You may do better with a simple, non-clumping brand.

Volume building mascara is usually best for women with thin and skimpy lashes; many brands include extra protein to keep your natural lashes protected. Short lashes will benefit from lengthening mascara brands with dense bristles to spread evenly along the entire length of the lash, especially the tip.

Waterproof mascaras tend to be harsher than other types because of their durability. They work best on healthy, full-length lashes. Non-clumping mascara is excellent for naturally curly lashes that require more extension.

Tubing mascara is also rather popular right now. This type of mascara encases the lashes and tend to a good job of providing length with some volume. However, it also tends to be a type that women either love or hate. Try getting a sample if possible or testing in the store before buying.

Choose you Brush Type

Once you understand your natural lashes and complete a thorough inspection, you should have a pretty good idea of the type of mascara that will work best for you.
Next, consider brush type. There are several types of brushes that will produce completely different results. Brushes that resemble trees, with bristles that are short on both ends but long in the middle can provide a thick coat.

Rubberized brushes that have thin combs work best to separate the lashes and coat individually.  These are great for longer, clump free looks. For more volume, look for thicker more bristly looking brushes. Cone-shaped brushes tend to pull and stretch your lashes without clumping and curved brushes work best on straight lashes to help bend them.

Your Best Mascara Color

For a natural look, choose a color that is closest to your natural hair color. For women who color their hair, this can be challenging. Rather than relying on the color of your hair, choose the color that matches your eyebrows and natural eyelash color. For more drama, use a black mascara.

Mascara Application

Applying your mascara correctly is just as important as your selection. Make sure you begin when your lashes are completely clean. Take your mascara and apply using the wand from the left, or inside to the right, or outside.

The base of the eyelash is where the majority of the mascara should be applied, not near the tips, unless your eyelashes are very short. Make sure you wiggle the wand as you add the mascara to ensure even coverage from the base to the tip.

Alicia Mohr from Things to Cherish gives this tip for creating a dramatic lash look:

To get the lush look of false eye lashes without the frustration of applying them, dust loose powder across your lashes before applying mascara. It builds dramatic volume without clumping.

To clean up smudges try this tip from Madeleine Homes of Peace Love Lipgloss:

Everyone has smudged their mascara at least once in a rush to get out the door in the morning. If so, let it completely dry for a few minutes. If it’s completely dry- it should easily flake right off with a Q-tip! If you try & fix it while it’s still wet, you’ll end up with a smeared mess!

Know When to Toss Old Mascara

How long can your keep mascara? Becky Sturm from StormSister Spatique offers this tip and information:

If your mascara dries out before the 6 month repurchase date, add a couple
drops of saline solution to the tube. The sterile liquid will rehydrate
mascara. FYI, the FDA advises that mascara be replaced every 4-6 months.

Meanwhile, Heather Adessa of *Gloss & Tell, Makeup By Heather A. says this:

Most people keep their mascara until it goes dry – that is way too
long! Many company’s recommend purchasing new mascara every 3 months,
I say every month. You have lashes to protect dust and particles in
the air from getting into your eyeball – so they are dust magnets. You
use that mascara brush at least once a day on your lashes, which means
that particles that are on your lashes are on your brush. You want to
use that brush for a long time? I didn’t think so. Time to change it
up!

Favorite Mascaras

Here at Beauty and Fashion Tech, we love Fiberwig for a tubing mascara, along with Kevyn Aucoin Mascara. You can read our reviews here:

Fiberwig Mascara Review

Kevyn Aucoin Mascara Review

For non-tubing options, our favorites are the cult classic Diorshow, and just about any of the Lancome mascaras.


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