Mascara Tips & Tricks

My oldest and truest love in the makeup world is mascara. It’s my “desert island” product. I have a minimum of 5 tubes in my makeup stash at any given time (stay tuned for my episode of Hoarders). I can’t live without it. Okay I could…but I don’t want to.  Why?  Because mascara makes a huge difference, especially for hooded eye folks like me, and there’s just something ultra feminine and Marilyn Monroe-esque about having long, fluttery lashes.  

Over my many years of mascara wearing and beauty researching, I’ve learned some helpful tips and tricks to get the most out of my lashes and I’m happy to share those tricks with you.  Here we go:

me
Right eye brought to you by the power of mascara; facial expression brought to you by seasonal allergies.

Heat It Up

It goes without saying that a good lash curler plays an integral part in making your lashes look their best. So before you start applying any makeup, throw your lash curler and/or mascara tube in your bra. Yes, you read that correctly.  

Heating up the curler helps lashes hold the curl longer while heating up the mascara softly melts the formula and leads to easier, smoother, less clumpy application.  Some beauty gurus advise heating up the curler with a hairdryer but I’m far too lazy for that and prefer to just stick my curler in my bra for a few minutes and let body heat do its thing.  Works just as well and really confuses anyone who happens to be watching you apply your face.

curler

Looks weird, works well

Line the Waterline

The majority of us aren’t #blessed with thick lashes but luckily it’s easy to fake them by lining the upper waterline.  This trick isn’t for the faint of heart because you’ll be putting a pointy object dangerously close to your eyeball but it really does make a world of difference:

tightline

Photo Credit: beautylish.com

Run a waterproof black or dark brown liner on that tiny strip of skin to fill in the gaps between lashes and give you a more cohesive, full lash look.

Use a Lash Primer

Not necessarily a must-have for every day, but when you really want to make lashes look extra long, thick and fabulous, apply a lash primer before mascara.  My favorite is the Benefit They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer:

benefit

Lash primer is also great for “no makeup” makeup looks, giving just enough color and length to make eyes look more open and awake without looking made up.

Swipe Time

Mascara application is where the real magic happens.  Most important application tips:

  1. Swipe Toward the Nose – Instead of just swiping the wand straight up, angle toward your nose to fan out the lashes and cut down on mascara transferring onto the eyelids.  No one likes dealing with that mess.

  2. Base and Blink – Set the wand as far down on your lashes as you can get, right at the base, wiggle it a bit to get mascara on the roots of your lashes, then slowly blink as you move the wand upward and toward your nose in one fluid stroke.

  3. Coat Both Sides – Don’t forget the top side of your lashes!  Once you’ve done the base and blink technique, look down and coat the top of the lashes all the way up to the tips.

Revive Old Mascara with Eye Drops

There always comes that inevitable time when a tube of well-loved mascara turns dry, clumpy and basically unusable.  This is a good excuse to run out and buy another one but if you want to revive the mascara and stretch your money, add a couple squeezes of eye drops to the tube and swirl everything around with the wand.  Voila! Mascara resurrection.

drops

And there you have it, my best mascara tricks.  What is your lash secret weapon?  Let me know!

Products I’m Loving Lately

Today I have a random assortment of makeup, hair and skin products I’ve been using and lovely lately.  There is no rhyme or reason to this mix of products – some I’ve purchased myself and some are samples from Birchbox.  There are few things I love more than beauty products AND receiving packages in the mail so Birchbox has been very up my alley and a great introduction to brands and products I might have never tried.  So, let’s get to it:

Eyes

Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Photo Credit: samanthalalaa.wordpress.com, amazon.com 

The name is certainly…memorable, and it should be, because this mascara is excellent (and I have tried an embarrassing number of mascaras).  While it is great, it can be a bit tricky to work with and quickly turn clumpy.  Go slowly when applying and keep an eye on (pun, sorry) how your lashes are progressing and you’ll be just fine.  This mascara will give you long, full lashes that border on looking like falsies.  If that’s your thing, I highly recommend picking up a sample size at Ulta to see if you like it because it can be pricey. I’m always looking out for you.

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner

Photo Credit: birchbox.com

I received this liner in a Birchbox and at first glance I thought it would be hard to work with, but it is surprisingly easy to use.  Well, as easy as applying liquid eyeliner can be.  Another huge plus is the color payoff – very black, very matte and long-wearing.  I had typically used brush and/or long, fine tipped liners but Eyeko has convinced me that the marker shape is by far the easiest to use and it will be my go-to from here on out.  

Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette

Some day you might turn on Hoarders and see me, surrounded by mountains of eyeshadow palettes instead of garbage and cats, with my finger hovering over the “Add to Cart” button on Sephora.  What I mean is – I have no self control and bought yet another eye shadow palette. The first step is admitting it.

But in my defense, I did my research and bought the absolute best and most useful palette I could find.  Shade & Light has all matte shadows, warm and cool toned neutral colors, with fantastic pigmentation and blendability.  This palette is perfect for everyday looks, smokey eyes, mature/hooded eyes….really anyone with eyes.  

Here are a few of my favorite Shade & Light tutorials I’ve tried out and loved:

 

Lips

POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstix in Satin Rose

Photo Credit: popbeauty.com

Another gift from the Birchbox gods, this is a great everyday soft pink lipstick.  This color looks good with everything and I imagine every skin tone.  The formula isn’t too sticky or too glossy and it has pretty great staying power.  Satin Rose is definitely my favorite new “my lips but better” product.

Hair

Redken All Soft Conditioner

Photo Credit: amazon.com

My hair is naturally curly and very fine.  I also bleach and dye my hair monthly to be blonde which leads to the perfect storm of damage and overall terribleness.  Thankfully, there are a ton of products out there to make hair like mine more manageable.  One of my new favorites is the Redken All Soft conditioner.

Redken products are  a bit more expensive than my regular drugstore staples so to stretch it and make my money last, I mix a small amount of this conditioner with the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner.  Leaving that combination on for 5-10 minutes a couple times a week makes a huge difference in the softness of my poor abused hair.

Skin

Soap & Paper Factory Green Tea & Shea Hand Cream

Photo Credit: theoliviashop.com

This stuff smells AMAZING and the older I get, the more I seem to get into hand creams.  It’s the circle of life.

All hand creams basically do the same thing, hydrate your skin, so really the only reason this cream is so great is the heavenly smell (and the cute packaging).  

What products are you loving?  Let me know!