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Eyelashes, Where Art Thou? Mascara tips for the faint of lash

3 September 2015

For many, mascara is one of those desert island makeup products. For me, it's a source of frustration. 

Oh, how I wish I had pretty peepers. Bigger and brighter, with a crease and long, curly lashes. Centre stage, not behind the scenes. Eyes that speak, not ones that are all-too-happy hiding behind large frames. But alas, things are what they are. And besides, that's what mascara's for, right!?


Mascara always smudges on me. ALWAYS. It's a combination of my lashes refusing to hold their curl aaaaand my lashes refusing to hold their curl. Until I solve that problem, here are a few mascara tips I swear by.

Waterproof all day, every day

This is an obvious solution. I know some people swear by waterproof mascara, and others hate its guts, but regular mascara really doesn't stand a chance on my lashes. If you already have lovely, curled lashes, waterproof formulas are probably something you only reserve for special, tear-jerking occasions. Firstly, I'm about a Nick Jonas on the jealousy scale. Secondly, I'm just in awe that anyone can wear regular mascara without having it smudge or run. If you do have issues with that, though, give waterproof formulas a try. Some still can't manage to hold my curl, but there's definitely less smudging by the end of the day. Plus, they're not as hard to remove as you might think. A good oil-based cleanser always does the trick for me.

Use the smallest amount possible

I learnt this genius and revolutionary(!) tip from Wayne Goss. If you're a frequent but accidental wearer of panda eyes, listen up. Wipe off the excess product from your mascara wand. Use a tissue or a paper towel or whatever you'd like, but make sure you really clean the wand. I know it might seem like a waste of product, but if it solves your smudging issues, it won't be. Comb mascara through your lashes like normal, and what you'll end up with are clump-free, well-defined lashes. It should also hopefully leave you free of smudges too, since you'll have done away with all that extra gloopy black product. I've been using this method for the last year and I can't ever see myself going back to the regular way. The few times I have, it's been Clump City or Spiderlashville. Also, if you're a fan of plastic/silicone wands, I would suggest being more gentle as a few of mine have been damaged by my rough wiping away of product...

Skip the mascara altogether

It's a pretty crazy suggestion, but I've been foregoing mascara on a regular basis for a good few months now, and I have to say, I couldn't be happier! Sure, I still love what mascara does for the eyes (there's a reason it's such an integral part of our makeup routines), but for everyday -- especially when I'm wearing glasses -- just a simple curl of the lashes has been my go-to. I was inspired after seeing one of Lisa Eldridge's nude, barely-there looks for Vogue China which involved caramel tones, glossy cheeks and eyes, and no mascara (see also: Vogue Japan). I know the lack of eye makeup does nothing for my beady little eyes, but I just feel so free not having to constantly worry about smudgy mascara, which in turn gives me confidence. It's all a bit ironic. Also, just on the down-low, wearing no mascara makes me feel very high fashion/editorial/runway. "Karina, are you just using whatever random fashion-related words you can think of?" Maybe. Do I still feel pretty kick-ass about it? I do, indeed.

Here are some mascaras I've thoroughly enjoyed over the years. They all tend to have dense, bristle brushes (I find that they catch lashes better than comb wands), and of course, are all waterproof. They all give me decent length, separation and -- my favourite -- fluttery volume! If you have similar lashes to mine, you might like them too. 

  • Maybelline The Mega Plush Volum' Express Waterproof
  • Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Waterproof
  • Almay One Coat Get Up & Grow
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara (not pictured)

Do you have a difficult relationship with mascara?
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