If you’re prone to getting mascara all around your eyes (oh hello panda), struggle with product distribution, fight clumps on a daily basis, or just want new ways to up your lash game...here are the things you need to know:
#1 How to separate clumpy lashes
We’ve been known to do some terribly dangerous things in the name of beauty, like using a needle or safety pin to separate lashes that have been joined together in an unfortunate union by mascara. These days there are several cheaper, safer and easier ways to do it, like investing in a mascara or eyelash comb or keeping a clean mascara wand from an old tube of mascara. You can even brush through your lashes with a clean toothbrush. Just remember to buy a different one for your mouth.
#2 How to avoid getting clumpy lashes in the first place
If you’re not a fan of thick and clumpy lashes, you should always wipe off excess mascara from the wand onto a clean tissue or cotton pad before using it on your lashes. As always when it comes to makeup, it’s easier to build up more product than having too much to start with and trying to take some away. Naturally, some mascaras are going to be more clumpy than others, and if you prefer the ones that are less so, opt for lengthening mascaras over volumising ones.
#3 Give your lashes more volume
If on the flip side, you want each lash to appear thicker so your lashes look fuller and more voluminous, you don’t need a volumising mascara to achieve it. Using a brush (any old makeup brush you’re willing to trash can become your new lash brush), apply a light coat of translucent setting powder between coats of mascara. The powder will cling to your lashes and give them more volume which your next coat will then cover up.
The way you apply your mascara can also make a difference to the volume. If you want your lashes looking fuller at the base, make sure you really wiggle the wand horizontally at the base of your lashes before swiping up. This deposits more product at the base of your lashes, which makes them look darker, thicker, and can also help them keep a curl for longer.
Image: Baiba Opule/123rf
#4 Lower lashes done right
It can be tough to get your lower lashes coated without getting mascara everywhere, especially when most mascara wands are too long or thick for your lower lashes. So if you want to make sure your lower lashes are good and dramatic, hold the mascara wand vertically instead of sideways, and wiggle the tip of the wand between your lashes. Don’t forget to wipe off the excess product first, because the top of the wand always ends up with the most amount of product out of the tube and you don’t want massive clumps of mascara on your lower lash line.
#5 Avoid any mishaps with a mascara guard
Some people use name cards, others use spoons. It’s about finding what works for you and your eye shape. I recommend something you can clean and reuse again to avoid unnecessary wastage. In fact, you can buy something like this strange but handy little contraption from Amazon. It not only acts as a mascara guard but comes with a comb for the other end for your lashes. Winning combo right here.
#6 Revive your mascara
Mascara has a really short shelf life (boo). We understand that you’re in denial about how long you’ve held onto your favourite tube, especially if you forked out a hefty sum for it. Unfortunately, there’s an acceptable window of only three to six months, after which you should really throw it away. This is to prevent the risk of eye infections or styes from bacteria that’s built up in your mascara. But if your mascara is still new enough and beginning to thicken up or is tougher to work with, you can try one of two things to “revive” it.
First off, warm the whole tube by sticking it in a glass of warm water. The heat should melt the mascara formula a little, making it easier to use. Another ‘safe for your eyes’ option is adding a drop or two of saline eye drops to the formula as a way of thinning it. Whatever you choose to do, please be sure your mascara isn’t just wayyyyy past its expiry date. Just imagine it’s a mouldy three month-old banana. You wouldn’t eat it anyway...well we hope not!