Mascara. Part 1 Don't Fear it

Posted by Mary Marvella | 11:46 PM | 4 comments »

Mascara, Part 1
Don’t Fear It!

The basics

Selecting mascara is important. Some mascaras thicken, some lengthen, and others condition lashes. If you have problems applying mascara, don’t go for products that promise extreme results. Unless you have black hair, try a black/brown or a brown for practice. Black mascara can look harsh on blonds and is less forgiving than stark black is.

Waterproof mascara is thicker and slower drying and more likely to smear before it dries. Some waterproof mascaras are harsh and will flake and cause lashes to break. Repairing mistakes can require extra effort and special cleaners. They are more likely to irritate eyes than other mascaras are.

If your eyes water when you use mascara, try for one that is water-based and fragrance free. Hypoallergenic mascara, though it has been tested on a lot of women, isn’t safe for every woman. Water-based mascara is also safer and more gentle than others are. If your eyes water after you apply it, if you cry, or if you have allergies, you can use a damp Q tip or a dab of petroleum jelly or even lotion to clean smears. You can even lick the end of your pinky finger and clean smears.

You can usually return mascara products, so do so if you open the container and notice a strong fragrance.

Before you apply mascara, shake the container, then open it. Don’t pump the applicator in the container because you pump air into it, which can cause bacteria to grow. Dip your wand into the container, then clean any globs or excess mascara from the wand. Even the most expensive mascaras can have globs on the wand. If you are a novice or just leery, wipe your wand gently on a tissue to clear off the extra. You are less likely to smear this way and the result will be very subtle.

Step 1. Looking straight ahead and keeping eyelids lowered but not closed, apply the wand to the tops of your upper lashes on each eye. Yes, I did say the tops. Brush down the lashes to the tips. If you check your mirror after you apply mascara to the tops of the lashes of one eye, you might be surprised at the difference, even if you don’t begin at the roots of the lash. Sunlight lightens the tops of lashes, as it lightens hair so we don’t always realize how long our lashes really are. To avoid getting mascara on your brow bone, don’t open your eyes immediately. Your lashes should dry quickly if you are using a water-based product. You shouldn’t need a fresh dip for this step.

Step 2. Dip the wand into the container and clean off excess mascara. Open your lids, but not at their widest, and brush the underside of your upper lashes from the roots to the ends. Use an upward sweep as you go to help lashes curl while they are wet. If you draw the wand bristles carefully to the ends, you can separate your lashes as you go. Blink and a small amount of color will touch your lower lashes. Again, if you feel the lashes look clumped, you can wipe the wand on a tissue before you apply it to your lashes.

Step 3. For lush lashes, dip your wand, clean it, then slowly brush mascara on the bottoms of your upper lashes again, drawing it to the end of your lashes. Use the wand to separate them. Blink again and you will transfer a small amount of color to the lower lashes.

Remember to apply mascara to one eye and compare both eyes at each step to see the differences. It might make a believer of you.

Using all three steps will thicken and lengthen lashes.

For your lower lashes, you shouldn’t need a fresh dip into the applicator. Use what is left and brush the tips of your lower lashes. The look should be subtle and show you lave lower lashes.

Want to see part 2?


  1. Mona Risk // March 3, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

    Interesting topic, Mary.
    Mascara was my thing only a few years ago. I stopped using it after developing allergy to almost every product. But I agree with you a well applied mascara enhances you eyes so much.

  2. Beth Trissel // March 3, 2008 at 9:32 AM  

    OK, like wow! I love make-up tips!

  3. Mary Marvella // March 3, 2008 at 8:34 PM  

    I am allergic to most brands of makeup, even Almay and Clinique. Maybe especially those. So far no one has developed allergies to the one I sell.

    I'll add some fine tuning for advanced users if anyone is interested.

  4. Beth Trissel // March 4, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

    But of course, Mary!