Like a good push-up bra, the right mascara can lift, separate and enhance what Mother Nature gave you. A great one can take someone’s eye out. Kidding... Try these tips and your eyes won’t be the only ones popping
Sixty five per cent of women use mascara, making it the most popular type of eye make-up, according to market research firm Mintel. “Whether you’re wearing jeans or an evening dress, mascara can transform your look,” says make-up artist Jeannia Robinette. And while black is beautiful and dramatic, brown can be softer and more forgiving. “It delivers a natural daytime look and works well on women with fair skin or sparse lashes,” says Jemma Kidd, author of Make-up Masterclass.
Your mascara brush is important too – unlike really fat brushes, which deposit colour only onto the lash tips, a standard size brush (one that isn’t chunky or curved) gets close to the roots of the lashes and sweeps colour out to the ends. As a general application rule, apply one coat, let it dry (maybe 30 seconds), then swipe on a second layer. When to bin old faithful? After three months of daily use, say researchers at Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry, US, who found microbial growth in 36 per cent of mascara tubes they studied at the three-month mark. Eww. Here, Robinette shares her tips for creating mascara “looks”.FOR LONG, SEPARATED LASHES
Do this apply a single coat of mascara from base to tip of both top and bottom lashes. For added length and minimal clumping, choose a brush that has close-set equal length bristles. Remove any clumps with a clean mascara brush (try the Artiste mascara brush, $3.95).FOR BIG, FAT, LASHES
Do this Use a lash curler to curl your top lashes. Then apply mascara, starting at the base and gently wiggling the brush for a concentrated coat, and sweeping colour out to the tips. Apply up to three coats on both your top and bottom lashes. (A wand with a mix of short and long bristles will give you the best coverage). Finally, use a clean mascara brush to separate just the tips.FOR LONG, THICK LASHES
Do this Start at the inner corners of your eyes and brush two coats from the base to the tip of your top lashes, working outwards. Look for a mascara wand with shorter bristles at the tip and skip the lower lashes. Now get out there and show those babies off. Blink, blink.
What about eyelash tinting? While it’s a common procedure in beauty salons, some experts are cautious due to cases of allergic contact dermatitis, caused by the chemical ingredient phenylenediamine (PPD) – an ingredient in hair dye. To avoid a reaction: “beauty therapists performing lash tinting should ask clients about previous reactions to hair dye or temporary tattoos,” says dermatologist Dr Rosemary Nixon. For a safe at-home option try a technique called “minking”. Layer brown mascara at the base of your lashes and apply black mascara at the tips to create the appearance of darker, fuller lashes. Clever, eh?