Mascara has the ability to emphasise your eyes, even with little or no other make-up, but clumpy mascara can immediately ruin the look you’re creating, unless of course you’re aiming for a “spider legs” 1960’s Twiggy look.
Yet clumpy mascara is something that many women battle with. I find that the trick to getting the perfect mascara application is to wiggle the mascara wand from left to right from the base (roots) of the eyelashes, while slowly pulling upwards towards the tips, still wiggling the wand as you go. This helps to ensure that the mascara coats the whole eyelash and separates the lashes.
If your mascara still ends up looking clumpy, use either a clean, dry mascara wand or an eyelash comb to brush out the clumps while the mascara is still wet. Apply all your coats of mascara to one eye first, before doing the next eye. Once the mascara has dried, you will find that the mascara will clump if you attempt to apply additional coats and your lashes will probably stick together and not be nice and separated.
If you don’t have a clean mascara wand (there is usually one in a brush set) then save one when you next change your mascara and keep the old wand. Wash it and place it in your make-up bag. An eyelash comb is the double-headed item that comes in a brush set that looks like a spikey brush on one side for brushing your eyebrows, and a little comb on the other side to comb your eyelashes.
Did you know? Each time you use your mascara wand, it introduces air and bacteria into the tube. The air causes the mascara to dry out and become thicker in consistency, making it more prone to clumping, while the bacteria (they occur naturally on your eyelashes) is introduced into the tube and this is the perfect warm, moist environment for them to breed. Bacteria will eventually cause you mascara to start smelling funny, and may even cause eye infections.
Ideally, mascara should be replaced every 3-6 months, but if it starts smelling a little odd sooner than that, toss it out! The change in smell usually means that either one of the ingredients has gone off, or there’s an abundance of bacteria growing in the tube. If you’re not sure how your mascara should smell, buy a new tube and smell it and then smell your old one. There should be a difference, especially if you’ve had your old one for a while.
Be careful of pumping your mascara wand in and out of the tube as this will introduce excess air into the tube, causing your mascara to dry out faster and probably go off a lot quicker than it should. Rather push the wand into the tube and then twirl it around a few times (roll the handle backwards and forwards between your fingertips), your wand will be coated with sufficient mascara and should help keep the original consistency for a bit longer.
Remember to always remove your make-up before going to bed. Leaving mascara on overnight can cause your lashes to be stiff and brittle, instead of soft and flexible and this can cause them to break.
Handy hint: Waterproof mascara can double up as a liquid eyeliner. Simply dip your eyeliner brush into the mascara and apply like you would a gel or liquid eyeliner.
Are you ready for a new mascara? Read “Which mascara to use?” before making your next purchase. It might help you to find a mascara that gives you the right lash effect that you’re looking for!