Bat those lashes, ladies!
Enhancing eyelashes is a part of any basic beauty routine.
Many of us probably grew up seeing that signature pink and green mascara tube in our mom’s (or even grandmother’s) cosmetic collection.
I used to love watching my mom put on her mascara.
How it would instantly light up her eyes and enhance her natural beauty!
Designer Jeremy Scott even had his models walk the runway for his Spring 2016 show with big, graphic eyelashes for New York Fashion Week.
Model Gigi Hadid was outfitted with the hand-painted lashes for the show.
Today, there are tons of mascara formulas offering to give our lashes volume, length, fullness, and show-stopping wow factor.
And, that’s exactly what we’re looking for! According to a survey by Allergan, 3 out of 4 women in the United States (ages 18-65) are not lash happy.
Girls, I hear ya.
You don’t have to live with barely-there lashes!
Today, I’m excited to share all my favorite tips for highlighting your fabulous eyes with big, beautiful lashes and how to keep them looking great throughout the day!
Your Top 5 Eyelash Problems Solved
First thing’s first, let’s tackle some of the most common complaints I hear about eyelashes.
Here are my beauty hacks for amazing eyes!
Problem 1: My lashes need length.
You’ve got thick, healthy lashes, but they stop a little short of their full-length potential.
Fix: Make your lashes go for miles.
Look for a lengthening mascara which works by elongating your lashes using small synthetic fibers to build length from root to tip.
Or, you can invest in some eyelash extensions which are applied individually to give the look of longer, fuller lashes.
More on that in a bit!
Problem 2: My lashes need some wow factor.
You feel like your lashes just need a little oomph and glamour, like they could be doing more to highlight your sparkling eyes!
Fix: Pump of the volume.
Your lashes may need some body.
Say, “So long!” to sparse lashes and try these tips for bulking up those bad boys!
- Volumizing Mascara – Look for a volumizing formula that will thicken up lashes. This will instantly perk them up and add a nice frame for your eyes.
- Apply Multiple Coats – A few coats of mascara will add some dimension to lashes. Pro Tip: Make sure to apply your second coat while your first one is still wet to avoid dry, clumpy lashes (AKA spider eyes).
- Try a Primer – A mascara primer conditions lashes and gives them a perfect foundation for your regular mascara to deliver max length and volume. Think of it as a mascara booster!
Problem 3: My eyes need more definition.
Mascara isn’t quite cutting it to give you those cartoon doe eyes, but you’re not really on board with mastering winged eyeliner.
Tightlining involves using a small eyeliner brush, or pencil, to dot eyeliner in between your upper and lower lashes.
The result is a natural-looking way to make eyes really pop without having to go full smokey-eye.
Many newer mascara formulas actually advertise an ability to tightline! Their brushes are designed to give a similar effect by applying the formula close to the lash line minus the extra step of having to dot between individual lashes.
Problem 4: Clumps. All the mascara clumps.
You want smooth, natural-looking, bold lashes, but your mascara always leaves clumps or makes lashes stick together.
Fix: Stop drying out your mascara.
Most of the time, your mascara is clumping up because it’s drying out.
Rule numero uno, stop pumping your mascara!
Whenever you rapidly pump your mascara wand in the tube, you’re just forcing air (and even bacteria!) into the tube.
Instead, swirl the wand inside the tube and wipe off excess mascara either on the edge of the opening or on a clean tissue, which will help cut down clumps.
If lashes are still clumpy, you can follow up mascara application by combing through lashes with a lash comb to separate them.
Or, take a look at your mascara wand and see if it’s clumped up with dried mascara.
It might be a good idea to give it a refresher!
Give it a good scrub with some makeup remover followed by warm, soapy water.
It’ll be like having a new applicator!
Also, check the expiration date and shelf life of your mascara to make sure it’s not old.
It might be time to toss that tube and get a new one!
Problem 5: My mascara always smudges.
It’s always SO fun to do a makeup check halfway through the day only to find that you now have raccoon eyes because your mascara has migrated to your eyelids or below your eyes!
Oils from your eyelids or makeup, rubbing your eyes, or the type of mascara you’re using can all cause smudgy eyes.
Fix: Make your mascara budge-proof.
First things first, look for a waterproof mascara which is more likely to stay put and less likely to transfer onto your skin throughout the day.
Second, cut down on the oil factor around your eyes causing makeup to slip.
The best way to do this is to apply a translucent finishing powder to eyelids and right up to your lower lash line under your eyes.
You can also apply an eyelid primer before sweeping on any eyeshadow which will really help lock everything in place.
My Mascara Tips for Pro-Level Lashes
Fun Fact: Eyelashes do more than draw attention to your beautiful peepers.
They shield eyes from the sun, protect eyes from debris such as dirt and pollen, and help reduce evaporation so our eyes don’t dry out!
So, let’s get the most out of your mascara and celebrate your lovely lashes!
Start With a Fresh Face
Make sure you’ve removed all traces of yesterday’s eye makeup.
This will help avoid leftover smudges and clumping by ensuring your lashes are a fresh canvas for your mascara.
This step is optional, but it can really open up eyes and give you next-level lashes.
Make sure not to press too hard or clamp down repeatedly to avoid lash breakage.
Some makeup professionals suggest that you can heat up your eyelash curler with a quick shot from a hair dryer or by running it under warm water to maximize its curling ability. I would proceed with caution on this method and check the temperature of your curler before applying to your eyes. It’s not worth risking injury or burned eyelids!
Wipe Off Excess
As I mentioned, don’t pump your mascara wand.
Swirl it in the tube before removing it.
If there’s excess mascara on the wand, swipe it on a clean tissue to avoid clumps on lashes.
Do the Wiggle
With your mascara wand, start at the base of your lashes and swipe out towards the ends.
Wiggling the wand back and forth as you go will really help it get in between your lashes to separate them out to allow for better application.
If necessary, apply a second or third coat while mascara is still wet.
You can also try applying to both the bottom and top of your upper lashes.
To apply to the top of lashes, close your eye and start at the base of your lashline.
Open your eye slightly as you move your brush toward the ends of your lashes.
Comb Em’ Out
If you find that lashes are sticking together or clumping, you can run a lash comb through them to really separate them and fan them out.
Oops! Did Mascara End Up Somewhere on Your Face?
Pro Tip: It’s super annoying to have to go back and fix makeup because you got a spot of mascara on your eyelid, nose, or cheek.
To avoid messing up makeup, try one of these tricks:
- Use Foundation – Put a drop of foundation on a q-tip and used it as sort of a makeup remover/blender. This works best if you catch mascara while it’s still wet.
- Flake It Off – Wait for mascara spot to dry, then gently flake it off your skin using a q-tip and tissue. Makeup crisis averted!
Why Do I Feel Like My Eyelashes Are Constantly Falling Out?
Finding the occasional eyelash on your cheek is a normal (make a wish!).
The average lifecycle of an eyelash is about 3 months, and they’re continually shedding and new ones are growing in.
But, if you feel like you’re losing lashes on the reg, or always finding them on your pillowcase, there could be a few culprits.
Sleeping With Your Makeup On – We’ve all heard that you should NEVER go to bed with makeup on (it’s true).
But, when you sleep in eye makeup, your lashes are more prone to breakage since mascara (particularly waterproof formulas) can make your lashes brittle.
Plus, you put yourself at risk for eye infection.
Always wash your face before bed!
Rubbing Too Hard When Removing Your Makeup – Your lashes and the skin around your eye area are delicate and shouldn’t be scrubbed too harshly.
Use an oil-based eye makeup remover, and hold a cotton round on your eye for a few seconds to allow makeup to loosen before swiping.
Follow up with a moisturizer and/or eye cream.
Gettin’ Crazy With Your Curler – Pressing too hard with an eyelash curler, clamping down over and over, or pulling can compromise lashes and lead to breakage.
Especially if you use a curler on top of mascara!
Curl lashes before you apply mascara, and go easy on your eyes.
Removing Your Falsies – If you’re just tugging at your false lashes to remove them, not only can you tug out your real lashes, you can cause damage to your delicate skin.
Use a Q-tip with eye makeup remover to gently loosen the glue and remove false lashes.
He or she can help you determine the cause and the best course of treatment to get your lashes (and your health) back on track!
Leave Lashes to the Professionals: Tinting and Extensions
Two of the biggest beauty trends in eyelashes lately are eyelash extensions and eyelash tinting.
They’re both new options for those who want enhanced lashes without depending solely on mascara.
Let’s take a look at what both of these procedures have to offer when it comes to primping your peepers!
What It Is
In this process, a technician meticulously applies synthetic, silk, or mink individual lashes to your natural, individual lashes using a semi-permanent glue.
The whole deal takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours.
Bonus: guilt-free nap time!
It’s recommended that lash extensions are maintained with regular touch-ups every 3-4 weeks.
With proper care, your extensions will last the regular life cycle of your natural lashes – about 6-8 weeks – and fall out on their own with your lashes.
Don’t pull your extensions out yourself! You’ll end up plucking out your natural lashes with them. Let them fall out naturally. Or, you can go back to the salon where you had them applied, and they’ll remove them for you.
Eyelash extensions can give you some stunning eyes! (Think Kim K, Beyoncé, Katy Perry-level lashes.)
They last longer and look more natural than applying false eyelashes.
Plus, you don’t have to painstakingly glue them on and remove them yourself.
They’re also completely customizable.
You can choose the length, color, material and even curl shape of your lashes.
Plus, you can decide if you want less for a more natural look, or more for full, dramatic lashes.
They also save you time in your beauty routine since it’s actually recommended that you don’t use mascara with eyelash extensions, or just apply a very light coat to the tips.
There is some maintenance involved.
You have to avoid water touching your lashes for 24 hours after getting them applied.
And, it’s suggested that you keep oil-based makeup removers away from them, which means you have to be a little more careful when taking off your eye makeup.
Finally, there’s the ever-present risk of being allergic and having a reaction to the lash glue.
If you’re concerned about this, talk to your lash technician before the procedure.
What It Is
Eyelash tinting is a service performed by an esthetician in a salon or spa.
Typically, you’ll have a protective cream and cotton pad applied under your eyes to avoid the dye staining your skin.
Next, a professional applies a brown, black, or dark blue/black-colored dye to your lashes while you keep your eyes closed.
After 10 minutes, the dye is wiped off, and you’re sent on your merry way with enhanced lashes!
While eyelash tinting won’t add length or volume to your lashes, it will give them some definition, which is great if you have very fair or light-colored eyelashes.
If you already have long eyelashes, tinting may allow you to skip mascara altogether and save you time in your get-ready routine.
It’s not permanent.
The dye typically fades in anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Although, I’ve tried eyelash tinting and personally really like it for myself!
I’ve found that I only have to go for touch-ups every 4 weeks.
Also, our eyelashes will eventually fall out naturally and you’ll grow new ones that will have to be retinted.
There may be some risk involved.
There’s always the chance of infection, allergic reaction, or skin irritation around the sensitive eye area.
Also, the FDA doesn’t typically regulate salon activity and doesn’t put their stamp of approval on any color additives used to tint lashes and brows.
So, you may be gambling by putting a chemical formula that close to your eyes.
As Dr. Jessica Krant, a board-certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology explains, “Even if the FDA were to approve dyes for tinting, it would still be possible to get infections and allergic reactions, so FDA approval of the dyes alone does not automatically make the procedure guaranteed totally safe.”
The Bottom Line: As with any beauty procedure, do your homework and find a reputable salon and technician to perform eyelash tinting.
If you’re concerned about allergic reactions, visit the salon a couple days prior to your appointment and ask them to do a patch test.
Apply a small amount of dye to the skin on the inside of your wrist and wait 24-48 hours to make sure there’s no reaction.
Better to be safe than have something happen to your precious peepers!
What about formulas that claim to grow lashes? Do they actually work?
You’ve probably seen or heard of these products that promise to help you grow longer, fuller lashes, fulfilling our dreams of permanently breaking up with our mascara to wake up each morning with natural Bambi eyes.
But do they really work?
Over-the-counter products, such as eyelash serums and conditioners, work by conditioning and strengthening your lashes to reduce breakage.
Much like the hair on your head, this helps maintain the lashes you have and avoid lash loss while your new ones grow in.
If you’re looking for something stronger, you can get a prescription eyelash growth formula that, when applied to the lash line along the upper eyelid, actually promotes eyelash growth.
Allegedly, the prescription formula was discovered by happy accident.
It was first prescribed as a treatment for glaucoma, and doctors soon found that their patients who used it not only saw an improvement in their eye condition but also in their lash growth!
There are, of course, potential side effects with prescription lash-enhancing formulas.
Risks include everything from minor redness, burning, and itching, to possibly permanent darkening of the eyelids and even the irises.
Talk to a doc if you’re considering a prescription formula, and make sure you understand all the details before using it!
My Top Picks for Ooo-La-La! Lashes
Here are some amazing formulas to brighten up eyes and give you big, beautiful lashes without a salon visit!
Gone is the age of the singular mascara formula.
There are so many eyelash options these days!
Want mascara that stays put?
Want to wake up with incredible-looking lashes?
Want glittery, feather, rainbow lashes?!
You can have it all!
I encourage to you to have fun exploring and discovering which method and formula gives you your best lashes!
How do you get your biggest, boldest lashes? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section!