Introduction to Mascara and Lash Products to help you get started
Finding a good mascara is really tricky! Sometimes the mascara you use might not be that great, but you can’t really tell because the applicator brush does a good job coating, feathering and lengthening your lashes. Most mascara I try for the first time I instantly love because new mascara always goes on smooth and usually looks good. After a few uses, though, it gets clumpier and doesn’t seem to produce the same magical effects. Also, as you may know, you should throw out mascara after three months anyways.
For these reasons, I suggest getting for free or buying sample-size mascaras because the samples usually contain enough mascara to last a couple of months. Sample-size products allow you to try a variety of products more quickly and each time you throw away an expired sample size of mascara you don’t have to feel like you are wasting a lot of expensive product. With sample sizes you don’t have to limit yourself to using only one mascara until it is finished—you can switch between a few different products getting different looks and affects on a day to day basis.
To get free samples you can ask people at makeup stores if they have samples of certain products and/or you can save up frequent-buyer reward points at places like Sephora or other makeup outlets to use on samples including various mascaras. You can also sign up for services like Birchbox, Glossybox, etc. which allow you to come across and try out new products and mascaras on a monthly basis for a decent price. Birchbox also works on a point system that can allow you to get and try more free products.
Here’s a list of specific mascaras I’ve tried and my general comments:
Benefit, They’re Real: This gives me a long, full lash. The brush has a little ball at the end, useful for painting the bottom lashes and harder-to-target small lashes closer to the corners of the eye.
Make Up Forever, Smoky Extravagant: This gives me a dramatic, dark and thick lash. The brush is big and bushy, good for getting a lot of product directly onto the lash for a bold lash look.
Too Faced, Better Than Sex: This separates my lashes and coats them thoroughly, giving my lashes a more dramatic look. This product can come on a little thick and can be hard to smooth out. The brush is feathery, which is why it is hard to smooth the product onto the lashes. It is effective mascara, though, if you want a bold, striking lash.
Urban Decay, Perversion: This also gives me a dark, feathery lash, and I prefer it over Too Faced’s Better than Sex because it’s easier to apply and smooth out.
Benefit, Roller Lash: This is probably my favorite mascara at the moment. The brush is thin like a hair curling iron and seems to really lengthen and separate my lashes.
Honestly, cheap drugstore mascaras are perfectly fine at getting the job done too. A classic, reliable choiceis the pink and green Maybelline Great Lash, in the waterproof variety or not.
There are also mascara primers on the market, but I have never noticed any noteworthy difference or improvement when I use such products.
While I’m not into primers, I do recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Lash Genius clear waterproof mascara as a general mascara sealer and for waterproofing mascara if the product you already use isn’t waterproof.
If you want a source for extensive mascara reviews, try the blog, Clumps of Mascara. Blogger Brittany Minor has tried almost every kind of mascara you can find!
A note on fake eyelashes:
Fake lashes are another really popular option right now and will certainly give you long, full luscious lashes. Plus, as long as you don’t coat them with mascara and/or if you gently clean them, you can reuse them. Of course, finding the lash with the right shape, length and fullness–one that is perfectly suited to you–requires some searching and experimentation. However, you can always cut the lashes at the ends to better fit your eye shape, and you can trim down the lashes themselves to your desired length (but I always fail horribly when I try to do the latter!). Just remember to never cut the lash while it is glued onto your eye. Also, when you apply the lash, don’t put it exactly in the inner corner of your eye. Placing the lash in the inner corner makes wearing false lashes uncomfortable, and the look and illusion of the long, full eyelash isn’t botched if you line your eye with the fake lash a little further down your lash line.
A common and easy to find eyelash glue is DUO, which you can buy at most drugstores. Put a small amount of the glue all along the line of the fake lash, dabbing a bit more at each of the eyelash ends, and hold in place until it is dry. Placing the lash can be tricky at first, but it comes easily with practice. Make sure to start at the inner corner, holding until the glue becomes more tacky and solid, and then press the rest of the lash down following your lash line. Finish by making sure the end of the lash at the outer corner is also firmly set.