Monday, January 4, 2010

Lashes! Lashes! Lashes!

I am often asked what kind of mascara I use. Admittedly, I lucked out in the lash department when my DNA was being sorted out and it's not really fair to just answer the question without such a disclaimer.

I find that mascara is almost as personalized to the user as foundation. There's tonnes of mascaras out there to choose from - from your drugstore brands to your luxury tubes to your prescriptions for longer, lusher lashes. It can be confusing, I know! For example, what is with this crazy brush from Givenchy? Granted, I've never tried it, but from my experience it looks like it'll be all kinds of blotchy, clumpy messiness.

Start at the drugstore. My first piece of advice when looking for a mascara is to start with the cheaper brands. Mascara formulas don't vary all that much from brand to brand - that Covergirl tube at WalMart is similar in recipe to the Dior ones at the department store. However, some brands are wetter than others and this will have the same effect on your lashes as rain on curled hair.

Maybelline and Cover Girl, specifically, are a good place to start. L'Oreal has some good ones as well, but Maybelline Great Lash is the go-to for many a make-up artist (we Beauty Squared girls too!).  Start cheap and work your way up to the more expensive brands. Chances are you'll find an inexpensive tube that you love!

The brush. Another important thing to consider is the brush. Unfortunately for many drugstore brands you can't always see the brush before you buy the product but some brands, like CoverGirl are now selling their mascaras with the wand outside of the mascara tube. Personally, I like the smallest brush I can find because it really gets to every lash, root to tip.

Reuse and Recycle. I bought a Too Faced Mascara last year and while the mascara was ok, what I really liked was the brush, so I cleaned it and kept it once the mascara was used up. I recommend doing this if you find a brush you really like. It's a bit of a pain to clean it after each use (otherwise the product will dry, harden and get crumbly) but worth it when you find a brush that really works for your lashes.

Currently, I have 4 mascaras in my make-up kit - JoeFresh mascara, Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash, Benefit BADGal Mascara in Blue and Maybelline Great Lash. I use them all, but JoeFresh for day and Buxom for drama, the most frequently.

Clockwise from top left: Benefit BadGal Mascara in Blue, JoeFresh Mascara in Black, 
Buxom Lash in Black and Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black

A close-up of Buxom Lash's brush.

A close-up of JoeFresh's brush that I've bent on an angle to better get to my lashes.

TIP: One of the most important tips any make-up artist can offer about applying mascara is to blot the wand/brush with a tissue before applying. This allows the excess product to be removed and you'll have less clumps, less wetness and less difficulty applying.

The eyelash curler. It's hardly just mascara to take the all the credit for gorgeous lashes. The secret is the eyelash curler. If you've never used one before, please put aside your fear, I know it looks like a torture instrument but once you get the hang of it, you'll want to cuddle with it and never let it out of your sight. My eyelashes are long, naturally straight and point slightly downwards, so curling them is a necessity for me. It does just what you've heard - it opens up your eyes, making you look bright-eyed and awake and it makes your eyes look bigger!

Shu Uemura. I've used a number of eyelash curlers - plastic, metal, Tweezerman, Cover Girl, Revlon, Sephora brand - and the best by far has been Shu Uemura's. It's quite a bit pricier than drugstore brands, but it makes curling your lashes so easy, quick and effortless, it is definitely worth the price! The difference lies in the curve and the control you have over the "pinch".  The Shu Uemura curler has a shallower curve than other curlers so it works well on most eyeshapes and lashlines. It's easy to place over your lashes and slides right to the base for an effortless fit and curl. Unlike many of the more inexpensive lash curlers, the Shu Uemura curler has a narrow opening with just the right amount of give in its hinge to create a gentle, natural curl with limited pressure.

My Shu Uemura eyelash curler

Here is a good little video instructional on how to curl your lashes if you've never done it before. Always remember to use a clean curler and only curl clean lashes.

And those are my tips for how to make the most of your lashes. Feel free to ask any questions and let us know how it works for you!



  1. I've been wanting to try that Givenchy stuff! Have to buy!

  2. Hi Rayanne! If you do, let us know what you think! I'm skeptical...