How to apply mascara

Oh, how I love mascara!  You can get away without it, especially with freshly tinted lashes and a good quality lash curler, but honestly, why would you want to?  Nothing says rock chick or glamour diva or gorgeous girl as much as lashings of mascara does!

I had an afternoon to myself the other week (the joys of working part time and having a school aged child!), and found myself having a play at the Napoleon Perdis counter.  I was talking to the girlies about their products and how much I love the comb-brush on their Mesmer-Eyes Mascara.  The wand doesn’t have a brush – it has a flat comb with differently-spaced teeth on each side.  They were very surprised as apparently no one likes it.  It’s not the usual mascara wand and it’s not easy to use the first time, but I highly recommend it.  It’s all in the technique.  As I was describing how I apply it, I realised that I have my own Kimba Likes Lexicon for mascara application too!


how to apply mascara

How to Apply Mascara

  • Firstly, curl your lashes.  I adore my Shu Uemura lash curler, and my Tweezerman one is very good too.  You really do get what you pay for with a lash curler.  You can buy replacement pads too.  I apply as close to the base of the lashes as I can comfortably get, then clamp for about 10 seconds.  The difference this makes to your lashes is amazing!  Sometimes I move it slightly away from the base and clamp again.  I don’t bother heat blasting the curler with my hairdryer first, as applying the mascara straight away gives enough of a lasting effect.  I’m also too klutzy and don’t want to singe my eyelids!
  • Next step is applying the first coat of mascara using the Wiggle technique.  Take your mascara wand, without pumping it in and out of the tube (so naughty!), and apply to the base of your lashes upwards, in a wiggly side-to-side motion.  This will deposit mascara at the base of the lashes to give the illusion of thicker lashes.
  • Then I use the Fan technique as my next step in the mascara process.  Load the wand again by replacing and removing from the tube, wiping any clumpy excess off with a tissue if you wish, and then hold the brush at the base of your lashes.  Keep the brush still and let your lashes do the work by gently lowering them onto and over the brush.  This will fan your lashes, giving the illusion of longer lashes.
  • Load the mascara wand again for the Sideways Sweep technique and then apply the mascara wand across your lashes on an angle, holding the brush almost vertically, concentrating on the outer corners.  This will give a lovely fluttery flirty look to your lashes.
  • Finally, I gently hold a mascara brush wand against my lower lashes for the Lower Lash Dash technique, without reloading it with mascara.  I find this gives me enough colour on my lower lashes, yet doesn’t create the spidery shadowy effect you can often get from putting mascara on your lower lashes.

Sometimes when I’m being very fancy pants, I use both a lengthening mascara and a volumising mascara, but I prefer a long fluttery lash over a thick lash.  I always, always choose black mascara.

I find I don’t often get mascara fallout, as I wipe the excess off my brush as I go.  The Fan technique also reduces mucky bits of mascara falling onto my face or eyelids.  I have quite long lashes too, so this may be another reason.  However, I read of an excellent technique of holding a business card or a tablespoon over your eyelids as you apply your mascara to prevent fallout.  You might like to try this!

I’d love to hear how you apply your mascara and what your favourite mascara is.  Are you a rock chick chunky lash girl, or do you prefer a lady-who-lunches fluttery lash?  Do you worship at the altar of Maybelline Great Lash or do you join me in the sceptics camp?

Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • […] Take care when applying mascara to your lower lashes. Heavy lower lashes can weigh down your eyes and also cast under eye shadows.  I like to use the Lash Dash technique to add a hint of darkening without weight.  Click here for my mascara application tips […]ReplyCancel

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  • carmen@musingnmayhem - 17 July 2012 - 9.26 pm

    Oh dear, I might need to start wearing mascara… but then I might get it on my eye piece of my camera… darn it. Now I know why I don’t wear make up often. *sigh*ReplyCancel

  • Laney CrashTestMummy - 17 July 2012 - 6.01 pm

    Oh my gosh, same, same, same to everything you said! I use all those techniques exactly – how is it possible that I know something useful about beauty?!?!?!? I’m in the market for a new mascara too. I’ve used a comb before and really liked it but can’t remember the brand of mascara. Combs are so much better for avoiding clumpiness too.ReplyCancel

  • Deb @ home life simplified - 17 July 2012 - 3.38 pm

    i have always hated mascara as it clumps too much – might give that comb a try and see if i like it – right now i use it maybe 3 times a year ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 6.23 pm

      I just Googled comb mascara and there are lots of different options. I’m a bit of a sucker for my Napoleon Perdis one. Just waiting for the next GWP so I can restock! 🙂

  • Lisa Hill - 17 July 2012 - 3.23 pm

    I hardly ever wear mascara, and I’ve never curled my lashes. Until I read this post, I didn’t even know how a lash curler worked. How I got to 41 without knowing this is beyond me!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 3.32 pm

      Oh, I love lash curlers! One quick squeeze and your eyelashes look twice as long and twice as thick. Are you going to give it a go?ReplyCancel

  • Cup of Tea & a Blog - 17 July 2012 - 1.33 pm

    I hardly wear it any more. Sometimes I pop some on in the morning, but forget it’s there and rub my eyes and later find i’ve been sporting panda eyes all day. Good look eh? 🙂 xReplyCancel

  • Jess Newman - 17 July 2012 - 1.26 pm

    I did not realise mascara application could be such a huge process! I literally just sweep it on and I’m good to go!
    I bet your lashes look heaps better than mine though!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 3.34 pm

      It takes mere seconds when you’ve got the routine down. A quick swipe and good-to-go is fine, but I figure if I’m going to do it anyway, I might as well go to town! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Grace - 17 July 2012 - 12.31 pm

    Cool! I knew about the wiggle and fan technique but not the others. I used to swear by my eye lash curler. These days I barely have time to put some mascara on. I think you’ve inspired me to get back to it. Always feel glamorous with a touch a mascara 😉ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 3.36 pm

      I think I saw the sideways sweep on Oprah by her makeup artist, Reggie (?!) but the Lower Lash Dash, I don’t think I’ve seen before? Woe is me, but my lashes are too long to do anything else – I look like a spider has landed on my face! 🙂

      Who doesn’t love a touch of glamour in their day?!

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style - 17 July 2012 - 10.32 am

    I am similar to you. I love mascara and it has to be black. Length over thickness everytime. I haven’t tried the comb. I am going to hunt one down right now 🙂 Rachel xReplyCancel

  • BossyMummy - 17 July 2012 - 10.28 am

    I am such a chick failure! I do a sweep along each eye, top and ottom and that is it. And I use my pink maybe line that I have used since I was a teenager and Dolly magazine recommended it 🙂 Great tips! ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 11.30 am

      Oh, that’s probably the Great Lash! Everyone loves it and it keeps getting voted for in beauty awards but shhh, don’t tell anyone, I dislike it intensely! Let me know if you decide to use the tips. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Yvette - 17 July 2012 - 10.07 am

    I had a great mascara in the UK – it was a comb instead of a brush and always made my eyes pop!! Now I can’t find one here in Perth for the life of me.. all the brushes get gluggy and leave big lumps on my eyelashes!! ReplyCancel

  • Penny Whitehouse - 17 July 2012 - 7.57 am

    Wow, had no idea about mascara technique. Now I do. I wonder how glorious I’ll look now! Thanks Kimba!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 17 July 2012 - 8.04 am

      It just makes sense that if you want long lashes, then apply in long smooth strokes. If you want chunky thick lashes then get it on there. Hope it works for you! 🙂

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