It’s up there with a complete stranger stopping you in the street to ask what perfume you’re wearing – when someone asks if your eyelashes are real, you know you’ve found the mascara you’ll be buying for life.
But it’s not just the perfect mascara that can take your lashes from lacklustre to stop-traffic-level luscious – there’s a handful of expert-approved application tricks and techniques to really make ‘em pop. Just ask celebrity make-up guru Charlotte Tilbury, who says even “the way you apply your mascara can dramatically change the shape and size of your eye.”
Here’s what works for us…
1/ Always curl your lashes first. We know, we know – it’s an extra step in your routine, but it’s one that literally takes two seconds and it. Is. Worth it. Try the cult-fave Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $32.
2/ Dot black eyeliner in the gaps between your lashes. This gives the effect of a stronger lash line and will make yours appear thicker and healthier, without making it obvious that you’re wearing eyeliner. Perfect for a natural look during the day.
3/ Heat things up. If your formula is starting to dry out, try lauded Dior Beauty creative director Peter Philips’ failsafe temperature trick: “When this happened to my mother, she’d put her tube of mascara in a cup of warm water to loosen it up, which is something I still do today,” he says. Surprise, surprise: the new Dior Pump & Volume mascara has a squeezable tube so you can warm up the formula for the same effect.
4/ Wiggle the mascara wand from the bottom of your lashes to the top. “Hold the brush horizontally across the lashes and pull up through the lashes in a zig-zag action, nestling the brush in the lash line,” guides Charlotte Tilbury. This action intensifies the effect and ensure the product coats your entire lash, not just the front, to thicken and lengthen.
5/ Direct the wand outwards, not just up. This applies only to your outer lashes – guide them outwards towards your hairline for an extra-fluttery effect. Charlotte Tilbury backs me up: “for a seductive, hypnotic look, hold the brush diagonally across the lashes and pull the brush up and out at the outer edges for an exaggerated elongating effect,” she says.
6/ De-clump with a spare mascara wand. After you’ve applied mascara, comb a spare wand (with no product) through lashes from top to bottom, or use a brow brush. This will do away with any product build-up and separate individual lashes.
7/ Powder your lashes as well as your T-zone. After you’ve applied one coat of mascara, dust translucent powder over the top before applying one last coat. The powder acts as a thickening agent and will also keep the look in place longer – no more panda eyes by 5pm.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.