10 Ways to Maximize Your Eyelashes

Lashes—lots and lots of lashes—are always in style. The longer and thicker, the better. But we aren’t all Kim Kardashian, with a posse of pros waiting at our beck and call to come apply the most beautiful falsies or eyelash extensions at any given moment. For the rest of us, we’ve got to work with what we were given …and here’s how.

1. A quality eyelash curler will soon become your best friend. Right before curling your lashes, run the end of the curler under warm water so the pad and metal heat up, then place your lashes inside and curl as you normally would. This will give your lashes a more dramatic lift that will last all throughout the day. Curl your lashes gently three times for three seconds each: once closest to the eyelid, then midway up the length of the lash, and finally, towards the tip of the eyelash. Always curl your lashes before any mascara is applied, otherwise your lashes will stick to the curler, causing them to be pulled out. We love this beautiful rose gold curler and the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. Worth every penny!

2. Using an eyelash primer will maximize the results you get from your favorite mascara, creating longer, thicker lashes. Not only that, but the right primer will also condition your lashes and protect them from the harsh chemicals that are found in mascaras. This lash primer by Lancome is infused with micro-fibers and Vitamin E, which adds extra length and thickness to lashes for added visible performance.

3. Choose your mascara carefully. Even though a tube might promise to do everything (like adding length, volume, thickness, and definition), that’s usually not the given result since a single tube can only pack so many effective ingredients. Evaluate your lashes and pick a mascara formula that will pick up where your lashes are lacking.

Pay close attention to the brush, too. A big, bulky brush will make your lashes thicker and more volumized. A brush with spikey bristles will add length and definition. If you want to get super fancy, try one coat of a thickening mascara, followed by a coat of lengthening mascara! We love this 11-piece mascara kit from Sephora, which includes formulas that stretch and volumize lashes, mascaras that curl and lift, and formulas that prime lashes. (It also includes an eye makeup remover!) Our favorites are the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara, L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black MascaraLaura Mercier Full Blown Mascara, and the BareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara.

4. Black is a universally flattering mascara color on everyone and gives the most dramatic look, but don’t be afraid to try a brown mascara if you have fairer skin and are searching for a softer look. According to Bobbi Brown, “True black mascara looks great on everyone. To check if it’s a true black, swipe it on white tissue or paper. Pass on it if it has a grayish cast. Choose brown mascara if you’re a light blonde or redhead and want a more natural look. Leave trendy colors like blue, plum and hunter to the teenagers.”

5. Mascara application is key. Apply your first coat while holding the wand horizontally. Wiggle the wand ever so gently at the base of your lashes, which will add instant thickness and create a sight eyeliner effect. Pull the wand through your lashes, while continuing to barely wiggle the wand back and forth to reduce clumps. Then, let this first coat sit about ten seconds so that the great shape and thickness you’ve created has time to set.

As for your second coat, it’s time to concentrate on giving your lashes length! Hold the mascara wand vertically and use the tip to paint on more mascara, which will push up your lashes and add length to the ends. Finish by using a clean mascara wand (You can ask for a few complimentary tester wands at makeup counters!) or a lash comb to remove any clumps. Oh, and don’t be afraid to do more than two coats!

6. If you want even more drama, try this trick in between the first and second coats of mascara: Dip a Q-tip in baby powder (or translucent powder) and lightly dust the powder to the front and back of your lashes. Then proceed with your second coat of mascara. This will give more grit to your lashes for the mascara to stick to, making the volume way more intensified.

7. Don’t forget the lower lashes! If yours are particularly stubby and hard to reach without making a big mascara mess under your eyes, you might want to consider a bottom lash mascara. Clinique has a great formula with a teeny tiny brush that is made specifically to reach those stubborn lower lashes. An extra product and step may seem tedious, but trust us, it’s worth it! We bet you’ll be surprised with how many lower lashes you have just waiting for their time to shine.

8. Not only are B Vitamins (specifically Biotin) great for your hair, skin, and nails, but they will enhance the length of your lashes and possibly even start new lash growth, as well. Try taking at least 5,000 micrograms daily, but it’s always best to consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

9. Keep it clean. Since sleeping in mascara can make your eyelashes brittle and prone to breakage, always be sure to remove your eye makeup each night before bed to keep your lashes healthy and strong. The Osmosis Colour Melt Away Gelee Makeup Remover gently sweeps away makeup, even stubborn mascara, while nourishing the skin with conditioning botanical extracts, aloe vera, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and gogi berry extract.

10. A great way to extend the length of your lashes at home is to use a growth serum. We love the Rapidlash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, but this one by Physician’s Formula is a less expensive alternative. Apply to clean lashes nightly, but know that it will take about a month to notice any results. (psst…It may also be used on your brows!) If you wish to keep things au naturale, try applying a thin coat of olive oil or coconut oil  to your lashes before you go to bed at night.

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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