By GalTime's Makeup Expert Andrea Ducharme
Our top 5 picks for the perfect mascara
If there's one thing that can be considered THE must-have item in every woman's makeup bag, it's mascara. Long and lush lashes flutter to the top of most beauty wish lists, but with thousands of types and brands to choose from, finding your perfect match can often seem daunting.
Here is a guide for taking the guess work out of it:
Related: Secret to Stay-Put Eye Makeup
First, decide what you want your lashes to look like. Long and separated? Thick and full? Natural? When in doubt, choose a mascara described as lengthening and separating, since you can usually dial up the drama with several coats. Volumizing formulas can look clumpy if the brush is too thick.
Take a look at the brush. Smaller brushes will give more defined lashes, while larger ones will deposit more color in one coat for thickness. The flip side is that larger brushes can be trickier to work with, especially on the lower lash line.
Do you need waterproof mascara, or a formula that's simply smudge resistant? I typically recommend waterproof formulas for special occasions only, as they can be more difficult to remove. The good news is that most of today's mascaras are smudge-proof and should stay put.
In terms of color, I recommend black for everyone. It frames the eye and does more to make your lashes stand out than a dark brown. Colored mascaras are fun once in a while, but black will always be the first choice of every makeup artist.
Let's talk about price point. There are plenty of great brands under $10, but if you do want to splurge on a department store brand, Lancome, Estee Lauder and Dior have some wonderful formulations. You might even be able to score a sample before you buy. (PS: I've listed 5 of my favorite mascaras below.)
Once you've found the winning formula, here's the best way to apply: Curl you lashes first, then gently press the brush into the roots of your lash line and pull up. Repeat while the mascara is still wet. (If you apply a second coat once it is dry, it can look clumpy.) If the mascara brush comes out of the tube with too much product, just wipe the edges on the tube. Using tissues will dry out your tube more quickly, and possibly add tiny fibers to the brush.
For the lower lashes, hold the brush vertically and apply sparingly starting at the roots. If you get any mascara on your skin, just wait one minute and flick off the flakes with a q-tip. If you try to remove mascara while it is still wet you will end up with a smudge.
MY TOP 5 MASCARAS:
- L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes in Carbon Black ($8.99) - My all-time favorite mascara has the perfect, creamy formula, a great brush that separates, and a true black pigment. Two coats of this and your eyes will be framed perfectly!
- Maybelline Great Lash ($6.40) - There is a reason this is the number one selling mascara of all time. The brush always comes out of the tube with the perfect amount of mascara, the formula builds and lengthens perfectly, and it never clumps.
- Fresh Supernova Mascara ($25) - This is a splurge at $25, but it delivers lush, fluttery lashes. Just be sure to apply each coat while the formula is still wet to avoid clumps.
- Julie Hewett Rose-Scented Mascara ($20) - This is a recent discovery for me. It has a nice glossy look and is great for sensitive eyes. And bonus...it has built-in lash conditioners. The beautiful Diane Lane is addicted, and I can see why!
- CoverGirl Lashblast ($7.79) - This really does lengthen, thicken and separate. The brush is easy to use, and the giant orange tube is easy to find at the bottom of any makeup bag.
More from GalTime:
- Holiday Scented Beauty Products!
- Get Your Drama Fix: Maybelline Master Drama Cream Eye Pencil
- Newest Beauty Addiction: Semi-Permanent Lashes
- How's Your Beauty Counter Etiquette?