How To: Select a Mascara

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Whether you buy your mascara at the drugstore or the department store, the options are endless. Therefore it can be an overwhelming endeavor. Here’s how to find the best mascara for you:

Have a look in mind. Some mascaras aim to give you a natural look; others boast claims of giving the appearance of false lashes. Knowing the look you are ultimately trying to achieve can help narrow your search.

Find the formula for you. If your lashes are short, try a lengthening formula, such as Lancôme L’Extreme Instant Lash Extensions Lengthening Mascara or a formula with nylon fibers to mimic lash extensions such as Déjàvu Fiberwig Mascara. If your lashes are straight (like mine), opt for a curling mascara that bends the lashes upward like Shieseido The Makeup Lasting Lift Mascara. If you have sensitive eyes, or wear contacts, reach for a wax based formula like Ocusoft Mascara. I personally love a rich, lush lash look so I favor volumizing formulas. L’Oreal Voluminous is one of my favorites, and a must have for myself and for my makeup clients. When in doubt, opt for volumizing mascara.

Back in black. Black is the way to go as far as I am concerned. The clear and brown mascaras have always baffled me, especially given the fact that I am blonde with stick straight brown lashes that are blond at the tips. I want my lashes to look as dark as possible to give my eyes definition. When I was younger, before I started wearing makeup, I saw the clear and brown mascaras as mascaras with training wheels, a temporary transition until you got to the big leagues of black mascara. If your lashes are naturally dark, by all means wear clear mascara for shine if you prefer. And know that I am incredibly jealous of you.

Color scheme. Color mascaras a great option for exploring trends and for making the most of your eye color. Choose a color that is the opposite of your eye color to really accentuate your eyes. For blue eyes try a copper or bronze shade. For green eyes reach for a plum or rust formula. Brown eyes look particularly fetching in green or blue mascaras. Navy is a great option for any eye color as it makes the whites of your eyes look whiter, perfect for those suffering from allergies or if you didn’t get enough beauty sleep the night before.

Check out the brush. As any makeup artist can attest, good mascara is as much about the brush as it is about the formula. Taking a peek at the brush is an excellent indicator of how your lashes will look. If the brush has spiky bristles or combs, you are going to have separation. If your mascara brush is oversize and wide your lashes will be thick as well.

Long lasting commitment. Waterproof mascaras can be notoriously difficult to remove; so it may not be your mascara of choice.  Instead you could try a water resistant formula such as Blinc or Kanebo SENSAI 38C Silk Performance. If you choose to wear waterproof mascara every day, as I do, be sure and have makeup remover or makeup removing wipes and q-tips at the ready. I remove my mascara every night with natural body oil and a q-tip. It works beautifully and its added hydration to the delicate eye area, you can’t beat it!

What’s your favorite mascara? How do you choose one? Advertisements? Packaging?

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3 Responses to How To: Select a Mascara

  1. Danielle says:

    I am obsessed with both Loreal Voluminous and Tarte’s Light/Camera/Lashes. Both are ballerrrrrr. I really want to try fake lashes. But I’m scared of the glue and of them falling off mid-convo with a cute guy.

  2. Breanna says:

    @Danielle Don’t tell M.A.C., but L’Oreal Voluminous is what I kept in my brush belt to use on customers, it’s that good! I have never tried any mascaras from Tarte before, only their cream blushes and lipstains/lip balms. I think I want to try the new Doll Lashes mascara from Lancome, if only for the name! You can absolutely wear false lashes, and you should try them! Ardell lashes + DUO adhesive (if you have 0 latex allergies) = perfection that stays on as long as you want them to.

  3. Teri Roughen says:

    Someone told me about the Loreal and I’ve used it and really like it. Plus it’s not too too expensive.

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