If someone asked me to name the one makeup item I couldn’t live without, I’d respond quickly and confidently: give me a cleanser, a moisturiser, and mascara. I need mascara to feel like the best version of myself – think fluttery lashes in all of their glory (my motto is go big or go home).
Not all mascaras are created equal however. You can’t get the lashes of your dreams without the right tool, and it’s especially important to take into consideration if you’re after something specific from your mascara (I’m personally a volume kinda gal).
So how exactly should you go about figuring out which mascara to choose? Read these top tips and tried-and-tested picks to get you started.
First of all, there are three important factors to take into consideration because they each serve a very different purpose…
1. The brush shape
As a general rule, how the wand looks is how it will apply – e.g. fat fluffy brush = fat fluffy lashes. The brush design can make or break the end result – different shapes and sizes pick up different amounts of product and deposit it in very different ways.
2. The formula
In recent years mascara formulas have become increasingly innovative. Many now contain botanical extracts which go beyond the aesthetic and actually do double-duty and care for lashes, whilst others are specifically designed with longevity in mind and will stand up to the elements.
3. Your natural lashes
The state of your lashes plays a big role in how your mascara applies and looks. Curling the lashes well and combing through them to break apart any overlapping lashes will help mascara to apply smoothly and evenly.
For lower lash definition: Eyeko Skinny Mascara
It might not be 100% necessary, but bottom lash mascara is a foolproof way to make eyes look bigger. This wand has sparse, short bristles that comb through lashes and allow you to get right to the lashline without smudging. What’s more, the formula is one of the smoothest I’ve tried – not a flake or clump to be found, which is exactly what you need for delicate lower lashes.
For major curl: Kevyn Aucoin Curling Mascara
They key to foolproof curling is to focus your mascara application at the roots of your eyelashes, since heavy tips can weigh on your lashes and drag down the curl. Specifically designed to curl lashes, this mascara has a tapered wand which makes the brush easy to manoeuvre – plus you can use the narrow tip to give the ends of your lashes an extra boost.
For dramatic length: Misslyn Boombastic Mascara
To achieve maximum length, wiggle the mascara wand upwards from the roots to the tips. The small compact bristles grab and coat each lash from root to tip, lengthening with impressive separation. It’s hard to load on the volume with a plastic brush, but if length and a natural look are on your agenda, this is your mascara.
For full, voluminous lashes: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
Bigger is always better when it comes to getting volume on your lashes – wider wands pick up more product so they can instantly build thickness. This one provides volume in a single coat that does not budge throughout the day. The hourglass-shaped wand is far from gimmicky – it’s designed to deliver product to every single lash to give a glam, sooty effect.
For soft, healthy lashes: RMS Volumising Mascara
There’s a difference between looking like you have full, healthy lashes, and actually having full, healthy lashes. Fortunately, this mascara has a formula cleverly designed to do both – utilising mineral pigments and the conditioning benefits of organic oils. The traditional bristle brush makes it easy to focus on individual lashes and deposit formula easily (and without clumps).
For lifeproof longevity: Eyeko Sport Mascara
Named for its ability to endure through the toughest of workouts (it will withstand sweat, tears, rain, and rubbing), this budgeproof waterproof mascara looks every bit as good come 6pm as it did upon 6am application. The tightly spaced bristles and curved brush are great for lash separation, length, and a bit of curl.