Mascara is one of my favorite ways to really make my eyes pop! To me, mascara is like the holy grail of eye makeup — not only does it make your lashes darker, it also makes them appear thicker and longer. I love it so much I'd include it on my must-have beauty list if I was ever stranded on a deserted island (along with Chapstick and sunscreen). Since I get asked about my lashes pretty often, I wanted to create my best mascara tutorial that goes in-depth and includes step-by-step photos, plus all of my tips for getting great lashes.
Did you know you can apply castor oil or vaseline to your lashes overnight to keep them moist and healthy? Sometimes I'll do that, but I make sure to begin with fresh, clean lashes when I start my makeup routine. If there's oil or residue on lashes then mascara won't adhere very well.
Here's a beginning shot of me with no mascara on for reference.
Step 1: Brush to separate lashes.
The first step to getting great lashes is to brush through them and separate all of the stray lashes that are pointing off in crazy directions. You can use an eyelash brush or a wand without any mascara on it.
Step 2: Add heat.
Next, I use a travel-sized hair dryer on a low setting to add heat to my lashes. This step adds a bit of lift to them. I only point the heat towards them for about 20 to 30 seconds and I use a hair dryer with low wattage.
You know how you turn your head upside down and blow-dry your hair to give it more volume? That's kind of the same idea here. I warm up my lashes, and then use a lash curler on them (next step) so they'll point up more towards my eyebrows. It makes my lashes extend upward and outward more when I do this. You can skip this step, but this is my BEST mascara tutorial, so I'm including all of the steps I use when I want my lashes to look their absolute 100% best.
Step 3: Add curl.
When using an eyelash curler, the key is to press gently. I never use a lot of force because I don't want to ever break or damage my lashes. That's why I use the hair dryer to warm my lashes in advance – it makes them more pliable so I don't need to press too hard with the lash curler. Position the lash curler close to the base of your lashes and then gently squeeze and hold the squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds.
Here's a shot of my lashes from the side after I've curled them so you can see how they bend upwards more towards my brows.
Step 4: Add the 1st coat of mascara.
When I add a coat of mascara to my top lashes, the first brush I use is one that tends to deposit a lot of mascara so I can get really thick coverage. One of my all-time favorite mascaras is by Bare Minerals. I love it because it deposits a lot of color on my lashes and makes them look really dark!
Step 5: Add the 2nd layer of mascara.
For the second coat of mascara, I switch to a brand with a thinner wand that helps to separate my lashes and coats the sides of each lash a little better (I'm using NYC here).
You can also add color to the back side of your lashes during this step, if needed. I only think that's necessary if you've used a light/glittery eyeshadow and the pigment fell on the backs of your lashes, because a light coat of mascara on the back is good for covering that up.
Step 6: Tightline.
This next step is called tightlining and it's when you add liner to the waterline on your upper or lower lids. That's the area between the base of your lashes and your actual eyeball (the flat little area where your tears build up before they spill out of your eyes.)
When you add liner there, it makes the base of your lashes look thicker. I tightline the top and bottom waterlines.
Step 7: Add mascara to the bottom.
The final step is to add mascara to the bottom lashes. I love using The Skinny Mascara from NYX for my bottom lashes, because the wand is really tiny and it allows me to reach each of my lower lashes individually. If you have an eyelash comb, brush through lashes to get rid of any stubborn clumps.
Here's a close-up of the end result!
Mascara: Bare Minerals Lash Domination in Intense Black | NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara in Extreme Black | NYX The Skinny Mascara in TSM01 Black/Noir Eyeliner: Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Blackest Black
I hope my tips help! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments. I have another great tutorial here that teaches how to use lash fibers to add amazing length to your lashes, and you can see all of my makeup tips by clicking on the beauty tab at the top of the page.