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If you’re going to reach for one makeup item in the morning to really make those peepers pop, it’s probably mascara. No other makeup product can match it for its minimum ease and maximum impact. Just a few swipes and you’re ready to go, right?

It turns out that it’s not quite so simple. Applying mascara properly is an art and, like any great art form, there are countless ways to create perfection. Every great artist finds a system that works best for them, and that’s exactly what should happen with mascara application.

Here are 10 of the best beauty hacks out there for applying mascara that will leave your lashes so thick and radiant, everyone will think you’re wearing falsies!

1. Start from the Base

An eyelash curler or curling your lashes with a mascara wand (you pro!) can make your eyes look larger and your lashes look longer. The mistake that many make is piling mascara towards the end of the lashes, without adequately coating the base. This is a no-no, because basically what you end up doing is making the ends of your lashes too heavy – and the base of your lash line doesn’t have the support to hold them up. The result? They droop.

To get the drama you want, make sure to start applying mascara as close to the lash line as possible, coating the full lash. This will prevent a weeping willow effect around the eyes and leave you looking totally glam.

2. Don’t Forget the Top of Your Lashes

This is another common mistake. People coat the underside of their top lashes without getting the top. It seems like the underside is more important, because that’s what we see – and that’s certainly true. But, coating the other side of your lashes is going to help build volume, for a thicker, more radiant lash.

3. Give a Little Shimmy

As you’re applying your mascara, give the wand a little wiggle from side to side. This will help to separate the lashes, making each individual lash look more defined. Each individual lash will be thoroughly coated. Using this technique is also a great way to avoid clumps.

4. Heat Things Up for Curl

Getting a good curl can drastically change your finished mascara look. You can use an eyelash curler. They’re great, and a must-have in any beauty kit. One trick for getting extra oomph out of your curler is to heat it up. Turn your hair dryer on low and point it at the curler for a couple of seconds. Keep an eye on it and be sure to test the heat against your finger before applying to your eye to prevent burns.

This trick turns your eyelash curler into a curling iron, so it will keep that curl for longer. It’s a great go-to when you know your makeup will have to take you from day to night.

5. Keep That Tube Nice and Fresh

You’ve heard it before, but you should really be changing your mascara out every three months. In addition to that, there are some other ways to keep your mascara fresh. Avoid pumping the mascara in the tube. Sure, it feels like a good way to get more mascara on your brush, but what it actually does is push air into the tube, meaning that mascara you love is going to get hardened and dried out faster.

Another way to get a smooth application (and sidestep those clumps) is to give your mascara tube a little soak before you use it. Running it under some warm water can heat up the tube, essentially liquefying any dried out mascara.

Applying mascara | Beverly Hills MD

6. Keep Those Old Wands

When your mascara finally has seen its final days, toss the tube – but hold onto the wand. Soak the wand in a bowl of warm water and makeup remover to remove any of the adhered mascara. Once it’s clean, you can throw it back into your makeup bag.

Why would you want to do this? Old mascara wands are excellent for separating lashes, so once you’ve given a swipe of mascara, you can follow up with an old wand to avoid clumps. Be sure to rinse the follow up wand after every use.

7. Apply Your Mascara First

When you put your mascara on after all your other makeup, it’s easy to end up with black streaks across the crease of your eyelid (that feeling when you curled too well). Instead, put your mascara on first. That will allow you to go hog wild (think Jackson Pollack, but with mascara, not paint). Any mess you make can be easily cleaned up with a q-tip covered in makeup remover.

If you find that you’ve gotten a little eyeshadow dusted over your mascara, you can always add a “finishing coat” at the end, for even darker, more dramatic lashes.

8. Mix and Match-scara

A common trick for lipstick is to layer colors to give a richer, more dynamic look. The same holds true for mascara. Start with a lengthening mascara and follow it with something volumizing. You’ll get the best of both worlds. Take that, Hannah Montana.

9. Bend It Like … A Makeup Artist

Have you ever noticed that your mascara wand is flat, while your lash line is curved? Yeah, this doesn’t make much sense. Give your wand a little bend so that it matches the curve of your eye. You’ll be surprised at the results. This will make it glide the product onto your lashes more evenly and naturally.

10. Remember the Whispies

The tiny lashes around the corner of your eyes, the “whispies,” are so often forgotten. This is a shame, because by applying mascara to these tiny hairs, you can really open up eyes and make them pop. Use a product with a super thin wand (and a high-powered makeup mirror with a good light) to get into these difficult to reach places.

There you have it. Ten surefire ways to up your mascara game. Give them a whirl and let us know what you think!

P.S. If you really want perfect lashes, either for everyday use or a special occasion, check out One Two Cosmetics magnetic lashes! They’re super easy to apply and look gorgeous!

Want more beauty tips? Read More:
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