How to apply mascara

Makeup artists use various techniques to optimize the effects of lengthening, volumizing or curling mascaras to get perfect lashes. Here are a few tips to give you what you need from your mascara: volume, length or curl. You can combine these techniques to achieve two effects at the same time like length and volume for example. In this case you can also use two different mascaras, a layer of each kind. I like to apply a lengthening mascara first, then a volumizing one.

For each of the three types of mascara, always apply it with a zigzag movement from the root to the tip of the lashes to coat well. I’ll explain this technique in more detail at the end of the article. A must-read!


-Use a mascara base. Suggestion: Lancôme Lash Booster XL. It maximizes the effect of any mascara to boost volume.

-Apply several coats. The more coats, the more volume. For best results, let it dry a little between coats.

-Powder you lashes between coats. This is a classic make-up artist’s trick. After applying the first coat, don’t wait for it to dry and pat on a little loose powder or powder eye shadow with a large eye brush, then repeat. Super wow effect guaranteed!!


-Let the first coat dry a little. Then, looking downwards, place the brush on the other side of the lashes (top side). Rotate the brush ant-clockwise (upwards) so that the mascara penetrates between each lash and at the same time, pull your lashes upwards. You might find this a little strange but it gives really successful results as the lashes are stretched.

-Use fibres: they’re like little mini extensions for the lashes (like hair extensions). They adhere to your lashes and create length. To get the best results, you should use the brush to place the fibres vertically. Many lengthening mascaras contain fibres but I prefer to add my own. They’re available in a mascara container with a brush, (in loose form like a loose powder). To apply them, apply a first coat of mascara and without letting it dry, stick the fibres onto your lashes at the tip. Finish with a second coat of mascara to seal. It’s a very effective technique although it takes a little practice. Suggestion: Tweezerman Fast Lash – Lash Lengthening Fibers.


-an eyelash curler is obviously essential. I can’t repeat this too often; it’s the most useful tool for curling lashes and opening up the eye. Use your eyelash curler before applying mascara so that you don’t damage your lashes or create clumps. Begin at the base, taking care not to pinch your skin, and squeeze hard. Release, then move the curler upwards a little and repeat. Repeat this right to the tip.

-Immediately after applying each coat of mascara (don’t wait for it to dry), apply your brush handle or your finger on the point of the lashes and press lightly to create a curl. Stay there until it dries. This takes patience but you’ll be rewarded!

Zigzag technique

Many readers or clients ask me why their mascara always looks better when I apply it than when they do it themselves. The answer is simple; I use the zigzag technique. I’ve been telling people this for years but they don’t always listen unfortunately! So I’m taking advantage of this blog to remind you once and for all how important this technique is and what an ENORMOUS difference it can make. Do it and you’ll never look at mascara in the same way again!

Here’s how to do it. It’s very simple.

Hold your brush horizontally but instead of moving it up and down, apply the brush firmly on the base of the lashes and apply quickly move in a side-to-side piston movement. This causes the mascara to penetrate better between the lashes instead of just going over the surface as the up and down movement tends to do. By penetrating between the lashes, the mascara coats each lash including the upper area, not just the underside.

Then continue the side-to-side movement, in both directions, but move slowly upwards at the same time. Most people use a rapid repetitive upward movement which means that the product doesn’t have time to coat the lashes properly. Take your time, even if it means getting up two minutes earlier in the morning. Anyway, the zigzag technique leaves more product on the lashes so it’s not going to take you any longer than if you used the classic movement 10 times.

Apply pressure on the brush. If you’re afraid of messing up your eyelids because you’re applying too much pressure, look downwards and raise your eyebrows. If you really need to look in the mirror, place a hand mirror on the table and keep your head up straight. This will inevitably lead you to look downwards.

The side-to-side piston movement is like the letter Z. Start at the horizontal base of the Z and go upwards on a slight diagonal, then do another horizontal movement. Keep the horizontal movements very short or you will make your lashes point every which way. It’s important to keep a neat upward curve.

Believe me; you won’t regret changing your ways for this technique. My clients all said that they got the most out of their volumizing mascara since they tried applying it this way. The same goes for lengthening or curling mascara; you double or triple the effect simply because the mascara penetrates better.

So have I convinced you?

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