Determining what you need; Mascara’s are generally designed for three types of lashes; thin and sparse, full and short, or thick and long. Since it is possible to have a combination of the lash types (ie. Thin and short, thick and short) you really want to focus on what feature you want to change the most. You need to really look objectively at your lashes. Most mascara users believe that their lashes are too short and not full enough. Close inspection might make you think otherwise.
What effect are you looking for?
Thickening/Volumizing – Thickening mascara is used to make your eyelashes look thicker and more full. The formula contain a higher amount of silicone polymers and waxes that coat lashes and the tight brush applies helps with applying a thick layer. For best results, apply two coats and move the wand in a back and forth as it applied to ensure mascara is applied to sides of lashes. Recommended for those with thin/sparse lashes
Lengthening – This is most popular mascara among consumers. The denser bristles allow for heavier application of product, especially at the tips. This gives off the illusion of longer lashes.Some formulas add fibers to the tips making them stronger so they become longer. Be aware though, they’ve been known to cause irritation around the eyes, especially if you wear contacts.Recommended for those with short/ sparse and short/full lashes.
Curling – The curve in the wand acts as a mini curler per say. There do happen to be a lot of complaints associated the actual effectiveness of many these products though…
Non-clumping – A more recent type of mascara, the non clumping formulas contain glycerin and/or silk extracts to take away from the “crispy” feeling. They tend to have longer wands for a more even application.
Defining – This is to enhance those with full and thick lashes while still preserving a soft, natural look. For best results, apply no more than 2 coats. Overdoing it can a lead to a cakey/clumpy look. Ideal for those with naturally full/thick lashes looking to add a little UMPH to what they’re working with.
Nourishing – Designed with key ingredients to help promote growth and thickness. Has a tendency of creating lashes that are smeared and clumsy. These products can generally be used with other mascaras.
Waterproof – Made with a special formula, waterproof mascara is made to repel water. It can be harsh on the lashes and may lead to breakage so it’s recommended that you keep use at a minimum. I like to use it when I go to the beach or hit the club scene. Some recommend it if your interestedin holding a curl longer.
BRUSHES AND such and such…
Straight brushes – Straight brushes are popular for their versatility and they’re easy to use. The shape of the brush makes it easier to apply product to the small lashes located around the corners of your eye. Beginners tend to favor this brush because it’s easy to use and typically forgiving of mistakes.
Curved brushes – Curved brushes encourage curl and lift to lashes. Sweeping the brush from side to side while simultaneously moving the wand up from the root to tip encourages curl. This gives off the effect of bigger, brighter eyes.
Combs – Combs are small and flat. Individual tines are designed to separate lashes and discourage clumping.
Bristles – Unlike combs, brushes that are straight or curved have bristles, which are also important for achieving the desired lash style. A brush with short, tightly spaced bristles will be ideal for adding volume to lashes, whereas a brush with long, loosely spaced bristles is best for lengthening and separating lashes. Rubber bristles attempt to combine the qualities expressed by both long and short bristles. A mascara brush with rubber bristles coats even the tiniest lashes, which adds volume, but is also strong enough to coat lashes from root to tip, which adds length. The sturdiness of the rubber bristles also mimics the effects of a comb and separates the lashes.
Also check out my article on How to Apply Mascara