The trifecta for achieving the perfect mascara is pretty obvious: the wand, the formula, and the wiper. Less obvious, however, is which types to choose for your desired appearance, despite labels and marketing strategies.
Mascara is a makeup must-have that is boasted about on nearly every tutorial and blog. Makeup artists swear by it, and some women don’t leave the house without wearing it. Regardless whether you’re a “less is more” kind of girl or a Donatella diva, chances are good that you will have at least one mascara tube in your makeup kit.
A number of Google search results for best mascara (or mascaras) will leave you with link after link of information about applicators. Arguably, the most important aspect of your mascara is the wand or brush.
If you’re uncertain which to buy, look at the wand’s shape. Wand length, core width, bristle length and the distance between bristles will all affect the end result.
Are your eyelashes short, long, straight or curved? Few of us have been blessed with long, thick and curved lashes, but these days we can all pretend like we were. Achieving luscious lashes only requires a bit of information from Mascara Wand 101.
- Over-sized: Volumizes lashes
- Curved: Adds shape and curl
- Balled tip: Catches small and corner eyelashes
- Microwand: Maintains a natural appearance
- Flat Comb: Helps lashes fan out
- Rubber: Adds length and minimizes clumps
Interestingly, the shape of the wand will demonstrate to you the effect that the applicator will have on your eyelashes.
We buy some formulas to lengthen our lashes and others to volumize, yet very little has been done to change or improve the content inside the mascara tube. The differences between each affect eyelash color more than any other attribute. According to internet research, the most recent breakthrough has been in the creation of the ultra dark carbon black pigment. Otherwise, the basic backbone has remained a mixture of wax, pigment, and film former.
Another difference between mascara formulas is their affinity to water. Some oil-based mixtures also contain water, making them easier to wipe off with basic makeup remover. Unfortunately, these are also prone to flaking. The types not composed of water, or waterproof mascara solutions, last longer, are less likely to flake and will maintain your look regardless of nature’s anomalies. The downside to waterproof solutions is that they are harder to wash off.
When you unscrew the top and remove the applicator, you may notice that the bristles are wiped or cleaned free of access formula. That’s the job of the wiper, the round plastic piece at the mouth of each tube. Some are smaller while others are wider, which results in more or less formula left on the wand.
The next time you’re browsing the mascara counter, take a few extra second to compare wiper width.
If natural, clump-free lashes are the look you desire, choose the brand with a rubber tip, smaller bristles and/or smaller wiper.
Some beauticians and makeup artists recommend following up one mascara application with a second, different brand, for the ultimate eye-popping look.
Fun fact: In addition to buying the best mascara (or mascaras), try out a curling apparatus. While specialized formulas and wands are created with lash curling in mind, you will dramatically enhance the curl by backing your mascara out with one of these extra devices.