Here's How To Get Lashes Like Bambi Without Blowing Next Month's Pay On Mascara
The Debrief: Most mascaras, formulation-wise, are basically the same - it's all in the application...
Who doesn’t want really fluffy, Bambi-esque lashes? You never start putting on makeup and think ‘You know what, don’t really fancy making my lashes look longer and my eyes more awake today’ , do you? Mascara is the one beauty product most women in the world will put on every day - even if you don’t add anything else after.
We all want to find the perfect mascara that’s blacker than night, doesn’t go clumpy and can be removed without feeling like you’re going to take your eyelashes off with it, but there’s so many on the market it’s hard to know where to start, right? Well, prepare to have your mind blown - most mascaras, at least formulation-wise, are kind of the same.
But, I hear you cry, why are some more expensive than others? Don’t some have fancy essential oils in? How can they be the same?! Well, in essence, most mascaras are basically slightly varying concentrations of pigment, wax and film formers. It’s really, really expensive to get new ingredients approved for cosmetic use, even for massive beauty conglomerates, so it doesn’t make financial sense for brands to try and find new ingredients. Any jazzy extras like argan oil a mascara might claim to have is going to be a tiny, tiny percentage of the whole ingredient list.
What they can do much more cheaply - and thus do with every new launch - is come out with new wands and new bottlenecks (aka, the little ring just inside the tube, which is also called a ‘wiper’). Of course, it’s obvious why a good wand is important, but caring so much about the neck of bottle seems weird - until you realise that controlling the amount of product on the wand is pretty key to getting a flawless finish. Big-name brands will pour loads of cash and research into find the ultimate wiper-and-wand combo, and we’re talking the difference between a single millimetre in terms of the wiper diameter or a few bristles on the wand. It’s precise stuff. The upshot? You can definitely make a cheaper mascara behave like a more swish one - it’s all down to technique.
Fake the action of the fancy wand and bottleneck, and you’re on your way to killer lashes. Makeup artist Riona O’Sullivan, told us, ‘Personally, I love a classic bullet-shaped fat brush with dense bristles, but different wands give different results, so it really depends what you want to achieve. The look of the brush should almost replicate what you want to see on your own lashes: Fat fluffy brushes will give you voluminous lashes. Thin, defined, comb-style brushes will give you longer, more separated lashes.’
How to apply mascara for massive lashes
- Prep your lashes: ‘There’s no reason a bargain mascara can't look as expensive as the high-end ones. Give your lashes a good squeeze before applying your mascara.’, Riona told us. Lifestyle blogger and owner of excellent lashes, Reena, from Fashion Daydreams added, ‘Spend a ridiculous amount of time curling your lashes before you even begin applying mascara.’
- Get up close: Riona explained, ‘Hold a small hand-held mirror close to your face, so you can really see what you're doing.’, while Reena advised, ‘Looking down into the mirror and starting to apply it right at the root.’
- Take your time: Reena said patience is the name of the game here. ‘Wiggle the mascara wand to coat all your lashes, then hold the wand vertically and apply mascara with an upwards motion to really lengthen your lashes.’, while Riona noted, ’Don't leave a single lash untouched. Having all the lashes the same texture and colour will look more natural and more expensive.’
- Layer it up: If you love that false-lash effect look, Riona explained, ‘It’s best to work on one eye at a time, and build the mascara up while the product is still wet.’
As for the best bargain mascaras going, Riona likes Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara (£7.99) and Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara (£8.99). And if you want a serious rave review, Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic swears by L’Oreal Paris’s Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara (£8.49). So there you have it - how to make your lashes look a million dollars - just for under a tenner.
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