Rate & Reveal: Mascara

Studio 5 Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone reveals the best mascara for your every eyelash need.

Choosing a mascara can be confusing. Should you get lengthening, curling, thickening or non-smudging? And what, just what, is the difference between each of these anyway? (Is there a difference, or are these mascara types all hype, designed to get you to buy more than one type?)

Mascaras these days are loaded with proteins & waxes all designed to condition your lashes & come in problem-solving formulations. Here are some tips to selecting and using the correct mascara for you:

How To Apply Mascara:

Step 1: Wiggle the wand left to right at the base of lashes. It’s the mascara placed near the roots — not the tips — that gives the illusion of length.

Step 2: Pull the wand up and through lashes, wiggling as you go. Zigzagging the wand back and forth during application helps cut down clumps. Apply mascara carefully to the bottom lashes, holding wand vertically. This application should be very light to avoid the spidery look.

Step 3: Close the eye and place the mascara wand on top of lashes at the base and pull through to remove any clumps.

Tip #1:Thin, short brushes are best

A thinner brush allows you to get into the corner of eyes. Short brushes give you more control.

Tip #2: Give a few coats to the edges by blinking

Blink onto the brush to give ends an extra coat.

Tip #3: For a dramatic look, apply mascara only to the upper lashes

To make eyes seem wider, apply to the bottom, too. But make sure you give lashes a light touch. Not great at getting those bottom lashes? Try putting a tissue under them before application.

Tip #4: Want that 2nd coat?

Just make sure to do it before the first coat dries, otherwise you’ll get clumps.

Tip #5: For easier application-bend the wand

Bend the wand at a right angle and it will be easier to apply.


• Replace mascara every 3 months, regardless of if it still appears “good”. Mascara is a breeding ground for bacteria and needs to be replaced regularly to maintain healthy lashes.

• Apply olive oil nightly with a clean mascara wand for extra conditioning.

• Remove mascara with an eye make-up remover, not soap. Soap can be too drying for the eye area and stripping the hydration will cause premature fine lines and wrinkles around the eye. It can also make the eyelashes brittle and prone to breaking. I like Mary Kay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover $14.00 www.marykay.com

• Try colored mascara. Bronze or navy accentuates blue eyes, purple or fuschia accentuates green eyes, gold accentuates brown eyes.


• Pump wand in and out of the tube. This only introduces air into the tube, which will cause your mascara to dry out sooner than it should. Swirl brush around the sides and then pull out.

• Use eyelash curler while wet with mascara. Instead, curl eyelashes BEFORE applying mascara.

• Wear black mascara if you have blond eyelashes. Black mascara is fine for just about everyone unless you have blonde lashes and brows. Opt for brown-black instead.


Best Lengthening Mascara

Lengthening mascaras have dense bristles that allow you to get more mascara on your lashes & especially on the tips of your lashes.

Holly’s Pick: L’Oreal Lash Out Walgreens $7.99

Best Defining Mascara

If you want each individual lash to show, a defining mascara is best. Be cautious with long lashes so as not to define too much and get the “spider legs” look.

Holly’s Pick: Lancome Definicil Nordstrom $24.00

Best Thickening Mascara

When you want bulk, you want to buy the mascaras touted as ‘thickening or volumizing.’ These products contain a thicker formula of waxes & silicone polymers that coat lashes & make them appear bulkier.
Holly’s Pick: Cover Girl Lash Blast Target $8.49

Best Anti-Clumping Mascara

Anti-Clumping relates to the brush as well as the formula.

Holly’s Pick: Max Factor Stretch and Separate Walgreens $7.99

Best Waterproof Mascara

This is the best selling mascara in the world. An estimated 1.6 tubes are sold every second.
Holly’s Pick: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Wal-Mart $7.49

Best Mascara for Sensitive Eyes

If you have a problem with mascaras making your eyes water or itch, try this formula.
Holly’s Pick : Cinema Secrets Bullet Mascara $12 www.cinemasecrets.com

Best Curling Mascara

These mascaras have an ingredient which “constricts” the lash therefore creating a
“crimped” effect. There are several curling mascaras on the market and I have yet to find one that meets my expectations. They come with higher price tags and seem to be drying and therefore not good for daily use. Therefore I recommend selecting one of the mascaras above and using an eyelash curler.

Best Overall Mascara

Holly’s Favorite: L’Oreal Lash Out. This formula doesn’t smudge and lengthens and defines the lashes effortlessly.

It is affordable and consistently gives me flawless results.


Curling lashes gives eyes the appearance of being wider and brighter. Be cautious of heated curlers as these can dry out the lashes making them brittle.

Before applying mascara, hold curler as close to base of lashes as possible. Hold firmly for at least 45 seconds for optimum curl. Follow with 2 coats of mascara for volume and definition.

Shu Uemura makes the most popular eyelash curler on the market ($18-$22) www.sephora.com


For strip lashes, measure lashes against your own lashes before applying. Snip ends to fit lash line. For individuals, apply where needed.

Place thin strip of glue (DUO Eyelash adhesive $8 Taylor Maid) across false lash. Let air dry for about 30 seconds until glue is tacky. Using tweezers, place lash right at lash line and then press towards the back against tips of lashes to secure. Apply a coat of mascara over the top to blend with your own lashes. Eyeliner can be helpful if you still see a “lash line”.

To remove, start on the outside and gently pull towards the inner eye. A mild cleanser should remove any excess glue.

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