From DRAB to FAB: A Quick Mascara Tutorial!

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basic steps for mascara application (and a few tricks you may not know about!)

STEP ONE: Primer & Eye Shadow. Gently apply a small
amount of primer to the upper lid. I love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, but there are a
lot of other great brands out there. Since this isn’t an eye shadow tutorial, I
applied a neutral shadow (instead of the more dramatic blending of colors &
drama I usually prefer!) Swipe on your shadow, and follow with a light dusting
of setting powder.

STEP TWO: Inner Eyeliner. Ok, this is one of those tricks
I mentioned before. I learned this while doing makeovers for photo sessions at
O2 Photography – it adds great length & drama to the lash line! But it
takes practice. GENTLY lift your upper lid so that you can GENTLY apply black
eyeliner to the inner ledge of your eyelid, focusing on pushing the liner into
the lash line as much as you can. Two VERY important tips for doing this are:
1) Only use waterproof eyeliner, never kohl or shadow! Believe me, you don’t
want all that black stuff running into your eyeball; waterproof stays on much
longer! 2) Don’t over-use this method; save it for evenings & special occasions.
Too much lash drama for Day is like wearing sparkly high heels & a prom
dress to work: overdone!!

A lot of gals wear eyeliner on the inner part of their lower
lid. This is a great way to add drama, too! Experiment with different looks,
until you find what works best for your eye shape.


Wow, my eyes look so green in these pictures (instead of blue!) My bathroom lighting must be pretty golden...

STEP THREE: Outer Eyeliner. Again, I prefer waterproof
eyeliner for staying power, but there are many methods of lining your eyes.
Pencils works great, as do gel pots and shadow with a flat eye-lining brush.  Get the color as close to your lash line – and in it! – as you can. Build the color outward, but not too thickly, unless you are going for a certain “look,” like Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page! Add a little extra at the outer corner, if your eyes are super-round (like mine!), and/or close-together. The lift at the corner can help them appear further apart.

STEP FOUR: Curling! Ok, there’s debate about this one. Some
gals curl their eyelashes all the time, others rarely. Some people believe over-curling can lead to lash loss & breakage. I believe they’re right, and prefer to only use a lash curler for special occasions. (I like to err on the side of long-term lash health over short-term drama.) Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing to remember is to NEVER, EVER curl your lashes AFTER you’ve applied mascara! That’s definitely a recipe for lash breakage, and eyelashes take much longer to grow back in than eyebrows or head hair! A few steps further down, and I’ll tell you another one of my special tricks for curling lashes SAFELY, post-mascara application! Read on…

STEP FIVE: Eyelash Primer. I love this stuff!! Again, there
are multiple brands of this, but I’ve tried a bunch, and one stands head & shoulders above the rest: Make Up For Ever’s “Lash Fibers”! It coats your lashes with actual fibers, to add both bulk and length. It also dries grey-to-clear, unlike some other lash primers that dry WHITE and show through your mascara – not pretty! Starting at about 1/3-up from the base of your lashes, coat and re-coat with the fiber, then let it dry for 1-2 minutes(about the time it takes to brush your teeth.)

STEP SIX: Mascara. I prefer a thickly-bristled mascara brush
that focuses on separation & definition. (My current fave is the new Volumnous Million Lashes in Blackest Black, from L’oreal.) Start super-close to your lash
line, lower than you coated with the Fiber. Work a good amount of mascara into
the base of your lashes, working outward with twists & turns of the brush,
focusing on separation rather than drama. Let a coat dry for a minute (not
completely dry), then follow with a second coat.

STEP SEVEN: Here is another trick, one that takes practice!
Believe me, when I first learned this from a model friend when I was a
teenager, I poked myself plenty of times. Nothing like jabbing your eye with a
pin to motivate a slow, steady hand! Please, please be careful with this.
Starting towards the base of your lashes and working outward, run a long safety
pin through any clumps that have formed. The goal is to separate each &
every lash, so we can add drama & volume later.

Now here comes that other trick I hinted at earlier! Ready for this? Go get a baby spoon, one of the metal ones with rubber coating on the part that goes into baby’s mouth. As your mascara is drying, you can gently press the back of the spoon against your lashes, curling them up. (If your mascara is already dry, exhale on the back of the spoon to add a little moisture, then press it against your lashes.)  Bending lashes with baby spoons is a back-stage fashion show trick, and a great way to curl them post-mascara, without the breakage of an eyelash curler! Ta-da! 😀 Try it – you’ll love it!!!

STEP EIGHT: Adding mascara to your lower lashes is optional.
It depends on your taste, your time, and the shape of your eyes. Experiment
& practice to find what works best for you!

STEP NINE: Add Drama! I usually skip this last step, for “every-day”
makeup. But for evening and going-out, it’s a must-do! Now that your lashes are long & defined, go over them with a coat of your favorite volume mascara. (I like L’Oreal’s Volumnous Carbon Black or Cover Girl’s Lash Blast Volume.)  They are not great for separation & definition, but they sure can pile on the drama!) Coat, coat, and re-coat!!! You may need to re-do the pin trick after this, if this step creates clumps. Clumps are not glamorous!

So there you have it, luscious lashes from beginning to end! Practice and experiment to find what works best for you. And, most importantly,
wash your mascara off EVERY night. Twisting your hair into a tight bun and sleeping on it would lead to wear, tear, and breakage; it’s the same with mascara & eyelashes! Sleeping in makeup has long-term repercussions. Don’t do it!!

Have any tips or tricks to share? Please feel free to post questions and comments!! 😀

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