Lash envy

2_thick-eyelashesLike all things fashion, makeup looks come and go. It’s easy to get stuck in a makeup application rut. Many women tend to stick with the colors, products and application techniques they used when they were young and had more time – and perhaps interest? – to devote to makeup. However, it’s important to regularly update your look so you stay in fashion and don’t age yourself.

A current trend is toward insanely long and thick lashes, accompanied by dark and dramatic eyeliner. One of the best ways to amp up your lashes is with the application of false eye lashes or lash extensions. If you’re a fan and regular user of falsies or extensions, you go, girl. For those of us who are too cheap for extensions, too lazy to mess with false eye lashes and/or are too freaked out by using an adhesive right next to sensitive eyes, these tips are for you.

Get curly!

precision_curlerOpen up your eyes by curling those lashes. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Don’t believe me? Try curling the lashes of only one eye and compare in the mirror. Rather than buying the traditional eyelash  curler that curls the entire top set of lashes at one time, resulting in odd crimps or angles, try a precision lash curler. These will curl smaller sections at a time for better control. Also, you can change the direction as you work around the eye so you get a more natural look of lashes flaring out on the inner and outer edges, rather than all lashes curling stiffly forward at the same angle. This type of curling should be done BEFORE you apply mascara.

heated_curlerHave you ever thought about how you use heat to set curl in your hair with hot rollers or a curling iron? You can do the same thing with your lashes. Try a heated lash curler for better curl that lasts longer. Unlike the traditional and precision curlers, heated curlers are meant to be used AFTER you apply mascara as the mascara helps with the hold. If you’re nervous about pinching eyelashes and possibly yanking some out, this heated curler is a great option for you.

Give ’em a wiggle

Have you ever read a tip that was so simple you were disappointed? You thought, “Why, that little thing couldn’t make much difference.” Well, prepare yourself, because this is one of those. When applying mascara, as you stroke up and out from the base of your lashes, give the wand a little side-to-side wiggle – and go slowly. I know what you’re thinking, but try it. This tiny little technique change will help you better coat your lashes and will help you hit every short and/or fine lash you’ve got so you can maximize them.

Three coats, please

If you’re a gal that prefers minimal makeup, this may be an adjustment, but it will make a visible difference. Apply not one or two, but three coats of mascara. When done correctly, this will give you the thickness and length you desire without becoming a clumpy mess that draws more attention to your mascara than your beautiful eyes. Wipe your mascara wand lightly with a tissue before application to ensure you’re not applying too much at once. You want multiple light coats rather than one heavy coat. Comb through your lashes with a lash comb or brush in between coats for good separation and to remove any clumps. (Mascaras all say they’re “clump-free,” but we know better.) Let each coat dry before applying the next. Don’t worry; this only takes a few seconds.

Vary the formula

mascarasWhen you shop for mascara, you may be overwhelmed by all the different types, and it’s gotten worse since long, thick lashes have become so hot. Some are for thickening, some are for lengthening, some are for both. There are colored versions, water-resistant, water-proof, etc. I suggest using a basic mascara for your first coat, one that lengthens and thickens, but is soft and more natural. My personal recommendation is Maybelline’s Full ‘n’ Soft mascara. This is also a great one coater for weekends or more casual days when you want that “I just rolled out of bed, but I look naturally fabulous.” For your second and third coats, go for a dramatic lengthening formula. What better way to get the look of false lashes than with Maybelline’s Falsies mascara? Two slow and careful coats will continue to build thickness, but will also extend the length of your lashes beyond what Mother Nature gave you.

Some of you may be wondering if I’m a Maybelline spokesperson. Nope. I’m just relatively cheap and lazy. I’ve found Maybelline products – and other drugstore brands – to often be just as good as their pricier counterparts. And they’re available at the grocery store and drugstore we frequent, so I don’t have to make a special trip to grab a tube. If you swear by one of the cosmetic counter brands or you love to spend hours in Ulta, go for it. Just look for the same soft, general formula followed by a lengthening formula.

Lashes in bloom

cherry_bloomsWhat if you have a special occasion and would really like to have that unbelievable length false lashes or extensions can give you without the expense, hassle of application or dealing with adhesives? Allow me to introduce you to Cherry Blooms fiber lash extensions. This is a three step system in which you apply the gel to your lashes, then apply fibers while the gel is still wet and seal with another coat of gel. This is a great do-it-yourself option that will give you crazy volume and length, and it washes off. It’s pricey and a little messy to remove, so it may not be the best choice for daily wear.

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