Considering they’re just teeny strands of hair, eyelashes can be more versatile than you might think. With the right tools and products, it’s possible to coax them into diverse looks in just a few steps.
We asked makeup pros for advice on how to get your desired effect, whether you want to go for dramatically thick and lush, classically long and glossy or deceivingly natural and effortless.
44 percent of you want your lashes to look thick and lush:
Fiona Stiles, Mark Celebrity Makeup Artist, says to start building a foundation for fullness by wiggling a black eye liner along the lash line to make the roots look darker, and always use a lash curler (she claims splurging on a pricey model from Shu Uemura or Kevyn Aucoin is well worth it).
MORE: Find Your Best Lash Curler
Then comes the star of the show: mascara. Stiles likes to mix a few different formulas, and suggests looking for key words like “thick,” “extreme” and “lush” on the packaging. “Some mascaras have fibers in them, which really do work to add fullness and length,” she says. “I like to combine those formulas with another, as they can get a little ‘chunky,’ so I’ll also apply Mark Cosmetics Lash All You Want High-Volume Mascara because it really delivers.”
YouBeauty Makeup Expert Emily Kate Warren has perfected her own lashes-to-the-max effect with mascara and a special application method. “I can typically layer a few coats of Maybelline New York Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara, because it has a flexible formula that doesn’t get crunchy,” she says. Let each layer dry for a few minutes so you can keep adding more oomph, and try Warren’s idea of holding the mascara wand vertically. “You want to flick your wrist like a windshield wiper to get some of the lashes to join together just a touch, to make the fringe look thicker,” she says.
34 percent of you want long, glossy lashes:
Our pros agree—this is where the brush is super important. “Tightly packed, short bristles give you denser, fuller lashes, while ones with more space between the bristles will give you the length you’re looking for,” says Stiles.
She suggests so-called “tubing mascaras” (like Kanebo Sensai Collection 38 C), which boast a lash-coating polymer instead of traditonal wax base. They may seem a bit odd, but why not try something new, since they’re reliably shiny and lengthening?
Warren says to look for a flat, comb-like brush. “I particularly like L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara for this effect, because the formula glides off the wand onto the lashes,” she says. “It combs from root to tips to create length instead of fullness.” She also suggests a shimmery mascara such as CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe, which can up the gloss factor, and gently curling the lashes after they’ve dried, so they curve upwards instead of sticking out straight.
There are also non-mascara options for a long-lash look; if you have the time and money, extensions are a way to go. Warren often uses and recommends the Novalash brand, but Stiles warns that any extensions can ruin your natural lashes, so maybe this is a special-occasion-only rather than an everyday kind of thing. And don’t forget Latisse, which comes with its own set of caveats, but has been proven to grow some seriously long lashes.
21 percent of you want natural-looking lashes that appear like you’re not wearing mascara:
Want to look like one of those “I just wake up looking this way” types? First, realize that it takes a little bit of work to be a natural beauty! Start by curling your lashes (sensing a trend here…), and then apply a clear or brown mascara, like Clinique Naturally Glossy. “You could also smooth a touch of Vaseline onto the lashes so they look groomed,” says Warren.
Another cosmetics-free option is lash tinting. “This is the most natural you can get, and it’s especially great for blondes and red heads,” says Stiles. Plenty of reliable and swanky hair salons will safely tint your lashes, so just ask; you can also head over to any of the BeneFit Cosmetics stand-alone salons, which offer this service.
QUIZ: What Eye Makeup Would Look Best On You?