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How To: Perfect Long Eyelashes

Updated on November 25, 2013

I have long eyelashes. And I mean long. My mom told me that when I was a baby, I had no hair until I was about 1 1/2 years old and the only way people knew that I was a girl was by looking at those long dark lashes swooping out from my little eyelids. Although I consider these huge eyelashes to be a blessing, it can be a little difficult to keep them tamed and fanned in the right directions all while avoiding the ever-dreaded clumps that accompany most mascaras. But I stand before you today happy to say that I've found a routine that gives my eyelashes an extra bold look while appearing natural and clump-free.

There are Two Types of Mascara in this World

There is volumizing mascara and lengthening mascara. There are products out there that claim to do both, but I've never actually come across one that succeeds at doing so. The difference is in the applicator brushes:

Volumizing mascara typically has a big, plush, soft bristle-like applicator, while lengthening mascara uses a stiff, comb-like applicator that gently pulls and separates the lashes.

In the photo below, the tip of the brush is similar to that of most volumizing mascaras, while the lower end of the brush exemplifies a lengthening applicator.

Which Mascara is Right for You?

The answer to this question is BOTH. In order to achieve maximum volume and maximum length you should be using a volumizing mascara followed by a lengthening one. About 3 coats of volumizing mascara will make your eyelashes appear thicker and darker; however, it can often leave clumps behind due to its congealing properties. This problem can be remedied by applying approximately 3 coats of a lengthening mascara one minute after the first mascara's application. The trick is to wait until the first coat dries a bit (you want it to be tacky; NOT completely dry) to start the lengthening process. The comb-like brush of the lengthening mascara will pull out any clumps and imperfections left behind by the first mascara and it will do a better job at separating and fanning your lashes.

TIP: Be sure to move your mascara brush back and forth horizontally as you sweep it up vertically through your eyelashes. This will reduce your risk of clumping.

My favorite volumizing mascara is Loreal Voluminous Full Definition. It comes in a gold tube and can be purchased at any drug store. I typically follow that with the lengthening Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara, which is the absolute best mascara I've ever used. It truly does leave your lashes clump free, while giving them beautiful definition. This comes in a green tube and can also be purchased at most drug stores.

Perfect Long Lashes

The wonderful defining effect of using two types of mascaras is something that will have a lasting effect on your makeup results. Well-applied mascara frames the eyes and makes them look larger and more full (as long as distracting clumps aren't littering the premises.) "It takes two to make a thing go right." And your eyelashes will certainly agree.

Which type of mascara tends to work best for you?

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Quick Tip

When using your eyelash curler (before applying mascara), hold it under your hair dryer on a low setting so the metal heats and offers your lashes a more lasting hold and curl.

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