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Why Women Make the Mascara Face

Updated on January 11, 2014

Why Girls Make Weird Faces Putting on Mascara

When I was little, I frequently sat on the edge of our purple bathtub and watched my mother apply makeup. Every time she got to the mascara, her mouth opened. It was this strange phenomenon, and I finally had to ask.

"Why do you open your mouth when you do that, Mom?" I asked. I leaned forward on the tub to tilt more towards her.

She shrugged and looked at me in the mirror. "I have absolutely no idea." She shook her head.

Now I'm grown and have been wearing makeup for eight or so years. Recently, I have noticed I too open my mouth when I apply mascara. I catch myself doing it and laugh.

Now when I put it on, I keep wondering what causes such a reaction. I decided some researching was in order.

The "mascara face"
The "mascara face"

Possible Reasons

  • An open mouth keeps a person from blinking. Not blinking is detrimental to the mascara application process. If a person blinks while applying, then the goopy mascara could become a mess and get all over their skin.
  • The mouth muscles are used to move the face muscles to get at different lashes. The applier is using the open mouth to get at the corner lashes for more full and luscious lashes.
  • Many girls grow up watching their mother apply makeup. The open mouth could be a learned habit from watching their mom.
  • Another theory is that opening the mouth stretches out the skin around the eyes. This keeps the skin farther away from the lashes so the mascara does not touch the skin and make a mess.
  • The slack jaw effect could also be an instinct or involuntary reflex. Most women may not even realize what they are doing or why.
  • There is absolutely no reason. Women are just strange creatures that can never be understood, even by themselves.
  • It could be a purely mental thing and just helps the applier concentrate on the task. This is like when people stick out their tongue when they are thinking really hard during a test.
  • Another guess is when a person applies mascara, they raise their eyebrows and concentrate around the eyes. This causes the attention to fall away from the lower half of their face, resulting in the slack jaw.
  • Perhaps it is believed that angry closed-mouth people show poorly applied mascara. Try it, it really is hard to apply mascara while frowning.

There are so many different answers and not a specifically correct one. Some women don't even open their mouths while applying mascara. I give props to them. I sure can't do it. However, if you do, you are not alone in this task. And if you do open your mouth while applying mascara, you aren't alone there either.

Attempting a picture of applying mascara
Attempting a picture of applying mascara
Getting angry trying to take a picture of applying mascara
Getting angry trying to take a picture of applying mascara

Mouth Closed

I did a little experimenting myself.

First off, I'd like to say that it is almost impossible to take a picture of yourself applying mascara. And then, even when you actually get a good one, you realizes how absolutely ridiculous you look while putting on mascara and want to delete it.

Anyway, I did, in fact, have difficulties trying to apply with my mouth closed. I found my mouth kept slipping back open. Old habits are hard to break.

Hence, I will just have to remain making ludicrous faces at myself in the mirror.

Bacteria Warning

Don't ever keep your mascara for too long. Replace it frequently. This is because every time you put in the mascara brush and pull it out, it finds more and more bacteria. Researchers say that this can cause serious eye infections and can even lead to blindness. You also should never pump the brush inside the tube, this also is a headway to bacteria.

Most places say to keep it no longer than three months, regardless to how much it's been used.

I can usually tell when mine needs switched because it starts to become dried out. There's still more in there to use, but it's time to buy a new tube. Researchers also suggest to not add saliva or water if it becomes dry. Throw it away. Being cheap won't pay off when you end up in the doctor's office with an inflamed eyeball.

Watch this video of a girl putting on mascara

In the End

There is no specific reason as to why some women open their mouths and others don't while applying. I actually noticed that I do it while I apply eyeliner and eyeshadow as well. Happy mascara applying and don't forget to buy new mascara when needed!

Some things about women just may remain a mystery. Perhaps it's better that way.


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    • kiddiecreations profile image

      Nicole K 

      4 years ago

      Wow, I never thought about how the mascara tube could accumulate bacteria and needs to be changed out even if there is still mascara left. Thanks for making me aware of that! Original topic and I enjoyed reading it :)

    • RunningDeer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Covergirl, Lash Blast Volume :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • takerecess profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      RunningDeer, I really enjoyed this and it got me thinking, "Do I open my mouth while putting on mascara?" I'm not sure so I will check this morning. Jw-what brand of mascara do you buy?

    • RunningDeer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Iowa

      TammySwallow, I know exactly what you mean about sneezing before the mascara has dried, and it seems to happen a lot! Thanks for pinning and sharing!

      Sen.sush23, thank you for reading and sharing! I had a lot of fun writing this hub.

      Winterfate, thanks for reading and sharing!

      Collisa, thank you so much!

    • Collisa profile image

      Columba Smith 

      8 years ago from California

      So funny and entertaining! Keep 'em coming! : )

    • Winterfate profile image

      Darrin Perez 

      8 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Pretty funny hub RunningDeer! Voted up, funny and interesting. I'll share it with my followers. :)

    • sen.sush23 profile image


      8 years ago from Kolkata, India

      RunningDeer, just fabulous! My favorite piece of make-up is the mascara, and like you since a kid I have watched my cousin apply it. Ummm ..I don't remember if her mouth opened or not. I have not noticed whether I am on your side, in this habit, or not- but I sure will check out next time. Immensely enjoyable and as Shiningirisheyes says, original too. Voted up and shared.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Very cute idea. I really love when I spend time putting on mascara and then I have a great big sneeze before it dries. That makes such a mess. This is a fun hub. Pinning and sharing.

    • RunningDeer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Shiningirisheyes, thank you! I thought it would be a fun hub one day when I was putting on my makeup. Thank you for commenting and reading!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This was a creative and original subject!! You made this so interesting and I enjoyed it.

      Wonderful and I'm voting up


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