Mascara is intended to thicken and lengthen the eyelashes, drawing attention to the eyes to make them look bigger and more dramatic. Mascara comes in many brands and forms -- waterproof, smudgeproof, colored, clear, plumping, lengthening, and on and on. When applied properly, mascara gives you a sexy, long-lashed look. But when applied improperly, it just makes you look like a smudged-up mess.
The most common mistake is applying clumpy mascara. This happens when you put on too much, or your mascara is too old. Try using an eyelash comb to separate the lashes and get rid of the excess. And replace old mascara; it's only meant to last three to four months. Another problem is wearing a mascara color too dark or too extreme for your coloring. Your mascara should be two or three shades darker than your eyebrow color, and no more.