If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the eyelashes are the curtains adorning those spectacular windows. They're so important that ancient beauticians used a paste of manure and other ingredients to make the eyelashes of their royal patrons look longer, thicker and more alluring. Nowadays, there are lots of safe (and manure-free) products on the market designed to give you longer lashes. With the right products and a few tips from us, your eyes will look more dramatic and totally captivating.
Create an Optical Illusion
Before mascara, women used to make their lashes look longer and thicker by coating them lightly with olive oil or petroleum jelly. The added grease would make their lashes look darker, and the color change would create the illusion of length and thickness. Creating a quick, easy illusion still works, but instead of using petroleum jelly, use eyeliner instead. A very thin strip of eyeliner applied at your lash line will add dimension to your lashes and make them appear more prominent. It's a cheat, but a nifty one if you prefer a more natural look or just don't like the feel of mascara.
Here's another optical illusion you'll like. If you have blond or brown hair and use brown mascara, go darker. The color change will make your lashes look longer and more voluminous. Another option is to let your brown mascara dry and then apply a second coat to the underside (lid side) of the lash tips. You'll lengthen the lashes a bit more without much risk of clumps.
Use Eyelash Primer
Eyelash primers are applied before mascara. Think of them as structural enhancements. They actually add fibers to your individual lashes, lengthening and thickening them. Primer also makes a smooth undercoat that holds mascara better, so you'll typically use less and still get better coverage. Some mascara products include primerlike ingredients in their formulations, but you might prefer the cleaner look of a two-step process: lengthener (primer) and then mascara. Primers are sold individually, but you may find them as part of a two-product application kit.
Buy the Right Lengthening Mascara
Mascara has changed a lot in the last few years. There are formulas designed specifically for lengthening as opposed to multi-purpose products or those designed to do a great job of adding volume to lashes. Look for an applicator that will lift, separate and coat each individual lash, without clumping or creating fat, fake looking lashes. When you're evaluating any mascara product, be sure to check out the applicator. Close bristles usually mean a formula designed to add volume, while more widely spaced bristles are effective at separating and adding length to lashes.
Use an Eyelash Curler
Eyelash curlers increase the natural curve of your lashes, making them look longer even without makeup. Depending on how straight your lashes are naturally, the results can be dramatic. If you use a curler and makeup, the upward tilt will set and hold for hours. These tools look like torture devices, but they're actually easy to get used to and safe to use. Once you become proficient, try warming the curler (just a little) with your hair dryer. It works a little like adding hot rollers to your hair. You'll get lifted, arched lashes that will last all day.
Here's another tip: Even though eyelash curlers are usually applied to bare lashes, curling your lashes again after adding mascara will create a dramatic effect. Repair any damage caused by the curler with an additional layer of mascara. This is a great alternative to wearing false eyelashes for an evening out.
Use More than One Mascara
This may sound like overkill, but it really works. Where some mascara products are specifically designed to lengthen lashes and others are more effective at adding volume, multi-purpose mascara does both. Most budget brand mascaras fall into the multi-purpose category. This one-size-fits-all approach sounds efficient, but it may not do as good a job as using a volumizing mascara first and then following up with a lengthener. This means investing in two types of mascara, but the results can be impressive. Let's face it, mascara can look gloopy and overdone if the formula is off. Experiment with different products alone and in combination. It's the best way to find the right look for you.
Choosing dramatic eye makeup that pops is a fun way to express your personal style. Learn about choosing dramatic eye makeup that pops in this article.
- 2012 Eyeshadow Trends
- Complementary Eye Shadow Colors for Light Brown Eyes
- Complementary Eyeshadow Colors for Dark Brown Eyes
- Complementary Eyeshadow Colors for Green Eyes
- Eye Makeup Tools Demystified
- Eyelash Strips vs. Individual Lashes
- How to Apply Single Eyelashes in 5 Steps
- How to Apply Strip Eyelashes in 3 Steps
- Mascara: A Case for Organic Cosmetics
- Tips for a Bold Smoky Eye
- All about Eyelashes. "You Need the Best Eyelash Primer – and Here's Why." 8/9/10 (7/31/12). http://allabouteyelashes.com/eyelash-blog-articles/eyelash-growth/you-need-the-best-eyelash-primer-%E2%80%93-and-here%E2%80%99s-why
- Allergan. "Latisse." (7/31/12). http://www.allergan.com/products/medical_aesthetics/latisse.htm
- Amazon.com. "Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara." (7/31/12). http://www.amazon.com/Lancome-Definicils-Definition-Mascara-Black/dp/B00029RBQU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344195422&sr=8-1&keywords=Lancome+Definicils+High+Definition+Mascara
- Consumer Search. "Mascara: What to Look For." 2010. (7/31/12). http://www.consumersearch.com/mascara/important-features
- Diva Village. "Eyelash Enhancement." (7/31/12). http://www.divavillage.com/article/id/67009/section_name/Beauty/title/Eyelash+Enhancement/pg/1
- Endless Beauty. "Glamorous Eyelash Options." (7/31/12). http://endlessbeauty.com/articles/glamorous-eyelash-options
- Hitti, Miranda. "FDA OKs 1st Eyelash Drug Latisse." 12/26/08. (7/31/12). http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/news/20081226/fda-oks-first-eyelash-drug-latisse
- Leider, Polly. "Tricks for the Lushest Lashes." 2/11/09. (7/31/12). http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500616_162-1540062.html
- Luxury Lash Lounge. "Eyelash Extensions." (7/31/12). http://www.luxurylashlounge.com/eyelash-extensions-atlanta-ga/
- Mapes, Diane. "In lust for lashes, few bat an eye at odd risks." MSNBC. 10/1/09. (7/31/12). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32974056/ns/health-skin_and_beauty/t/lust-lashes-few-bat-eye-odd-risks/#.T93hf7Wqaqw
- Molvar, Kari. "10 Fabulous Mascaras We Love." Harper's Bazaar. (7/31/12). http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/makeup-articles/10-best-mascaras-of-all-time
- Strong Magic. "Lash Extensions – A Small History Lesson." 6/4/11. (7/31/12). http://www.strongmagic.net/lash-extensions-a-small-history-lesson/
- Walker, Bob. "Eyelash of the Beholder." The New York Times. 7/31/09. (7/31/12). http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/magazine/02fob-consumed-t.html?_r=1&scp=27&sq=mascara&st=cse
- Xtreme Lashes. "Xtreme Lashes® Eyelash Extensions Procedure." (7/31/12). http://www.xtremelashes.com/eyelash_extensions_procedure.aspx