50% of a mascara is the brush and the other 50% is the formula. That's why it's important to see/try the brush and read the label. Here are some tips for finding the perfect mascara for yourself:
1. Know your lashes
This one can be tricky because you're going to need to be honest with yourself (maybe ask someone for their opinion and don't take offense to their response). Turn your head to the side and look into the mirror to see the profile of your lashes- it's really important that you don't have mascara on when you do this. Here are some things to ask yourself when looking in the mirror:
- Are my lashes long?
- Are my lashes straight or naturally curly?
- Are my lashes naturally dark, or light?
- Then turn to face the mirror and check to see if your lashes are densely packed together or wispy and separated (I've found this often correlates to your own hair- if you have thick, curly hair, oftentimes your eyelashes are thick and curly too. My hair is pale, straight and thin, therefore my lashes are too).
2. Mascara's of the past:
Maybe you had an old Maybelline mascara that you used to love, or it was a free gift from Lancome that you tried and hated... what was it that you liked/didn't like? Maybe it was too clumpy for you? Maybe it didn't thicken enough? Thinking about these products can really help narrow your options.
3. Decoding the mascara buzz words:
Here's the first 50%: Cosmetic companies have gotten really creative with how to describe a mascara- telescopic, butterfly, skyscraper... here are the core descriptive words that usually work for choosing a mascara:
Volumizing/Thickening: ideal for thin lashes that need to be plumped up and look fuller.
Lengthening: this should make your lashes longer (maybe fibers have been added to really lengthen).
Curling: this should be good at holding a curl while slightly curling them too.
Separating/De-clumping: usually this is a thinner formula or the brush has lot's of tightly packed bristles to comb out clumps.
Defining: this is pretty basic- just to enhance your lashes and give them a more natural look.
- Some mascara's are a combination of these words, so if you know what you want, then you'll know what to look for when reading the packaging.
4. The Brush:
Here's the remaining 50%:
**For me, I have pale, thin, long straight lashes therefore, I like a dark mascara that will thicken slightly, and hold the curl (I use a separate curler). But I hate too much thickening because I don't like clumping, and I have a small eye area so a large brush makes me look like a toddler playing with mommy's makeup. Too messy. So I stick with anything that is "lengthening" and "curling" with a brush that is on the smaller side.
How do you normally choose a mascara? Do you go by a friends recommendation? Maybe a magazine or advertisement? Or do you simply buy and try until you find the right fit?