Mascara Tips For Beginners: Beautiful EyelashesCredit: public domain

Mascara is a trully amazing invention and a fundamental element to every makeup application. If you generally wore no makeup, but wanted to try out one single cosmetic product and make the most of it, chances are that you would choose mascara. There is nothing more captivating than long, voluminous eyelashes. By defining your eyes this way, you can instantly make them appear more youthful, expressive and absolutely magnetic. This article covers some mascara basics, especially useful for beginners in the art of makeup. The tips presented here can also help you overcome a few of the most common pitfalls of mascara application.  

Choosing your mascara

With the tremendous variety of different products, formulas, wands, brush types and even colours, choosing your very first mascara can seem a daunting task. It all comes down to what is the natural quality of your lashes and the makeup look you want to accomplish. You may try a few different products to see what really works for you. So, here's some information you need to know before you approach the cosmetics counter.


There are two basic types of mascara: waterproof and water-soluble. I would definitely recommend a water-soluble mascara, especially if you are a beginner or if you are looking for something you can use every day. The reason why is that the first type of products are more difficult to remove and they are harder on your eyelashes. Besides, waterproof does not necessarily mean no smudging. For starters, stick with the water-soluble type, but remember these don't actually dissolve with water-you'll still need a good eye makeup remover. 

2.Formulas and Brushes

Choosing Mascara for BeginnersCredit: public domainThere are many different formulas out there, so it is important that you decide what you want to achieve with your mascara- volume, length or a more natural look? The size and shape of the wand could also make a difference.

If you want volume, look for thicker brushes with denser bristles The spiral brush is great for definition because it seizes and coats each and every lash individually. For short lashes, a short brush with thick bristles is ideal. Short brushes generally offer more control and they are easy to use on your bottom lashes, too. For length, the bristles must be sparse and very short. A curved brush will help you maintain the curl of your lashes. If you want to add just a touch of mascara to your makeup, try a rubber wand with moderately spaced bristles. This usually doesn't hold as much product from the tube, so you can have just enough mascara to shade and define your eyelashes without adding volume or length.

Mascara for Beginners: Different ProductsCredit: "Mascara" by Ookikioo (flickr), licensed under CC BY 2.0


Credit:"Mascara" by Ookikioo (flickr), licensed under CC BY 2.0

You may want to buy a couple of different products to meet your makeup goals, although you can make do with the same mascara and use it for a casual look and a more dramatic effect, depending on the technique you apply.


For your very first mascara, go for a black one. True black looks great on everybody. Now, if you have really light coloured brows and eyelashes and you want a natural look, you can opt for a brown one. I wouldn't recommend coloured mascara to beginners, because it can be a bit tricky to match and unsuitable for most casual, neutral and bussiness looks. Blues, purples and the like are best saved for special occassions. Even then, you will have to build your entire makeup around them with minimal colour, since the colour on your eyes will be your focal point. This, of course, doesn't mean you cannot experiment and have a bit of fun with your mascara, but make sure you find something that really flatters you before you take it out for field testing!

Applying Mascara for Beginners

1. Preparation

 Mascara Tips: Lash CurlerCredit: "Shu Uemura eyelash curler" by Ookikioo (flickr), licensed under CC BY 2.0

Credit: "Shu Uemura eyelash curler" by Ookikioo (flickr), licensed under CC BY 2.0

The very first thing to do is to curl your eyelashes. This is a very important step because it will open up your eyes and help you make the most out your mascara. Invest in a good lash curler that you can use comfortably. The trick for this application is to be gentle but firm. Looking into a mirror, lift your chin up. Start by squeezing the curler at the root of the hairs for three to five seconds. Repeat at the middle section and at the tip of the lashes.

A great professional tip to make your top lash line look thicker is to carefully put black shadow right into the base. Use a fine tipped brush for this. If you don't own any black eyeshadow, you can get the same result with an eye pencil. Just remember not to line your eyes, but gently scrub the pencil between the gaps.

Have cotton buds and wet wipes at the ready before starting to put on mascara. If you make a mess, you can always wipe it away quickly. Always wipe off the excess product on a tissue before you start applying to prevent clumping. Don't worry, there will still be plenty left on your brush since most wands pick up too much product from the tube. Please, do not pump the wand in and out of the tube! The only thing you'll get is air in your mascara, causing it to dry more quickly.

2. How to Apply Mascara

Applying Mascara for BeginnersCredit: public domain Holding the wand horizontally, start at the root of your lashes and wiggle the wand back and forth, then lightly comb towards the tips. This way, you will have a thicker layer of mascara at the base and a thinner one at the ends, preserving the curl at the same time. Keep your strokes short and light. If you need more length or want a more natural look, hold the brush vertically and run the tip along your lashes to make them appear longer. Make sure to coat both sides by looking up and down while applying so that the hairs will be fully covered and appear much thicker. If you happen to make a mistake, use a cotton swab to remove the spot without ruining your entire makeup and starting from scratch.

A very good practice is to use a lash comb. Place it at the roots and gently pull through the hairs. It is essential to do this before your mascara has a chance to dry to avoid clumps. This will help keep your lashes well seperated. Do not attempt to use this when the formula is dry. Most probably, it will flake off your eyes and onto your face.

After your first coat has dried completely, you may want to repeat the process with a second one. I would suggest no more than two or three thin layers of mascara. If you put on too much, your eyelashes will become heavy and give you an artificial look. To make the most out of your layers you might as well use a combination of two or three different formulas. For example, you can use one product for volume and one for length at the same time. Apply the mascara using the horizontal and vertical technique mentioned above. The results are absolutely incredible!  

Showing is Better than Telling: A Mascara 101 Video

This is a basic, comprehensive "how to put on mascara" video made by TheMakeupChair on youtube. She also covers eyelash curling and caring for your mascara products. Enjoy!

3. Final Tips

 You may also choose to use mascara on your bottom lashes, although it is not really necessary. For this, don't redip the wand. There should be just enough mascara on it to make a difference. Run the tip of the wand through them like a comb. The key here is to focus on the roots and not the ends of the lashes. It's always best to use it minimally in order to avoid smudges.

Applying mascara should be one of the final steps of your makeup so, by now, you should be ready to go! Just make sure you put the brush back in the tube immediately after use, or it will dry out. Check one more time for any clumps or smudges, and that's it!

Removing your mascara

 Removing your mascara is relatively easy. You can use your favourite makeup remover lotion or wipes. Remember to keep your eye closed through the process to avoid irritation. Number one tip is to be very very gentle. Don't rub your eyes vigorously. First, pat the area gently to loosen the formula a bit. Then, gently massage your eyelashes with small circular motions. Finally, swipe off with a light hand. The goal here is to remove all the mascara without losing any of your beautiful and precious lashes.

Now, the skin around the eyes is very delicate and you should be extra careful while you remove your makeup. Always try to avoid getting colour from the bottom lashes onto the area below them. A good tip is to roll a cotton dub with your makeup remover over them, taking the mascara down onto a tissue and not your skin. When you are done removing the mascara, wipe your eyes with a damp washcloth. This way, you'll get off any remover residue from them.

Instead of a commercial product, you might as well use your very own makeup remover. You will only need one part olive oil and two parts water. Shake them up really well in a spare bottle. Olive oil is very effective and moreover it nourishes your lashes.