There are only a few make up products that are as subtle, yet as transformative as mascara. Lipstick adds a pop of colour to your face, bronzer gives you the sun-kissed glow, and concealer covers up the little imperfections we all pretend we don’t have. But, mascara does a lot more than all of that – I know it sounds like I’m talking up the wand, but they don’t call it a wand for nothing! Mascara volumizes your lashes, extends them, opens your eyes – giving a lift – adds a sheer layer of dark colour which contours your eyes. Also, if you wear mascara on your face and nothing else, it looks like you made the effort to put yourself together. Need proof? Anyone who has had eye lash extensions knows how glamorous it feels to have them on, even while wearing an old pair of sweats!
There are so many amazing brands out there and each one of them has a mascara that preaches to better than the next. Here are my Top 5 Mascaras, and a few tricks I’ve learned along the way.
I love this waterproof mascara – it legit stays on forever! I usually apply this one before parties (weddings especially) or if I have a long day out and need the long-lasting wearability. It has an S-curved brush that grasps the lashes from the lid to the tip and coats each lash evenly without clumping. Lancôme Hypnôse basically found a way to mimic the fake-lash effect, because this mascara creates a fuller lash with just one glide!
Givenchy really never ceases to amaze me. They created a multi-functioning mascara that creates intense volume, lengthens, gives a great curl, and nourishes the lashes all at the same time! This mascara has such a deep black so it’s super dramatic. The curved wand has long and short bristles to catch all the micro lashes, creating a layered effect to your lash line. I wear the Givenchy Noir Couture 4-in-1 mascara whenever I want to step up the glam ;)
Ready for a trick? I learned that if I twist my wand while pulling away from my lashes, I’ll catch every single last lash, which maximizes every glide, and also eliminates waste of pumping for a second (or third) time!
So the major distinguishing factor with BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara is that Benefits Cosmetics managed to make this super voluminous serum tinted in the blackest of blacks and when you put it on it feels completely weightless! This is the mascara I use when I want to feather-out my lashes to give that sultry cat-eye effect. I layer it on and build that intense look. Benefits Cosmetics also found a way to jazz up their mascara with some provitamin B5 which promotes natural lash thickness and strength! Yay!
One trick I figured out the hard way is that you shouldn’t pump your wand – it creates air bubbles in the serum and those bubbles dry out the mascara. When mascara gets dry, it gets clumpy.
A cult favourite, Nars is always on my shopping list. They have amazing everything! So naturally, I love their mascara. You know when you put mascara on and at one point in the day you forget it’s there, so you reach over to touch your eye and it feels like clay or something stiff is stuck on your lashes? Well, the Nars Climax Mascara also knows the feeling so they came out with this light, whipped formula that never feels heavy on your eyes. A super pigmented black, lightweight mascara that adds dimension to your lashes? Yes, please!
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, then Dior comes out with a squeezable mascara tube. Why? Well, you know when you lift the wand out of the tube and clean off the tip onto the opening of the tube? Well, that creates clumping, builds up bacteria, and is just not the cleanest, so… Dior created Pump ‘N’ Volume Mascara that allows you to squeeze the soft tube as you glide the wand out and remove any extra mascara. Genius. Honestly. Not to mention that Dior obviously has an incredible formula of pitch black mascara that creates extreme lash volume. I’m a fan of rigid brushes because they allow you to manipulate and position each lash.
One last trick is to use more than one mascara at a time. One should have long- (or short-) haired bristles to apply the mascara from root to tip. The second one should have a more rigid brush allowing you to place the lashes in the direction you prefer (curved and pointing up for a doe-eyed look, or pulled to the sides for a more almond-eye, smoky look).
If you only have time for one quick fix before you leave your house in the morning… don’t underestimate the power of great lashes!
All of my fave mascaras are available at Sephora Canada.
Photography by Patricia Brochu