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How To Apply Mascara for Maximum Length and Volume

How To Apply Mascara for Maximum Length and Volume

Nothing completes your look more than beautiful, full, lengthy lashes, but most of us find our own natural lashes fall short (literally) of this beauty standard. 

While you can certainly opt for more invasive measures like lash extensions and/or false lashes, an easier, less invasive, and certainly less expensive remedy is using a high quality mascara to build volume, create length, and enhance your eyes

We’ll give you the basics on proper, natural lash care, finding the perfect mascara to fit your lash needs, and how to apply it to create the most dramatic lashes possible. 

Step 1: Start with Clean Lashes

It should go without saying, your mascara won’t be as effective if you’re applying it over a layer of yesterday’s mascara. It’s also very damaging to your natural lashes to leave your mascara on overnight, as you could rub your lashes against your pillow and cause them to break.

Make sure you remove your eye makeup every night, and start with clean, fresh lashes before applying mascara. Using raw coconut oil is an easy way to remove mascara and get your lashes clean and prepare them for your next day’s application — you won’t want any oil or or moisturizers on your lashes before swiping on mascara. 

Step 2: Pick the Perfect Mascara

One trip down the drugstore mascara aisle can be incredibly confusing. Aside from selecting a brand, you’ll also have to pick a formula. 

Mascara packages can be incredibly misleading and promise to give you everything but the kitchen sink. Generally, there are two types of mascara formulas: volumizing and lengthening. 

Volumizing Mascaras

Volumizing mascaras are made to create additional volume and help “plump up” your lashes making them look fuller than they are. These formulas may have a thicker consistency, which can be problematic if you attempt to layer your mascara. 

Lengthening Mascaras

Lengthening mascaras are formulated to add length to your lashes. These types of mascaras work by applying fibers to your lashes that attach to the ends and make your lashes look longer. Unfortunately, these types of mascaras are usually wrought with problems. 

The fibers can be made of materials that aren’t safe for your eyes. When the fibers flake from your lashes (which they will do) they can get into your eyes causing irritation. 

Additionally, fiber-filled mascaras are notorious for looking clumpy, because you can’t control where the fibers are actually distributed on your lash. 

The safest option is to choose a clean mascara formulated with safe ingredients that can help nourish your lashes, encourage them to grow, and give them volume and lift.

Importance of Replacing Old Mascara Tubes

If you only wear mascara occasionally, you may find yourself with a tube that is past it’s best used-by date. While some mascaras carry a date on the tube, many do not. 

Replacing your mascara every three months will help you avoid bacterial contamination inside the tube that could translate to an eye infection. 

Step 3: Curl Your Lashes

Using an eyelash curler can help give the illusion of length to lashes that are particularly short. Curled lashes also create a more open eye and allow your iris to be more visible. 

Start by using an eyelash curler that has fresh, new padding. If the padding on your eyelash curler is wearing down, invest in a new curler as soon as possible. Curling your eyes with an old curler can result in severe damage and even breakage of your lashes. 

Curlers With Rounded Upper Pads Produce a Fuller Curve

Most eyelash curlers have a round shape, and that’s important. A rounded upper pad produces a much fuller curve, capable of including the smaller, finer lashes on the outer and inner corners of your eyes. 

This will also help you apply mascara more effectively in these areas. 

Step 4: Remove Wand from Tube

You can Google a million ways to remove your mascara wand from your tube, but at RMS Beauty, we create our mascara wands and tubes so that you never have to tap, dap, rub, or wipe off excess mascara. 

When you remove the wand from the tube, you’ll have the perfect amount of product for a single application on one section of your lashes. 

Another no-no? Pumping your wand into the tube. We aren’t sure why people do this, but it’s not an effective way to use your mascara. In fact, by pumping your wand repeatedly into the tube, you’ll cause air bubbles to be trapped inside which can cause your mascara to become oxidized, reducing its shelf life. 

Step 5: Apply Mascara To Upper Lashes

Apply your mascara by beginning with your upper lashes, allowing them to dry, and then applying mascara to your lower lashes if needed. Here’s how to create lift and volume during application. 

Start at Base, Looking Upward

You’ve curled your lashes, so the base of your lashes should be easily accessible. Start by looking upward to access the base of your lashes. Be careful not to get so close that you cause yourself to blink! 

From the base, extend your brush upward to the end of your lashes, making deliberate and intentional strokes. 

Begin at Middle of Eye

The first few strokes of your mascara wand will produce the most impact on your lashes, and you want that impact on the middle of your lashes where it will be most noticeable. 

You can use the remaining mascara left on your wand to access the smaller lashes in the corners of your eyes without producing clumps. 

Wiggle Brush Back and Forth

You can manually create definition and lift by placing your mascara wand at the base of your lashes and gently wiggling it back and forth while you pull the mascara up the length of your lashes. 

Wiggling your brush works best on the top lashes; you’ll want to avoid trying to build volume on the bottom lashes as it tends to just make those lashes clump. 

Angle Strokes Outward

When applying mascara, angle the strokes outward toward the outer corners of your eyes. This can create the illusion of lengthier lashes and can make a more dramatic look. 

When applying mascara to the outer corner of your eyes, using the tip of the brush (with minimal product) can help define those lashes and make them look longer, especially if you pull the prush in an angled, outward motion. 

Step 6: Apply Mascara to Bottom Lashes

Once your top lashes have dried, you can begin to apply mascara to your bottom lashes. You’ll use less product and spend less time on your bottom lashes, but making sure they are fully dried before you finish your makeup is key to making sure you don’t have to redo concealer or foundation. 

Place Tissue Underneath Lashes

If you seem to be a bit accident prone when applying mascara to your bottom lashes, place a tissue under your lashes while you apply mascara. This can ensure you don’t get a stray mascara mark on the area under your eye.

Keep Mascara on Brush at a Minimum

This is the only time you’d want to consider removing mascara from your wand, but if you are using our mascaras, that won’t be necessary. You can use one coat of mascara for both sets of lashes without wiping or scraping off excess. 

Because you’ll likely use the end of the wand to separate and define bottom lashes, you may need to blot the tip of the wand on a tissue to remove excess product. 

If you accidentally put too much mascara on your bottom lashes that results in a clump or glob, wait until the product dries and then use an eyelash comb to separate the lashes and remove the clump. 

Point Wand Vertically to Gently Dab at Smallest Lashes

With a minimal amount of mascara on the end of your wand, apply mascara to the outer and inner corners of your bottom lashes. These lashes can be miniscule, and using a heavy amount of mascara can cause them to stick to your skin.

Normally, you will not need a second coat of mascara on your bottom lashes. Applying a second coat can make your bottom lashes look overly noticeable and unnatural. 

Wrapping It Up

You may not have been born with lashes that are dramatically long or full, but you can easily get the look of longer, fuller lashes by using a high-quality mascara and learning to apply it properly. 

As with almost all beauty products, less is more. Applying multiple coats of mascara can cause clumping and an artificial look. The most amazing, natural looking lashes have no more than two coats. Stick to clean mascaras that are safe for your eyes and don’t contain unnatural, harsh ingredients. 


Warns Consumers about the Dangers of Eyelash Extensions - American Academy of Ophthalmology 

Eye Cosmetic Safety | FDA 

Scleral Contacts Helping Patients See |Somers Eye 

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