bat bat

3 Feb

“Ermagherd, are they real?”

I get this a lot.  Strangers, friends and members of my own family alike have even reached out, closed them between their finger tips and given them a too-rough tweak to check if they’re the real deal.  And, dear reader, while they might look too good to be true, let me assure you that in all their full, perfectly curved perfection, they’re all mine.


While a lot of you filthy animals out there will assume that I’m talking about my magnificent rack, may I remind you that this is a makeup blog and I’m talking of course about my eyelashes.  Inherited from my mother, they’re probably my favourite body part.  They’re long, thick and naturally curled.  Maybe they could be a bit darker, which is why we’re here talking about mascara.

If I know one thing, it’s everything about mascara.  So involved am I with my eyelashes that I would say I spend more time lovingly mascara’ing them than I do on any other part of my usual makeup routine.  Putting on mascara is one of my favourite things about being female, and I genuinely believe that you can have a bad-eyelash day.

Some may say that I take eyelashes perhaps a bit too seriously, but they also can’t deny that it’s something I do well, and I am often asked what’s what with mascara.  I have tried a LOT of mascaras in my time.  You wouldn’t probably be reading this blog if you weren’t also interested in makeup, so you’ll probably understand why it is completely reasonable to own and use fifteen different tubes at the one time.  Black, ultra-black, brown, brown-black, blue, green, ‘eggplant’, charcoal, navy, clear.  Waterproof, smudgeproof,  fade-proof, Titanic-proof, all-day, all-night, volumising.  thickening, enhancing, curling, long-lasting, easy-off, fibre-length, nourising-strength.

And that’s before we even approach the bewildering variety of falsies.  You can even get different coloured glue for your false lashes, for crying out loud.

Anyway.  There is a lot that I have to say about mascara, and I think I’ll leave product reviews for another time.  Here’s how I do it.  It’s all just my opinion, and personal preference will mean that not all of this will work for you.  It all depends on what kind of look you’re going for.

1.  Whatever I do to my eyelids, I do that first (eyeshadow, eyeliner etc)

2. Eyeliner (pencil, brown if I’m wearing brown mascara, otherwise black) goes underneath my top lashes.  Your eyes will water to buggery the first time you try it, but with practice you too will soon be scrubbing that pencil back and forth to grind as much pigment into your lash roots as you possibly can.  Why?  It makes your lashes look thicker.  Whether you’re doing it on your own eyes or on someone else, you’re best off going for the softest, meltiest pencil you can.  Pencils with a bit of colour or shimmer in them can add an interesting and subtle accent, too.

3. Mascara time!  All the usual tips about wiggling the brush right into the roots, zig-zagging it up to the tips of your lashes and so on and so forth.  If you’re going to do more than one coat, move quickly – if you let it dry between layers, it’s more likely to crumb and clump.  Remember, you can blink while you do it.  Having your mouth wide open (pref. with your tongue out) is recommended.  To apply mascara to your bottom lashes, narrow your eyes slightly to lift the lashline and make your bottom lashes stick out away from your skin.  When I apply mascara to other people, I get them to lift their chin a bit and look over my shoulder, and always remind them they can blink while you do it.  Their eyes won’t water if they’re allowed to blink.

The first coat of mascara for me is about brushing my lashes forwards.  Mine grow out at a bit of an angle towards my temples, like most people I would guess.  So I brush them forward with the first coat, and if I do a second coat, it’s either smoothing them back out for a winged effect (suits a smokey eye or a feline-flicked eyeliner nicely) or brushing them even more forward for what I tell myself is a wide-eyed, gamine look.

4. Personally I don’t fart about with lash curlers or lash combs, but if I’m putting false eyelashes on someone else I occasionally use a lash comb to blend the natural and false lashes together.  In my opinion lash curlers are overrated, even if your lashes are straight.   That’s cos I like poker-straight, downwards-growing lashes, I think they look cool.  And most falsies only flick up towards the tip anyway, so you don’t actually NEED to curl them if you don’t want to.  But having said that, I’ve seen some pretty impressive things done with lash curlers, so it could just be that I don’t know how to use them properly.  More practice.  Another area for improvement for me would be lash fibres, I haven’t ever really used them and I am curious.

The mascaras I use most often are a brown Boots No 7 mascara, and Maybelline Volume Express Colossal in black – I always come back to Maybelline for mascara, they’re unbeatable for everyday.  Good value, good formula, good brushes.  As I have long eyelashes I like to use the biggest fluffiest brush I can get my hands on, which is becoming less common these days.  A lot of brands seem to dedicate quite a bit of energy to developing these new amazing brushes that prevent clumps and so on, and I do like to try them if I get a chance – but I always prefer to use an ‘old-style’ mascara brush to really get into the roots.



That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

So that’s my love letter to mascara.  Tell me your thoughts!

2 Responses to “bat bat”

  1. Hankie February 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    I’ve also got really long, curled eyelashes, they mess up my eyebrows they’re that long! I definitely have bad eyelash days, some days they just won’t sit right and one eye is always better than the other! I am in love with They’re Real mascara by Benefit, although i don’t wear it everyday as i find it messy to put on and a bit of a chore to remove the mess, it’s also a lot more than i’d usually spend on a mascara!

    • iMax February 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Messy hey – how so? I’d love to check it out!
      I’m still trying to figure out how to get each eye the same, haha 😉

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