Regardless of what type of lashes we’re born with, there are endless mascaras, tools, and tricks out there that can give your peepers a major boost. Even though you might think your lash game is on point, some eye-opening insider tips are only privy to the pros — until now. Instead of wiggling on the same formula you’ve used for years, grab some cotton balls (keep reading!), pump that curler, and soak up these tips from celebrity makeup artist and founder of Lash Star Beauty Tracy Murphy.
1. Apply multiple coats. Layering your mascara — just like we layer shadows for the perfect smokey eye — will not weigh your lashes down. What’s important is choosing lightweight formulas that are easy to comb through and blend together seamlessly on the lash. “I am all about layering different mascaras to get the ultimate effect,” says Murphy, who regularly works with Kate Upton. If you find that your lashes look and feel too thick or clumpy from multiple formulas, a metal lash comb like the Tweezerman Folding I-Lashcomb (above, $12) will be your new BFF.
2. Find your brush soul mate. Depending on what kind of lashes you have (and are trying to achieve), your ideal wand can vary. A dual-ended comb wand like Covergirl Total Tease Mascara (above, $8) is a great option for teeny-tiny lashes (especially in the corner!) that want to add length, while the Dior Diorshow Pump’N’Volume Mascara ($29) wand will latch onto even the longest, straightest lashes, thickening them up and offering added lift.
3. Always start with a curler. Lash curlers are essential to creating that wide-eyed, lifted look, and won’t damage your lashes as long as you use them properly. “To get your best lashes ever, you absolutely must start with a good foundation, which is an eyelash curler,” Murphy says. If you have short, straight lashes, a heated eyelash curler like the Chella Heated Eyelash Curler (above, $22) can make a big difference in terms of opening up your eye. If you’ve got long lashes, try a traditional model like the cult-fave Shiseido Eyelash Curler ($20). For those little ones in the corners of our eyes that never seem to curl properly, an individual curler like Lash Star Beauty Individual Lash Curler ($24) will make a big difference.
4. Make the right moves with your wand. It’s all about styling your lashes, y’all. To get thick, separated, curled eyelashes, Murphy suggests a couple specific movements. “You must wiggle the wand to the very root of the lashes and slowly zigzag the wand to the tip of the lash,” she says. “Remember to bring the inner corner lashes to the start of the brow, the center lashes upward to the sky, and the outer corner lashes facing the tail of the brow.” This intentional method of styling creates a gorgeous starburst effect, Murphy explains, that “maximizes your lash real estate.” Holding the wand vertically to paint individual lashes that need a little extra definition also helps. If you want to take your eyelash styling to the next level and add serious definition, consider an innovative product like Hourglass Curator The Lash Artist (above, $78), which literally lets you coat each individual lash thanks to a unique stainless steel-tipped wand.
5. Keep your dryer (and maybe cotton balls) handy. There are a ton of hacks to elevate your eyelash game. You can always opt for semi-permanent enhancements to your natural lashes in the form of dying and perming them, which is a great option if you have lightly colored and/or stick straight lashes. Speaking of stick straight eyelashes, if you find yourself sans lash curler (the horror!), try the blowdryer lash curling hack — it’s a lifesaver if you’re in a pinch. Adding length is easy with the cotton ball eyelash lengthening hack.
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