Mascara -Tricks to Apply and Make It Stay Put

how to apply mascaraLast post I chatted with celebrity make-up artist Sana Young about how to have thicker, fuller more youthful lashes.

This time, we’re talking mascara. What was once a simple flick of a wand has become a challenging task as we struggle to keep  mascara from ending up in our wrinkles and even see well enough to put it on right  the first place.

Here’s some fantastic advice and great tips on everything you’ve always wanted to know about mascara for the 40, 50 and, 60 something crowd.

mini Deborah

Q. Sana, Let’s talk about mascara. It’s overwhelming. There are so many different types for thickening, lengthening, plumping, separating lashes etc. and they all have different type brushes. Is there really  any difference between them all or is all this hype just marketing?

A good mascara will do it all. Lengthen, thicken, plump  but if you have a specific problem pick one that specializes in your needs. personally, I have always preferred a straight brush instead of a rounded brush. Everyone has a different length to their lash line, so I find I have more control with a full straight brush, but test a few out and see.

Next, go for a waterproof brand because it’ll keep your lashes perfect all day. If you’re constantly in the sun or sweating, waterproof is a great pick for you.

Estee Lauder magnascopic mascaraMy personal favourite is L’oreal Voluminious. I really like L’oreal Voluminous. When on vacation I use the waterproof. I works really well, separates the lashes, made them fuller, lasts all day, doesn’t flake, or smudge. A second option that I like is Magnascopic by Estee Lauder. Both don’t thicken quickly either!!

Q. What’s the best color to buy?
When it comes to color; black is best for everyday use. It easily opens up the eyes and gives your lashes a fuller look. Give your lashes at least two to three coats or until you feel like they’re thick enough. Start at the base of your eyes and wiggle the brush up. It’s very rare but sometimes I do recommend brown mascara if you are very fair ( or under 15 and fair). Fair? equal to ivory, that’s fair.

how to apply mascara

Q.   What the correct way to apply Mascara?

Mascara is like the icing on the cake of make-up. It’s the finishing touch that opens up your eyes making them look bigger and stand out. Instead of slapping some on pay attention to your technique.

Step 1 ) After curling your first lash remove the mascara wand from the tube and make sure to scrap off any excess mascara so your lashes don’t become clumpy.

Step 2) Apply mascara from inner corner, (closest to your nose), and work your way out. Add a little extra on the outer corners trying to brush up and out. (out means, out, away from your face)

Step 3) Curl your other eyelash and repeat the mascara technique on that eyelash.If you are really confident you can apply without a curler. This application would require you to have a steady hand for applying as close to the lash line as possible. it can be done.

Lashes need to look separated, lashes should look long, no bend! You want a nice gentle curl.The bend occurs when the mascara is not pulled through. Don’t be lazy, take your time when you apply. Do it right once and it will last all day.

Q. I’ve read some gals layer on 2-3 different types of mascara . Is this necessary?

Not at all.  The only time I would ever layer different mascaras, and this happened to me once……I had bought a waterproof mascara someone had told me to get, they said it was the greatest thing ever, and when I used it, I realized it was not, so I stopped using it. Weeks later I was going somewhere and needed waterproof mascara, all I had was the not great waterproof mascara, so I applied my voluminous first then used the the “other” mascara as a top coat. The only time I have ever layered a mascara.

Q. Mascara primers- do they work? Do you need one after 40?

I don’t like them, I don’t feel they have a use, it just makes the application more difficult for the consumer…..another layer? Why not just reapply a layer of the same mascara to avoid clumping and flaking?

Q. Should I apply mascara to my bottom lashes?

Only apply mascara on your bottom lashes if you have almond shape eyes.  The reason? Mascara on the bottom lashes casts a shadow. The slightest bit of darkness under the eye mixed with mascara on the bottom lashes will create the look of bags/dark circles. An almond eye can afford to have the look of being pulled down ever so slightly because it’s so lifted in the corners. Also, if you have any darkness underneath your eyes, avoid applying mascara on your bottom lashes as it will draw more attention to it.

Q. How can I prevent mascara from slipping into the tiny wrinkles around my eye?

Whether it’s your cheeks, eyelids or wrinkles, sometimes our mascara get into places it shouldn’t be. To avoid this it’s best to use something like a business card or tissue paper underneath your bottom lashes as your apply mascara. Tilting your head slightly forward will also help with preventing mascara from getting into those tiny places.

Q. Any tips for us 40+ gals who can barely see putting on mascara- should we use a magnifying mirror, lighted mirror or use some technique?

Answer- if your vision doesn’t allow for you to get a good view of your lashes, then consider using a magnifying mirror, light is optional, depends on the lighting in your area of application…. I hate to admit it but, I do love a good car mirror on the visor, mixed with daylight and it becomes a great place to apply mascara!!! when parked of course, or being driven.

*Do you have a question.  Sana Young is a celebrity make-up artist from Meccage Make-up who will answer your questions. Email her at

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  1. I have long eyelashes and do not use a curler. However throughout the day my mascara comes off and when I soon apply again it goes clumpy. I am not able to afford an expensive mascara. Any other ways to keep it on?

  2. Alison King says:

    Probably a silly question but I don´t know the answer so here goes. When applying mascara should it be applied to the underside of the lashes, (which is how I do it) or the top side of the lashes?

    • Sana says: I would always apply to the underside of your lashes, several coats, as close to the lash line as possible. You can apply a coat or two to the top of your lashes if you would like. This works better if your lashes are very thick and can’t get enough mascara from the first application of mascara to the underside.

  3. I shop at Sephora and recently had to switch mascaras because mine was discontinued. I can’t say I have ever experienced flakey mascara. I used to use waterproof, but found it dried out my lashes too much. I am currently using mascara by Dior, but I will say it is a bit of an ordeal to remove. Even with eye makeup remover I don’t feel it is completely off :( I did start using conditioner as a primer. This is a first for me. I was advised to do it to protect my lashes and keep them from drying out. Further, it really does lengthen the lashes!!! I use it on it’s own, to condition, on days when I am at home and not wearing makeup. I use 1 application of conditioner, followed by 1 application of mascara. My lashes look great – I just wish I could remove it with ease!

  4. Jan Pytlarz says:

    Awesome information! Thanks Deborah and Sana!