Mascara Tricks to Make it Stay Put

Last 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 trying to see well enough to put ti on ( Hah!) and then trying to keep it from ending up in our wrinkles. Here are some great tips on everything you’ve always wanted to know about mascara for the 40, 50 and, 60 something crowd.

mini Deborah

Q.  There are so many different types of mascara for thickening, lengthening, plumping, separating lashes, etc. and they all have different type brushes. Is there 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. 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 always in the sun or sweating, waterproof is an excellent pick for you.

Estee Lauder magnascopic mascaraMy personal favorite is L’oreal Voluminous. I like L’oreal Voluminous. When on vacation I use the waterproof. I work well, separates the lashes, making 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 sporadic,  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 scrape off any excess mascara, so your lashes don’t become clumpy.

Step 2) Apply mascara from the inner corner, (closest to your nose), and work your way out. Add a little extra on the outer edges 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 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 beautiful, 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 a waterproof mascara, all I had been the not great waterproof mascara, so I applied my voluminous first then used the “other” mascara as a topcoat — 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 coat 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-shaped 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. When I’m applying mascara, how can I prevent it from slipping into the tiny wrinkles around my eyes?

Whether it’s your cheeks, eyelids or wrinkles, sometimes our mascara gets 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 you 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 right 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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9 thoughts on “Mascara Tricks to Make it Stay Put

  1. I have trouble applying mascara for some reason. I start at the base closest to my lash line, but for some reason, the mascara doesn’t want to “stick” to parts of the lashes. It goes onto the lash line, and then it seems to almost skip part of the lash and then sticks again onto the rest of the lash. No matter what mascara I try, this happens. Any reasons why and what I can do? Thanks!

  2. I am having a terrible time keeping mascara on my bottom lashes. It doesn’t matter what brand it is; even waterproof mascara is a problem. An hour after applying mascara it is under my eyes and I look like I ran into a bus. I have tried using different concealer as well, as I thought that may be a problem. I barely have any bottom lashes to begin with; should I have tinting done, to extensions? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Patti, Sana here….My first question would be, what type of eye cream are you using? There could be something in that is breaking down the products and causing it to run.

      Lash extensions also would not stick. Try changing your eye moisturizer. If this continues, lash tinting would be a possibility, or permanent liner, this would be helpful in offering that dimension and depth under your eyes.

      Do your research and find someone that offers permanent make up. Check their pictures and make sure it looks natural. Use someone that is a make up artist, typically they would be more skilled than a person that has picked up the skill.

      Hope this offers a solution


      Sana Young

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

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