In her Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling was unto something when she wrote about how each wand had to be the perfect match for its witch/wizard owner. In real life, wands have to be matched to the owner, too. Mascara wands, that is. Now before you brush me off as a wacko Potter fan, allow me to elaborate.
More than the actual formula, I think it’s the mascara wand that makes a massive difference to your lashes in giving you the effect you desire. Generally, my only criterion formula-wise is that it be waterproof. I take more time in deciding on the wand shape.
For instance, when I want my lashes to look defined and well-separated, I will use a mascara that has a smaller wand, with shorter bristles. This allows me to really get to the lashline and define my lashes from root to tip.
Something like this…
Now when I want major volume, I will opt for a bigger, thicker wand. This will allow me to really build up my lashes and get them thick and lush after as little as one or two coats. (Me being me, I usually layer more than that.)
Here’s a picture of a wand that will get you volumized:
I also took a picture of these two wands side by side just to help you see the difference in their shape and size.
Oh and while we’re on the topic of mascaras, nowadays, there is such a thing as lash primer. You’re supposed to apply it to your lashes first, and then follow with mascara. I tried using it once and it makes your lashes look thicker. Personally, I think you can get the same effect with multiple coats of mascara. Some lash primers have added ingredients, e.g. they claim to make your lashes longer/healthier. I haven’t used one for a long enough period of time, so I really can’t comment about that. But I’ll show you some pics of a lash primer that I pilfered from my mom.
This is an Estée Lauder one, and the tube looks like this:
And here’s a close-up shot of the wand and the formula:
You see how ghastly white it is? That’s why you have to layer mascara on top, or risk looking like a weirdo.
So when you go mascara-shopping, apart from the formula, do check out the wand that comes with the tube. Make sure it will work for the type of lash effect that you prefer.
While I am all for loving what Mother Nature has chosen to bestow—or not bestow—upon you, there are times when you can’t help but want to add a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to your look. Case in point: eyelashes. Whenever I want to look extra special or play up my eyes a bit more, I will sometimes add a pair of false eyelashes to my normal routine of eyeshadow/eyeliner/mascara. Granted, I do have a little difficulty attaching falsies to my real lashes (I find it way easier applying them unto other people’s peepers); however, when I do take the time for this extra step, I always find that the effort is worth it.
In my opinion, there are three important things to remember when it comes to false eyelashes. First, you have to measure the false lash against your own lashline; if you find that the false lash is too long for you, trim from the inside with a pair of sharp scissors. Trimming from the inside will allow you to keep the longer hairs at the outer end, so important for lifting the eye and really enhancing your look.
Second, you’ll want to invest in a good-quality eyelash glue. Cheaper falsies will usually work as well as the more expensive ones (emphasis on the word usually: I’ve tried some of the dirt-cheap ones and found them so inflexible that I couldn’t get them to follow the contour of my eye). What you want to do is spend a bit more money on the glue so that your falsies don’t come off at the most inopportune moments.
Third, you will probably need to practice attaching false eyelashes a few times before it comes easily to you. Applying falsies five minutes before you have to leave for a night-out is not a situation in which you want to find yourself, unless your fine motor skills are all in place, that is.
Now let’s run through a quick how-to:
1) Gently detach the false eyelash from its plastic tray. Trim from the inner corners, if needed.
2) Apply a fine line of glue to the entire lower edge of the lash (the part that will sit atop your own lashes), making sure to apply glue all the way to both corners of the lash.
3) Wait for 15-20 seconds until the glue becomes a bit tacky, and then lay the false lash on top of your own lashes. Secure the corners by pressing on them gently. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to do this.
4) Gently press the falsies unto your own lashes so that they blend together seamlessly.
5) I use a glue that dries clear. If you find that the glue is still obvious even after it dries, you can draw a fine line of liquid eyeliner on top of it.
Here are some false eyelash styles that you can try out. I got these from the Face Shop at Php 115 each. (All of them come with a tiny tube of glue, which is nice. They also provide detailed instructions inside the box. Totally useful, if you can read Korean 😉 )
This is a pair that you can use if you want to enhance your own lashes, but still want a natural effect. What I love about these is that they’re three-quarter lashes (if I recall correctly), eliminating the need for trimming the lashes to fit my eyes.
And here’s a really dramatic pair you can use for special evening events.
And, for the times when you just want to accentuate your eyes’ outer corners or you want to control which areas of your lashline to emphasize, you can use individuals like these.
Oh, and one last thing: if you’re careful about removing, cleaning, and storing your falsies, you can actually reuse them several times. Just detach them carefully (with a little help from a cotton ball soaked in warm water), remove bits of glue, and store in their original plastic tray. For purposes of hygiene, of course, it is best that you reuse only falsies which you’ve used on yourself. 🙂
Whenever I talk to friends who are just learning how to apply make-up, they often tell me that they are mystified by instructions such as “Blend such-and-such a color into your socket line” or “Line both top and bottom waterlines.” I don’t blame them. It took me quite awhile before I could understand such instructions myself, so I understand how newbies would have a bit of difficulty in deciphering directions of this sort.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the different parts of the eye (in terms of make-up application, that is). I’ve also included some pictures with the areas being described marked out.
The lid. When applying eyeshadow, the lid is where the base color usually goes. A base color is either the same color as your skin (and in applying it you’re just evening out your eye area color) OR the medium/middle shade in a three- or four-shade eyeshadow palette. The lid area starts at the upper lashline all the way up to the crease or socket line. Where’s the crease, you say? Read on…
The crease or socket line. Gently pat your eyelids with a finger, and feel for the area where the eyeball ends and your eye area recedes or seems to go deeper. That area is your crease or socket line. In most make-up looks, the crease is where the darker colors are placed. The idea is to recess this area even further, to make the eye look more deep-set. However, if you’re like most Asians, you’ll probably find that you have monolids, i.e. you don’t have a defined crease. No worries! There are a host of other ways by which you can define your peepers; I’ll talk about this in a future post.
The outer corner. This refers to the corner of your eye farthest from your nose. Apply darker colors here and blend softly inwards, going in about one-third the length of your eye (the color here should blend with any color you applied in the crease, if applicable). Darkening this area also helps to define the eyes and make them look deep-set. For people with monolids, applying dark colors here and blending inwards works to give the illusion of deeper-set eyes (better than trying to create the illusion of a crease where there is none).
The inner corner. The reverse of the outer corner, this refers to the corner of your aye nearest to your nose. Unless you have really large eyes, you usually cannot afford to apply dark colors in this area; doing so makes your eyes look smaller. Instead, highlight this area with light/shimmery shades to give you a wide-awake/refreshed look. Any color applied here should be blended softly outwards (i.e. away from the nose), going about one-third the length of your eye.
The browbone. This is the area right below the brow. It’s hard to miss this: there is literally a bone in this area. Light shades are applied here to highlight the area. Shimmer works, but don’t overdo it; you want to be very subtle in emphasizing this area.
The upper lashline. The area where your top eyelashes are, this is where you apply eyeliner and/or false eyelashes. Lining the eyes, when done the right way, makes the eyes pop and can either emphasize or subtly change their shape (depending on the effect that you want to achieve).
The lower lashline. This is where your bottom lashes are. Eyeliner is also applied in this area. You can also add false eyelashes, but they’re a bit trickier to attach here.
The bottom waterline. This is the area that’s practically inside your eyes already, requiring you to go in further than your lower lashline. Applying eyeliner here takes a bit of getting used to. A dark eyeliner applied here works for smoky, sultry looks. A light eyeliner–white, or pale yellow–makes the eyes look bigger and brightens them as well.
The top waterline. Like the bottom waterline, but on top (i.e. underneath your top lashes). “What?! You want me to apply my eyeliner there? What if I poke my eye?” Well, this isn’t for everyone. Even I have yet to master applying my eyeliner here without being reduced to tears. But applying eyeliner here (usually pencil, or cake eyeliner with a wet brush) makes your lashes look fuller without mascara, so I think this is a trick worth learning.
(Note to self: If you want to apply eyeliner here, do it BEFORE applying mascara. I once tried doing it after mascara, and it hurt like anything 🙂 )
There are so many ways to apply eye make-up that what I’ve just said will not apply to all types of looks. But these guidelines are generally applicable, and they are definitely useful to a beginner.
Remember that blending is key; there should be no visible demarcation lines between one color and the next, or from one area of the eye to another. Hope this helps!