Beauty Call: The lashes, the tips and the wardrobe

Here’s how to get the most from your mascara

Mascara is a low-cost treat

Mascara is a low-cost treat


When I first heard the term “mascara wardrobe”, I had this image of opening up a Sliderobe full of lash enhancers neatly sorted on tiny hangers. It might sound ridiculous, but it’s an actual term used by the cosmetics industry to describe the vast array of mascara options and the collection we build up.

Maybe they have a point. If you possess a dramatic false-lash-effect mascara for big nights out, a subtle one for daytime, a waterproof version for weddings and funerals and a couple of others you’ve picked up along the way, well, that’s a pretty decent wardrobe to choose from.

With so many excellent products on offer, there’s little loyalty in mascara. Like most women, I rarely stick to the same brand. Mascara is a low-cost treat. As with nail varnish and lipstick, sales have grown throughout the recession.

Dozens of new mascaras are launched every year, and the make-up overlords don’t seem to have any plans to slow down. As the selection widens, we become more discerning, so there are a lot variables that must be thought about when it comes to creating the next “best” product: the formula, the type and size of the brush, and the packaging.

It’s not just bras that we hope will lift and separate: our mascara expectations are high. I always look for volume, definition, length, curl and fullness – all at the same time – and have a low tolerance for gloopiness or flaking.

Even though we mascara lovers are fickle, a handful of mascaras have remained enduringly popular: Lancôme Hypnose, Chanel Inimitable, Max Factor Masterpiece, Diorshow, YSL Faux Cils, Maybelline Great Lash and Benefit They’re Real. It’s worth adding one to your wardrobe (although, while brilliant, the Benefit one is difficult to remove).

Floor-sweeping, naturally long lashes – a dream for many – are a bit of a trend. We now expect our mascara to provide treatment as well as speeding up growth. The popularity of formulations such as Latisse, RapidLash and similar products have heralded a new dawn. Rimmel Lash Accelerator and Jane Iredale Longest Lash thickening and lengthening mascara are part of this new breed.

Here are some tips for getting the most from your mascara:

  • Use the wiggle technique to increase fullness. Start at the base of your lashes, and, instead of sweeping the brush straight up, zig-zag it outwards.
  • Don’t pump the wand in and out of the container, as this introduces bacteria. Swirl it instead.
  • Only apply a second coat while the first one is still wet, otherwise it will clump .
  • If you are sensitive to mascara, check the ingredients list. Many formulas contain alcohol, which is a disaster for reactive eyes.
  • Don’t underestimate “mascara mouth”. There is a reason you automatically keep your mouth open while applying mascara – it can help you concentrate on getting your lash look right.


Aisling is on Twitter @aismcdermott.

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Lhancome Grandiose €30

It might look like you left your mascara on the radiator for too long and it got bent out of shape, but this wand bends to coat your eyelashes thoroughly without smudging.




Dior Addict It-Lash (€32.50)

Not for the shy and retiring: four shades (purple, black, blue and pink) will get you noticed. If you have pale lashes and worry about looking like you have hayfever, don’t use the pink.



hInglot Secret Volume Mascara (€12)

This mascara, packaged in a chunky little case, will give you well-defined lashes and jet blackness. Most importantly, there’s no fallout.



Urban Decay Perversion and Subversion (€21)

We’re steering unnecessarily into Fifty Shades of Grey territory with the names, but this mascara and primer will bulk up lashes after just one coat.




YSL Fusion Ink Foundation (€40)

Matt coverage makes this light foundation a suitable one for oily to combination skin. If you longed to wear YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, but found that it made you look too shiny, then this could be the foundation for you.

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