It’s the rare person who says, No, I don’t want thick, full eyelashes. The good news is that advances in formulation mean it’s possible to get a plentiful, lush effect with just a single coat of mascara (although you’re always welcome to add more). “If you’re just going to do one thing, and you’re wearing a face mask,” says Jenny Smith, global makeup artist at Nars, “put on your SPF, then define your eyes with mascara.” Boom.
Start by curling clean, dry lashes. “It helps keep all your lashes on the same plane, which is good if you wake up and have some lashes sticking up and others sticking down or going this way or that way,” says Nick Lujan, director of education and artistry at Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. Then comb through your curled lashes with a clean spoolie brush. “This is a step that most people neglect, and then they end up with clumpy lashes,” Lujan says. “Separating them is going to give you that really nice, feathered lash effect.”
Be tactical with your mascara application. “Concentrating mascara on the outer corners of your eyes helps create a more open and lifted look,” Smith says. “And a little bit more on the center lashes makes eyes look bigger and more awake.”
It’s OK to do bottom lashes, too. “I aim my mascara wand at the root of my lower lashes, rather than the tips,” says Kate Synott, beauty creative director at Róen. “I don’t mind if those lashes don’t look super long—I’d rather have a lift on the top lashes and just a tiny bit of definition on the bottom ones.” If you do get mascara on the tips of your lower lashes, just do as Synott does and pull a small bit off with your fingers.
If you decide to apply multiple coats, don’t rush. “Wet mascara needs to set about 30 seconds to a minute between coats,” Lujan says. “Otherwise, lashes are going to get weighed down.”