Spring is all about long, thick, sexy lashes. Here, expert tips on how to get them.
1. Two For One: "Lashes can be thought of like hair: you're always going to want them longer and thicker," says makeup artist Maggie Kerr. "What I've noticed with cosmetics companies is that instead of having one mascara for lengthening and a separate one for thickening, new formulations are combining the two." Laura Mercier's Thickening & Building Mascara ($20), YSL Mascara Singulier ($30), and Estee Lauder's Projectionist Mascara ($19.50) are great combination formulas.
2. Magic Wands: Many different wands have come out on the market recently, Kerr says. Some are shaped in a ball to get at the little hairs in the inner corners of the eyes (Givenchy Phenomen'eyes $28), some vibrate to also achieve the same effect of getting at the finer hairs and distributing the formula evenly (Estee Lauder Turbo Lash, $32), some have fat wands to create volume (Christian Dior Dior Show $24), Benefit BADgal, $19.00), some have mini wands to maximize short eyelashes (Maybelline Lash Discovery, $7.99), while others have entirely synthetic bristles (YSL Everlong, $28.50).
3. Find Your Formula: "I fully believe that you can get the same effect of lengthening and thickening with any wand, it's really the formula that counts," says Kerr. If the formula is too thick to try and create volume, no brush will be able to separate the lashes completely and still add heft; the lashes will end up clumping together a la Tammy Faye. Kerr says a better way to apply any mascara is to wiggle the wand horizontally from inside working out over your lashes. Brush it out with a clean mascara wand, which can be purchased in packs at a beauty retailer such as Sally's, then apply again. Keep repeating until you've acheived the desired thickness and length. "Sometimes I will spend 10 minutes on my lashes if I want them extremely dramatic," says Kerr.
4. Ebony Is The New Black: When it comes to pigment this season, the blacker the better. Thick and dark is the look you're going for. "L'Oreal's Carbon Black series ($7.25) has a great pigment, as does bareMinerals' Flawless Definition Mascara ($18)," Kerr says.
5. Go Organic: For those who prefer "green" products, there are some great organic lines on the market and that includes mascaras. "I really like Jane Iredale's Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara in Black Ice ($32)," Kerr says. "It doesn't irritate the eyes, is mineral based and all natural, and actually delivers what it promises - long, thick lashes." Kerr uses the product on herself and on clients who are more sensitive to eye makeup formulations. "The formula doesn't harden the lashes to mini spikes when it dries, and it comes in a squeezable tube to get every last drop out – added bonus."
6. Long and Strong: "Lash Extensions can help a girl roll out of bed looking instantly fabulous," Kerr says. "A couple of my makeup artist colleagues have full doe-eyed sets that make me envious each time I see them!" Kerr warns that the process can be costly initially ($200-$400), but maintenance is every 3 months and refills are cheaper (around $65 to touch up). In response to the demand, lash salons are popping up all over the country. Think of lash extensions like nail extensions. Each individual lash is glued onto the natural lash. When the natural lash grows out, the artificial one has to be reshaped and filled in at the root. "Because the artificial lash is permanent, this look is popular if you'll be spending a lot of time at the beach and don't want to have to deal with makeup," Kerr says. Check out Extreme Lashes or Lavish Lashes to find a salon near you.
7. Lash Love: If eye lash extensions are not for you, give your lashes a little extra love with Latisse, an eyelash growth serum based on a glaucoma treatment formula. Regular use of the product means longer, fuller lashes all around. But you'll have to convince your doctor that it's absolutely essential that you have the sexiest lashes in town: It's only available on prescription. For a non-prescription growth formula, try Tarte MultiplEYE ($22) which increases the appearance of lash length with regular use.
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