How to Pick Mascara

With the cosmetics market saturated with so many different mascaras to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out which mascaras will actually deliver the results that they promise. So let me help with that. I’m going to give you my three tips to pick which mascara is best for both your lashes and your budget.


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Stick to Black. Black mascara is the universal color and can be used on all skin tones, eye colors and hair colors. Black mascara will do the best job of defining your eyelashes and drawing attention to your eyes.


There are a couple of exceptions though. Black mascara can sometimes be too dramatic on people whose eyelashes are extremely light to begin with. Platinum blondes and redheads might opt for dark brown mascara, as brown mascara will provide less contrast with their natural lash color.


Skip the Waterproof.  Waterproof mascara is extremely hard to remove. It usually involves a lot of scrubbing and intense eye makeup remover. The damage done to your lashes in the meantime is just not worth it. My rule is to save the waterproof mascara for weddings and water sports only.

Its all about the wand.  Many cosmetic companies promise new, innovative formulas for building and lengthening eyelashes. But as a mascara developer explains, the formulas have not evolved too much over the years. The ingredients in the mascara will not make that much of a difference in enhancing your eyelashes. But the mascara wand  will.


Therefore,  the most important thing in choosing a mascara is to look at your own lashes and determine their natural thickness and density. Then, decide what you need a mascara to do for you and pick the mascara wand that will give you that effect.


If you have naturally thin or fine lashes, you will want to pick a mascara wand with bristles that are wound closer together. Too much space in between the bristles of the mascara wand will cause clumping on fine lashes. Stiff, long bristles will help pull the mascara through your lashes without leaving too much of a mess behind Loreal Voluminous Extra Volume Collagen has a great mascara wand for this lash type.

If your lashes are naturally thick or coarse, then you will want to pick a mascara with a wand where the bristles have a wider spiral. The best mascara wand for this lash type is  Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara which has wider, less dense bristles. This allows the wand to easily add the mascara to naturally thick lashes and pull the mascara through the lashes. This will lengthen them in the process.

You might have noticed that the price point is low for both of these options that I recommend. Mascara has one of the shortest shelf lives of all cosmetics. Mascaras are typically only good for 6 months. For this reason, I see no purpose in buying expensive formulas when there are so many great alternatives on the market.


*If you would like more pro makeup artist recommendations, then check out what’s In My Makeup Kit, where I give a sneak peek into my favorite makeup brands and products.


Want to know how to pick the best mascara? Click to read makeup tips to help you choose the right mascara for your eyelash type.
image codeMakeup Pro Tip: How to Pick Mascara. Want to know how to pick the best mascara for your eyelashes? Click to learn these makeup tips to choose the best mascara wand for your eyelashes.

I hope these tips have been helpful! Do you have any makeup questions that I can help with? Please visit my GetGlam page, or ask me on Facebook:  @GuideGetGlam!


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5 thoughts on “How to Pick Mascara

  1. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I do like mascara and this was helpful. I believe that I have thicker coarse lashes and now I know what to look for when buying. Visiting from Bloggy Moms. BTW-will you do any posts on covering scars?

    1. Hi Erlene! I am so glad this helped you! I appreciate you letting me know that it did. I have thought about doing a post on covering scars, so thank you for letting me know that you would be interested in something like that :)

  2. Kendell, I am obsessed with mascara and have tried them all. So I read this post with great interest.

    You are so right about the cost and shelf life. I’ve started picking up the lash samplers at Sephora. You get five half size samples of the expensive mascaras at a fraction of the price of a full size mascara. You’re going to toss your mascara long before a full size runs out anyway.

    It brings the cost per mascara down to about half the normal cost, plus some samplers come with a voucher to get one of the five choices in the full size. Well worth it for the mascara obsessed. It allows you to try all sorts of brushes and formulas and I’ve found some great choices this way.

    FYI I am not at all affiliated with Sephora or any of the products, just a happy mascara obsessed consumer.

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