Mascara and Eyeliner Application

Woman wearing a turtleneck and applying mascara
Photo: Shutterstock
When it comes to enhancing the eyes through the use of cosmetics, you really can’t overlook the importance of mascara and eyeliner. These two simple cosmetics provide so much impact on the overall look of the face that trying to make a go of it without them is often a losing battle.
Let’s be honest, in the most pared-down, minimalist looks, the three “must-have” items are generally tinted moisturizer, mascara and lipstick, and personally, I know more women who are willing to part with their moisturizer and lipstick than are willing to part with mascara.
Since the eyes are the windows of the soul (poetically speaking) and are a key focus in the basics of facial recognition (scientifically speaking) how they are presented is extremely important. These are features that come with their own enhancement elements (lashes) and are centered in a nesting of musculature that makes them almost infinitely expressive. Because of this, it’s important to use care when enhancing them with cosmetics. Over-application can really hinder the desired result.
So, let’s look at these two eye-enhancing cosmetics and at the best uses of them to make the eyes look their best:
With mascara you find products that offer a surprisingly wide range of promises. Originally, mascaras were little more than temporary color for the lashes. They darkened the lashes (to black) making them stand out more and subsequently defining the eyes. However, today’s mascaras are designed to help maximize the lashes and to combat the common complaints many women have about their lashes. There are mascaras that thicken each lash (for those women who feel their lashes are too fine, or are too sparse), and there are mascaras that add length for those who feel their lashes are too short.
There are also mascaras that are not the traditional “black” or “dark brown” these days. There have been “fashion colored” mascaras for some time which have been popular off and on in certain circles and eras. These have ranged from white mascaras to the shades that match or coordinate with various eye shadow shades in “fashion colors”. While not necessarily appropriate for the supermarket or the PTA, these looks made an impact both for the wearers specifically and in general in the eras in which they were worn.
Today we have colored mascaras designed to enhance the eye color of the individual whether it’s blue, green, aqua or brown. This is done by including metallic tones in the color of the mascara which refracts colors of light to brighten and compliment the color of the iris (the colored portion of the eye). The specific metallic tone depends on the color the mascara is meant to enhance, so you have to choose the formula for your eye color, but these choices are simple and clearly outlined.
Choosing Mascara for Maximum Impact:
When it comes to choosing your mascara and applying it for maximum effect there are some things to consider: For instance, what is your most significant need from mascara? Are you someone whose lashes are long and lush, but blonde and therefore nearly translucent? Do you think your lashes are too thin or sparse? Do you wish your lashes were longer and brushed against your brows and cheeks when you batted them? The improvement you wish to create in the lashes determines the specific product you are going to choose.
We won’t go into specific brands and their respective formulas here, both because we generally tend to avoid brand/product endorsement, and because there are just too many different brands out there. Suffice it to say that you should make your choices based on your specific needs and not simply select a brand/product at random.
If your eyes are ringed with a lush fringe of thick, stubby lashes, you don’t really want mascara whose primary purpose is to thicken the lash. Instead, you want one that will help to add length and will extend the lashes. And if you have long lashes, but feel that they’re too sparse or finely-textured (thin), a thickening mascara will give you the improvement you seek.
Simply put, you want the right tool for the job, and once you’ve selected the mascara that is appropriate to what you need, it becomes time to look at the ways you can apply mascara for maximum impact. {NOTE: There’s no rule that says you have to restrict yourself to only ONE kind of mascara. In many cases there are looks that can be created by using a “lengthening” mascara followed by a thickening mascara to create a DRAMATIC change in the look of your eyes.} However, first let’s look at mascara’s oft-forgotten companion, eyeliner.
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