“Natural” and “understated” aren’t words in my vocabulary where eyelashes are concerned. Thick, black, feathery and dramatic? Yes; much better. Killer lashes are an instant mood lifter. Feeling down in the dumps? Mascara. Looking a little puffy and worse for wear? Mascara. Too many work deadlines and not enough hours in the day? Obviously, mascara! For me, no look is complete without that final coat (or five) of mascara. But for a product that’s so indispensable, finding the right one can be infuriating.

The problem is that it’s such a personal product that works differently on different people; and you can’t really try it in the store before you buy for obvious hygiene reasons. So how do we choose? “It’s about choosing the right brush for your lash type,” reveals MAC Senior Makeup Artist, Mariam Khairallah. Whether you love bold, in-your-face lashes or the discreetly defined look, read on as she shares her pro secrets, from choosing the right mascara to how to apply it for maximum effect, to get the eyelashes of your dreams.

MAC ExtendedPlayLash-Mascara-EndlesslyBlack-300

MAC Extended Play Lash

First of all, you have to consider your eye shape and decide what type of lashes you have. Do you have small eyes or are they wide? Are your lashes short and straight or curled and intertwined? Next, what’s the occasion? What kind of results are you looking for?

For small eyes and short lashes, go for a small, thin brush like the one on Extended Play Lash. It will give length and separation.

PRO TRICK: For super short, dead straight lashes, curl eyelashes and apply a lash primer. Dip a fine eyeliner brush in to the mascara then use it to paint the pigment on to the top side of your lashes to add length and volume. Then use the mascara wand to brush the underside of lashes for extra curl and lift.

If you have larger eyes and longer lashes or you just prefer mega volume, a thicker, bigger brush is the one for you. A large brush with bristles that are close together will immediately add more density to your lashes. MAC False Lashes is a good option.

Moulded plastic brushes like the one on In Extreme Dimension, work very much in the same way as a hair brush. They comb lashes from root to tip and so provide more lash separation as well as coverage. Great for a fan effect.

PRO TRICK: If you get clumps after your application, use a clean mascara wand or brow brush to comb through your eyelashes in a zigzag motion before they dry to remove any excess product and separate any bunches.

If you have very light coloured lashes, go for a rich brown mascara. It looks more natural and will be more suitable for blondes or redheads.

For those that wear full strip false lashes, it’s essential to go for a mascara with a thin brush like Studio Sculpt. Use the brush to combine your natural lashes with the falsies, gently stroking from the roots upwards for a natural looking finish.

If you have eyelash extensions, use a small fan brush to apply your mascara in an upwards motion, in between your lashes. The idea here is to boost volume and definition, not to coat lashes completely. Avoid waterproof formulas as your extensions may come loose when you remove it.

Which mascara can’t you live without?

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