When applied with skill, lash extensions can look quite impressive. Lash extensions provide definition, volume, symmetry, and length to even the most modest of natural lashes. In many ways, they’re like the false lashes we all wish existed—and they can last for weeks! For many, however, the cost of lash extensions—and the time required to maintain them or have them reapplied is prohibitive. That leaves us with two options—we can fuss with false lashes or get really, really good at the whole mascara routine. For those of us who like to keep it simple, mascara wins the day. If you fall into that category, keep reading to see how top makeup artists use just mascara (and occasionally a few other goodies) to give their clients lashes that *look* like they’ve got magnificent lash extensions.
How Makeup Artists Achieve the Lash Extensions Look
Consider your lash curler like a primer. “I always curl the lashes with an eyelash curler by gently bending at the base of the lash and holding for a few seconds, then gently walking it out to the end of the lash,” says Julie Harris. “This opens up the eye immediately, and lifts the lashes so they stand out more.”
Wiggle your wand: “Start from the root of your lashes and wiggle upwards. Wiggling your mascara wand through your lashes will give your wand that tight fit up against every lash.” – Tiffany Hall-Scarmana
After you wiggle your wand, try this zig-zag technique to ensure every lash is coated. “Always go vertical and then flip horizontal to really get every lash and make them full.” – Elle Leary
Use the following clever technique to go as deep as possible with your wand: “Gently press on the eyelid to pop out the lashes to get as close to the lash line as possible when applying mascara.” – Gabriel Almodovar
For serious volume (and staying power!), add a little powder. “Brush baby powder on the lashes between mascara coats. It is my absolute favorite trick. Dusting baby powder on the lashes makes them appear thicker and fuller. It’s the perfect way to get a full lash look without putting on extensions or strips.” — Rocio Matos
Setting powder also works! 100% Pure Bamboo Blur Setting Powder
Consider deviating from the standard spoolie brush. ”Standard mascara wands don’t make it easy to get to the very root of the lash, without getting mascara all over your eyelid or your waterline. To get around this, I use a makeup brush…any small, stiff-bristled brush will do. After applying mascara with the brush that comes in the tube, apply product to your fan brush by swiping it directly onto the mascara brush. You don’t need a lot: Make sure the product isn’t too thick. Lay the brush flatly along the lashline, as close to the root as possible, and simply paint outward.”—Katie Mellinger
For depth and definition, don’t forget the waterline. “Paint mascara on the upper waterline. Take your favorite mascara, and with an eyeliner brush, swipe the end of the mascara wand to pick up some of the product. Next, wiggle it between your lashes, filling in the spaces between the lashes to give the effect of a dark, full fan.” — Kelsey Deenihan
Finally, comb your lashes with a lash comb to avoid clumps—which can make lashes look stubbier than they are. “[It] will help you avoid clumpy lashes. Your lashes will be thicker and longer, but natural-looking. I think it makes your lashes ‘fan’ out.” — Man Quynh
What’s your favorite way to amp up your lashes?
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Photo: Besamannu via Instagram, Respective Brands