Mascara can trace its roots all the way back to ancient Egypt where a substance called kohl was used to enhance the eyes of both men and women. In Victorian times women would make their own type of lash enhancement with ash, lampblack, and elderberry juice. This mixture would then be heated and applied to their lashes.
In the 19th century, European chemist Eugene Rimmel (yep that Rimmel!) developed a product with petroleum jelly that could be applied to lashes. At about the same time in America, Thomas Lyle Williams developed a similar product for his sister Mabel. He started selling it mail order in 1917 under the name, you guessed it, Maybelline!
So, which mascaras are the best? It depends on the type of lashes you have (what I would also call your lash challenges), the look you are trying to achieve, and if you want waterproof or not. It’s a bit of learning CURVE, (pun intended!), at first.
Waterproof or not? This is one that ladies will draw sides on. One of the main reasons we feel strongly is due to the removal of waterproof mascara. In the past, it had been challenging, but new makeup removal products are now available to make that easier. A good waterproof mascara should hold up to summer humidity, a sweaty workout, or a good old sob-fest when your latest Netflix marathon is over. Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Waterproof is a bargain at about $5.
Clinique High Impact Waterproof provides easy application and no clumping for an simple, natural look with buildable coverage.
Dior Diorshow Waterproof is a cult favorite that will give you a full and lush look with just a few swipes of its oversize wand.
One of the best products to remove waterproof mascara or a full face of makeup, in any case, is Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. This is also safe for contact lens wearers.
Those with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers are often hard to please when it comes to makeup. It’s understandable, no one wants to suffer for beauty. Some mascaras contain fibers to add volume and those can often become flaky and irritate contact wearer’s eyes. Also, when shopping for mascara look for terms like ophthalmologist tested, allergy tested, or hypoallergenic.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 is a favorite of those with sensitive eyes and gives very dramatic results. Ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested.
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume is a work horse providing length, volume, smooth application as well as being hypoallergenic.
Almay One Coat Thickening is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, plus contains aloe vera and Vitamin B5.
The main thing most of us want from our mascara is length and volume. Most do provide both, but some people may prefer one or the other. I’ve identified some mascaras that many consider to be their holy grail. These are tried and true, deliver what they say, and have a huge fan base.
Benefit BADgal Bang! is the best mascara on the market to give you voluminous lashes. It lasts up to 36 hours and is so weightless it almost feels like you’re not wearing makeup. In case you’re not sold it’s won Best of Beauty for several years.
Too Faced Better Than Sex with its bold hourglass-shaped wand will get in there and curl, thicken and lengthen even the puniest lashes. It comes in a waterproof formula, too.
Benefit Roller Lash has what they call a Hook ‘n’ Roll Brush which grabs, lifts, lengthens, and curls setting the lashes in place for up to 12 hours.
Hourglass Caution’s deceptively simple-looking wand delivers buildable drama length and volume along with a dark, lush, black color. Plus it’s cruelty-free.
Thrive Liquid Lash Extensions uses a “Flake-Free Tubing Technology” to create long, thick lashes without clumping or flaking. It is also vegan and cruelty-free.
Maybelline has several well-priced options in their Falsies line. Lash Lift is for lengthening. Volume Express is for adding volume and comes in a waterproof formula, Flared is for a fan-like effect, and Black Drama for intense black color.
Dior Diorshow is another that has capitalized with multiple formulas to meet different needs. The original is a true cult classic is known for its oversize wand that provides length and volume. They now offer Pump ‘n’ Volume HD for a more dramatic effect, Iconic Overcurl with a curved wand to help curl lashes with a swipe, and Blackout for true black coverage.
Lastly, to use an eyelash curler or not? I have short, straight, blondish lashes and I cannot live without my curler. It takes a bit of practice to learn to use it, but it can really make a difference. It helps lifts your lashes and you may find you need less mascara. I often get asked about which color mascara will suit.
Most people can use black, but if your lashes are exceptionally light (maybe you are very blonde or a redhead) then a brown or brown-black may look less harsh.
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