Mascara 101- Choosing the Right Mascara for You

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Hey y’all!

I wanted to do a post that isn’t JUST for Mommies this time!  I thought I’d talk a little about makeup and it only made sense for my first makeup series to be about… MASCARA!  (Bet you didn’t see that one coming!  Ha!)  Mascara is my go-to makeup item.  You know what I mean.  That one thing that you simply can’t leave home without.  I can’t stand not having mascara on!

I am actually starting a series about mascara.  This post will be the first and I will link the others as they come.  Turns out I have a lot to tell you on the subject!

I get a LOT of people who come to me having trouble finding a mascara that they LOVE.  Have you ever seen someone with great lashes and ask them what they use, only to try it yourself and you look like a Tim Burton character?  Most people don’t realize that its not the brand of mascara that makes your eyes look great.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are a lot of crappy drug store mascaras out there but there are also a lot of crappy big-name, expensive mascaras.  Your better off going with the right WAND.  When you look at the different mascara wands offered left and right, it can be a bit intimidating to figure out which is the right one for you.  Well, I’m making it easy for you!

First lets talk about mascara wands.  Your mascara wand can make or break your look.  Its really important to think about WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR MASCARA!   So many people just use mascara because… well, that’s the next step, right?  They don’t really know WHY, they just do it!  Then they don’t like that the mascara is too clumpy or doesn’t give them the look that they want.  Below is a picture of the 7 basic wand shapes.  Not all mascara wands will look exactly like one of these, but ALL (with the exception of one, which I’ll tell you about after) wands are derived from one of these basics!

Mascara 101

#1- Oversized:  This is probably the most popular of all mascara wands.  This is the wand that will give you TONS of volume.  Its fatter than most mascara wands so it will give your lashes multiple coats with one stroke.  Also, with the bristles close together, it tends to hold more mascara, therefore depositing more mascara on your lashes, making them look fuller.  If you have short lashes and want them to look longer, this is NOT your mascara.  Think thick vs. long.  Personally, this is my favorite type of mascara wand because my lashes are pretty long on their own but need to be filled in for drama.  Therefore, I use a volumizing mascara and wand that thickens my lashes so I have the length and the volume!  For a maximum volume effect, choose one that is a thicker formula mascara.

Volume Mascara (Oversized Wand)

#-2 Cone Taper: This wand is an interesting one.  It won’t do much to thicken your lashes so if volume is your desired result, this one is wrong for you.  This is more of a lengthening mascara.  However, the wand is created to be thicker at one end so that, as you apply, the outer ends of your lashes will flutter out like wings.  This is a very pretty effect.  That being said, I don’t usually recommend these types of brushes to anyone unless they have great lashes without anything on.  The winged look adds drama but this brush won’t do much for the rest of your lashes.  I have one of these that I use sometimes as a 2nd coat mascara.  I apply my regular mascara first then go over it with the tapered wand.  That way I have the volume I’m looking for in the first mascara PLUS the fun winged outer edge!  If you’re not on a strict budget and can afford to have more than one type of mascara, this looks good on everyone!

Cone Taper Mascara Wand

#3- Curved: Do you have the type of lashes that stick straight out in front of you?  If so, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t matter WHAT type of mascara you use, you can hardly see it at all!  The reason for this is that your lashes are straight so when you look in the mirror, you just see a flat line leading up to your eyes.  This can shade your eyes and make you look tired.  It can also give you a drawn in, “I keep to myself” look without you even realizing it!  The curved brush is going to take that mascara and apply it in a way that forces your lashes up so that you look in the mirror and see your lashes AND the beautiful eyes underneath them!  If your lashes naturally have curl in them, stay away from this type of brush.  All it will do is curl your lashes so much that you’ll have a black line where they hit the tops of your eyelids!

Curved Mascara Wand
Mascara with curl

#4- Balled Tip: I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of these.  They just aren’t practical to me.  If you are an editorial make-up artist, this type of wand can really come in handy for perfecting details for the camera.  But in real life, I don’t know anyone who is going to take the time to scrutinize their mascara application and perfect it with the balled tip.

Ball tip Mascara wand
Ball tip Mascara wand

#5- Microwand:  Are you sitting there thinking “I don’t care about dramatic lashes.  I don’t wear much makeup anyway. I just want to enhance my eyes by adding color to my lashes”?  If you agree with any of those things, then this wand is for you!  The microwand is not going to give you tons of volume and its not going to give you tons of length.  You’re not going to get any fancy wings or spikes.  This is simply going to give your lashes some color.  I find that a lot of blondes like to use this for a natural way of adding color to their blonde lashes.  Another scenario this wand is popular for is going to the beach or pool.  Sometimes you don’t want to go completely bare-faced but you don’t want to look like you tried to hard by putting on makeup before swimming.  In those cases, simply using a microwand with a waterproof mascara will do the trick and nobody will ever know!  (They’ll be thinking “WOW, I wish my lashes naturally looked like that!”)

Rubber Shorty Mascara Wand

#6- The Rubber Shorty: Got short lashes?  Use one of these babies and watch them grow!  The rubber shorty (mind out of the gutter, people) is made so that it doesn’t weigh the lashes down with mascara but uses it to create the illusion of length.  The short spikes evenly distribute the mascara while combing the lashes out so they look way longer than they are!

Rubber Shorty Mascara Wand
Rubber Shorty Mascara Wand

#7- Flat Comb: This is a trendy comb.  Its probably my least favorite.  What this comb does is create a spiky look.  The flat part collects mascara so it distributes more than any other wand.  The comb part separates the lashes into sections then mascara is deposited to each section to create this trendy look.  This is the least natural mascara wand on the market.

Flat Comb Mascara Wand
Flat Comb Mascara Wand

Now there is ONE other mascara wand that I’d like to draw attention to.  I don’t dare say that this is the only one like this on the market but it is the only one I know of and I find it to be revolutionary.  It is by Avon and it is called the Mega Effects Mascara.  It has a very unique wand that allows you to apply your mascara so that it will increase volume, lengthen, AND curl your lashes!  The ultimate all-in-one!  I absolutely LOVE this mascara because I feel like I can wear it while wearing sweats and it just makes me look more put together OR I can wear it when dressing up and it completes my makeup look without looking super fake!


mega effects






So there it is.  Educating yourself about the different mascara wands will help you choose the perfect mascara FOR YOU!  Keep an eye out for my next post in this series coming soon: How to apply mascara.

Did you find this helpful?  Do you have any questions?  Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!





I am a Stay-at-Home Mommy with a wide variety of past experiences and a creative mind for developing new ideas.I love my family more than anything in the world but I also love fashion, cooking, crafting, shopping, and anything pumpkin. Read more about me! and Follow me on facebook!

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 Mascara 101- Choosing the Right Mascara for You

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