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One of the areas I also cover in my makeup lessons are what to take into account when selecting products for your make-up kit. With mascara, there are 3 very important criteria to consider. These are:

  1. How long will it last once applied with zero smudging
  2. Is building / lengthening the appearance of the lash very important
  3. As with any product, ensuring the best value for whichever price point you are working to.

When setting your budget for mascara, there is one important point to consider: mascara, just like a lip gloss, is one of those products which accumulates bacteria the most. The reason for this is pretty straightforward – you take the wand out, apply the product, and then… insert the wand with the bacteria it will have gathered from lash contact back into the tube. This is a process which is repeated day after day, so you can imagine the cumulative impact over weeks and months! I tried in the past to wipe the wand completely with “Beauty So Clean” before inserting it back into the tube, but the mascara finished in just over 7 days, so for me personally this approach didn’t work. The solution which works for me is that mascara needs to be changed every 2-3 weeks which to my mind is a must, but this in turns means you need to adjust your budget accordingly. As such, whenever recommending mascaras, I always make sure I recommend both high-street products as well as premium brands. With that in mind, my current mascara recommendations are as follows:

My 3 top high street mascaras:

  1. Maybelline Great Last Waterproof
  2. Maxfactor 2000 calorie
  3. L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Feline

If your budget permits a premium mascara, then my top 3 indulgences are:

  1. Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero- Smudge. They have lengthening and volumizing formulas both in this category- I tried them both and didn’t see huge difference between them, but what was important for me is that this formula TRULY doesn’t smudge. (I’m writing this blog on Virgin Flight from San Francisco and my mascara is perfectly in place after 11 hours – no retouching).
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes
  3. Lancôme Glandiose Swan- Neck mascara

One final important point when you buy mascara is that the size of the wand needs to be in proportion to your lashes. The majority of women have short or medium length lashes and yet the majority of the mascara wands are gigantic!! Just as you wouldn’t eat the soup from the bowl with a ladle, the logic applies here – the smaller the wand the better control during application, and the less risk of mess!

And if you are thinking “…and if you had to choose only one?“, my answer would be Maybelline Great Lash waterproof. I have been using it on a daily basis for over 10 years, more recently applying it in combination with an eyelash curler from Troy Surratt (I will write more about how and why to curl lashes in one of my future blogs)

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