These Are the Best Ways to Apply Mascara, According to Byrdie Editors

Updated 01/03/18
Product Disclosure

Here at Byrdie, we believe there's an art to applying mascara. Instead of just aimlessly swiping at our lashes, we switch up our application technique based on the look we want—just like we switch up our mascara formulas. After all, we're not likely to wear a natural-looking conditioning mascara to a holiday party. We would wear that to the office instead. For the holiday party scenario, we would choose a dramatic volume formula like Charlotte Tilbury's Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara ($29). 

But let's get back to the main point. We all have a specific way that we prefer to apply our mascara in order to maximize certain results, whether that's length, volume, curl, or lash definition. That's why four of us came together to talk mascara application and share the subtle things we do to boost our lashes while applying mascara, no matter which brand, product, or formula it is. Keep scrolling to see four Byrdie editors share their favorite tips.

"On busy mornings (aka most mornings), I'll wiggle a thin mascara wand (like Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara $28) at the very root of my lashes so the formula gets on my lid and acts as a makeshift water liner. I like a winged-out look, so I always drag my lashes up and out too." — Faith Xue,  editorial director

"For me, it's all about layering different formulas. To be transparent, there has never been one single mascara that has met each of my standards with 10/10 finesse. So over the years I've gotten crafty and have found certain mascaras that excel in certain areas (can you tell how seriously I take this?). My lashes are actually already pretty long and dark, but they're also prone to droopiness and are a tad spindly. I also can never use a fresh tube of mascara (they start off so heavy and wet!) first-thing on my lashes. That said, I'll take my broken-in (aka at least a couple weeks old) tube of CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara, work on a couple of coats, and then follow it up with a few layers from a fresher tube. Since the older product I start with is drier, it almost works as a primer and helps my lashes stay upright and curled before I apply the inkier, new one. THEN, I'll add a few coats of Diorshow Iconic Mascara to lock in the bend and ensure a little bit of length as my parting step. I know this sounds tedious and epically high-maintenance, but it's the only way I've ever been able to get curl, volume, and length down pat. It's been my go-to for years!" — Erin Jahns, assistant editor

"I like to do one round of application and then let it dry and then do a few more to add extra volume!" — Hallie Gould, senior editor

"I'm pretty happy with my natural set of lashes, which means I don't wear mascara every day—more like a couple of times a week. But when I am wearing mascara, my priority is building volume. I love a fluffy lash look. So I'll take a fat brush mascara (like L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara $5) and wiggle it at the base of my upper lashes. Then I'm done. I don't swipe up. It sounds weird but it keeps the tips of my lashes soft, which makes them look more natural and fluttery. I also love wearing mascara on my lower lashes since it opens up my eyes and makes me look less tired. For the bottom lashes, I use Maybelline Lash Discovery ($6). The brush is tiny, which helps me coat even the tiniest lashes in the inner corner." — Kaitlyn McLintock, news writer

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