The Mascara Wand You Should Be Using, According to Your Lash Type

Updated 10/10/18

 Byrdie / Ellie Benuska

Achieving big, thick lashes à la Kim Kardashian West is arguably my main goal in life. You can scoff if you'd like, but it's true. I'm obsessed with all things doe-eyed, inky black, and fluttery. As such, I always go for the same type of mascara—a gooey formula with a densely-packed brush. But, recently I begin to wonder if I was doing my lashes any justice. Was there a better way? I decided to find out. 

I spoke with Kelli J. Bartlett, Glamsquad's director of makeup artistry, and my new guru for all things makeup. Truly, she knows everything there is to know and more. I asked her to assess my lashes, recommend products, and then call out a few more common issues the lash-obsessed continually deal with. From sparse to thick, and everything in between, this is the type of wand you should be using.

best-mascara-dense-lashes
Ellie Benuska

"A big, thick brush is excellent for curled, dense-looking lashes," Bartlett says. "It'll give you a large-eye look with a ton of flutter. The large brush is ideal for bigger eye shapes and the brush helps stretch the lash to curl."

dior-diorshow-mascara
Dior Diorshow Mascara $29
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best-mascara-short-lashes
Ellie Benuska

"The tiny teeth untangle short, curly lashes—grabbing and coating even the smallest hairs," Bartlett says. "The long skinny shape of the brush allows for maximum eye coverage. It'll give you a natural effect, but it's also buildable for a more glamorous look."

lancome-definicils-high-definition-mascara
Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara $28
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mac-extended-play-lash-mascara
MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara $18
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best-mascara-sparse-lashes
Ellie Benuska

"An hourglass-shaped brush with dense bristles is incredible for building volume and length for sparse lashes," Bartlett says. "The fine teeth act like a Mason Pearson brush, building up volume at the root, while the hourglass shape distributes product from root to tip. The result is a wide-eyed, mascara-heavy look."

lancome-hypnose-custom-volume-mascara
Lancôme Hypnôse Custom Volume Mascara $28
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L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise $9
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best-mascara-quick-application
Ellie Benuska

If you're always running five minutes late, this wand is perfect for you. Bartlett says, "It delivers a LOT of mascara to your lashes, really quickly. The plastic channel applies mascara quickly and evenly, while the plastic teeth comb through your lashes. Expect bold lashes, quickly, with a very wet application." So try not to sneeze directly after swiping it on.

benefit-theyre-real-lengthening-mascara
Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara $24
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best-mascara-thick-lashes
Ellie Benuska

"The spike-ball brush is amazing on sparse lashes, as well as those with super dense hairs—people who like to comb or 'pick' out their lashes to add volume, definition, and separation," Bartlett says. "It's especially great if you like to work in small sections, or if you want to build up on the outer corner of the eye to create a cat-eye effect."

givenchy-phenomen-eyes-mascara
Givenchy Phenomen'eyes Mascara $32
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best-mascara-for-perfectionists
Ellie Benuska

The pointed-tip brush is made for lash perfectionists. "The duality of the brush allows for the bulk of the application to happen evenly and create volume," Bartlett says, "while the pointed tip can separate and add density."

Caution(TM) Extreme Lash Mascara Standard Size Black - 0.33 oz/ 9.4 g
Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara $29
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make-up-for-ever-smoky-extravagant-mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara $24
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This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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