If eyes are the window to the soul, eyelashes are the crucial draperies. But while curling and applying mascara can accentuate the eyes or achieve some desired look, they can dry out lashes if used without proper care. Always remove mascara with a conditioning eye makeup remover before cleansing your face, and avoid tugging the skin. Contact lens wearers and others with eye sensitivities should wear hypoallergenic or specially formulated mascara for sensitive skin. And though waterproof mascara is at times a necessity — think of your best friend's wedding or a day at the beach — be aware of its drying effect. If you notice your lashes seem to be drying out, or your mascara begins flaking, reserve waterproof mascara for special occasions.
Step By Step: Curling and Applying Mascara
Eyelash curlers are the best — and that means cheapest and simplest — way of curling your lashes, and once you get past the decidedly torturous appearance of the curler, which can be somewhat intimidating, it's a breeze.
1. Open the curler, position it directly over an open eye, and look down. Once the upper lashes are in place, close the curler, and hold it carefully in place for about 5 seconds.
2. Gently open the curler and remove from the eye area. Repeat the procedure on the other eye. To achieve an even greater effect, curl the lashes twice.
3. Apply mascara, working on the upper lids and from the outer to the inner corner of each eye. Color the bottom lashes slightly if under-eye darkness is not a problem.
4. Focus on keeping eyelashes separated. In most cases you'll need one to three coats to achieve the desired thickness. Let each coat dry before applying the next to avoid clumps.
• Never apply mascara before using a curler on the lashes. Make sure that the eyelashes are clean before you curl, but apply all other eye makeup — liner, shadow, shimmer — first.
• Don't keep mascara too long. Experts recommend discarding every four to six months to avoid the buildup of potentially harmful bacteria.
• Blue or green mascara is always fun on those with fair skin or light eyes. But for a more subtle look, top off a coat of black mascara with just the merest hint of blue edges.
Darkening: Adds depth to the eyes. Especially useful for fair-skinned and light-haired people.
Lengthening: Contains tiny fibers to extend and elongate lashes.
Curling: Adds flair and shape to lashes.
Separating: Eliminates clumps by combing color through the lashes to enhance every lash.
Extra Thick: Adds volume to sparse lashes.
Water Resistant: Won't smear or wash away until the moment you decide that it's got to go.
Long-Wearing: Provides dark, natural-looking lashes for an extended time without smudging.
Curved Brush: The brush mimics the natural shape of lashes, making even application much easier.
From Unforgettable Color: Makeup with Confidence by Selene Milano. Copyright 2003 Carlton Books Limited and Revlon (Registered Trademark). Retail price $29.95 Cdn. Distributed in North America by Firefly Books Ltd. Reprinted with permission. Available at fine bookstores and Firefly Books Limited (www.fireflybooks.com, 1-800-387-6192).