So I’ve reached those final few weeks of pregnancy where everything seems to swell – lovely! I can’t really complain though, I feel very lucky to have got off lightly so far so I’m hoping the trouble is not all stored up for d-day!
Anyway, to detract from my ever increasing moonface, I am making sure my eyes are as open as possible which makes a big difference. Mascara probably tops the list of essentials in our makeup bags, even for those who prefer (or only have time) to wear minimal make-up.
Here are a few quick tips on how to make the most of your lashes and I’ve reviewed a selection of mascaras to help you choose!
- Be gentle – like your hair, lashes can break and fall out. Try to be gentle, don’t scrub your eye makeup off or hit them too hard with lash curlers.
- Serums – I am not blessed with the best natural lashes and have become a big fan of RapidLash. It’s a serum that helps stop lashes falling out through their natural cycle so they grow longer. We recommend this to patients after radiation therapy and they find it really helps. I only started using this myself at Christmas and it’s my new “can’t live without” product!
- Lash Extensions – not for everyone but they’re great for being able to wake up and go. They normally take an hour or so for a therapist to apply and cost £25-£100, you then have in-fills every 3-4 weeks (usually £20-50).
- Lash tinting & curling – great option if you have fair lashes. It’s quick and easy (you can also pick up a kit in Boots to DIY) and the curling process is less dramatic than extensions and can last 3-6 weeks
- Curlers! Have a huge impact – my favourites are Shu Uemura (pricier but well worth it – I’ve not had to replace mine and they’re 2 years old!), Models’ Own are a good budget option and Tweezerman are decent. Don’t use them once you have mascara on, it weakens lashes
- Use a primer when you want maximum effect. You can also try popping a bit of fine, translucent powder on your lashes before mascara to help give more volume
- Waterproof mascara – can be harsh on lashes so try and avoid using everyday
- Tight-line: Use your eyeliner as close to and in-between the lashes which gives the illusion of thicker lashes which really helps to define your eyes
- Panda eyes – often caused by oil from the skin rather than water. So if you find even waterproof mascara ends up beneath your lower lashes, try a primer or pop a bit of powder underneath your outer half of your under eye area
- Don’t be shy! Depending on the look you want, don’t stop at one coat of mascara. To add more coats without it looking clumpy – wait a few seconds to apply a second coat but before the first one driest (so within 20ish seconds).
- Pump it! (Actually, don’t!) – pumping the wand into the tube introduces more oxygen and causes mascara to dry out. For hygiene, mascara should be replaced every 3-4 months. If yours dries up during that time then try warming it up either by sitting on it (odd I know!) or blasting the hairdryer on it for a few seconds at a time. Easy with the hairdryer though – I ruined a brand new cream carpet at the in-laws when I overheated mine and loads of mascara shot out – it does not come out of your lovely threads, trust me! #worstdaughterinlaw
- Discount codes: Goes for all make-up, skin and hair care really. Sites like Feel Unique and Look Fantastic offer really good 20% off discount codes regularly. Well worth a shop around!
For each one, I gave my lashes a 10 second curl, kept my eye makeup the same and used 2 coats of mascara. Not a scientific test but hopefully gives a decent comparison! I tested just a small selection of what’s out there but I hope this gives you some ideas.
Has to be my favourite for lengthening and thickening. The downside is that it’s slightly more difficult to remove but is definitely worth the spend
Really nice “no-make-up” mascara that can be used on its own or under any mascara. On the pricier side but does a brilliant job (Boots sell mini versions which are half the price if you just want to try it)
I wouldn’t call this “spectacular” but I thought it gave good volume and it held a curl really well through the day
The most expensive I reviewed but gave a great effect and lasted well. It didn’t quite beat the Benefit one for me but pretty close (and lovely gold packaging!).
Comes with a primer at one end and mascara at the other. I thought this was a decent budget 2-in-1 option but it lacked oomph.
Disappointing – I usually really like Rimmel as a purse-friendly brand but didn’t feel this did much for my lashes at all and clumped a bit – there are better budget options.
NYX are a great brand for quality budget make-up and this mascara is no exception – it is definitely my budget winner!
A huge brush which can go a bit clumpy if you’re not careful but definitely loads the lashes with mascara and gives a “big lash” look
Another huge brush (means you don’t have to keep putting it back in the tube when you want more!). I really liked this one – non clumpy and really volumises lashes. It stays put and is easier than others to remove. It does tend to dry out faster unfortunately.
Love this brush! Cool packaging and definitely has a volumising and defining effect.
Bourjois are usually a good solid brand and I found this mascara was great. It loaded lots of product onto the wand which was great in one respect but watch out for it flicking bits of black around!
I found this one a bit lacking – I think there are better No.7 mascaras, depending on the look you prefer.
Ambitious name! I guess it depends on your sex life really! I thought this was another really good choice for both lengthening and volumising and the brush was gentle.
A nice smudge/waterproof option. Doesn’t seem to dry out as fast as the other Bobbi mascara and is a basic good staple for those emotional or rainy days!
So there you have it, my last blog until baby Spry makes an appearance! I hope you found something useful. Please comment on here, Facebook or Insta with questions or requests for future topics and I’ll do my best to respond! See you on the other side ☺
Wish me luck!
A Guest Blog from Elizabeth Spry
Elizabeth is a freelance make-up artist, trained at the London School of Make-up, specialising in Bridal and Special Occasion make-up. She also offers make-up lessons and makeover parties. Based in Cheltenham, she is also about to become a Mum for the first time in 2017 and lives with her husband Ben and working cocker spaniel Humphrey. Aside from make-up, Elizabeth is keen on fitness and the outdoors and has a very serious shopping habit. Her make-up philosophy is easy, natural and hassle free make-up that helps people to be the best version of themselves. She also volunteers for the Look Good Feel Better charity, which helps women being treated for cancer face the day with confidence.