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9 Mascara Mistakes That You Need to Stop Making

Mascara is that special touch that ties every makeup look together. Without its darkening, lengthening effect on the lashes, eyes can look bare and small, so it’s key in nearly every beauty look. 

However, applying mascara poorly is worse than not applying it at all. Clumpy lashes and smudgy lids can ruin an entire look, and there are even some mascara mistakes that can lead to eye infections. 

That’s why you shouldn’t play games when it comes to mascara. We’ve collected our best mascara tips to help you avoid the most common mascara mistakes, so you can always bat your lashes with confidence. 

1. Leaving too much mascara on the wand

Woman holding a mascara wandIf you want to learn how to apply mascara without clumping, remember to always wipe down your mascara wand. This crucial step is often forgotten. It’s easy to miss in the excited rush to lengthen those lashes. However, a mascara wand that’s too saturated is guaranteed to cause clumping. 

From now on, immediately after unscrewing your mascara cap, gently wipe the wand over the lip of the tube. Pay special attention to the tip because that’s where mascara really tends to collect, and if the wand seems especially clogged up, you can wipe it down with a tissue.

This way, when it’s time to apply, you won’t need to worry about big globs of mascara clumping your lashes together. 

2. Pumping the wand

Surprised woman holding mascaraIn films, whenever a character goes to put on mascara, she’ll first pump the mascara up and down a few times in the tube. Women all over the world started believing that this was the right way to go about putting on mascara, when in reality, it’s one of the worst mascara mistakes you can make.

In the short-term, it has no benefits. If anything, it just loads up your wand with a massive, clump-causing amount of mascara. In the long-term, it introduces air and bacteria into the precious tube, which significantly shortens the life of your mascara. 

3. Using old mascara

Woman itching her irritated eyesOf all the most common makeup products, mascara has the shortest shelf-life. If you use your mascara after its use-by date, you can run into all kinds of issues. It will get dry, which leads to clumpy lashes, and it may also start harboring bacteria, which can cause styes and painful infections. 

Most mascara should be replaced 3-6 months after opening. If you’re worried about forgetting, we’ve set up an auto-subscription system that will send you a new tube of our best-selling Cabaret Premier mascara every few months.

4. Forgetting to wiggle

Woman applying mascara to long lashesAlways remember to give your mascara a wiggle! This classic mascara tip guarantees that your lashes will look both voluminous and separated every time. 

When you apply your mascara, give it a small wiggle as it comes in contact with the base of your lashes. This will allow the bristles of the wand to really wedge themselves in between your lashes, coating them thoroughly without clumping them together. Then, as you pull the wand up to coat the length of the lashes, move it in a slight zig-zag motion to keep that momentum going.

5. Only coating one side

Woman coating one side of lashes with mascaraThis mascara hack is especially for the blondes and redheads out there, because brunettes can sometimes get away with making this little mistake. When you apply your mascara, you only see the underside of your lashes, so you might forget the top. If you leave the top bare, the second you blink, the natural color of your lashes will be visible, and it’ll take away from the consistency of your makeup. 

To cover the top part of the lashes, use the tip of your mascara wand and carefully color it in, especially close to the lashline. Don’t try to build up volume or length from above since it can weigh the lashes down; just focus on coloring things in. 

6. Blinking too quickly

Mascara smudged on eyelid

It can be tempting to blink immediately after putting your mascara on, but unfortunately, it often results in black smudges on the eyelid ruining your eyeshadow. Not blinking may sound like a tall order, but if you just close your eyes after applying mascara, the issue will be solved. Just wait a few seconds so that when you finally open your eyes, the mascara will be dry and won’t smudge.

7. Applying too many coats

Woman applying thick mascara

It can be tempting to add coat after coat of mascara, but it rarely works well in reality. Yes, 5-6 coats of mascara will make your lashes look longer and thicker. However, it’s also going to make them look uniformly thick from root to tip, leading to a “spidery” look. 

To avoid having your mascara look spidery, you need to exercise restraint. Don’t apply more than three coats to your lashes, and if that doesn’t give you the effect you want, you may just need to switch to a more volumizing mascara.

8. Forgetting to remove it at night 

Pretty woman removing makeupSleeping with mascara on is never a good idea. In the best-case scenario, forgetting to remove it at night will just dry out your lashes, cause a few to fall out, and leave a few marks on your pillow. But it can also lead to eye irritation and even eye infections. This is another serious mascara mistake, so make sure to remove your eye makeup thoroughly every night with a high-quality makeup remover. 

9. Using the same mascara for all occasions

Beautiful woman in a dress and classy makeup Wearing the same mascara all the time isn’t the biggest mascara mistake you could make, but it can get boring. Tailor your mascara choice to each event! 

  • A lengthening and separating mascara is best for day-to-day.
  • Waterproof mascara is a must-have for beach-side vacations or rainy days. 
  • For date nights and parties, emphasize your eyes with a volumizing mascara.
  • For upscale evening events, when you want maximum drama, double up! Start with a coat of waterproof mascara for a separated, waterproof base, and then add a coat of volumizing mascara for a false-lash effect. 

    Now that you know all of our favorite mascara tips, no more faux pas!

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