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How to apply mascara like a French girl

Bonjour, beauties! We’ve all been there—the goopy mess, the smudges, lashes sticking together in a way that’s not at all chic. Sacré bleu! Even though we’ve got the perfect classic mascara, it still takes some savoir-faire to get the effortless, Brigitte Bardot-level lashes of our dreams.

Consider this your ultimate 2-minute guide to applying mascara for flawless lash separation, a full lash line, deep black color, and false-lash effect length. Are you ready? Allons-y!

Step 1: Curl.

Use a lash curler to achieve a flirty shape and sumptuous volume—before applying mascara! Far too many of us have made the tragic faux pas of curling lashes already laden with product, resulting in unfortunate lash damage. Instead, use your curler only when your lashes are still au naturel. Start by pinching them lightly at the roots for an instant, subtle lift, and then curl at the midpoint.

Step 2: Twirl.

Delicately twirl the wand inside the bottle to fully coat each bristle for an even application. And be careful, ma chérie: don’t pull the wand in and out of the bottle to get more product. This leads to air getting inside, which will dry out your mascara faster and shorten its shelf-life.

Step 3: Dab.

Pssst, this is the French-girl secret to clump-free mascara, and it’s surprisingly simple: Gently dab your wand on a clean tissue to remove any excess product. Au revoir sticky lashes!

Step 4: Wiggle & Sweep. 

Place the wand at the base of your lashes and lightly wiggle the wand so that the mascara coats around each lash follicle to create the appearance of a full lash line. Then, flick your wrist to sweep the brush upward to the ends of your lashes for endless length. Et voila! Wiggle – sweep – done.

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Our Story
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This French Mascara became one of the best-selling Mascaras on Amazon
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"It is absolutely the best single cosmetic product I have ever used." Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. In case you didn't know, Amazon shoppers take their mascara purchases very seriously. The top five best-selling tubes right now have accumulated over 16,000 reviews combined, all from people letting you know exactly why their beloved lash products are the absolute best. While the retail giant's best-sellers usually stay more or less the same, with the Essence False Lash Effect Mascara taking the reign in the number one spot and drugstore favorites from L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Covergirl trailing closely behind, once in a while an unexpected product will become a new favorite. That's exactly what happened with Vivenne Sabo's Cabaret Premiere mascara, which made its way to the number two best-selling spot overnight. While it's not a household name, the French mascara isn't completely unknown — it has over 1,000 five-star reviews from customers and remains in Amazon's top 100 overall best-selling beauty products. The mascara promises to "transform your ordinary into ooh-la-la" by providing defined, voluminous lashes "with just one coat." Its lightweight formulation provides a natural look, no clumping or flaking, and makes it super easy to remove. Even customers who have tried numerous mascaras say Cabaret Premiere has become their new go-to. To buy: $12; "I have thick but short lashes, and in the past I have been a huge fan of L'Oreal Voluminous and Butterfly Effect, Maybelline Lash Sensation, Dior DiorShow, Too Faced Better Than Sex, and Bare Minerals Lash Domination. So, it's safe to say that I have been looking for the right balance of cost and high performance product. This mascara is it. I love the way my lashes look and feel after one or two coats," wrote one shopper. "The brush is covered in mini-bristles that separate as you apply, and the formula is not sticky or stiff, minimal clumping, and washes off easily. The price is closer to drug store brands, which means I can purchase as often as I like, but the performance is high quality. It gives me results that are a cross between the Butterfly Effect and Lash Domination, for length, definition, and volume — which I love, so this has become my go-to for daily looks." While it's not waterproof, shoppers say it doesn't smudge, even through humidity, crying, and the rain ("I've definitely used eye drops, shed a tear, and gotten stuck in the rain without it smudging or running down my face"). One self-proclaimed mascara snob even said Cabaret Premiere is the "best single cosmetic product" she has ever used. "First I will say that I am a total mascara snob, I do not go ANYWHERE without mascara on. I have used Lancôme for 20+ years and any time I found the ‘next greatest' mascara and tried it I was so disappointed. I read lots of reviews and could hardly believe that THIS product could be this amazing. I was so wrong! The first time I tried it my lashes looked amazing," she wrote. "I have long and very thick lashes so many mascaras clump the lashes together, even my beloved Lancôme. The ones that do not clump do not seem to produce any noticeable results. This mascara not only gave perfect coverage from root to tip, it is a perfect level of thickness. There is NO CLUMPING! It is absolutely the best single cosmetic product I have ever used." Plus, you can snag a tube for just $12 (everything in Vivienne Sabo's collection on Amazon  is under $20) — a great deal for getting those long-lasting, "ooh-la-la" lashes.   Buy now