Makeup – Mascara

Where did mascara come from? According to Wikipedia’s article it goes back to using kohl in ancient Egypt 4000 years ago and that probably means it was being done well before that.

Modern mascara is a tube with a pigment in some carrier and a wand that is put into the tube to pick up some of this and be used to apply the pigment to the lashes. There are lots of variations of mascara, ones that purport to thicken lash hairs, lengthen them, curl them and more.


Mascara should be discarded about 3 months after you start using it. The cosmetic itself is somewhat wet and you are moving the brush from your lashes, which have bacteria onthem, into the wet makeup. Eventually it isn’t really safe. Don’t pump the mascara to get more out, that actually makes the problem worse by spreading the contaminated makeup all through the tube.


Mascara is typically the last eye product applied. It’s just in the way if you still needed to apply liner, shadow, etc. But mascara is also find by itself.


eye mascara

We add some mascara to the upper lashes to make them visible. For women with light hair or older women with thin lashes or greying lashes this makes the lashes look nice. Even young women with dark hair like to make them look more prominent, but it could be argued they don’t need it.

Mascara is one of those few makeup items that comes with its own applicator and where the form is pretty fixed. It comes in a tube with a wand that has a brush screwed into the tube. That’s it. The tubes change, the brushes and wands change a little, but really that’s it.

Apply mascara by gently smushing the brush just above the lash line, wiggle it a little and gently pull up toward you brows. I twirl the brush, it’s just my style. You’ll need to do this several times to get the entire lash. Most of the lash is to the outside, but don’t neglect the inner lashes, they do count.

If you aren’t satisfied with one application you can apply a second coat.

Lower lash

Unless your lower lashes are particularly full it will be hard to get  much mascara on the lower lash. Use the wand vertically and brush the hairs carefully. Just getting them to be visible is a success.

Torture devices

You’ve seen them, they look sort of like a pair of scissors and somewhat like a medieval torture device. They are called lash curlers and they’ve never worked great for me. The theory is that they can put a bit of a curl in your upper lash before applying the mascara.

If you want to try this warm the curler using a hair drier before each user. It will help some.

Buying Mascara

If you want a very, very good mascara for a very reasonable price buy L’Oreal Voluminous in almost any drugstore. Beyond that I’d look at reviews on YouTube and elsewhere. I’ve had decent luck with products and honestly mascara isn’t the most complex thing.

Although some mascara is labelled waterproof, it doesn’t mean that the “non” waterproof mascara will make your face all runny like a sick racoon if you cry. Regular mascara is relatively resistant to water as long as it isn’t cheap.

Removing Mascara

Removing eye makeup is the hard part of removing makeup and mascara is very clingy. The most thorough way is to use a cotton pad and liquid eye makeup remover. Wet the pad and apply to your closed eye at the lash line. Wipe up, repeat with a clean area until it comes away clean. Repeat for other eye.

Makeup wipes will remove mascara, just keep changing the area of the pad you’re using. Hold it on for a second and wipe.

Really getting the last off often happens the next morning. You sit down to do your makeup and find there’s “grime” under you lower lash. This is left over mascara. Wet a q-tip with a little eye makeup remover, or perhaps just a little water and wipe it away. Q-tips are your friends. Buy many q-tips.



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