Elizabeth Best | 02 June 2017

ABOUT THE WRITER: Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She likes long walks down the makeup aisle and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @thebeautypalate

Want lashes like the pros, no falsies required? Maybe it’s time to think about how you’re treating those delicate hairs on the top of your lids. If you put your hand up to more than 5 of these, it’s time to change your ways.

MISTAKE ONE: You pump your mascara wand
You're right at the end of the tube and you want to get that last little bit out, so you give the wand a heavy pump to make sure it's nice and coated. STOP. Doing this forces air into the tube, making it dry out way faster than normal. It can also mush bacteria nasties in there, which you do NOT want around your eyes. Conjunctivitis or a stye, anyone?

MISTAKE TWO: You apply your top lashes first
What do you do when you apply mascara on your bottom lashes? You look up! And if you have fresh mascara'd top lashes, this will mean a one-way ticket to smudge city. Do the bottom lashes first to limit the cleanup later.

MISTAKE THREE: Your wand technique is off
Do you wiggle it, just a little bit? If so, pat yourself on the back (I'll wait) because you're doing it right. Eyelashes are really close together so to make sure you coat each lash, give the wand a little bit of a wiggle in a zig-zaggy motion when applying.

MISTAKE FOUR: You curl AFTER putting on mascara
If you've just spent time lovingly zig-zagging your lashes to long and beautiful lengths, and painstakingly separating them out, why would you want to smoosh them all together in a curler? Curl, then apply mascara. Unless you like the clumpy look…

MISTAKE FIVE: You're wearing waterproof mascara. All. The. Time.
It seems like a great idea at the time. After all, you're practically protecting yourself against that panda eye/someone punched me in the face look, right? Wrong. Waterproof means nothing can penetrate those eyelashes, not tears, not water, not even the oils your lashes need to stay healthy. Unless you want unhealthy lashes that are at risk of falling out, stop this and only wear waterproof when needed. Remember people, it's a *sometimes* mascara.

MISTAKE SIX: You're not wiping your mascara wand before applying
Applying mascara is kind of like painting your nails: if you have too much on the brush, it's bound to get messy. You need to apply several thin coats, and build up to the finale. There's way too much product on the wand when you pull it out of the tube, so make sure you give it a wipe off before you start.

MISTAKE SEVEN: You're not applying enough coats
Which brings me to number seven: you're only doing one coat. If you want killer lashes, you gotta build it up. Each layer makes your lashes that little bit longer and/or more voluminous. Three to five coats will give you MAJOR lash drama, but stick with two to three for a daytime look.

MISTAKE EIGHT: You don't separate your lashes
Everyone knows that lashes can look all clumped together after applying a healthy dash of the good stuff to them. If you'd rather your peepers not look like they have crooked spider legs poking out of them, take the time to separate them. Once you've put the mascara on, use a clean spoolie to brush through them, using the same wiggle motion as when you apply. This will brush out all the excess goop.

MISTAKE NINE: You're using it way past its expiration date
Admit it, your current mascara has been on the go for at LEAST six months, if not way longer. The general rule is throw it out after three months, but generally speaking, it should probably be good for six. Just remember the golden rule: if you can smell your mascara at all (i.e. it has a bit of an acidic smell), it's gone rancid. Mascara doesn't have an odour so if you smell anything, bin it.

MISTAKE TEN: You rush to fix mistakes
Someone gave you a fright and you've just jolted your mascara wand across your face, or you accidentally wiggled too hard and got product on your eyelid. Whatever the mistake, your instant reaction will be to rush to get it off ASAP. Resist the urge! Doing this will lead to black smudges, which leads to rubbing, which leads to a bigger mess than you had at the beginning. Wait until it dries, and it will be much easier to rub off quickly.

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