Smart Reviews

Choosing Your Best Mascara

Before there were eyelash extensions and magnetic falsies, there was the classic tube of mascara. If you were born sometime prior to the advent of the internet, this cosmetic mainstay was likely available at your local drug store in a few different varieties (non-smudge and waterproof), and if it was the 1980s, a handful of sickeningly bright hues. If you needed something really special, you would head to the mall and brave the fluorescent lighting of a department store beauty section. Thankfully, modern mascara is more versatile than ever before and more accessible to boot. There are formulas for every occasion, with wands engineered for multiple application styles and every lash type imaginable.

Manufacturers have taken to adding vitamins and plant extracts to their formulas in order to condition lackluster lashes. These nourishing solutions may have vitamin E, which helps to keep lashes moisturized and healthy, and vitamin C, an excellent combatant to harmful pollutants. Some boast refreshing cucumber extract that can wake eyes up and provide a pleasant fragrance, and others contain rejuvenating jojoba oil to reduce clumping.

Then there are products specifically created to stimulate growth. These contain ingredients such as biotin, collagen, and amino acids that work to strengthen weak or brittle lashes. They don’t work overnight, however, so you’ll need to be patient and diligent in your application, and refrain from using solutions that may exacerbate the problem.

Those with sensitive eyes can go the completely all-natural route. These non-toxic options use real fruit or black tea for pigment, resulting in lush coloring and a lovely scent. Carnauba and beeswax serve as excellent natural thickeners that can create a dramatic look just as well as their chemical-touting counterparts, and shea butter works as a superior moisturizer. Many of these selections are equal to what you’d find in a professional makeup artist’s bag.

If you live in a high-humidity area or simply want to look your best while working out, there are water- and sweat-resistant varieties that even a mermaid would swear by. These resilient mascaras can last all day and night, making them ideal for everything from running errands to attending a music festival in the desert.
All About The Wand

Eyelashes come in myriad shapes and sizes, from the short and barely-there to the sweeping feather dusters we all secretly covet. If you haven’t considered the type of wand you’ve been using to apply your favorite formula, you might do yourself a favor and start now — there’s a science to that little brush, after all.