Mascara Monday: Help for the eyelash-impaired

mascaraHowdy, dear Posse folks! I’m reaching out to you today for some help, as you all are always so kind and helpful. Our wedding anniversary (no. 28) is coming up in week or two, and we’ve got a very nice dinner and evening out set up. I’m planning to go all-out on the makeup front, and this means — drumroll, please — mascara!

Ah, but here’s the rub: I haven’t worn it in ages. And as I was taking a super-close look at my eyes during a recent eyeglass-fitting, I noticed that — yikes! I have very few lashes left at all to speak of. Which doesn’t seem fair at all, since DH has lovely, full dark lashes, waah.

Had I the time and money (and less squeamish eyes), I might go the false eyelash route and have them professionally done, because I sure couldn’t do it myself. But that’s not happening, at least not now. (BTW, if any of you have had false eyelashes applied to you or have done it yourselves, please do weigh in and share your experiences.)

But getting back to mascara: Do any of you have any suggestions for mascara for the severely eyelash-impaired like me? I do know that I’ll need to use a prep product beforehand, and have a sample of Christian Dior’s Triple Volume Plumping lash primer that I will be trying. And I’d rather not spend a small fortune on a tube of mascara, if I can help it. But if it works a miracle on my lashes, then I’ll gladly go into debt for it.

I’m pretty happy with my eyes (a medium golden brown with a hint of green) but am nearsighted and my glasses visually shrink my eyes. So it usually takes lots of liner and shadow to make them more noticeable. I tend to wear dark brown mascara, although black might be fine, especially for a big night out.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!!

  • Fleurycat says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m sure you will look (and smell) beautiful.

  • foxbins says:

    Late to the comments here, but just wanted to add my congratulations on your anniversary and say that I have had lash extensions (individually-applied fake eyelashes) for more than 10 years. I go and have the bare spots (where the extension and my own lash have fallen out, like head hair does) filled in every three weeks. I never need to use mascara and for a “wow” look I just use a little eyeliner in the waterline. I’m 61 and I think they look great. Many women ask me what kind of mascara I’m wearing because they don’t look fake.

  • Ann says:

    I’ve just been hit with a big, last-minute project so will not be able to reply to each of you individually, much as I would love to. But many, many thanks to all of you Posse folks for your fabulous product recs, application advice and most of all, the kind anniversary wishes. You guys are the best!! Hugs, Ann

    • Musette says:

      I’m just popping on here to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! The goils seem to have the lash thing on LOCK~ I use whatever is fresh in the cupboard – none of them seem to work any better than the others. Have a lovely time!


  • rosarita313 says:

    Happy anniversary, Ann, 28 years should definitely be celebrated! We’re at 32, my parents are at 67…..we have a lot to be grateful for. I agree with Jenbat about tightlining. My eyes are brown and I use a dark brown pencil (Wet n Wild) to push up from the underside of my top lashline to get in between my lashes. That does more for me to make my lashes look thicker than anything else. I curl my lashes and skip lash primer since I tend to get it everywhere and use black or black/brown mascara with a big brush. Have fun!

  • Angie says:

    Happy Anniversary, 2ND vote for IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara. Mine are sparse and short. First I curl my lashes, then I use Sheisedo Mascara base (the best primer imo), then the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara. The best combo I’ve found yet! Good luck and enjoy your special evening!

  • Alison says:

    I too have sparse lashes that are white at the tips. I find the mascara brush is more important than the brand, and that the fat full brushes do the best job regardless of price point. L’Oreal Voluminous has been my standard for decades and it does the job just fine. Multiple coats helps a la Neva’s suggestion. Enjoy your great celebration!

  • HeidiC says:

    Happy love day! Congratulations! I think the primer you’re using is great. For mascara, I swear by Benefit’s They’re Real. Have a magnificent anniversary!

  • jenbat says:

    There is a lot of good stuff here already so I will keep mine short: definitely use a lash curler before mascara; try tight-lining (putting eyeliner in between the lashes to make your fringe look thicker); and Covergirl Lashblast (any type and colour) is the best, cheapest, easiest to put on mascara that I’ve ever tried, that doesn’t end up under my eyes by the end of the day. No matter what you go with, I’m sure you will look great, especially in the eyes of your beloved. 🙂 That wasn’t so short I guess. 🙁

  • Neva says:

    Hi Ann, I use a simple and cheap trick: first I apply a layer of mascara (whichever I use, nothing expensive), then I dab on a bit of baby powder with my finger, then comes the next layer of mascara…you can repeat this several times. It really makes eyelashes thicker but not longer, of course.
    28th wedding anniversary! That’s admirable! Congratulations and enjoy the evening with your husband.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I’ve done it all. Latisse-like products work. The pro-lashes (“permanent”) are fantastic so long as the tech makes them short. Otherwise they look insanely fake, annoying, distracting. Full set fakes are really hard to do by oneself for a first, or second run, and choosing the right style type is daunting. If you go fake lash route, try size 70, or the thinest sparsest set you can find if it’s Ardell. Do not use E.L.F.My favorite brand is Eylure at Target, If you have one. Trim them unevenly (makes them more natural). Cut in half, so one lash is a “twofer.” Using the glue, use a tooth pick and or wood cuticle pusher, dab glue on directly to edge of fake, and wait, wait, wait. This is where most things go awry. Use a high mag mirror, apply middle out to ends of eyes, push in place with orange stick, as close to lash line. Wait. Do not curl lashes the way you typically might (no vise grip here). A gentle!!! quick compress to gather your sparse bits with the fake blended ones suffices. Wait. Use mascara of choice. All above are fine. I’d go with waterproof. I like Covergirl in black. The reason I like to cut in half and trim is that it really looks natural but pretty. I know the young gals like it big and fake, and it’s kind of campy and fun, and looks kinda cute on someone 18–28, but as a teacher, that is not my style. This is reasonably easy to do. I also use the partial lashes, and trim, applying to mostly outer corner. Do use a non-tugging eyeliner over the edge and then dark powder; hides glue and edge. Youtube is awesome btw. So, sparse set, trim unevenly, cut in half, wait on the glue (makes it tacky sticky). Good luck, and congratulations on your anniversary! How awesome and wonderful!

  • salmack1 says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I recently attended a 1960s party and wanted to do the full on Twiggy look which of course required false eyelashes which I haven’t worn for 40 years. So off I went to the MAC counter at Macy’s where I bought a pair for the grand sum of $17 and the girl put them on for me for the even better sum of nothing. Perfect solution!

  • Sarah says:

    CONGRATULATIONS ANN. October such a perfect month for everything-including weddings. May you both be blessed. A happy marriage is such a gift. At this moment I’m away with my husband for our 23rd anniversary. A bottle of MFK Aqua Vitae forte has made this an extra special celebration.
    Mascara I just began using again a few months ago. Perspiration and dry eye made for a bad combo. A blog post recommended Clinique lash power mascara-long wearing formula-mascara extension visible.I ordered it off Amazon. I actually wear it to work. It makes my sparsish lashes curlable and my eyes look more open.
    I’m going to try the other recommendations you have gotten when this tube goes.
    Happy Anniversary again.

  • Taxi says:

    Lots of good recs here for mascaras. A few years ago, I lost all my brows & lashes for a few months. Best thing for me was using a soft gel-crayon type eyeliner right along the lashline to help the naked eyes look. I used dark brown on my top lids & a taupe thin pencil liner along th bottom lid, where lashes would have been. I lightly brushed after the liner was applied to smudge out the lines a bit. When I glimpsed myself in a public-space mirror, my eyes didn’t look bald.
    My favorites then were Tarte & Urban Decay. Now with sparse eyelashes, I like Marc Jacobs gel crayon on the waterline. Do get a lesson @ a dept store counter, Sephora, or Ulta & practice a bit. The short, individual cluster false lashes are not so difficult to apply with a little practice, a magnifying mirror, and tweezers. Maybe just 1 or 2 per eye toward outer corners? My 92 year old mother still manages it so I have faith that you can too. (I did try Rapidlash but it irritated my lids severely.)
    Congratulations on your Silver Anniversary and that romantic glow will make you beautiful no matter what you put on your lashes. Enjoy your celebratory evening!

  • Caroline says:

    Happy anniversary, Ann! Want to try professionally applied lashes one of these days too. Fave drugstore mascara is L’Oreal Voluminous. Be sure to tell us what scent you wind up wearing!

  • eldarwen says:

    I use the Two Faced Better Than Sex mascara. It’s reasonably priced when you get a combo pack of them. You can find it at Ulta or Sephora.

  • Michelle says:

    L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara is a great primer and Mascara combo that is readily available at most drug stores. I love Cherry Blooms Mascara, which is a Mascara and fiber set. They just recently had it on Haute Look. Covergirl Supersizer is another great drugstore option. And It Cosmetics newest Mascara, Superhero is terrific! Hope you have a wonderful anniversary!

  • jàne says:

    The Dior primer is great for làshes appearing thicker. The Dior Extase mascara is good, as well as the new Guerlain. YSL adds length. The primer may be your best bet underneath any mascara. I’ve not used it, but I have heard from the sales staff that Rapid Lash is good. I agree with using black mascara.

  • Wendysue says:

    Happy Anniversary. I’ve tried everything and keep returning to Bobbi Brown black Smokey Eye mascara with Anastasia topcoat sealer. I use eye drops often and they destroy most mascaras and also make the lashes sparse and most mascaras do no go on well. The Smokey Eye gives me the fullest lashes without that spidery, clumpy look. You may want to apply it lightly every day after you find out how great it works!!

  • Tara C says:

    Are you blonde or brunette? Brown mascara is okay for blondes but I find it isn’t enough contrast for a brunette. I don’t like primer as it feels like an extra useless step and product, better to just use two coats of mascara.. My favorites are Diorshow New Look and Guerlain Cils D’Enfer Maxi Lash but honestly if you will never wear it again, I would go to a makeup counter at the mall and get your face done for just that one day.

  • Olivia says:

    Happy Anniversary! Maybelline Illegal Length mascara is very easy on the wallet but SO good, and I layer it over something plumping/volumizing or wear it alone. There are ways to make your natural lashes stronger so they grow longer too. Coating the lashes and lash line with Vaseline each night will give mild improvement, but using Rapid Lash (around $50) will give moderate improvement if you only have 1-2 weeks. After a month, it really starts to show and is worth the money. The falsies look the most fabulous of all but last a few days at most, then the glue starts to peel in an embarrassingly obvious way. Hope this helps!