Every bride needs all the definition she can get to make her eyes stand out in her wedding snaps and there’s no faster way to draw attention up to eye level than with mascara. Come my own wedding, I’ll definitely be body-swerving the falsies route – I’ve seen too many emotionally-charged false strip faux-pas in my time. I’d much rather make the most of what Mother Nature gave me instead to ensure that my eyelashes are three things: long, curly and black – the kind where just one bat will be enough to whip up a whirlwind. And here’s how I’ll be doing it…..
I’m a HUGE fan of M2 Beaute Eyelash Activating Serum, £125. Some time ago, a particularly harsh set of eyelash extensions left me with a heartbreakingly centimetre-long bald spot. Whilst the M2 accompanying bumf claimed it’d take six weeks for my lashes to reappear, it actually took just nine days! Apparently the wonder ingredient is something called MDA which stimulates the lashes at the roots, not only making them grow longer and stronger but delaying their eventual fall out. Okay, so the price tag is hefty but for me, it’s well-worth nightly doses streaked across my top lash line and the tube lasts around three months too.
I’m not a fan of eyelash perming. My lashes may look super-curled but also stubby. *shudders* Lash-lifting is a far more flattering way to go and I can’t recommend Nouveau LVL Enhance (short for Length-Volume-Lift) highly enough. Whilst I was laying down with my eyes closed (therefore forced to relax) my lashes were tinted and straightened into an upright position at the roots. The result? I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me if I’m wearing eyelash extensions. My eyes look larger and more wide-awake. My lashes look thicker and longer … and best of all, they’re all mine! They’ve lasted six weeks so far but no question, I’ll be denting my wedding budget for another treatment.
Okay, so this step is for non LVL’d B2Bs. I’m not suggesting that your wedding day will be a lazy make-up day…. but I love how having tinted lashes means I can sometimes go mascara-less and still look like I’ve got my lashes on. Under a layer of mascara they add to general gorgeous dark glossiness, plus if you’re quite fair in the hair department, guarantees an overall coating. There are DIY kits available but for such an important occasion, it pays to go pro. See if you’re close to a Blink Brow Bar – it’s not expensive treatment.
Use a mascara primer to boost length and volume into your natural lashes before applying mascara. I’ve been trialling CODE Beautiful’s FFL (Forget Fake Lashes), £18 – I like it’s because it’s tinted brown unlike other ones which are white. Press it into the roots then wiggle as you roll out to the tips to create the illusion of a thicker base.
My quest to find the ultimate lash-building mascara has been a bit like my lifelong search for my perfect man (awww). I spent my teens and early 20s easily impressed with big promises and flash packaging, hence a contacts list of dodgy exes and enough abandoned mascara tubes to recreate my own Shard. But now I’m happily settled with a good, reliable type. I’ve been with my mascara now for ooh, five years or so and my Mr Right (well, much much longer.) So, my perfect match is Benefit They’re Real, £19.50. (Though I will admit I’ve been unfaithful a few times with YSL’s Volume Effet Faux Cils, £25 – well they do say you never forget your first love….)
No matter how heavy you go on your top lashes, make do with just one coat on the bottom ones – more than that can draw your eyes downwards, making them look smaller
Use a fine eyeliner brush to actually paint the mascara on. It really does make a difference. (Tho tricky if you’ve got a shaky hand.)
To make your lashes look longer and thicker, slightly lift your eyelid with one finger as you apply mascara to the roots. This will stop any dots of mascara getting onto your eyelid (a total bummer if your perfectly-applied smokey eyeshadow is already in situ)
Burgundy or navy mascara makes a great alternative to black mascara – and can really make your eyes look brighter
For an elongated cat eye look, only curl the outer corner of your lashes. For a wide eye look, it’s tricky but use a mini curler just on the middle section
Talking of curling, it really can fan out your lashes to make them look longer and your eyes look more dramatic. Clamp the eyelash curler at the roots of your upper lash line and squeeze for a few seconds then ‘walk’ them out in mini squeezes to the tips to prevent a harsh right angle
Make sure the mazzy wand isn’t too overloaded with clump-creating paint then look down and stroke it over the top of the lashes from roots to tips. Next, look up and add a coat from underneath, again from roots to tips moving in a zigzag motion to coat the sides too. Turn the brush vertically and use the tip to push even more mascara directly up into the roots to oomph up the outer lashes. Finish by sweeping the wand from side to side over the lower lashes. If you’re quite hair-bare down there, draw black kohl across your lower lash line for extra oomph.
If you have fair hair, it’s really important to apply your mazzy to both sides of your lashes so that the colour is even when you blink
Don’t pump the wand as it dies out your mascara and lets in germs. And don’t be tempted to lend your mazzy to your bridesmaids either – just in case one of you ends up with a ceremony-scuppering eye infection.
Smudged it? Use a cotton bud dipped in eye make-up remover rather than your finger!
Mascara is my “thing.” Honestly, I wouldn’t be caught putting the bins out without it on. I really hope this guide is helpful. Let me know if you’ve found your dream mascara – maybe I’ll find a rival to my favourite. And I’ll be doing some more Beauty Editor’s Masterclasses – ping me with any suggestions. Red lips? Fishtail plaits? Beautiful brows? Tell me…