Luxurious lashes are a girl's best beauty weapon. And that holds true whether you're after a flirtatious, attention-arresting fringe on an all-out glam night, or simply want to enhance your eyes on a day when you're donning minimal makeup.
We spoke to Emmy-nominated Hollywood makeup artist Kerry Herta on the best ways to achieve lashes that will turn heads and win admiration without looking fake, stiff or stripper-esque.
The first step in eye-stopping lashes is a few seconds spent with an eyelash curler. Lots of women skip this step, says Herta, “but curled lashes really do open up the eyes.” What's more, she adds, many women have lashes that grow in slightly different directions, “and a good squeeze at the base of the lashes will line them up uniformly. That, in turn, will make your lashes look more voluminous when you move on to mascara.” Tweezerman Super Curl Lash Curler has ergonomic handles and silicone pads is designed with a pinch-free eyelash curl in mind, so even novices can master this one.
Brush It On: The Best Mascaras
To increase your (eyelash) batting average day in and day out, choose a lengthening and thickening mascara. Benefit BADgal Lash has one of the best brushes in the biz, Herta says. “It's narrow and tapered at the tip and gets thicker toward the base with tight bristles throughout. What this means is that you'll be able to really work the product into the roots of your lashes, and that's key for that look of lush lashes.”
If your lashes are on the sparse or thin side, try Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For Mascara. Its specially designed brush does double duty to extend the length of your lashes, separating to avoid that clumpy, tortured-actress look, while also adding volume.
Speaking of lash-separation, you'll want to avoid applying coat after coat of mascara for fear of spiky lashes that look anything but natural. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara Jet Black is studio-tested, which means if it can look good in photo shoots, it'll look even better in real life. Apply a second layer while the first is still wet to avoid clumps and increase length.
“Remember to build your lashes from the base to the tip,” Herta says. “Lot of women focus on the tips only and that's how you end up with stiff lashes that pull down the curl.”
Glue It On: False Eyelashes
Yes, false eyelashes are great for a dramatic evening out, says Herta. But, once you become expert in applying them, you'll find that they're also a simple way to get full, thick lashes every day. “False eyelashes are also great for filling in any sparse spots,” Herta says. “Remember, mascara can only plump up what's already there.”
Herta's all-time top false eyelashes pick: Ardell Fashion Lashes 110 Black. “Many women are reluctant to use strip eyelashes because they find it intimidating,” she says. “But these are super-easy to use. Just cut the strip in half and apply to the outer end of your lash line or wherever you think you could use a little boost. You'll get the same polished look as using individual lashes with much less fuss.”