Ever since the days of the ancient Egyptians, anointing their eyelashes with a mixture of coal dust, crushed jewels, and essential oils, we humans have been aware of the unbeatable beauty power of mascara.
No cosmetic has a more dramatic effect than the one that turns short, sparse eyelashes into long, thick, flirty lashes that frame the eyes and can make a simple blink look both innocent and seductive.
In fact, mascara sales in drugstores have outpaced even those of lipstick and lipgloss, and 53% of women tell us they use mascara on a daily basis.
Ask any woman what cosmetic item she’d take with her anywhere if she could only bring one, chances are—unless she’s one of the very lucky few who were blessed with long thick eyelashes—she will choose mascara.
The Power of Pop
Nothing makes the eyes pop more than mascara. A few swipes of a mascara wand will give you an instant awakened look, even on your worst mornings.
Whether you were up all night clubbing, or up all night with a baby, mascara rescues tired eyes and makes them look refreshed and ready to face the day.
Mascara defines and draws attention to the eyes. If you have smallish eyes that aren’t typically very attention-grabbing, mascara will enlarge their appearance and make them pop.
If you were lucky enough to be blessed with big, beautiful eyes, mascara will make them even more dramatic. If the eyes are the windows into the soul, then mascara gives us a beautiful window frame.
The first commercially available mascara as we know it today was a one-size-fits-all product that darkened and lengthened the eyelashes with a mixture of dark pigments, adhesive polymers, and wax.
Today’s mascara market offers a large variety of advantages tailored to individual needs.
Some mascara is formulated primarily to add volume to the lashes with thickening agents, making them ideal for those with thin, sparse eyelashes.
There are also entire lines of great lengthening mascara products that can actually lengthen lashes by extending them with tiny nylon or rayon fibres, making them perfect for those challenged with short eyelashes.
There are even mascaras available today that can improve the health of your eyelashes with nutrients specifically meant to enhance the health and growth of your eyelashes, making your mascara your beauty best friend—with benefits!
Mascara is a multi-purpose beauty tool that can be several different products in one little tube.
Besides lengthening your eyelashes, you can use your mascara as an effective eyeliner by wiping off excess product on a tissue and then carefully smudging it just below the waterline on your lower lashes for an instant smokey-eye look.
It can also instantly lift and curl lashes, often eliminating the need for eyelash curlers. You can use a few light swipes of mascara to instantly lift, shape and define your eyebrows.
Also, old wands that have been cleaned make ideal eyebrow brushes for taming wild hairs.
If you have brown or black hair and want an instant way to cover a few stray greys between colouring sessions, you can instantly cover and conceal them with a few strokes.
Besides a typical mascara, every woman’s beauty arsenal should contain a great waterproof mascara. Adding waterproofing qualities to mascara is a game-changer.
It means you can still have lush lashes while you lounge by the pool, or hang out at the beach. It means you won’t end up with raccoon eyes if you forget your umbrella on a rainy day.
You can enjoy a good cry at a sad movie or your best friend’s wedding without worry. Use it as your eyeliner and eyebrow defining tool, and even in the worst rainstorm, you will look beautiful rather than bedraggled.
Magic Ingredient in Every Makeup Look
The truth is, the no-makeup look works without mascara. Even the currently trending “no-makeup” makeup look requires it’s application.
To achieve the popular “no-makeup look” you still use plenty of makeup, including lip stain and gloss, tinted moisturizer and highlighter, nude eyeliner and—yes—mascara.
It is the cosmetic that makes the “no-makeup” look work. It allows the focus to be on the eyes, while the rest of the face looks soft and natural, creating a fresh, dewy, wide-eyed look.
It also goes without saying that no one would attempt a full-on glamorous look, evening out look, date night look, wedding, special event, or even selfie look without mascara topping off their careful makeup application.
Complete the Cat’s Eye
Another makeup trend that doesn’t seem to be passing any time soon is winged eyeliner, or the cat’s eye, eyeliner look. This is meant to extend the look of our lash line by creating the illusion of outward-curling eyelashes at the outer corners of our eyes.
By the careful application of mascara, you can either enhance this look or eliminate the need to extend your eyeliner in the tricky cat’s eye at all.
Many people neglect or overlook the small lashes at the outer corners of the eyes and focus their mascara application on extending the longer lashes in the centre of the eyelash line.
But by carefully using the tip of your mascara wand, you can coat the tiny eyelashes at the outer corners of your upper and lower lashes to accentuate and lengthen them, using your actual eyelashes to achieve the look that eyeliner only attempts to imitate.
While mascara has come a very long way since the days of mixing coal dust with vaseline, or brushing on dark, oily powder from a cake with a brush, it is as much a staple beauty product today as it was when ancient Roman women used burnt cork and charred rose petals to blacken their lashes for a sultry look, which was also supposed to be a sign of chastity because, at the time, it was believed that excessive sexual experience resulted in eyelash loss.
No matter the time period, no makeup bag is complete without the ultimate beauty product—magical mascara.