How to Apply Mascara for Crazy-Long, Thick, Voluminous Lashes

This trick is going to revolutionize your face.

Face, Eyebrow, Cheek, Nose, Skin, Lip, Forehead, Hair, Chin, Head,
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Hot take: Everyone knows how to apply mascaraI mean, think about it: Did anyone ever teach you how? Have you ever watched a tutorial on it? Do you spend your mornings trying to perfect your process, with the skill of a surgeon? Probably not. Because somehow, we were all born with an innate knowledge of beefing up our lashes.

So I was confused when I came across a video of makeup artist Georgie Eisdell applying mascara to a model whose eyes were closed. Where was her mouth-agape fish face? Where was her head tilt? And rather than lightly combing mascara through the model’s lashes as us normal folks do, Eisdell was pushing and wriggling the mascara into the model’s lashes. Basically, the whole process looked weird and wrong.

Still, the image stuck with me. So, for the hell of it, I tried it out at home. And holy god, my eyelashes have never looked better in my entire life. This isn’t an exaggeration. My skimpy, short, itty-bitty-baby lashes suddenly looked thick, full, and fluttery. And I realized in that moment that we’ve all been applying mascara wrong our entire lives, and that I would spend the rest of my days telling the world about this application trick—starting with a group text to my friends.

After much cajoling, follow-up, and before-and-after pics, my friends are converts too. “I just FaceTimed with my sister and she goes, ‘Oh my god what did you do to your lashes they're so good’ 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼,” is an actual copy-and-pasted text I received from one friend, while another wrote, “OH MY GOD WHAT MAGIC IS THIS?!”

Face, Eyebrow, Lip, Hair, Nose, Forehead, Skin, Cheek, Facial expression, Chin,

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Mind you, we were all using different mascaras of varying prices and, uh, expiration dates, and yet we all ended up with brilliant, thick, Betty Boop lashes. Why? Because the magic is all in the technique. Instead of tilting your head back, widening your eyes, and delicately brushing through your lashes a few times like you usually do, try this: Keep your head straight and squint your eyes, then push the mascara wand into the base of your lashes—yes, your lids might get a bit messy, but don’t worry—and wriggle it back and forth about five times to really load up the roots of your lashes with formula.

Then, instead of brushing the wand up and over the rest of your lashes, hold it still at your lash line and blink hard through the bristles to really force the mascara to coat your lashes. Your lashes will pick up more mascara through the sheer force of blinking than they do when you gingerly brush it on. Repeat the wriggle-and-blink as desired/necessary. The result is thick, voluminous, falsie-level lashes.

Of course, as you might have guessed, this trick doesn’t leave you with the cleanest of lids. But, when your lashes look this good, you “so [w]on’t even care,” as another friend put it. To clean up the smudges fast, though, gently rub a damp Q-tip over the marks after they dry (mascara is harder to remove when it’s wet), or, try my personal favorite: a bit of eyeliner.

Are you officially a believer? If not, then you must be a soulless makeup demon, and may the heavens have mercy on your lashes. But if you are blown away by this revelation, please, pick up a mascara (check out the formulas currently sitting in my makeup bag, below), and try this trick yourself.

Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.