Mascara Mishaps: Messy Mistakes We All Make

Mascara Mishaps: Messy Mistakes We All Make

Yes, it looks like something from a horror movie! Applying mascara correctly is an art form. It’s tedious too, if you are in a hurry – and the most likely part of the beauty routine to go wrong.

Inadvertent smudging, clumping, blobs and running are just some of the things that can go adrift – and do, if you are anything like me. If you look like Alice Cooper at the start of the day, appear to be in a permanent state of distress or simply end up with a look that suggests you could be going senile, keep reading. 

I freely admit, the cover image I’ve used for this feature is at the extreme end of dramatic. The woman looks like a traumatised kidnap victim who has escaped and is now in state of utter bewilderment. However, I can assure you, I have not looked dissimilar myself – at the end of a night out. 

Using mascara – correctly – can bring out your eyes and complement good skin. If you have invested time and money in a great skin care regime, a brush of colour on the lashes will frame your eyes and bring your face to life. In my opinion, mascara is the top must-have make-up product. In this feature, we look at application techniques as well as what products to use, depending on your complexion and hair colour, time of day and even the weather. 

how to apply mascara

Common Mascara Mistakes

Women use a variety of techniques to coat their lashes with mascara. I am a blinker. How about you? While this method is quick, it’s also a sure-fire way to end up with blobs on your eyelids or face. There is nothing more frustrating than having to remove stray product and having to start all over again. Mascara can smear during removal, necessitating a complete overhaul. 

Beauty experts reckon most of us get mascara application wrong before we start. According to them, lashes should always be curled first. If that sounds like a faff, there are benefits. The process will give your eyes a perfectly framed look and is especially beneficial if you don’t have naturally long lashes.

Time is often of the essence, with work or a night out beckoning. Clumping is most usually the result of rushing the application process. The tips of the lashes should only be coated during the first application. Subsequent applications should focus on three-quarters of the lash from the roots. You should wait three to five minutes until the lashes are thoroughly dry before applying subsequent coats. 

The correct way to apply mascara is to use the ‘sweep and roll’ method. For best results, hold up your eyebrow with a finger to avoid contact with the skin. This method advocates a bit of ‘wriggling’ with the brush to achieve good distribution. 

I am a repeat offender here… Avoid black mascara if you have fair-coloured hair. Go for a soft brown or blue. Unless you are off on a night out – black is best in dimmed light.


  • Curl lashes before applying mascara
  • Use the ‘sweep and roll’ technique
  • Wriggle brush to avoid clumping
  • Choose brown mascara if you have fair hair
  • Always use a waterproof mascara, because you never know when it is going to rain in the UK

Tip: Poor or failing eyesight can hamper the application of mascara. If you have’t got a steady hand or can’t see well enough to aim the wand in a targeted fashion, magnetic false lashes could be a viable alternative for special occasions. I’ve used them quite extensively during my cancer treatment and have found them easy to attach as well as realistic looking. The magnet draws them into place, making this a quick and easy process. 

Epic lash

Top Picks For Great Lashes

Because our eyes are the most important feature of the face, many skin care kits now include a mascara. That doesn’t mean to say it will be the right colour or consistency for you.

Hygiene note: Don’t use old mascara, it can be a source of infection. Aim to replace your mascara every three months.

Here are out top mascara picks: 

Click on an image for more product information.

Lash Alert Cushion Curler with Lash Alert Mascara Set, £18. Limited stock.

3 Pairs Full Faux Mink Eyelashes with Free Mascara Kit and Eyelash Curler – Extra Strong Hold for Lashes – No Magnet and No Glue Needed, £11.99
4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara & Eyeliner Black Set, Liquid Extension, Best for Eyelash Thickening & Lengthening, Long Lasting Waterproof, £8.99
36 Hours Super Long Lasting Waterproof Mascara & Eyeliner Black Set, All Day Clump-Free & Smudge-Proof, Longer Thicker & More Curly, £7.99

4D Silk Fiber Waterproof Eyelash Mascara, Extra Long Lash Mascara, Long-Lasting, Clump-Free, Natural Smudge-Proof, Adds Length, Depth and Glamour, £6.98

L’Oréal Paris Volume Mascara, £8

Maybelline Lots of Lashes Mascara. Very Black LS 12.5ml, £5.99
Rimmel Extra 3D Lash Mascara, Extreme Black, 8ml, £2.70
Barry M Cosmetics Feature Length Mascara, £3.99
4D Silk Fiber Lash Mascara Waterproof, Luxuriously Longer, Thicker, Voluminous Eyelashes, Long-Lasting, Dramatic Extension, Smudge-Proof, Hypoallergenic Formula, £7.88

Final word – always ensure you thoroughly remove mascara before going to bed. This type of product can look terrible if it gets lodged in a pore.

Further reading: 20 Easy Ways To Pep Up Your Skin Care Routine – Regime Skin Care

One Response

  1. Leann High
    | Reply

    I have a newborn baby so don’t have time to spend applying full makeup. Without mascara people always comment on how tired I look. To combat this I cut a cotton pad in half, lay 1 half over my eyelid and mascara away. It doesn’t matter if it goes everywhere when I’ve removed the cotton pad I have perfectly applied mascara x

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