Along with pursuing my dream of having luxurious, mermaid-flowy hair, I’ve spent my adult life searching for ways to make the most of my natural lashes.
I have pretty average lashes. They’re decently long, and not super thick or thin. My biggest problem is that they are blonde at the tips and somewhat light overall, so it gives the appearance of having sparse, stubby lashes.
Regular lash extension appointments aren’t in my budget for now, and I don’t love fussing with falsies for everyday makeup. This means that I’ve had to get creative with my eyelash game! I’ve spent years trying all kinds of tricks and products to get the gorgeous, flirty fan of dark lashes that every girl wants. I’ve settled on a few favorite tips to maximize natural lashes though, and today I’m going to share them with you.
1. Experiment With Your Mascara
I know that there are seriously a million different types of mascara out there, so it can feel like a never-ending search for The Perfect One. Since I want my lashes to be as dark and luscious as possible, I always opt for the blackest black, and I go for ones that are volumizing above all else.
I’ve noticed over the years that soft, fluffy mascara wands tend to give me better results than the stiff, plastic comb-style brushes, so that has helped me narrow the field too.
Finally, the formula does matter. Some mascaras are quite wet and clumpy, while others dry down more quickly. What you prefer will mostly come down to your lash goals, but for me, I find the drier formulas much easier to work with.
And don’t forget that you can double up! It might seem a little extra, but there’s no shame in layering two different mascaras or using different top and bottom lash products.
2. Don’t Forget Your Primer
When I was a teenager, I thought that those drugstore mascaras that came with the white primer were Super Fancy and absolutely magical. I would save up extra just to buy them whenever I could. Even now, I do still like when I can find a good drugstore mascara that has its own primer.
However, a primer step is pretty much non-negotiable for me now, even if it means buying a separate product! Not only can lash primer protect your lashes, but it’s an easy way to add bulk and a little bit of extra length without weighing them down with multiple coats of mascara. (I don’t know about you, but if I do more than two coats of mascara, things start going downhill fast.)
One of my favorite lash primers is the Essence Volume Booster. It’s cheap, easy to find, and it works surprisingly well! The brush also helps to lift and separate my lashes, which I love.
3. Try the Powder Trick
I don’t use this trick as often now as I used to in my teens, but it works amazingly well. I’ve seen it done with baby powder and loose powder foundation, but I’d recommend not getting baby powder so close to your eyes!
Basically, the powder trick works like this: Make sure your lashes are curled. Apply one thin coat of mascara. Use a cotton swab dipped in powder, and gently coat your lashes with the powder. (It’s fine if it gets on your skin! It’s easy to brush off.) If you need to, you can comb through your lashes to get rid of any clumps. Follow up with another coat of mascara.
You can repeat this process as many times as you’d like, but again, I couldn’t do more than three coats of mascara before things started looking a little silly.
The powder adds something extra for your mascara to cling to, and this gives your lashes a serious boost in length and thickness. With a little practice, you can look like you’ve gotten lash extensions!
4. Invest In Your Tools
If you want to maximize your natural lashes, you need good tools to get the job done well.
Instead of the cheap, clamp-style torture device you got at Walmart, splurge a little on a heated eyelash curler. The comb-style curlers apply just enough heat to curl and lift your lashes, and once they’re set, the curl lasts!
Another essential for perfect lashes is a good lash comb. As in, not the plastic one that comes in the $1 brush toolkit. I like ones like this because the ultra-fine teeth are perfect for separating each lash. It’s also curved to fit the shape of your eye, so there’s less risk of poking yourself with the comb and ruining your makeup. (Not that I’ve ever done THAT before.)
5. Try a Lash Serum
Lash growth serums and lash conditioners can be hit or miss, but there is some merit to adding one to your beauty routine!
The main difference between lash growth and lash conditioning serums is that the growth serums are supposed to encourage new growth and increase density. Lash conditioners are better for making your existing lashes look healthier and thicker.
Latisse is one of the most popular lash growth serums, and it’s backed by plenty of research. Of course, it’s prescription-only, so it can’t just be ordered online like GrandeLASH, Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Boosting Serum, or Borboleta Lash Serum (reviewed by Jude Chao here).
If you want to start slow, you can add a conditioner to your routine first and see if that gives you good results. Look for products with ingredients like castor oil, vitamin E, or biotin to help you get stronger, thicker lashes.
Flaunt What You’ve Got
Lash lifts and lash extensions can be pricey, and COVID-19 has made beauty services more complicated. If you’re looking for great ways to maximize your natural lashes, try these tips! You might even find out that you like the results better than a set of falsies.