Lash Basics: Which Mascara Wand Is Perfect for You?

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The world of mascara is both a confusing and daunting one. So many different wands with different formulas claim to give you that killer falsie look you've been dying for, while others say they're your go-to for added volume or length. But how do you know which one you should be using, and which others you can ignore while on your most noble of quests? There are a lot of fancy, new designs out there that could potentially confuse you even more, but we have weeded through them all to find which wand you need to achieve the look you're going for. With these tips in your back pocket, you'll never have to be lost in the cosmetics aisle again.

1. For the Perfect Curl
Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara Ink...


If your lashes are naturally straight and don't hold curl very well, there is only one type of wand on the market that do the trick. To get and hold a curl, you will need a curved wand, because the curve will fit snuggly at the root of your lash line. And getting at the root of your lashes to start your curl is what will truly help it hold. Benefit's Roller Lash ($24, Ulta) is one of the best for this, because its slight curve allows you to rest the wand comfortably at your lash roots. Rubber bristles of two different lengths then help you hook onto the lashes from the root, coaxing them up into a curl. And it really does last!

2. To Lengthen and Define
Maybelline Define-A-Lash Lengthening Mascara


Definition and length usually go hand-in-hand, and the ideal brush will be able to do both. For lengthy lashes that are clump free, look for a long, thin brush with evenly spaced bristles. If you want your lashes to look natural, yet longer, a rubber wand with shorter bristles will catch onto each lash, lifting them up, without adding too much excess product. Maybelline's Define-A-Lash ($6.09, Target) is great mascara if you're looking for long, defined lashes.

Tip: Don't wiggle your wand as you apply your mascara, because that makes the product clump at the top of lashes and weighs them down. Instead, simply sweep your wand through, and let it do the work for you.

3. For Volume
Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara


On the contrary, voluminous lashes need a thicker wand, larger in width, with tightly packed bristles. The more bristles there are, the more product gets on your wand before application, ensuring that your lashes look thick and bold. For a great pro brand, try DiorShow Iconic Mascara ($28.50, Sephora). But if you're looking for something a little less expensive that does the trick, Rimmel Scandaleyes ($5.79, Beauty Spin) is a great mascara as well!

Tip: Make sure you wiggle while working the wand up your lashes if volume is your goal, because it helps distribute more of the product across your lashes.

4. Duh-rama please!
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara


If you're the kind of girl who likes her lashes big, bold and glorious, then you're going to look for a wand with long, rubber bristles packed tightly. Like we said before, more bristles means more product, which makes for intense volume. Longer rubber bristles, on the other hand, are great for catching on to lashes and sculpting them into jaw-dropping length and curl. Benefit's They're Real ($24, Sephora) strikes again as the best we've encountered and is a total must-have.

Tip: To add even more intensity, use a lash primer before you put on your mascara. Then, use several coats of your mascara for a bold, stand-out effect.

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