31 May 2017

The Magic Wand: The Do’s and Don’ts of Mascara

The Magic Wand: The Do’s and Don’ts of Mascara on vickiarcher.com


“When you’re 16, 30 seems ancient. When you’re 30, 45 seems ancient. When you’re 45, 60 seems ancient. When you’re 60, nothing seems ancient.”

Helen Mirren

 I can’t live without mascara.

A slightly dramatic statement but I am sure you get my drift.

Unless I have my eyelashes tinted regularly or I wear eyelash extensions I feel naked, in the worst way. I remember my mother saying she felt like a “bald eagle” without her mascara; I have no idea what that is but I know how she feels. Recently I got caught short without my magic wand and I felt very under dressed. I bought the best replacement I could; it was then I realised there are mascaras and there are mascaras.

I figured out quite quickly it is better to go without than persevere with a bad product.

Everything else might fall by the wayside but dark lashes make all the difference and nothing helps open and brighten the eyes more than a coating or two of good dark mascara. There is an unfriendly flip side; there is nothing less attractive than badly applied mascara.



Applying and wearing mascara well is as much about what you don’t do as what you do.

The Do’s and The Don’ts

 Don’t pump the wand in and out of the tube.
This pushes air inside the tube and makes the product, dry and flaky. Instead, twist the wand back and forth in a circular motion and coat with the correct amount.


Before applying gently remove any excess on the wand with a soft tissue.
This avoids clumpy lashes, the application will be so much more even and the waste miniscule.


Apply mascara to the bottom lashes first and look upwards during the application.


Coat the topside of the upper lashes with mascara.
When applying mascara to the top lashes, look straight ahead.


Curl the upper lashes with the Shu Uemera lash curlers.
Curl as close to the root as possible, being sure not to trap any skin in the curler. Pump the curler for 10 seconds and then move onto the next eye.


Once curled, apply more coats to the base of the eyelashes and zigzag upwards to make sure you cover every single lash.
It will probably take several applications to reach the desired thickness. Go slowly, it is easy to add more.


If the lashes straighten after only a couple of hours, using waterproof mascara should help this, but is more difficult to remove.

Wave The Magic Wand: My Top 3

dior show  ||  chanel le volume  ||  charlotte tilbury full fat lashes

image helen mirren by peter lindbergh for pirelli calendar

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In This Post:



Mimi Gregor

I always use waterproof mascara, and some are easier to remove than others. I use grapeseed oil, not a dedicated “eye makeup remover”. It not only is cheaper, but I don’t have to worry about what chemicals are in it, and it works better. Grapeseed oil is one of those so-called “dry oils” that wash off easily — unlike olive oil.

I read a book written by a former magazine beauty editor (I wish I could remember who it was, and which magazine. I’m thinking either Elle or Marie Claire), and she said that there are only a few places that manufacture mascara. There are only a couple formulas, and all the companies use them, no matter the price range. The only part of the mascara with a patent is the brush. The brush makes all the difference in the application. Therefore, if you find a mascara that works, but it is expensive, clean and save the brush when you are finished. Try it with a cheaper mascara. I make it a habit to clean and save brushes from my mascara in case they stop making it (Cover Girl Lash Exact Waterproof). It’s just the right compromise between longevity and easy removal, and the brush is neither too fluffy (which makes it difficult to use) nor too thin (which doesn’t build length or volume)/

Sallye Wallace

Coconut oil is best to remove mascara and clean your whole face with. It leaves it extremely soft.

Anita Rivera

That woman will look seductive even in her 80s, I’m sure of it! And that is what I love about her eyes, the way she uses mascara! YES! That’s it!

This entire school year, I did not use any mascara. But as I approach 60, I think I better start to use it again, but being mindful of using it correctly. Wow, what a gorgeous woman…..it’s making me think now how I’ll be wearing my hair in a few years…


I quit using eyelash curlers, there is no real point. How many women can you think of at this moment, who have curly or straight eyelashes … right, no one cares. I use black mascara top and bottom and Never dark liner on the bottom .. or around the eyes. There is an old Southern saying .. for those eyes completely lined top and bottom with black eyelinger … “Pissholes in the snow” …

Mimi Gregor

Eyelash curlers DO make a difference, but it’s not so much that I care about curl in the lashes. They give the illusion of longer lashes because they are now bent up rather than hanging over the eye itself. So it also gives the illusion of a larger eye surface. I notice also that I need less mascara when I use a curler, so that tiny bit of effort actually saves me time.


I have very large eyes and eyelids, and whatever else I wear, I wear mascara! Love the “bald eagle” analogy. Ha ha! Chanel is one of my favorite mascaras, but my lashes can look amazing with the cheapest of the cheap…as another commenter stated, it’s really about the brush and how one applies the product. Stopped curling my (long but starting to thin lashes) many years ago in the 70s. Eyelash curlers are damaging if used regularly, pulling out the lash. There are alternatives if one wants a curled lash. Simply Google it for lots of suggestions! Love Ms. Mirren…so classy, as is your blog! Thanks for the tips.


Vicki, I continue to learn from you, and I love learning. Perhaps you might like to try one of my mascara tricks. I keep a few inexpensive sandwich bags with my cosmetics. I slip the wand inside to wipe away the excess, and toss the bag. I’m not sure it matters, but it might prevent any fibers from a tissue sticking to the wand. Also, it keeps me from somehow ending up touching the mascara on the tissue. Best, Charlene


Having worn contact lenses for near forty years I stopped using mascara many years ago ( unless it is a very festive or formal occasion) I once had my eyelashes dyed with vegetable dye and they looked terrific for a couple weeks:( I was blessed with very long dark lashes so never missed mascara. I use a very dark gray gel eyeliner on the top using a tip I got from a well known make up artist. Line the lid VERYclose to the upper lashes sort of working the point between them. This makes eyes look larger and lashes thicker sans mascara!
I VERY lightly line the lower lid using short strokes. As a previous writer noted the heavy black liner on top and bottom looks aging and outdated even on the young and can make eyes look smaller. But honestly nothing looks worse than visiting the powder room during a dinner date or at a party and seeing that mascara raccoon eye looking at you from the mirror so I rarely bother.


I am also a believer in waterproof mascara. I use vaseline to remove it. Have done so for decades. I read long ago that Doris Day was a big proponent of vaseline and I have used it ever since.


As I get older (late sixties), my eyes tend to water a bit or something causes mascara on my lower lashes to run as the day wears on. So I wear ordinary mascara on the top and waterproof on the bottom lashes – works a treat. I have been using Nutrimetics make up (and skin care) for years – an old, established Australian brand that is as organic/natural as is allowed by the laws governing such industries. Both mascara cases are a different colour, so that’s easy, and they have a great make up remover that works well on the waterproof mascara. These days I can’t see (without my glasses) to worry about eye liners and such, so I stick to just mascara – and of course a good, light foundation and a fab lipstick – wouldn’t leave the house without at least those three!


PS. I do however use only ‘French’ perfumes and my staple lipsticks are generally Chanel and Dior – sometimes YSL.


I just love your blog. Whatever you tips and review you give about the beauty products and clothes all are very helpful. Keep posting.


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