What about mascara brushes and application?  Where last week we talked about formulas and what to look for, this week I want to talk about the brush shapes, sizes, and the best way to get mascara on.

First off let’s talk brush. It used to be that all mascara brushes (wands) were the same, a spool type brush on a stick. Now however brushes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be curved, rounded, miniturized, waved, and even battery operated. The brush is supposed to offer a specific application and allow the formula to work. For example many mascaras that claim to curl the lashes will have a curved brush. The brush is really what helps the lashes to curl.



I think it is important that the brush size matches the lash and eye. Small mascara brushes are nice when working in the outer corner of the eye, or on someone with short lashes.  Larger brushes are great on large eyes and people with lots of lash, but can be difficult to work on a smaller eye as the brush tends to hit the skin and can make a mess. If you are left with mascara on your lids after applying, try a smaller brush.


For me the jury is out on shape. I like the curved wands however find no difference between them and the plain “old-fashioned” ones. I’m currently using a mascara that has a wavy brush and I find it a bit clunky.  I do think that the little ball brushes and the mini’s are nice for detail work.  If applying mascara is difficult for you, then the brush shape might help you with your own application. Which brings us to..


The art of creating a gorgeous lash comes from application just as much as formula. Mascara can be a heavy product especially on fine lashes. It is important that the majority of the mascara goes on the base of the lash. If you put 2-3 coats on the ends only you will get spindly straight lashes and not achieve any definition against the lash line. If our purpose for applying mascara is to thicken the lash line, then putting the majority of the mascara in that area is key.

First Coat:

The first coat of mascara needs to go as close to the lash-line as possible. Press and wiggle is my technique, place the brush against the base of the lash and slowly wiggle the brush back and forth and draw out the lash. While pulling the wand out across the rest of the lash it is great to slowly rotate the brush. This helps the lashes curl. Then lightly brush through the bottom lashes.

Second Coat:

I like to let mascara dry between coats. The second coat is the same but focus primarily on the outer corner of lashes and SWEEP and TURN that mascara brush as you go. Now you make sure that you get the entire lash covered. Once the mascara is dry you can lightly comb through if needed. Third coats are optional.

Right now my favorite mascaras are MUFE Smoky Eyes and the new Terri Tomlinson Creme Mascara which will be available in Spring. (April most likely.) I’ll be talking a lot more about the TT line moving forward. (The mascara reminds me of Lancome’s Maquecilles mascara from the 80’s. It was a lengthening mascara and so black and creamy!!)

Want to see me apply mascara? Check out the Basic 1-2 Video.

Until next time, Terri Tomlinson Makeup Artist Dallas TX


Terri Tomlinson- Makeup Artist based in Dallas, TX creating hair and makeup for print, film, video, runway, Television and the real world for over 20 years. She loves super natural, clean makeup, HD, and getting people “camera ready”. Terri owns Makeup Training Academy offering professional training to new and existing makeup artists. She consults on makeup for HD, speaks publicly, and serves as an on-camera Beauty Expert.