Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mascara's, Wands and Keeping Sanitized

In a recent Twitter post, I posted that I didn't understand the concept of buying super expensive mascara.  What's the point?  After 3 months it's got to go into the garbage anyways.  That's right...In case you weren't aware, whether you used it once or 50 times, 3 months from that date it needs to be disposed of.  Why?  From the time that you open your mascara, it's already started to harbor germs.  And as we all know, germs love to live in warm humid places (another reason why sharing mascara is gross).  Not disposing of your mascara after 3 months can bring on some serious damage.  In my years in the business. I've seen everything from pink eye to corneal infections caused by old mascara and sharing of mascara.  So, buying $50 mascara's don't really make any sense to me.  I much rather get a pair of shoes for $50 and have them last a year (or more - given how I take care of my shoes, they'll last a life time ha!)

But Yisell, I usually keep my mascara's more than 3 months and I'm fine.  While that might be so, how many times are you willing to play Russian Roulette with your mascara?  Till you get an infection and learn the hard way?

I've gone ahead and listed my top 5 favorite mascara's which I use both in my kit and for personal use that wont run your wallet into the ground.  Now we all know that when getting a mascara it's all about the wand.  The formula sort of matters too but not as much.  The wand is what gives you the volume and the length that we all women crave.  And in this case, size does matter.

1. Covergirl Lash Blast Length - I'm in love with the skinny wand that comes with this mascara.  It's especially wonderful if you have small lashes.  If the wand is too big, it's a bit harder to get into the base of the lash and create length.

2. Covergirl Lash Blast - Huge wand!  But that's great if you already have long lashes but lack volume (such as myself).  I don't recommend this to anyone with short lashes.

3. Maybelline Define-A-Lash - I really like the rubber wand that comes with this.  It contours and bends to your lashes so it really gets in there.  Also, because the "bristles" are small, the wand doesn't pick up a ton of product so less clumping which is a total plus.

4. Maybelline Great Lash - Let me start by saying that this is a classic.  I actually used this in my kit for a very long time before exploring other options.  It's still a staple in many makeup artists kits and it's the most basic mascara I've ever encountered.  There isn't really anything special about the wand.  In fact, I find the wand to be too small and not enough fluff to give volume.  The packaging though, always give me a sense of nostalgia from when I was a kid.  My sister used to have this mascara back in the 80's (we're 11 years apart so when she was 18, I was 7) and I'd just sit there in awe and watch her do her makeup ever so carefully.  Perhaps this is why I kept it in my kit for so long.

5. L'Oreal Voluminous Original - I've left this one for last because I have to honest.  It's my favorite personally and professionally.  I love the wand, not too big, not too small.  Great for length and really amazing for volume.  I can get into the inner corner of my eye (we all know how hard it is to get in there without poking your eye out) and I can still get the volume I need on the outer corners of the eye while still separating the lashes and it leaving no clumps!  WIN!

All in all, get what works best for you.  Sometimes you won't know unless you do trial and error but at least you didn't spend $50 on a mascara that probably wont work for you.

As a makeup artist, when mascara goes in my kit, it doesn't matter what kind of wand it has because I never use the wand anyways.  A professional and clean makeup artist should always have an arsenal of disposable mascara wands in their kit.  Using the same wand on multiple people and double dipping is an absolute NO NO!  Now, you can use the wand only and ONLY if you're keeping and washing/disinfecting the wands between use.  I used to do this for years because I was tired of constantly purchasing mascara wands.  But, that got old and I realized that I was just creating more things to clean (and I don't have to explain the joys of brush washing).  I eventually went back to using disposables and saved myself the task of cleaning one more thing.  I guess this is why the Maybelline Great Lash is such a staple, because the wand doesn't matter.  It's functional and gets the job done.  Though, I do have to say that the L'Oreal still takes the cake and I carry that in my kit instead.  In the end, use what you feel most comfortable with.  Every artist is different and has different work methods.  If you're the kind that likes to carry around more than one type of disposable mascara wand (or would like to explore and try different wands), Qosmedix has quite the selection.


  1. Awesome post Yisell!

    I carry many of these mascaras in my kit and I always have clients that ask me why I use drug store mascaras rather than high-end brands, which makes me cringe. There is no point in spending a ton of money on a product that will get thrown away in 3 months, especially when their are so many AWESOME mascaras under $10! I also use them in my personal kit and recommend them to my clients.

  2. Absolutely correctamundo about the wands, girl! And I'm a major L'Oreal Voluminous fan too - just an amazing formula - I use waterproof and use a waterproof makeup remover to delay pulling out or breaking lashes from tugging. Love your blog!

    1. Thanks love! I carry the waterproof formula in my kit and use it only when I do bridal. Something about using waterproof for daily use scares me lol. I'm just weird though =P

  3. This is extra important information to Australians: makeup is from 2 - 5 times more expensive here than the states, so an expensive mascara can cost $100 easily.
    Personally I'd like to know more about formulas, the problem I have with some clients is despite a mascara being smudge- and waterproof/resistant, they still budge under Aussie heat and humidity.

  4. My clients always seem to get a kick out of me pulling out the Cover Girl Lash Blast after a million other "Prestige" products. But it's great, and I love the waterproof formula as well! Also, I love that they make the rubber disposable wands now.

  5. PLEASE tell the people the truth! I've even heard madness of pro MUAs trying to wash/santize the mascara wand so they can use the wand that came with the mascara. um... NO. PLEASE use disposable wands.

    1. Tania, you can definitely use the mascara wand that it came with. Many artists just don't like disposables. If you wash and sanitize it between clients you are perfectly fine. You wash and sanitize your brushes correct? You don't go home and throw them away. Well, it's the same with the wands. I just personally find that it's too much work and more to wash.

      Please feel free to view this article that speaks of using the original mascara wand and sanitizing before use. http://www.beautylish.com/a/vxrug/hygiene-tips-for-artists-and-their-makeup-kits