I know we haven’t met, but I’m going to overshare with you in that way that’s only acceptable among bloggers or Housewife confessionals: I’m one of those women who basically has two looks: full-on Glambot or someone who looks like she lives in a van down by the river. As much as  I’d love to look like a squad of experts have devoted their lives to making me look amazing through a series of baking, extensions, spray tans, and contours,  the reality is that I have maybe 10 minutes on a good day—5 if we’re being honest—to get myself together enough not to scare the neighbors. 

Over the years, I’ve cultivated a short list of items that are miraculously able to take me from celebrity mug shot to poor-man’s J.Lo in this miniscule period of time. Bronzer is one. Perfect nude-pink lip-gloss, two. And up until now, big sunglasses (a wise woman once told me that a good pair of sunglasses can turn anyone into an instant 8). So, why do I say “up until now”? Because one cannot live in sunglasses alone.  But how do you get around the fact that making your eyes look big and bold takes effort… and time, lots and lots of time?


 big egerie


Yes, I’ve had the extensions. Two hours of my life I’ll never get back. Plus $200. Plus regular refills. And in the end, I had less lashes than when I started because the glue destroyed them. Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with falsies because, frankly, I’m not so good at applying them. Half the time my eyelid ends up a sticky mess, and I usually give up within the 5 minute range. Once, my husband asked me if that was a caterpillar on our sink.

The question “how can you pull off looking high maintenance while sticking to a ridiculously low maintenance routine?” has plagued me for years. I could probably write a dissertation on it at this point. So I was cautiously optimistic when I received  Lancôme’s much anticipated Monsieur Big Mascara, which claims smudge and flake-proof 24-hour wear and instant lusher-than-lush volume (think 12 times the volume versus bare lashes).  Did I want to try it? Absolutely! Here’s how I used this one mascara to achieve four different eyelash looks that mimic all the things we love about falsies (Volume! Drama! Rich color!)- minus ever having to dip tweezers in lash glue.


 Lancominsta Mister Big


The Look: Your Lashes But Better

The effect: Effortlessly glamorous, I believe they call it. This is what happens if you have nice long, thick lashes and just haphazardly apply two coats of mascara.

How to do it:

Step 1.  Curl lashes.

Step 2.  Apply one coat of mascara to top and bottom lashes of each eye. Pull the brush from root to tip, teasing the lashes upward.

Step 3.  Repeat with a second coat.

Step 4.  If you have thin or light-colored lashes, coat both sides by alternating between looking up and looking down while applying mascara. When lashes are fully coated, they appear to be much thicker.

My verdict:  I don’t have particularly long, thick lashes, and yet, here I am fooling the world in what took about one minute to accomplish.


two coats


The Look: Winged Lashes

The effect: This is all about bringing the drama to the outer corners of your top lashes much like you would by gluing a short strip of falsies on the ends to create a cat eye.

How to do it:

Step 1.  Curl lashes.

Step 2.  Apply a thickening primer like Cils Booster XL to the outer corners of top lashes only.

Step 3.  Hold the M. Big mascara brush diagonally across the lashes and coat all top lashes from root to tip.

Step 4.  Focusing only on outermost lashes, apply extra coats of color by pulling upward and outward. Continue to build up mascara on outer lashes until the effect is dramatic enough for you.

My verdict: It’s an instantly sultry, lifted eye look that’s a big winner. 


with primer


The Look: Full Frontal Not-So Falsies

The effect: If you were ambitious enough to apply a full strip of faux fringe, this is what it would look like. Of course, you’d probably need eyeliner to hide any gaps and there would be that whole learning curve and trial and error thing. Tweezers and glue and plastic—oh my.

How to do it:

Step 1.  Curl lashes.

Step 2.  Hold the Monsieur Big brush horizontally across your lashes. Then use a zigzag motion to pull the mascara through your lashes. Make sure to start by pushing the brush into the lash line first (this creates an eyeliner-esque effect).

Step 3.  Repeat until you’ve built up to a look that is dramatic enough for you (I did three coats)

Step 4.  Apply one light coat of mascara to lower lashes.

My verdict: Trust me, this is much easier and less anxiety provoking than dealing with falsies and the result is natural-looking, volumized full lash fringe across your entire lash line.




The Look: Doll Lashes

The effect: Have you ever tried to apply individual lashes? I did once. It took 45 minutes, and I looked like Edward Scissorhands had paid me a visit.  Yet, there is something so doe-eyed and innocent and—most importantly—youthful about piecey lashes.

How to do it:

Step 1.  Curl lashes.

Step 2.  Using the tip of Cils Booster XL, apply it to two lashes at a time, leaving a few lashes untouched in-between. Do this on top and bottom lashes.

Step 3.  Hold the M. Big Mascara brush vertically against your  lashes, pulling up through them from root to tip.

Step 4.  Repeat so that you have two coats of mascara on top and bottom lashes.

Step 5.  Using the tip of your mascara wand, go over the individual lashes you coated with Cils Booster XL with another coat or two.

My verdict: To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I would end up with my desired individual faux lash look. But it really worked! Bambi lashes, no filter.



Two Mascara Tips I Wish I Had Known My Whole Life

#1. Hold the brush depending on what type of look you want.

If you want thick, voluminous lashes, hold it horizontally and wiggle back and forth. For lashes that look long but natural, hold it vertically and run the tip of the brush along the length of the lashes.

#2. A clean toothbrush is the best tool for declumping and separating.

Any old toothbrush will do, as long as it’s never seen the inside of a mouth (because… bacteria) and is dry. Simply use it to comb lashes from root to tip after mascara has dried. The long, strong bristles easily grab onto any clumps and separate them.


big mascara black

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