How to Separate and Define Your Lashes With Mascara

May 08, 2023
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
An upclose image of someone applying mascara to their lashes. The person is wearing blue and green floating eyeliner.

When applying mascara, no matter what formula you choose, the goal is almost always to accentuate your lashes and make them stand out — and stand apart from each other. It’s perfectly separated eyelashes that make us stop and stare (and then promptly question “how?”). If your eyelashes are forever clumping, we tapped Shawn Towne, Jane Iredale global makeup artist, to find out how we can master this makeup goal, once and for all. 

How to Get Separated Eyelashes When Applying Mascara

As it turns out, the reason behind your clumpy lashes may not even be your application method but rather your product — and we’re not talking about the formula. “So much of our mascara clumping comes from the excess product that gathers and dries on the original spoolie or brush that came with the mascara,” says Towne. The old, dried mascara that is stuck to the brush then becomes stuck to your lashes, coating them in clumpy product. “Make sure that your brush is cleaned regularly or use a secondary brush to comb through them once you’ve applied the product.” To do this, Towne recommends using the Jane Iredale Deluxe Spoolie Brush.

Jane Iredale Deluxe Spoolie Brush

Apply Mascara in Thin Layers to Avoid Clumps

In addition to having excess product on your brush, Towne says one of the biggest lash mistakes people make is applying the product in thick, heavy layers rather than taking their time with it. “Make sure that you are applying a fresh mascara in thin layers,” he says.  

Use a Lash Primer and Mascara to Separate Your Lashes

In addition to finding a mascara formula that’s right for you, Towne stresses the importance of using a lash conditioner and primer. When applying an eyelash primer before mascara, he recommends the following: “Start at the base of the lashes and rock the spoolie back and forth on the underside while lifting upward. Comb through them several times, even after the lashes are visibly coated.” Then, use the same method to apply your mascara. 

We love the Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Tinted Mascara Primer, which has a soft black tint and pairs well with the Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara to create long, separated, wow-worthy lashes.

Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara
Photo:  Nelson Huang

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