Dirty Little Secrets — Mascara edition

“Dirty Week” continues in today’s post, but I want to lead with a confession that is vital to the information I am going to share: I am a beautician’s worst nightmare. I’m just going to get that out of the way right now… no secrets here (not this week anyway). So, if you’re a beautician, cosmetologist, make up artist, or even probably an esthetician, this post is not for you. You’ve been warned. That said, it’s really not thaaaaat bad 😉 The rest of you should stay and read.

I’m gonna show you all, arguably, my dirtiest little beauty secret—how I apply mascara. And it’s far from being a cosmetologist-approved recipe for mascara applying, but it works for me, so I’m going to continue with my sharing of it. And because, just maybe, it’ll help at least someone out with their own mascara application processes. And also, maybe because Tracey ran the idea for a mascara post by me like 2 months ago and I’m finally just now getting around to it and am Superman-like in that I’m tying it in to the “Dirty Week” them. (But that one’s just maybe.)

Anyway, I’m just gonna dive right into this. These are the products I use to do my eye make up/mascara:


Yes, I have two eyelash curlers (both Revlon brand). You may think it’s a bit overkill (my husband definitely does—he’s asked more than a couple times, “Why do you have two??”), but I actually use both of them. One works well to get my curl started and the other works well to finish it off. (Yeah… as I typed that, I realized… I’m totally crazy.) Anyway, you can use just one if that’s what you like. Or three. Whatever floats your boat. Or whatever makes your eyelashes the curliest. Whatever.

And yes, I also use two types of mascara. The first is waterproof—I put it on as a base in case I ever have a day where my eyes feel the need to leak. Or in case it rains. Or something. It’s kind of like a primer for my eyelashes, without actually being a primer. The second is not waterproof, but it’s the first and only mascara I’ve ever found that actually adds length AND volume to my lashes without being clumpy or crumbly or anything else that mascara shouldn’t be. And yes, it comes in a waterproof version, but the waterproof version SUCKS. You may be tempted to buy it, but just don’t. It’s so much more worth it to buy a separate waterproof one, like I do.

There are also two different eyeliner options in the picture above, but I only use one at a time (I know… shocking!). I prefer the roll-up pencil, but the eye shadow/brush works too if for some reason the pencil isn’t available/has run out/etc.


Step One: I put eye liner on my upper lid. I get it as close to my lashes as I possibly can, and I try to keep the line from being too thick—I don’t want it to look like I’m going to a rock concert (usually).

What I Use: I only use MAC products when it comes to my eyeliner. I don’t do that because I’m a make up snob (let’s be real, I get the rest of my make up at Target or Walmart even). I do it because they truly are the best products, that I have found. They stay on the longest; they don’t smudge easily; they are easy to put on; the pencil doesn’t break. And so on. I prefer the roll-up pencil, but the eyeshadow and an angled liner brush (like this one) work well too. I get the blackest shade in both the pencil (called Graphblack) and the shadow (called Carbon).


Step Two: Once my eyeliner is on and dry, I use my first curler to get the initial curl going. According to everything I’ve ever heard, you’re only supposed to curl your eyelashes BEFORE you put mascara on—doing it after mascara application is damaging to your eyelashes, but I’ll get to that later. Once the lashes are sufficiently curled, I apply the first layer of mascara using my waterproof mascara.

What I Use: For the first layer, I use Maybelline Full ‘N Soft waterproof in “blackest black”. It is a great mascara—it rarely clumps and it’s very easy to apply. I love the brush—nothing too fancy, just straightforward and practical like a good mascara brush should be. I personally like my lashes to be a little darker than this mascara is able to make them, which is why I don’t stop here. But if you don’t need or like a ton of mascara on your lashes, you could probably stop after this step and be just great!


Step Three: Here is where it gets “dirty secret” comes in. While the waterproof layer is drying, I use my second lash curler to very lightly curl my lashes again, over the layer of waterproof I’ve already put on. (I say very lightly because, don’t push down so hard on your lashes that it cuts them in half. Yikes!) I do this against my better judgement every single day, because I know in my heart of hearts that it’s not good for my lashes (apparently it pulls them out or cuts them in half… stuff like that). But I can’t help it because the way my lashes curl while they’re still slightly wet from the first layer of mascara is just dreamy! Once the lashes have been curled sufficiently (again), I brush my lashes with my second mascara, adding a second, and even sometimes a third, layer.

What I Use: For this second and third layer, I use L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. You’ll see the website claims that it will “separate and build lashes,” “build volume,” and make lashes “5x fuller.” I’m here to tell you that those claims are all accurate, or my middle name isn’t…. well, I don’t have a middle name. But the claims are true!

Step Four: Sometimes I skip this step, depending on my mood. But more often than not, I’ll take my “layer one” mascara (the Maybelline version, since it’s waterproof) and lightly add a layer to my bottom lashes. I think that this might be something those make up artists advise against too, but who knows for sure these days! 😉

Step Five: Touch up. Once I’m done with the first four (sometimes three) steps, I do a quick touch up. I’ll add more layers of the L’oreal mascara if I need to. I’ll use an eyelash brush (or my fingers) to separate some lashes that may have clumped in the process. I’ll do a final curl (gasp!) if my lashes haven’t held the curl from before. I just mess around until the lashes are how I like them.


I hope this wasn’t too scandalous (or too long) a post for you guys! And I hope you all aren’t judging me for my “dirty little beauty secret.” It took a lot to open up and put myself out there like that 😉 If you guys wanna try this method out, let us know how it works for you! Or if you already have mascara-applying methods that work for you, share them with us. We’d love to hear about them!

As always, thanks for reading 🙂 We love you guys!

BONUS TIP: I know this is old news to a lot of you, but just in case some of you haven’t heard yet, I want to share (I’m just that kind) and you can thank me later. Do NOT pump your mascara. Just Google it if you really want to know why. I’ve already talked your ears off with this post. But honestly, NOT pumping mascara = so worth it.

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