Ruth Griffin: Perfect peepers – add drama with luxurious lashes

What’s the one piece in the vast make-up armoury that nearly every woman uses? It won’t come as a surprise that this go-to item is humble but hard-working mascara! More than 91pc of us wear it daily – but why? As opposed to complicated make-up techniques like contouring and tricky-to-master eyeshadow application, one or two coats of the black stuff gives a super speedy lift and definition to the face and banishes that sleepy-eyed look.

For luscious lashes that head for the heavens and give us power peepers in a jiffy, what is the right formula to use? Doesn’t there seem to be an overwhelmingly large array of mascaras to choose from? To demystify the process, I’ve outlined the different types of mascara and listed some of my fave options – from lengthening, volumising, primed peepers to no-smudge, no-clump, long-lasting budget buys.

How much to use? One or two coats should be fine but make-up legend Charlotte Tilbury famously said that up to 10 layers is okay! She says this works perfectly for mega-watt, picture-perfect peepers, but advises being sure to brush through with a spoolie or old toothbrush to make sure there are no clumps. Perfect peepers ahoy!

For eyes that look wide awake and defined, you need a good quality mascara that doesn’t smudge, clump, dry out, or end up half-way down your face by lunch time! Read on for some of my hard-working favourites.

No more panda eyes…

Mascara is notoriously tricky to remove. The key to removing it properly is to opt for oil-based cleanser. A great option is Garnier Skin Active Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water, €5.46, from pharmacies nationwide. For sensitive eyes, a brilliant natural way to remove mascara is plain old castor oil — try Pukka Castor Oil, €12.99, from health stores nationwide.


10 of the best Mascaras


Best no-smudge mascara

If you’re hitting the gym and working up a sweat, the last thing you want is tell-tale panda eyes! For a mascara that doesn’t budge, but still gives lashes a defined, plumped up look, try L’Oreal Paris Paradise Mascara Waterproof, €18.45, from pharmacies nationwide.

Best primer

If your lashes are particularly fine and sparse (this naturally happens with age) a lash primer can make all the difference. A primer is a thick white coat that clings to the lash and plumps the hair out. You then apply your usual mascara to the now fuller lash. Maybelline Lash Sensational Primer, €10.99 from pharmacies nationwide

Best for volume

If you fancy lashes that look plump and luscious, look no further than Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Volume 2, €32. This is jam-packed with nourishing oils and conditioning ingredients for super glossy lashes that don’t feel brittle and dry after using. From Brown Thomas, BT2 and Arnotts.

Best curl

For the ultimate in ‘Curl Power’, try my personal favourite, the best-selling Benefit Roller Lash, €27. The Hook ‘n’ Roll brush grabs, separates, lifts and curls lashes and, best of all, there is no need to re-apply this lil’ beaut! From department stores nationwide.

Best lengthening

For lashes that head for the heavens, you want a lengthening mascara formula. You also need to alter your technique by bringing the mascara wand as near to the root as possible and ‘jiggling’ it upwards. After two coats, apply a final coat just to the tips for extra elongation. Try No 7 Full 360 Mascara, €18.50, from Boots stores nationwide.

Best budget

For a no-nonsense, wallet-friendly lash helper, look no further than Misslyn Black Joker Mascara, €5.95. This one-hit wonder of jet black, volumising mascara won’t break the beauty budget! From pharmacies nationwide and Penneys.

Best for contact lens wearers

If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ll know that you have to be careful when choosing mascara. A great option is Lancôme Grandiose Mascara, €35, which Julia Roberts recently rocked on the Oscars red carpet. From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.

Best no-clump

If you’re on the lookout for a mega mascara that is guaranteed not to clump, check out the gorgeous Adriana Lima at the Oscars wearing Maybelline Snapscara, €11.99. From pharmacies nationwide.

Best colour

Most people opt for black and brown colour mascara – but some of us love a hit of colour on our lashes. If that sounds like you, check out YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture, €32.50. With nine tones from glittering gold to hot pink, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.

Best all-rounder

If you want a mascara that’s long-lasting, smudge-free and works particularly well on the lower lash line, check out Clarins Supra Volume Mascara, €22.50, from department stores and pharmacies nationwide.

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