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The All-Time Best Mascara Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Always Known

No matter how many times you've read a beauty article about the best way to get long, thick, enviable lashes, you still mess it up—every time (or nearly). But that doesn't mean your day of gorgeous full lashes will never come. We got top makeup artists to share the most ingenious tricks they've learned along the way.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Spin cycle

Sure, you know not to pump your mascara, but there is another technique for getting more lash-lengthening formula on your brush. “Mascara is extremely fragile,” explains Mickey Williams, a celebrity makeup artist. And too much air can decrease the life expectancy of your tube of mascara. Instead, “open it slightly and then swivel the wand around inside the tube to coat the wand and not let air in,” instructs Williams. Find out the best drugstore mascara for the lashes you want.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Scrub a dub

A clean tube of mascara means a smoother application and a better finish—really. “You should clean your wand with warm water every other week to combat build-up— especially for lengthening formulas,” explains Williams. “Make sure the wand is completely dry before placing it back in the tube.” And make sure you keep the tube covered with tape or a disposable wand while cleaning. Here’s how often you should replace your beauty products.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Give it a twirl

You know you need to curl your lashes, but there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. “Start as close to the root as possible without pinching yourself, then move up the lash and curl again,” says Rick DiCecca, global makeup artist, for Artistry Brand by Amway. “Avoid just curling at the root, as this will create a sharp kink in your lashes, and it won’t look natural,” he adds. Find out more genius fixes for common beauty blunders.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Prime coat

For optimum staying power, brush on a primer. The formulas coat strands giving the mascara another surface on which to adhere. They can also help strengthen and lengthen lashes.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Wiggle it

Now, friends, this may be the most key tip of all the hacks for a clump-free fringe: Starting at the root of your lash, move the wand back and forth, lightly. Then move gently outward. By beginning at the root, the weight of the product will not be at the end of the strand. Translation: Your lashes are less likely to droop. Also since the application is heavier at the base, clumps are less likely as you fan out the product. “The wiggling movement, helps create a voluminous, full lash with separated ends and a well-defined base,” says DiCecca.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Double up

For thick lashes that make you look wide awake, try this two-step process: Look up, wiggle your wand across lashes. Then look down and repeat the technique on the opposite side. Continue for up to three coats. The result is fully covered, totally amped, and excellent-for-batting doe-like lashes.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Dry it out

A smear campaign is happening. And the worst part is that you did it to yourself. Stay calm. It’s actually an easy fix. You just need to wait it out a bit. Hold off on trying to remove any product that is still wet, says Williams. “Once it dries, take a clean mascara wand or a stiff brush and flick it off,” she instructs. “When it is dry, mascara just peels right off.” Here are other makeup mistakes you need to avoid.

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The-All-Time-Best-Mascara-Hacks-You'll-Wish-You'd-Always-KnownTatiana Ayazo /

Oil off

Hey, you application ace. Your lashes are so perfect they are the stuff of Rimmel ads. After lunch, however, you’re more raccoon-esque than wall-to-wall Supreme posters. If your mascara is slipping and sliding, oil may be to blame, says Williams. “If you have a dewy finish, say from eye cream or an emollient concealer, the oils in the cream may break down the mascara when you blink over long wear,” she explains. Williams suggests using a fine-milled powder under the eye. And make sure the area is dry to touch before application. Find out more beauty secrets for women with oily skin.

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Color wheel

You won’t be turning any brown eyes blue, but a tinted mascara other than black really enhances the area. Blue and purple tones especially brighten eyes, says DiCecca, who loves experimenting with color. Here’s more on the most flattering eye makeup for your eye color.

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Rotate often

It’s best to ditch a tube of mascara every three months, more often if you use it multiple times a day, agree Dale and Williams. Bacteria build up not only compromises your look, it also compromises your eye health. Not convinced? You will be after you read these gross facts about old makeup.