Mascara Vocabulary Lesson: Thickening, Lengthening, Separating, Etc.


Mascara enhances the eyelashes for amazing, come hither eyes. Believe it or not, the earliest use of mascara has been traced to ancient Egypt. While the ancients had limited types of mascara ingredients to choose from, we have a variety of types available today, and it can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help decipher the differences between various mascara types so you can find the right formula (or formulas) for you. Grab a notebook, and we’ll get started…

Thickening Mascara: Thickening mascaras are formulated to provide thicker or more voluminous lashes for lashes that are thin or sparse. But really, anyone who wants to add some va va voom to their lashes should go for a thickening formula. These mascaras typically contain polymers or unique waxes that can help create volume, and who doesn’t want more lash volume? The result is a fringe of lashes that appears darker and denser than the original lashes.

Lengthening Mascara: Lengthening mascaras are ideal if you have short lashes. These mascaras contain formulas that rely on polymers that actually cling to the top of the lashes to lengthen them past the tip. These mascaras usually come with a thickly bristled brush to provide the thick application needed to create this lengthened look.

Separating Mascara: Separating mascara is sometimes referred to as lash-defining mascara. It is formulated to add definition to each single lash. These mascaras often provide more precision for each lash, while also darkening and lengthening the lashes.

Curling Mascara: Curling mascara is a miracle worker, especially for those of us with short or poorly defined. These mascaras have formulas that lift the lashes to give them a more distinct curl. The curl of the application brush also helps to curl the lashes.

 Smudge-Proof Mascara: Created to withstand moisture and eye-rubbing, smudge-proof mascara has a waxy oil base that makes it waterproof. If you plan to be outdoors, or simply need your mascara to perform well all day, smudge-proof mascara is a good choice.

Water-Proof Mascara: Like smudge-proof mascara, waterproof mascara is also formulated with a waxy oil base that keeps the mascara from running when it comes in contact with water. If you plan to go swimming, heading out into the rain, or are going to a wedding (especially if you’re the bride!), water-proof mascara is a good option.

Non-Clumping Mascara: Non-clumping mascaras contain silk extracts and glycerin to minimize the formation of clumps that can otherwise make the lashes look messy. This mascara is also preferred among women who want a more natural look for their lashes.

Depending on your lashes’ needs or the look you want, you may choose to have a number of these mascara types on hand. Each is created with specific benefits in mind.

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