Preventing Clumpy Mascara Is Easier Than You Think

Everyone prioritizes their makeup differently. Maybe the number one thing you can't live without is your eyebrow pencil. Or perhaps you'd be lost without your blush. However, we bet that, for most people, mascara is at the top of their essentials list. Unless you have naturally thick lashes or you wear synthetic ones, mascara can make a world of difference to your appearance. Creating a stark contrast with your eye whites, the product gives the effect of bigger, brighter eyes.

And as much as mascara can go so right, it can also go so, so wrong, making your lashes look flaky and heavy. Even if you're using the best mascara for natural-looking lashes, without the correct technique, you'll end up with clumpy, thick mascara. Don't worry; you don't have to be a makeup artist to get the light, fluffy lashes we all want. There are just a few simple tricks to preventing clumpy mascara.

How to properly prep for application

Preventing clumpy lashes starts way before you even get to putting on your mascara. Most people make a big mistake the second they take out their makeup bag — holding on to old mascara. Amanda Rodriguez, brand manager of WLDKAT, warned Byrdie "Mascara's shelf life starts ticking the second you open it, so make sure you keep an eye on how long you've had that tube rolling around your bag." Not only will this save you from an eye infection, but it will also save you from dried-out, syrupy mascara sticking your lashes together.

Once you've ensured you have fresh, usable mascara, you'll want to prep your lashes properly. Makeup artist Erica Taylor told Real Simple, "Not removing mascara properly will not only cause a clumpy replay, it [can] clog your roots and lead to a possible stye or lash loss." No matter how tired you are at the end of the night or lazy you're feeling, make it a priority to remove heavy eye makeup without damaging your lashes. If your lashes are bare, you're ready to start applying.

The best application technique to avoid clumpy mascara

So, now that you have a tube of unexpired mascara and a set of clean lashes, you can whip out that wand of ink and get to applying. If you just dive straight in, brushing your lashes at random, you can end up with some serious clumping. Professional makeup artist Veronica Chu broke down the best brushing technique in Elle Canada. "Starting at the root of your lashes and with a back and forth motion, apply your mascara all the way up to the tip of the lash," said Chu.

This is an effective way to keep your lashes separated for a natural, healthy look. However, it can still go wrong if you apply too many layers. In her interview with Byrdie, Rodriguez advised that "two coats should be the limit ... Anything more will over-pile and give you spidery lashes." After applying your second layer, and having followed the previously mentioned tips, your mascara will have a flawless, clump-free finish.