February 05, 2013

Back to basics - mascara wands

Applying mascara must have been much simpler in the ancient Egyptian times when they used bone or ivory dipped in kohl to darken their lashes. Now there are so many different types of mascara wands out there that you can't help wondering if they actually make a difference or if it's just a marketing gimmick.

Having tried many mascaras in my time I would have to say that the wand makes a huge difference. In fact based on my experience mascara wands sometimes matter more than the formula itself.

Here are some of the most common types of wands out there, and what type of effect each one gives.

Straight wand
  • The original all rounder
  • Gives natural looking volume and length
  • Good for every day wear
Curved wand
  • Ideal for those with straight lashes
  • Lifts and curls lashes from the roots for a doll-like appearance
  • To use, hold the brush so the curve is facing upwards

Large wand
  • Densely packed for extra volume
  • The bristles grab each lash and coat them for a thickening effect
  • Not ideal for catching shorter lashes

Tapered wand
  • Great for getting to those pesky little lashes in the corners
  • The thicker middle gives volume and length 
  • Another good all rounder to have on hand

Plastic bristles
  • Great for giving separation and definition to lashes
  • Sometimes also made of flexible rubber
  • Good at providing volume as well as length. 

Comb  wand
  • Good for lengthening and separating lashes 
  • Will not add much volume

My favourite trick for mega thick and long lashes is to use two different types of mascara wands. That's right, if I want lashes that make an impact I first use a large wand mascara (Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express) to give my lashes volume, then use a comb wand mascara (Australis VoluptuLash) to define and lengthen them.

I hope you found this post useful!

What's your favourite type of wand? Do you layer two different mascaras to get more length and volume like I do?


  1. Loved this post <3 Informative one xx

  2. Very useful post! I used to have a curved brush mascara and it was one of my favourite brushes. I've never seen the comb one before though, looks good. :)

    1. The comb brushes are becoming quite popular now... they're not the best on their own, but really good when used after you've already applied mascara so you can get some definition.

  3. I like wands with plastic bristles. I have Asian lashes (ie short and stumpy) so I find that the plastic bristles define my lashes better, give them better length and volume. My HG is Australis' Voluptulash. So happy to find a cheapie that works so well for me :)

    1. I LOVE the Australis mascara, it's such great quality for the price! Go Australis!

  4. I tend to stick to one mascara but sometimes wait for the first coat to dry and then give it another going over to add more volume!

    1. I love really dramatic lashes so I always end up layering 2 or 3 coats all the time :)

  5. This post was very informative. I'm going to pay more attention to the type of wands I use.

  6. Nice and informative post .. I am mainly interested in volume and curl .. which wand and mascara do u recommend for that ?

    1. I think a curved brush with dense bristles might work well. One of the new Maybelline Falsies has a curved brush which I have a feeling is for curl/volume but since I haven't tried it myself I can't tell you how well it works.

  7. I don't have a favourite wand! My favourite mascaras at the moment are Covergirl LashBlast Volume (Plastic Bristles) and Benefit BadGal (Thick bristles). I guess I just like mascaras that give me lots of volume as apposed to length.

  8. I layer my mascara all the time, at the moment im using DJV Beautenizer volume mascara (absolutely amazing!) with their fibre lengthening mascara over xx

  9. Great post! I tend to prefer natural bristles to plastic ones.

  10. Great post! I definitely do the two mascara trick, have been since college.
    I start with Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara then follow up with Armani or the new Chanel Le Volume mascara.

  11. Hi, the nail polish is Essie Van D'Go :)



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