The mascara vs. no mascara debate has advocates on each side although it isn’t as heated a debate as, say, between the Republicans and Democrats on tax reform. At its heart, the debate centers on the necessity and safety of applying a chemical-based product near one of the most sensitive organs of the body – the eyes. Since its earliest use in modern times, there have been reports of allergic reactions to mascara, a valid cause of concern for society.
But first, what is mascara? This is a cosmetic product used in the enhancement of the eyelashes mainly by darkening, lengthening and/or thickening, as well as defining them. Like most makeup products, it comes in liquid, cream, and cake form in a wide range of formulation; the liquid form is the most common because of its ease of use.
Mascara also contains oils, waxes and pigments as well as preservatives like all makeup products. These ingredients give mascara the desired texture, consistency, color, and applicability on the eyelashes. This is applied using either a rod or a brush.
Mascara vs. No Mascara
In many societies since ancient times, the importance of the eyes and eyelashes in the definition of beauty cannot be overemphasized. The Egyptians, for example, used kohl to emphasize their eyes, a practice that has been passed on to modern times through a wide range of eye makeup products including eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara.
But while thick, long and lush lashes will likely always be popular, there’s a new trend in the industry – the no mascara makeup look. This may sound unappealing for men and women who like lush lashes but there are valid reasons for choosing the no mascara look.
Many people, for one thing, have little to no eyelashes at all due to underlying health issues, such as thyroid disorders, cancer treatments, and skin and hair infections.
Many may also choose to skip the mascara for personal reasons, such as their obsessive tendency to rub their eyes or their inability to apply mascara due to shaky hands.
In these cases, the mascara vs. no mascara debate is moot! When you come think about it, the use of mascara in particular and makeup in general boils down to personal preferences. There should be no judgment no matter your choice in the matter.
Is Mascara Bad For Your Eyelashes?
There have been reports that prolonged mascara use can thin the eyelashes, even make them fall out eventually. Many people then choose to apply eye makeup without mascara because of it. But is there truth to it?
Yes, but it’s usually true when you’re using mascaras with a petroleum-based formula. These mascaras can cause allergic reactions, such as redness, itchiness and swelling around the eye area, as well as slow down the growth of the eyelashes’ follicles. The result: Thinning eyelashes that not even several coats of mascara can remedy and, in fact, repeated use can worsen the problem.
You must then be careful about choosing your mascara. Your best bet is an all-natural mascara with a hypoallergenic label that contains ingredients that nourish your eyelashes. You will find mascaras that actually moisturize and condition your eyelashes while also making them appear longer and lusher.
You may also want to reconsider the use of waterproof mascaras. While these are great for hot and humid weather, these are more difficult to remove so you will likely rub your eyelids more forcefully.
You’re not doing your eyelashes any favor with the greater friction; use waterproof mascaras only when absolutely necessary for this reason.
If you don’t like brown- or black-colored mascara for any reason, you can also opt for the best clear mascara. Think of it as getting the best of both worlds – you will still get thicker, longer eyelashes without the added pigments (i.e., coloring agents) that can irritate your eyes and stain your clothes.
Does Mascara Ruin Your Eyelashes?
Yes, it can but it isn’t about the mascara per se but in the way it is applied on and removed from the eyelashes. As previously mentioned as well, making the right choice in an all-natural, hypoallergenic mascara is a must. Think of it this way - start with the right choice and end with the right removal so that mascara nourishes your eyelashes, not ruin them.
Let’s start with applying mascara the correct way.
- Avoid pumping the wand in and out of the tube. Just gently twist it in a back and forth motion or in a circular motion so that the desired amount of mascara can be picked up by the wand. (Pumping the wand pushes air into the wand that, in turn, dries out the mascara faster resulting in clumps.)
- Scrape off excess mascara from the wand on the edge of the tube. Your eyelashes will then be less clumpy once the mascara is applied on them.
- Curl your lashes first so that the mascara can be smoothly applied; it also lengthens the lashes and opens up the eyes.
- Start applying mascara to your bottom lashes since it’s a great way to prevent the appearance of those annoying tiny black dots on your eyelids. Slightly tilt your head forward so that there’s less chance of mascara getting into your cheeks.
- Apply mascara on your top lashes. Look straight forward, place the wand at the base of your lashes, and move it upwards in a slow sweep. Use a back-and-forth motion when moving the wand away from the base of your lashes to their tips; the motion gives your eyelashes a curled effect.
- Repeat until you get the desired number of coats, usually 2 to 3.
With the proper application, you can actually pull off the only mascara look! Your eyes will be the main focus of your face and we know the saying about the eyes being the windows to the soul.
We don’t suggest applying more than 2 coats of mascara for everyday use. The thicker the mascara, the harder it will be to remove and the higher the risk for lash breakage during removal. You may well end up with shorter and sparser lashes in the long run.
And neither share your mascara nor borrow the mascara of others, if you can help it. You don’t want to be exposed to the germs that may be lurking in your friend’s one-year old mascara.
Removing mascara is just as important as applying it, too. Be gentle when removing mascara so as not to expose your eyelashes to more friction and force than necessary.
Use the best makeup remover wipes when wiping away mascara off your lashes. Use gentle motions from near your inner eye and going outwards to the corner of your eye.
Change the wipe when it becomes dirty with mascara stains and repeat as many times as necessary to remove most of the mascara. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser afterwards and pat dry your face with a clean towel.
How to Look Good Without Mascara
Yes, you can look and feel beautiful with a makeup without mascara! You don’t have to feel naked with a no eye makeup either for as long as you have the confidence to pull it off.
Besides, there’s no need to wear mascara all the time. Makeup artists in fashion shows ditch it all the time, too, because of the amount of time it takes to put on, much less perfect.
Don’t worry as you can still look good even without the goo, so to speak.
- Apply petroleum jelly on the tips of your lashes for a fuller and longer look. Be sure to curl your lashes beforehand for a better effect.
- Always curl your eyes as part of your makeup routine. Your lashes will appear longer, curlier and lusher even without mascara – or perhaps, you can use clear mascara for a more natural look.
- Make your lashes appear fuller by drawing a fine line as close as possible to your inner lash line. A dark pencil eyeliner should do the trick.
- Apply a beige-colored eye shadow around your eyes, among the highly recommended makeup looks without eyeliner. Your eyes will look more awake and less tired, a great trick when you have bloodshot eyes after an all-night work or party.
Apply dark eye shadow as close as possible to your lash line, yet another makeup without eyeliner style. You will still get a similar effect as when you used an eyeliner but instead of a solid line, you will get a softer look.
Use mascara as eyeliner, too, specifically in creating bigger brows. Your brow will frame your eyes in the same way as lashes do. You should use fine, feathery strokes using your mascara in creating the illusion of more hair in your eyebrows.
- For an eyeliner without mascara look that still gives the illusion of lusher lashes, go for the sultry look. It’s a trick used by makeup artists to create smoky, sultry eyes without mascara and fake lashes. Line your eyes – lid, bottom lid, water line, and upper rim - with a smudgy kohl pencil and blend in using a Q-tip or a small brush.
You can also attract attention to your bright lips or rosy cheeks. Go for a glossier, bolder lipstick look or plump up your cheeks for a radiant glow.
In conclusion, mascara may be a must-have beauty item for many women but it doesn’t mean that you should always wear it. You can skip it whenever you feel like it and layer it on when your mood strikes.