How to Thicken Lashes with Mascara

Get Thick, Luxurious Lashes in Just 5 Steps

Mascara brush
Alex Cao / Getty Images

There are many ways to apply mascara, but the very best way to get the thickest, non-clumpy lashes is to apply lengthening mascara followed by thickening mascara.

Yes, the types of mascaras really do mean something; it's not just a marketing ploy. Just be sure to apply the second coat before the first one dries. Here's how to do it in only 5 steps.

Step 1: Curl Your Lashes 

Never skip this step; nothing opens up the eyes more.

The curler gives just the right amount of curl at the root of my lashes. Try blasting the curler with 3 seconds of heat from your blow dryer.

Learn more about How to Use an Eyelash Curler.

Step 2: Apply Mascara Primer

Primer separates the lashes, prepping them for the most optimal mascara application. Try Clinique Lash Building Primer.

Step 3: Apply the Lengthening Mascara

Make sure you do not pump the wand in and out of the mascara. This will dry out your mascara.

Always start your stroke as close to the roots as possible. Place the wand of the lengthening mascara deep into the base of your lashes, wiggling it left to right. It's actually the mascara placed near the roots -- not the tips -- that gives the illusion of length.

Pull the wand up and through lashes, wiggling as you go. The wiggling part is key because it separates lashes.

Suggested lengthening mascaras:

    Step 4: Repeat With the Volumizing Mascara

    Repeat step 3 with the thickening mascara BEFORE the first coat dries. Make sure this coat follows while lashes are still wet with mascara.

    Some makeup artists like to apply mascara to the back of lashes to double coat them. To do this, close the eye and place the mascara wand on top of lashes at the base and pull through to remove any clumps.

    Try these mascaras:

    Step 5: Lightly Paint Bottom Lashes

    You can lightly paint your bottom lashes. If yours are naturally long, skip this step.

    One last tip: If you have a light complexion and blonde hair, a dark brown may look less harsh than a black mascara.

    Check out these other mascara tips and tricks:

    • 15 Mascara Tricks & Tips
    • 5 Different Types of Mascara: Which One's For You?
    • When Should You Throw Out Mascara?