by ZOE FOSTER
I always see coloured mascaras at cosmetic counters and part of me wants to try them…. Are there rules? I don’t want to look like an ‘80s throwback! Danielle.
Yes, Danielle. There are rules.
But before we get into those, let us remember that colourful mascara can be a lot of fun. (And get those magentas and electric blues out of your head, coloured mascaras come in very earthy, grown-up colours now, and are entirely wearable.)
After all, we’re dip-dying and powdering our hair pink and blue and purple: why so scaredy cat when it comes to our lashes? They add an exciting flash of colour to the eyes, and can really bring out your eye colour if you choose a complementary colour, which will either be in the same colour family, or the complete opposite.
Blue eyes: Browns… or navy blue.
Green eyes: Plum and purple… or moss green.
Brown eyes: Blue…. Or brown.
Fun fact: Blue mascara can make your eye-whites seem brighter, so is good to use when your eyes look like they were rolled in a Persian rug overnight.
Knowing how to utilise these colours in a way that makes your eyes look better, not worse is key. Coloured mascara can be very distracting, which is part of its purpose, I suppose, but lets harness it for good, not evil.
My 6 tips for using coloured mascara:
1. Avoid the lower lash line.
Unless you’re using brown or plum. But “funky” colours? No.
2. To dilute the ZAP! of your coloured mascara:
Do a layer of regular black mascara first, and then follow quickly with your coloured mascara.
3. To bring out the KAPOW! of your coloured mascara:
Use a lash primer (they will be clear or white usually) on your lashes, and then follow with your coloured mascara. Two coats. Oooooh, fancy!
4. Try grown-up coloured mascara:
Like forest green (over grass green), deep navy blue (rather than electric) and burgundy (rather than lilac).
5. To get the most out of coloured mascara when you have very dark lashes:
You will need to choose one with a thick, highly-pigmented texture in a lighter shade.
6. To get the “look” of coloured but not the disco feel:
Do your lashes your usual black, and then paint only the tips of your lashes with the coloured wand.
Fun fact: Brown mascara is FAR more flattering and youthful than black, and should be mandatory for those aged 60 and beyond.
But back to YOU, Danielle!
My guess is you’ve been eyeing off the Dior or YSL coloured mascaras, which are exceptional, but not as cheap as a dame might like for a trend she is unsure of. That said, I own the plum shade, (Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Singulier in Deep Plum) which I use when I am feeling exciting, or my eyes are a bit tired to wake them up. Benefit Bag Girl Lash in plum is also great for green-eyed dames. (Not the jealous ones, the literal ones.)
Or, you might have been sussing out the brand new Beth Ditto for MAC collection, which includes some updates on the cult MAC Zoom mascara (an all-round winner in my opinion – length and definition and volume!) The blue is VERY rich in pigment, and will show up even on very dark lashes, so go easy unless it’s a Big Night Out maybe, while the aubergine shade is actually quite subtle and lovely.
For the more reticent, try Almay’s i-color or CoverGirl’s Exact Eyelights, both of which have flatter-your-eye-colour mascaras in very earthy, wearable tones, and for those who don’t want to spend a bomb, because they might only wear this product a few times, try Mavala’s Eye-Lite waterproof mascara. (Which I pack for holidays, because you can swim and carry on and you still look “made up” and have some colour around your eyes.)
Next week: Perms and teased fringes.
Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air Kisses, Playing The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.
Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Do you wear coloured mascara?