The simple mascara trick that will make your eyelashes look longer.

As a beauty writer, I thought I’d seen every mascara trick out there. Once, deep in the comments of an obscure beauty blog, I read one woman’s tip of microwaving her mascara wand for one second before applying it. She advised against microwaving it for three seconds, because at that point, it caught on fire. I never tried that hack myself, but sometimes I wonder how that lady is going, and I hope her eyes and eyelids aren’t burnt. So, when I heard that Gwyneth Paltrow’s makeup artist was working some mascara wand magic, I approached with the caution.

The “push and wiggle” mascara trick was first spotted on the Instagram feed of makeup artist Georgie Eisdell, who counts Isla Fisher, Sophie Turner, Claire Foy, Thandie Newton and yes, Gwyneth, as regular clients. In the video, Eisdell appears to apply mascara in a normal way, until you see that she has pushes the brush deep into the roots of the model’s lashes, and then wiggles the wand back and forth as she works her way to the tips of the lashes, and then repeats it for a few more coats. Oh yeah, and the model’s eyes are closed. The result? Length, and va-va-va-volume.

So, I may have been too scared to microwave my Great Lash, but surely I could do this, right? My lashes always need a boost of something – okay, everything – as they are naturally short, straight and fine.

how to apply mascara
Before. Image: Supplied.

Here’s a before photo. At left, you can see that I’ve already applied mascara, but in my usual, non-celebrity way. I curled my lashes, and then brushed the mascara through twice, with my eyes open. I used L’Oreal Paradise Waterproof Mascara, which is my current favourite. On the other eye, there is no mascara.

It was time to hack my eye, I mean, try that mascara hack. I leaned into the mirror, squeezed my eye shut, and rammed my mascara wand right into it. Boom! I pushed, I wiggled, and I couldn’t see what I was doing because the eye that was open was blurry. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, obviously. I also started laughing, because I felt pretty ridiculous, applying makeup without actually seeing what I was doing.


I am happy to report that I did not injure myself…but after seeing this photo, you’d be easily fooled into thinking that I’d recently walked into a doorknob.

how to apply mascara
After. Image: Supplied.
how to apply mascara
After. Image: Supplied.

There were black blobs of mascara everywhere - under my eye, all over my eyelid, and thankfully, on my lashes. This was all part of the process, as even Eisdell smudges mascara onto the model’s eyelid in her video.

My lashes did look longer, thicker and more uplifted. The mascara trick had worked! Hurrah! It was a very dramatic look, as my lashes were clumped together in parts. I think clumpy, spidery lashes can look cool, so I was into it.


However, I had to then spend a minute or two removing the excess mascara from my eyelid and under my eye, using a cotton bud dipped into waterproof eye makeup remover. I accidentally took off some concealer, too, which I had to re-apply.

how to apply mascara
Final. Image: Supplied.

For this final photo, I tried the “push and wiggle” technique on both eyes, and there is a visible difference to the length and volume of my lashes. Gone were the wimpy, skinny lashes of my everyday life, replaced by oomph and chunk and thickness.

So, the important lesson here is that this mascara trick works. However, it is not for the faint of heart. You need to be unafraid to jab that mascara wand into your eye area, with one eye shut and possibly one blurry or laughing eye. You need to have the time and makeup remover on hand to correct your mistakes.

The end result is exaggerated and messy, which is great if you have a rock’n’roll vibe, but not if you prefer to look natural and sweet. I probably won’t use this technique again, as I’m conscious of the waste that makeup wipes and cotton buds create, and also, I think I could achieve the same effect by just loading on the mascara. With my eyes open, of course.

Carla Gee is a writer and illustrator, living in Canberra. You can follow her on Instagram, @bycarlagee.

Would you try the “push and wiggle” mascara trick? Do you have a mascara hack that we need to know?

Love all things beauty? Come join our You Beauty Facebook group for more chit chat about things to put on your face. And body. And hair.