Published on September 30th, 2013 | by beauty international


The Different Types of Mascara Wands and How They Work

Every beauty company has a wide range of different mascaras, each claiming that their formula contains unique ingredients for thickening and lengthening our eyelashes - but actually, a good portion of the effect mascara has on our eyes comes down to the wand, or brush.

Mascara wands and brushes are equally as important as the formula itself, and since different shaped and sized wands serve different and specific purposes, it’s really important to choose the right one for your eyelashes and needs. We’re going to run you through the common and not-so-common types of mascara wand, so you can choose one that’s perfect for the look you want to achieve.

It’s also worth bearing in mind the different types of bristles, too. The bristles on most mascara wands are made from synthetic fibres; shorter, densely-packed bristles are great for adding volume, while loosely-spaced, longer bristles lengthen and separate lashes.


Mascara Comb Wands

Comb wands are usually small and flat, and made out of either plastic and rubber. They have evenly-spaced little individual teeth, which are designed to separate and define the eyelashes from one other. While comb wands are great at exaggerating length and really defining each individual lash, they don’t really add much volume. Great for those with naturally thick lashes, or people who are just looking for extra length and definition.

image: Mirenesse Cougar Mascara , Smashbox Hyperlash Mascara

image: Mirenesse Cougar Mascara ($39.95), Smashbox Hyperlash Mascara (£19)


Mascara Straight Wands

The shape of straight mascara wands means they’re super easy to use, and very versatile - you can tilt them and use them at an angle to get coverage over every single lash, even very small ones or those located in the corner of your eyes. Straight wands are great for people with big eyes or lots of eyelashes, but those with smaller eyes might want to find a wand that offers more accuracy. Straight wands with big, thick bristles are great for adding volume and curl too - the fatter the brush, the further round each lash has to curl. Straight wands give natural-looking volume and length, and are the perfect option for daily wear.

image: Rimmel London Glam’eyes Lash Flirt Mascara , Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

image: Rimmel London Glam’eyes Lash Flirt Mascara (£7.19), Benefit They’re Real! Mascara (£17.55)


Mascara Wands Curved

Curved mascara wands are the perfect way to go for those with poker straight lashes, or those looking for some extra curl and lift. Curved wands create a gentle curl in the centre of the eye and lift the edges up to make eyes seem bigger and more open. Make sure you use the wand so that the curve faces upwards, and the lashes sit into the curve - sweep the wand from side to side across your lashes whilst pulling it upwards from the root to the tip to encourage your lashes to curl.

image: Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara , Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

image: Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara (£15.30), Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara (£23)

Mascara Wands Tapered

Tapered wands, sometimes known as ‘heart-shaped brushes’, are basically the same as straight wands except they taper off to a point at the tip. This means you can get great volume and length from the thicker part of the brush, but you can also use the tip to pick out individual lashes for extra definition - or to coat the little lashes on the inner corner of your eye. Tapered wands are great if you’re a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to mascara, since you can spend as long as you want applying and arranging each individual lash!

image: MAC False Lashes Extreme, Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

image: MAC False Lashes Extreme (£18), Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara (£22)


Mascara Wands Spherical

The unusual shape of the spherical mascara wand might look a little like a medieval battle weapon, but it actually works in exactly the same way as a regular mascara wand - only a lot smaller. Like a comb wand, spherical wands are great for separating and defining each lash, except you have to work in smaller sections. The smaller size means you can be super accurate and pick out each individual lash, but the shape means you might transfer product onto your eyelids more often, especially if you have hooded lids.

Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara, Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Waterproof Mascara

image: L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara (£5.50), Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Waterproof Mascara (£22)

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