Dropping Knowledge: How to Use a Mascara Fan Brush Monday 07 October, 2013


If lashes that seem naturally ah-maze-ing are your thing, you may just want to try out the tool that will give them to you: the mascara fan brush.

From time to time, what’s being pushed beauty-wise on the runways doesn’t always translate seamlessly to the streets. But I’m of the belief that you can twist and manipulate a runway trend into a real-way look; that idea is pretty much one of the tenets of Fear No Beauty. But this trend, I cannot get behind: the no mascara movement. Listen: The moment the wand touches my lashes and travels its way from root to tip, I feel like a new woman. Seriously. If there’s nothing else to be brushed, sponged or painted onto my face, mascara has to happen. It must.

But backstage, the naked lash is so prevalent, it’s almost a joke between beauty editors. We nod and listen to the reasoning behind the bare fringe, but we just can’t co-sign on it. Sorry; most women won’t set foot out the door without a little lash-coating. We know our readers will laugh this faux fad into oblivion.

Even though mascara seems to be the shunned one backstage, another lash movement I witnessed is definitely a real-word must: dropping the wand in favor of a fan brush. Whaaaa? Why? Other than making you feel like a fancy painter (it really does make you feel this way; trust), the mascara fan brush deposits a light coating of color rather than a big dollop. It allows you get right to the root of the lashes, which some wands make extremely hard. And getting your mascara to the very root of your lash line makes a huge difference.

What is a mascara fan brush? It’s made with synthetic hairs that splay into a flat fan shape. Using the brush is pretty straightforward: Take your mascara wand and gently run it against the tip of the fan brush, being sure to “load” both sides of the brush with pigment. Do this until you feel you have the right amount of pigment (this may take a few tries to determine your optimal dose). Then, start with the fan brush against the root of your upper lashes (like you would a mascara wand) and softly sweep it up the length of the lashes to the very tip. You may want to apply more pressure at the base; the more color you have at the root of the lash, the more dramatic the effect. Repeat this application on both sides of the lashes—top side and underneath. Keep layering on the color, using the same motion and the same pressure, until you achieve your desired effect. The lower lashes are a little trickier; keep a very light touch, start at the roots and sweep the color down the lengths. You’ll only do this on the topside of the lashes.

Here are two mascara fan brushes to give a whirl!


BARGAIN: Sephora PRO Visionary Lash Fan Brush #220, $18, sephora.com.


SPLURGE: Claudio Riaz Lash Touch Brush, $65, barneys.com.

As with anything new and slightly foreign, using a mascara fan brush takes practice. But if you’re the type of person who shuns the idea of “no mascara” looks, this is definite a tool to try!

Would you ever ditch mascara? Sound off in the comments!

Karie L. Frost Signature


One Comment

  • Sylvia McAllister says:

    I would never go without mascara. It’s just the finishing touch for me. Kind of like lipstick and gloss. They can have that look. It’s not for me.

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