For me, mascara is all about getting a pretty, natural look, in as little time as possible. It’s one of the few types of makeup that can really make a huge impact, without looking over-the-top, in seconds flat. As a toddler-mom, the seconds count.
The problem, however, appears on the back end, the removal. I have sensitive skin, including an especially tricky patch of eczema that pops up on my left eyelid when I least want it to. My dermatologist has made me swear off eye makeup remover, because it’s too harsh for for my overactive face.
How I Remove Mascara
For mascara removal, I use vaseline. I plop it copiously onto my eyelids and lashes, and wipe it clean with a cotton ball; a trick I learned from a friend. It works great, but I’ve noticed that expensive mascaras tend have better staying power.
Now in a lot of cases, that is what you want. You want your mascara to last all day.
I, personally, just don’t want it to take forever to remove. I also don’t want it to “last” as a grayish sheen on my lower eyelid for days after I attempt to take it off. I have my own all-natural dark undereye circles, thankyouverymuch.
My $5 Mascara Brand
After years of trial and error, I’ve found that the much less expensive drugstore mascara Maybeline Great Lash ($6) is a perfect performer. It lasts all day without smudging (unless I accidentally wipe my eye) and it comes off at night without too much fuss.
This mascara is no secret. Most beauty magazines recommend it as their budget workhorse.
Performance-wise it does a good job thickening and lengthening, but I’ve definitely seen more noticeable results with some of the pricier brands that claim to coat each lash, creating a false-lash-like “tube” around each one. Until I remembered a secret I learned in my 20’s, the business card trick.
How the Business Card Trick Works
- Use your non-dominant hand to hold a business card vertically behind your lashes.
- Use your dominant hand to swipe the mascara over those lashes, pressing them up against the business card as you coat.
- Make 2 or 3 swipes per section of lashes, swirling the brush back-and-forth as you pull up.
This allows the brush to coat each lash fully, without the lashes being able to escape!
With that kind of access to every last, even my drugstore superstar delivers dramatic results.
PS: Want instant access to 15 more low-cost products I can’t live without?