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Mascara Cocktailing Is the Viral Beauty Trick That Makes Lashes Look Thicker + Longer Instantly

And the celebrity makeup artist-approved mascaras that work best

As we age, our lashes are prone to the same shedding, thinning and balding as the hair on our head. The good news? Achieving long, lush lashes is as simple as using the “mascara cocktailing” hack that’s gone viral on social media. And no, it’s not some sort of trendy new beverage! Mascara cocktailing is the process of layering two different mascaras onto lashes for dramatic, lash-enhancing results. Here, all the tips to nailing this technique — plus, the best mascara formulas to use when trying it out.

What is mascara cocktailing?

Implementing mascara cocktailing into your makeup routine is like becoming a makeup “mixologist” of sorts. But instead of whipping up an actual cocktail, you’re brushing two different mascaras onto your eyelashes one at a time to achieve a lusher look. “By layering different mascaras, you’re basically concocting the perfect recipe for your lashes that gives them more volume, extra length or even curls,” says makeup artist Amy Zdunowski-Roeder, who’s worked with Kristen Wiig and Malin Akerman. “It’s like giving your lashes a little boost of confidence, sparkle and a dash of dazzle all at once!”

The benefits of mascara cocktailing

mature woman putting on mascara in mirror
Nikola Ilic/Getty

Most mascaras have one benefit for lashes and are labeled as either “lengthening,” “thickening,” “volumizing” or “curling.” Because of this, very few products can accomplish both tasks, but layering them offers the best of both worlds to help you achieve longer, fuller-looking lashes, notes makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, who’s worked with Diane Kruger and Jessica Biel. “I have been a huge fan of ‘cocktailing’ mascaras for a very long time because sometimes when you layer products on the eyes, you get a really gorgeous hybrid effect,” he says. “It helps create layers of texture in really beautiful ways to make my clients’ eyes pop.”

How to choose what types of mascaras to use

different mascara tubes

For short, thin lashes

If you have short and thin lashes and are interested in lengthening and bulking them up, makeup artist David Maderich, who has worked with Patti LaBelle and Kim Basinger, suggests applying a lengthening mascara, which will “stretch” lashes as long as possible. Then, apply a volumizing mascara on top to increase depth and thickness.

Related: Tubing Mascara: The Older You Are, The More You’ll Benefit From This New Approach To Lash Building

For long, thin lashes

If you have long and thin lashes, try a thickening mascara first. “This adds ‘oomph’ to the lashes from roots to ends,” notes Maderich. Then, he says to go in with a mascara that has a thinner consistency, like a mascara labeled as “non-clumping,” to separate and give a feather-like fullness to lashes for added definition and dimension.

For short, thick lashes

If you have short and thick lashes, opt for a curling mascara first, which will give lashes lift for the illusion of longer lashes. Then, follow that up with a lengthening mascara so lashes are stretched as sky-high as possible.

Related: The Secret That Takes Lashes From Thin to Thick Fast: An At-Home Lash Lift

For more awake-looking eyes

To make your eyes pop and look wide-awake, try one of Maderich’s favorite red carpet mascara cocktailing techniques that involves using two different colors of mascara. To start, brush lashes with a coat of regular black mascara from roots to ends; let dry completely. Then, apply a bright blue mascara, like Maybelline Great Lash Royal Blue, to just the tips of the top lashes. This draws the eye up for an instant lifting and brightening effect.

One note of caution: “Ensure that the mascaras you choose are compatible with one another to avoid clumping or flaking when layered,” advises Zdunowski-Roeder. While most mascaras play well together, it’s best not to use a fiber-based mascara when cocktailing to avoid clumps and flakes, notes Maderich. “These lash-thickening fibers are usually best used alone and can tend to flake or clump when mixed with other formulas,” he says.

How to do the mascara cocktailing technique

If you’re ready to try out the trend, grab a few of the above types of mascaras (or keep scrolling to see some product recommendations), then follow these steps:

Mascara cocktailing step 1: Prep lashes

“First, make sure lashes are clean and dry,” says Zdunowski-Roeder. Optional: To give lashes extra lift from the start, try curling them using a regular eyelash curler or a heated eyelash curler, like Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler Comb With Non-Stick Silicone. Also smart: Consider coating lashes with an eyelash primer, like Pacifica Beauty Vegan Collagen Lash Serum & Clear Mascara Primer. The clear serum forms a protective barrier over lashes and gives mascara something to latch onto, adding length to even the shortest of hairs. Plus, this primer is made with hydrating collagen and vitamins B and E, which moisturize lashes to prevent future breakage.

Related: Aquaphor on Eyelashes Transforms Them From Thin to Lush In Seconds

Mascara cocktailing step 2: Apply the first coat of mascara

Evenly coat lashes in a thin layer (this avoids clumping) using your first chosen mascara, suggests Maderich. “This could be a volumizing, lengthening or curling mascara, depending on your desired effect,” says Zdunowski-Roeder. Then, give the formula one to two minutes to dry slightly and bind to lashes before applying the second coat.

Mascara cocktailing step 3: Apply a second coat of mascara

Using a different mascara, add another thin coat to lashes. Next, use a clean mascara wand or lash comb, like Velour Lashes Too Clean Lash Wand, to separate and define lashes if needed, says Zdunowski-Roeder. Then, allow mascara to dry fully.

To see these steps in action, watch the below video from @lancomeUSA on YouTube.

The best formulas to use for mascara cocktailing

Read on for top mascaras to use together because, in this case, two are always better than one!

Best lengthening mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

This lengthening mascara is infused with silica-packed bamboo extract, which is known to promote lash growth. And it gives lashes a longer look now and helping them grow over time with continued use. Plus, its special flexible wand bends to evenly coat and extend every single lash from root to tip.

Best volumizing mascara

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara Original
L’Oreal Paris

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara Original

To make limp lashes look lush and thick Maderich suggesting opting for this beloved L’Oréal Paris mascara. When layered over a lengthening mascara, this voluminous formula increases depth and thickness of lashes for a 3D effect, he says. The mascara also is clump-resistant and makes lashes look up to four times thicker instantly.

Best curling mascara

e.l.f. Lash 'N Roll Mascara
e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Lash ‘N Roll Mascara

Over-50 beauty YouTuber Laura Rae swears by this curling mascara as her ultimate “beauty game changer.” For just $6, the mascara’s specially curved wand lifts and curls lashes upward for dramatic results that look as though you’ve applied false lashes. For added volume: Wiggle the wand in a zigzag motion starting at the base of lashes.

Best non-clumping mascara

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara

Looking to add definition or separate lashes for a volumizing effect without any clumping, caking or flaking? Maderich suggests using this CoverGirl mascara. Its thin, curved brush makes it easy to precisely get between lashes or coat all lashes evenly in just one stroke, while also adding a little curl.

Bonus: Best eyelash growth serum

Lumify Eye Illuminations Nourishing Lash & Brow Serum

Lumify Eye Illuminations Nourishing Lash & Brow Serum

With daily use, this serum helps to enhance lashes so that when it’s time for mascara application, your lashes look even more show-stopping, notes Oquendo. Thanks goes to the formula’s nourishing complex of peptides, biotin and moisturizing hyaluronic acid that condition lashes and encourage new hair growth for fuller-looking lashes within just 4 weeks of nightly use.

For more makeup tips and tricks, click through these stories:

Makeup Pros Share the 9 Best Mascaras for Thin Lashes + the Application Trick That Boosts Volume Instantly

Underpainting Makeup Is the Latest Beauty Trend That Makes Mature Skin Look Smooth, Flawless and Youthful

8 Setting Powders for Mature Skin That Are the Perfect Final Step in Your Makeup Routine

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