How to pick the right mascara for your lashes

set of differing mascara wands

When it comes to purchasing mascara you might scratch your head as to which product to buy. There are so many mascaras to choose from! Aside from trial and error, how can we choose a product that is right for our lashes? The answer lies in the type of formula and the wand.

Below are some tips for choosing the right mascara for your fine, sparse, full, or long eyelashes.


Mascara formulas come in waterproof, regular, tube, and fiber. Choose the formula that fits your needs the most.

Tube –This type of formula basically wraps around each hair to form a waterproof “tube”.


  • Tube mascaras are great for people who have allergies.
  • They are very easy to take off (as compared to waterproof mascaras). The “tubes” simply slide off lashes.


  • Tube mascaras do not build up on the lash easily. It’s hard to get a voluminous look.
  • If not washed off completely, the tubes tend to invade the eyes.

Waterproof – Waterproof formulas are created from a mixture of oils (polymers/plastics) which makes them less likely to smear.


  • Waterproof mascara can be worn nearly all situations and stay intact.
  • Good for people who have eye lashes that touch the skin under the eye (some people have bone structure that pushes up the skin under the eye).
  • Good for people who have oily skin types. Oils move around the face and somehow find a way to smudge the mascara.
  • Good for those who have to curl their straight lashes. A waterproof mascara doesn’t contain water (and therefore won’t ruin a curl that is bent into a straight lash).
  • A waterproof mascara is lightweight and won’t weigh your lashes down. .


  • It is difficult to remove. For gentle cleansing, remove with an oil or silicone based makeup remover.
  • Waterproof mascara is made of plastics. These plastics can prematurely break your lashes. Use waterproof mascaras sparingly.
  • It is not water soluble. If a flake gets into the eye, it will not dissolve. People who wear contacts should avoid use.

Fibers – Fiber mascaras contains nylon and rayon fibers that add volume and length to lashes.


  • They make your eyelashes look longer. The synthetic fibers attach to lash tips, elongating your natural hairs.
  • They add volume to sparse lashes. The fibers attach to each other and fill in spaces to create the appearance of volume.


  • The lash fibers flake off VERY easily and invade the eye (and can cause an eye infection).
  • Those who wear contacts should avoid fiber mascara altogether.
  • Flakes can leave streaks on your face.
  • The fibers don’t look natural and can appear very clumpy.

Regular – Regular mascara is made up of wax, pigment and film formers. Regular mascara is water soluble.


  • Very natural looking.
  • Regular mascara easily builds up on the lash with each swipe.
  • Water soluble and easy to cleanse off the lash.
  • Does not flake (usually). If it does flake, it is not detrimental to the eye (because it is water soluble).


  • Rubs off easily (if you tend to rub your eyes).
  • Regular mascara will break down with tears, swimming, rain, sweat, and other water situations.
  • Does not keep lashes curled as well.

As you can see, when it comes to mascara formula, you have to take the good with the bad! Now onto the next consideration for picking the right mascara for your lashes: the wand. Below are the types of wands to choose from.


“The right tool for the job” should be your motto when selecting a mascara wand. The brush you choose has a HUGE impact on how the mascara formula swipes on your lashes.

Twisted wire brush with close-set bristles: These brushes pick up a LOT of mascara and make it easy to swipe on color in a few strokes. The longer bristles make it easy to apply mascara to the base of the lashes, adding a bold effect. Mascara wands with a twisted wire brush are used to add volume and lengthen the appearance of the lashes.

Rubber brushes: This brush is good for people who don’t want to deal with mascara clumps. The brush picks up a smaller amount of product, affording the user more control over the application onto the lashes.  These mascara brushes lengthen lashes without adding fullness.

Fat wands: These brushes tend to be larger in diameter (especially in the center). The thicker wands can be made out of wire brush or rubber brush and are best for building a lot of volume on the lashes.

Curled or hourglass wand: A curled bristle brush and an hourglass rubber brush are perfect for adding a winged effect on your lashes. The curves lift and push your lashes for a dramatic winged effect!

Short, close-set bristles that are very uniform (rubber brush, small tip, or comb tip): This type of wand separates the lashes and coats the hairs very evenly. This wand is great for people who have lashes that are long and thick in density (Lucky duckies!).

Final notes:

Most mascaras state on their packages the properties of their formula as well as the type of application a wand will result in. Pay attention to the keywords the package lists. A good rule of thumb is to pick a mascara wand based on its shape and the final look you desire. For example: A fat brush will give you fat lashes, a curled brush will help push up your lashes, a small brush with short tips that are uniformly spaced will uniformly coat and separate your lashes. In other words, what you see is what you get!

For the expert mascara junkie I suggest combining your mascaras! You do this by first applying your mascara with a brush that adds volume and then follow it with another coat of mascara with a wand that lifts and separates. This technique is pure MAGIC!

Another hot tip is to save one of your older mascara tubes that are a little dried out (not too old!). The minimal product makes it easier to apply the right amount of mascara on the lower lashes. You will have less mistakes of clumps or smudges with an older tube of mascara.

Remember to dispose your mascara and brush after three months! Once a tube is older than three months you risk getting an eye infection.

This article was written by: for

Please click either link for more information about Louisville hair stylist and makeup artist Jennifer Lee Johnson.


How to grow out your eyebrows painlessly!

Brows define the face. In fact, a good brow can make a face look great without makeup. I am totally guilty of over plucking my eyebrows. I have been doing it wrong since high school. It all started my freshman year: I got my brows waxed for the first time and I looked AMAZING! Unfortunately I thought I could keep up with the look by myself and started to tweeze the stray hairs as they grew in. BIG MISTAKE! It took me 25 years to realize that eyebrows are “sisters”, not “twins”.

What do you do about it? We all know that to stop tweezing those itty bitty stray hairs are easier said than done. I don’t know anyone that can stand the feeling of that one hair out of place. Personal restraint from pulling that little hair screaming at you is like dieting during the holidays. It’s torture.

Here’s my tried-and-true method for dealing with the awful phase of re-populating those precious little hairs:

  1. STOP TWEEZING! At all cost. Don’t do it. This is your intervention.eyebrow safety razor
  2. Use a safety razor meant for small areas on the face (see picture). This is the holy grail of growing out your eyebrows! Use the razor to closely cut the little stubbly hairs that are desperately trying to gain real estate on your brows. Be gentle, go slow. Wet the area you intend to shave with water and a little facial lotion. You don’t want to give yourself razor burn. Be careful not to accidentally shave the hairs that are already long and happily living in the right place. With this technique you will have smooth skin with no visible stubble for nearly 24 hours. YOU CAN DO THIS EVERY DAY until you have populated enough hairs in your little eyebrow farm.Anastasia clear brow gel
  3. When you are ready to see the fruits of your labor, let those little sprouts GROW! Within two weeks you will have hair
    long enough to fill in with a eyebrow pencil and powder. I promise, you will feel human again. With an angled brush, use a brow powder to create the shape and an eyebrow pencil to build wax on the hairs that create volume.
  4. Brush the hairs and use an eyebrow gel to hold the brows in place. I love Anastasia brow gel. It’s very sticky yet doesn’t coagulate like glue. At $22.00 it’s worth every penny, I promise.

The most important thing is to remain patient as your hairs grow out. They will grow out weird, but will eventually straighten themselves out. If you must remove the hairs that seem to grow on your eyelids, go ahead, pluck away. For the fine and fuzzy hairs that come in LEAVE THEM BE! If you must shape your brows use your safety razor. At least your eyebrows will still be there and you won’t be consistently damaging each of your hair follicles. And while they are goofy, you can at least count on brow gels and makeup to support your endeavor until they grow out in the correct direction. Expect your hairs to be back to their fullness and normal shape within a year. Then find yourself a proper eyebrow artist to maintain a crisp shape because you probably cannot be trusted to be your own “hair maintenance manager” from now on! Good luck!

This post brought to you by owner and creator of

Choosing the right shade of lip color

hot pink lip poutA full pout is a sign of youth and a hallmark of beauty. Unfortunately, as we age our lips loose some of their color and definition. Therefore, choosing the right shade of lip color is a great way to alter a face as well as highlight your beautiful smile!

For an everyday use, choose a lip color that enhances the natural shade of your nude lip. A great trick is to pick a hue two shades darker than your inner cheek. You will find that the color naturally mimics the color found in your lip. You’ll know the shade is right if you look good wearing it without any other makeup on!

Pale lips: Use pastel shades. Deep tones appear very dark on pale lips so apply with a light hand. Try beige, sandy pink, light coral, pale pink, and bright red!

Medium lips: Brown, rose, pink, orange, warm red look great on a medium lip.

Dark lips: Dark lips look best with a lip color that has a blue undertone. Dark lips also need to be very saturated in color. Pale shades look gray or ashy on dark lips so stick with the browns, deep red, plum, deep chocolate, deep raisin and berry lip colors.

Two-toned lips: Two-toned lips can be either dark with pink inside the lower lip or one lip darker and one lighter. To even out the lip tone you can:

  • Fill in lighter areas
  • Pale out darker areas

Use a sheer lipstick as the base on whichever area you wish to conceal and then apply other lip color.

Two-toned lips look best in chocolate, blackberry, deep plum, deep raisin, and deep red colors.

Hot tips:

  1. If you want just a wash of color, just use less and distribute it evenly.
  2. Don’t be afraid to mix mediums such as a lipstick with a lip-gloss or a lip-gloss with an eyeshadow.
  3. Layering one sheer color over another sheer makes the lips appear fuller because the lips appear to have more depth and volume.
  4. When you are ready to try something more dramatic, a color with an undertone similar to your neutral/natural shade will be very flattering.
  5. Luckily makeup washes off so it is okay to make mistakes! Ultimately it doesn’t matter what lip color you choose, as long as you wear it with confidence and style!

This post brought to you by owner and creator of

Best eyeshadow for each hair color

Choosing the best eyeshadow for your hair color is key to bringing the most attention to your gorgeous face! Follow these guidelines to help you choose the shades that best suit you!

*For best results and ease of application, use lighter colors for light skin, medium colors for medium skin, and darker colors for dark skin.

Medium skin with brown hair and eyes. Golden brown eyeshadows and pink berry lipBROWN HAIR

Light brown hair looks best with a natural flesh color base (for a natural look), all taupe, yellow brown, medium to dark gray brown, light green, yellow green, eggshell, buff, and cream hues work perfectly as well!

For medium brown and dark brown hair use the same hues as the above but in a darker shades!

red head beauty close upRED HAIR

Red hair looks good with a natural flesh color base that can stand alone or with any of these colors added: all taupes, deep greens, dark warm browns, powder blue, brick, copper, eggshell, buff, cream, and pale reds. You can also use iridescent or matte shadows in yellow, red-orange, copper, bronze, warm brass, strawberry, and red-gold.


Auburn hair looks great with a natural flesh colored base that can stand alone or with any of these colors: all taupes, fair greens, light to medium warm browns, all gray greens, strawberry, rust, terra cotta, adobe, eggshell, buff, and cream. You can also use iridescent or matte shadows in reds, yellows, rust-golds, and orange.

Hair and makeup by www.jenniferleejohnson.comBlack hair
Black hair looks good with a natural flesh color base that can stand alone or with any of these colors added: all cream colors, all eggshell colors, dark gray browns, flat steel and gunmetal colors, periwinkle, midnight browns, onyx and blacks, and all dark iridescents.
Makuep and hairstyling by Jennifer Lee JohnsonBlonde hair

Blonde hair looks good with a natural flesh color base that can stand alone or with any of these colors added: cream, light to medium gray, light to medium buff, light powder blue, light powder green, iridescent pearl, iridescent yellow-gold, antique gold, and all taupes.

 This post brought to you by owner and creator of

6 Questions to ask yourself when choosing a foundation

When it comes to choosing the right foundation, there are a few guidelines that you should follow. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a new foundation.

  1. Do I need to wear foundation? Can you get along with little or no foundation? A lot of people do well with the just the right application of concealer over discolored spots on the skin. This is the most natural looking and attractive finish for the skin.
  2. What is your skin type? Do you have oily, combination, dry, or sensitive skin? Depending on the condition and sensitivity of your skin, you will need to find a product that will not irritate your skin or clog your pores. You should have a trial period with each new product where you test the way it affects your skin. Don’t be afraid to return a product that does not work well with your body! Most companies such as ULTA and Sephora have great return polices. For those with sensitive skin, a mineral-based formula or a formula that does not add fragrance are good to try. If you have an oilier skin, look for a foundation that will not clog your pores. If you have very oily skin, look for a primer that will absorb excess oil as it comes to the surface of your skin. A primer with aloe is great for oilier skin types. If you have dry skin, look for a foundation that is moisturizing or add moisturizer to your foundation for added ease of application.
  3. Are you young or do you need something that is better for more mature skin? Younger people can get away with wearing more makeup and mature women need a makeup that won’t settle into creases. For those with smooth skin, a foundation’s texture is not as important. For mature skin, one should look for thinner formulas with waterproof qualities. I like Makeup Forever’s Face and Body for mature skin.
  4. What finish do you want? Do you want a dewey or matte finish? How about something in-between? This choice is obviously personal preference but should be based on how and where you will be wearing the makeup. For example, if you live in a humid climate, a dewey finish will not work out.
  5. Where are you going and for how long? You want a foundation that can be layered up for light to heavy wear. On days you don’t need as much makeup, a foundation that can be applied sheer will be better than a cream makeup that needs to be thinned with astringent. On days that you want a fuller coverage, simply build the foundation on the skin in layers from sheer to opaque. Once set with powder, a thicker application of makeup should stay in place. For days where your picture will be taken you should hire a professional makeup artist who knows how to apply makeup for HD cameras and different lighting situations.
  6. Does the color suit my undertones? This is the most important question to ask yourself before buying a foundation!!! Look at the bottle you are about to purchase. Does it have a pink, yellow, orange, green, or brown undertone? Look at your skin. Does your skin have a pink, yellow, orange, green, or brown undertone? These are serious questions! If you don’t know, ask a professional makeup artist at a counter to help you. Your hairstylist may also be able to tell you your undertone. I suggest purchasing two shades of foundation that can be mixed. You will want to choose a lighter shade for the winter and a darker shade for the summer. For the in-between times use both foundations to make the perfect shade!

This post brought to you by owner and creator of