Advances in cosmetic technology have turned mascara into one of the most effective items in your make-up bag – if the launches and ad campaigns are anything to go by – so there's no excuse for any cosmetic-conscious woman not to have stand-out lashes. Here's how to make the most of what you've got…
*Some make-up artists recommend dusting over closed lids with face powder to create a foundation for mascara that makes lashes look thicker. We're not convinced it's that effective, but certainly apply mascara to clean lashes - not ones recently cleansed or moisturised - as oily ingredients will cause it to flake and slide.
*Dot liner between lashes to make them look thick, then smudge to blend.
*Even if your lashes are already curly, use eyelash curlers to separate them and create a wider, fan effect.
*Apply mascara right into the roots of the lashes and either push the wand against them or blink down into it to make sure all surfaces are coated – don't worry about getting mascara on your eyelid as a licked cotton bud will wipe away any smudges. (If you're using waterproof mascara, a cotton bud dipped in oily make-up remover will do the job – though don't get any on your lashes or the mascara will melt, too.)
*Concentrate on one eye at a time and keep layering to build thickness, stopping only as lashes start to clump – work while the mascara is still wet to avoid clumping or spikiness.
*For even greater stand-out effect, insert individual lashes throughout – Eylure's are among the most popular – trimming them to the length of your natural lashes (be careful not to damage your eyes with the scissors). Add more at the outer corners, keeping them just a millimetre longer than natural lashes, to make your eyes look more awake.
*Our favourite mascaras are, perhaps surprisingly, not the most expensive. Over the years, we've consistently found that Bourjois, Max Factor and Rimmel come up with the plushest of products for the lushest of lashes.