the Basics | Mascara

Sunday, 4 January 2015

If your beauty collection didn't start with eyeliner, then it probably started with mascara. Maybelline Great Lash, anyone? For many years this was a solitary staple in my morning makeup routine before I ventured into greater beauty territory. Mascara may be where you start, but hopefully not where you end.


Mascara is the simplest makeup product, really, because it only has one true use: to darken your eyelashes. Other uses include adding volume and length to your lashes, as well. Your eyelashes give a frame to your eyes and draw attention to them.


There's very little discernible difference between mascara formulations other than slightly wetter or drier  consistencies. There also aren't many variations in colour outside of black, darkened brown, or brown. Occasionally a brand will release a range of coloured mascaras but they're definitely not common.

The most difference between mascaras is in the brush. Two major types include the wire bristle brush which is more classic or the plastic brush which is more recent. Then there are shapes like straight or curved, thin or thick, triangular or round. You'll generally have to try a few different mascaras before you discover your preference for formula and brush type.


Almost everyone has seen someone apply mascara on tv or in movies. Use the brush to spread the mascara from root to tip on your top and bottom lashes. If you wiggle the brush from left to right, you're able to get to the very bottom on the lashes and also prevent clumping in the product. The movement will probably feel foreign at first but it'll become second nature in no time at all.

xx Julia

If you want to catch up on my intentions, you can view my original Project Pan post here.

For over a month I stuck to my ban of only purchasing products that were replacements for used up ones. I kept track of everything coming in and out and it was all on track. I'll be honest, it took me until December 18th to buy a beauty product that wasn't a replacement for a used up product. Choosing to undergo a buying ban during the holiday set period was probably a bad idea and eventually the call of the Dior limited edition holiday collection overcame me.

Since then, I have officially abandoned the Project Pan. I've gone on plenty of spending bans since I started buying beauty products but this one had a completely different effect on me. Forcing myself to not buy beauty products when I so badly wanted to made me completely re-evaluate the way I approach my spending. As a young uni student who still lives at home, I have quite a bit of disposable income which I can spend on whatever I like (i.e. mostly food, books, and makeup).

After putting so much energy into limiting the amount of makeup and beauty products I buy, I decided to start examining why I felt I had to. Was it embarrassment? Or a sense that I was wasting money? For me, it seems like I'm still struggling to let myself fully enjoy my enthusiasm for makeup out of a belief that it's shallow or beneath my other pursuits. I think everyone in the beauty community has experienced some derision from people who just don't understand our interest. Quite frankly, I'm tired of feeling this way, of feeling guilty when I buy makeup because I know I'm 'over budget' as though it was a hard and fast rule instead of an arbitrary measurement that I imposed upon myself.

I have never been an excessive spender so this is in no way a license for me to buy far, far too much stuff that I'll never use up. I've just decided, that for my life, spending bans, Project Pans, and keeping meticulous track of my beauty spending just isn't working and ultimately, it doesn't make me happy. Heading into the new year, investing energy into a system that doesn't make me happy seems far too undesirable.

Thank you for reading my rant! I'm sharing my experience in the hope that my personal journey will resonate or help someone in a similar place. Please let me know what your experience has been and we can share tips for responsible handling of our hobbies.

xx Julia

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