Most women wish for long, thick, dark eyelashes, but only a select few are born with them. Such lashes are a symbol of femininity; in fact, many children add eyelashes to the portraits they draw to distinguish women from men. For about a century, women have relied on packaged mascara products to enhance the beauty of their lashes and, therefore, their eyes and face. Before that, they experimented with various recipes concocted at home for hundreds and probably thousands of years; in fact, eye-darkening cosmetics date back to Ancient Egypt and often contained questionable ingredients, such as lead and dung.
Today, women are fortunate to have access to a variety of safe, effective eye make-up to choose from. While there are many different types of mascara, such as lengthening and curling formulas, the mascara that usually gives the most dramatic results is a volumising mascara. Volumising mascaras also go by the terms "thickening", "plumping", "voluptuous", and other synonyms. In order to find the best volumising mascara, a buyer should primarily look at the formula and applicator and then consider a few other factors before making a final purchase.
How Volumising Mascara Works
Mascara adds volume to eyelashes in two ways: through its unique formula and with the specially designed applicator included in the package. The combination of these factors is what gives the final results.
Most colour cosmetics are combinations of colour pigments, a carrier substance, and other chemicals, such as stabilisers and fragrances. Mascara generally contains waxes, pigments, polymers, and preservatives. On top of these main ingredients, waterproof mascara includes solvents, and regular mascara may include water and surfactants. The waxes and polymers build up on the lashes to add thickness and volume. Some mascaras also contain fibres that adhere to the lashes and then build up on themselves to form temporary extensions; these fibres can both lengthen and thicken.
It is difficult to tell how well a product works just by reading the ingredients list unless one is a trained chemist. For the most part, all mascaras add the illusion of more volume simply by darkening, so it is usually safe to assume that a product advertised as a volumising mascara adds at least some lushness to the lashes. The degree of volume depends on the formula but also on the applicator and the application technique.
Judging by the variety of brushes and wands that come with mascaras, there is no one "right" answer as to which applicator volumises the best. Some brands still offer the older-style spiral brush with bristles, whereas others claim that the more modern moulded plastic applicators are better for adding volume. Shapes range from cones to hourglasses to spiked balls that resemble medieval maces. Even though some people believe that big brushes equal big lashes, a big brush is difficult to use when the eyelashes are short and straight or the user has small or deep-set eyes. The choice of mascara wand is really a matter of trial and error.
Manufacturers are in the habit of either packaging the wand separately so that it is visible to the consumer or showing a picture of it. Make-up counters at department stores often offer disposable wands so that testers can see how the applicator actually works and decide whether they like it or not. For the average user as well as those who are just starting out with mascara, a standard spiral or thermoplastic brush should work fine for volumising. Advanced users may want to try a more unusual novelty wand to see if it generates better results.
Other Considerations for Volumising Mascara
Although the formula and brush are what gives volumising mascara its one-two punch, the brand and the colour are other decisions the buyer must make. The application process itself also adds to the final effect.
There are so many brands of cosmetics available that it is quite likely a consumer is not nearly aware of them all. These brands range from the least inexpensive drugstore brands to high-end luxury products. Make-up artists and individual users are just as likely to recommend affordable mascaras as costly ones, so price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Some popular brands that many women find consistently reliable for high-performance volumising mascaras are
There are certainly many other good brands from which to choose, and what one person thinks is the greatest mascara in the world may not do a thing for the next person. A shopper can consult magazines and blogs or get recommendations from friends and family for a starting point, but ultimately, one must make a personal assessment by actually trying a product.
Modern mascaras come not only in natural black and brown but also in vivid fantasy colours such as purple, green, and blue. Most blue mascaras are a very deep blue, almost black, and appear almost natural on women with black hair and lashes and deep complexions. Still, for the most part, when one desires to add volume to her lashes, a natural shade is the best way to go.
Regardless of the brand, formula, and brush style, users can maximise the results of a volumising mascara by moving the brush from side to side while sweeping it through the lashes and by adding several coats before the mascara dries. Although some mascara instructions direct the user to let the product dry between coats, most products dry hard, making it difficult to sweep the brush through the lashes smoothly afterwards. An older trick of powdering the lashes between coats is worth a try, although people with sensitive eyes or who wear contact lenses should be wary of getting powder in their eyes. Modern eyelash primers usually replace the need for powdering.
Augmenting Mascara for More Volume
Women who are looking for extreme lash volume may not be satisfied with even the best volumising mascaras. These ladies may prefer to enhance their natural lashes with false eyelashes. These lashes are glued to the base of the lashes in strips or clusters. Mascara can be applied over fake lashes to help them blend with the real ones.
An easier way of increasing lash volume and enhancing the effects of a volumising mascara is to use a lash primer. A lash primer, which is usually white, is like a basecoat for mascara. The ingredients in the primer serve to thicken the lashes so that the mascara basically has more to work with as it builds more volume and adds colour. Lash primers are often packaged as one part of a two-step mascara; however, those women who have already found their ideal mascara can purchase a lash primer individually.
Where to Find Volumising Mascara
Almost every mascara brand produces at least one volumising formula, so you can find volumising mascara wherever colour cosmetics are sold. Common retail sources include chemists, food markets, discount stores, department stores, and dollar stores. You can also purchase cosmetics and mascaras from direct sales representatives for certain beauty companies. If you prefer to shop online, you can find many websites that offer volumising mascaras, and Internet auctions are another excellent way to buy make-up. Remember that some volumising mascaras may use other terminology, such as "thickening" or "plumping", so try changing up your keywords if you are shopping online and cannot find exactly what you want.
How to Buy Volumising Mascara on eBay
Shopping for mascara, including volumising mascara, on eBay is fun and efficient. The site is well-organised so that you can locate your desired products in just a few seconds. You can search eBay’s category directory or use keywords to locate specific items. To search the directory, click on the All Categories link, and then select sequentially narrower categories until you arrive at the mascara listings. Use clickable filters on the page to display only volumising mascara. You might also check out the travel and sample sizes if you are unsure of which product to start with.
Another way to shop on eBay is to search by keywords. To do this, go back to the home page and type a word or group of words into the Search field, and then press the Enter key or click on the Search button. You can be general and enter "volumising mascara" or you can be quite specific and try something like "mascara brown volumising waterproof".
It is sometimes hard to believe how much of a difference a good mascara makes. Mascara is often the only make-up a woman needs for casual occasions and one product that many women list near the top of their make-up must-haves. Simply by accentuating her eyelashes, a woman can add depth, drama, and an air of mystery to her appearance. Thick, dark lashes call attention to the eyes, make one look more wide-awake, and are decidedly feminine.
Volumising mascara is one of the most popular mascara formulas on the market. Adding thickness to the lashes automatically darkens and defines the eye, giving an almost lined appearance, even without adding eyeliner. Moreover, the ingredients that thicken lashes also serve to add length as well, expanding each lash in all directions. Choosing a volumising mascara is a matter of finding the right formula and applicator; these are often a matter of personal preference, although one may turn to tried-and-true popular brands, beauty editors, or personal acquaintances when deciding which mascara to try. All advertisements promise the moon when it comes to mascara, and many times the images used to sell mascara are not 100 per cent straightforward.
Buyers should remember that a natural colour (a variation of brown or black) is best for adding volume to lashes, and a lash primer can both boost the efficacy of a good mascara or salvage a mistake. By following these guidelines, finding a volumising mascara that works is easier than ever.