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We couldn’t live without mascara, but with so many different formulations, how do you know which is right for you?

Although it might seem like a small detail, each teeny tiny bristle has been specifically designed to give your lashes a different look. And depending on the lash look you want, the mascara formula and mascara wand is super important. From curling to lengthening, separation to volume: we’ve rounded up the need-to-know mascara formulas out there, to find out which is right for you…

One of the most popular brush designs, curled brushes are great for just that: curling your lashes! The shape hugs your lashes as it coats them in mascara, sweeping the lash upwards and setting it in place as it dries. So put down those eyelash curlers and add these beauties to your make-up bag.

Did you know? Most curling mascaras contain polymers, which help form a synthetic tube around the base of each lash, helping them to reach new heights!

These gems won’t actually make your lashes longer, but will help them appear that way. Mascara wands that have a pointed tip (or sometimes have a spiky ball on the end) are great for lengthening and fanning out lashes. Apply your mascara like normal, by using the brush horizontally across the lashes, and then once you’re done, turn the brush vertical and paint on extra mascara to the ends for mega-length.

Did you know? Lengthening mascara can sometimes clump slightly, so make sure you apply no more than two coats.

Want to create a flutterley gorgeous false lash look? Wands that are more angular shaped (like a triangle) are designed to elongate your eyes, and create that feline cat-eye look. The thicker end holds more product and can help spread the mascara across the centre of your eye, whereas the thinner ‘point’ of the triangle grabs every small lash in the outer corner of the eye – giving you that fanned out effect.

Straight brushes may be a no-frills option, but they also work wonders when creating a volum-eyezed look. They might not be designed to catch every single lash, but the chunkier wand head will add thicker coats of product to each lash, giving a more dramatic va-va-voom look.

Did you know? Closing your eye and gently blinking onto the brush as you wiggle it up can help add extra volume.

These days we need our make-up to outlast that long meeting, play date and holiday heat, so waterproof mascaras are a great choice for keeping your eye look locked down. But there’s more than meets the eye with these no-budge beauties. They contain dimethicone copolyol, which is a type of silicon that doesn’t react with water – perfect for the gym and great for glasses or contact lens wearers.

Did you know? Most regular make-up removers may leave traces of your waterproof mascara in place, so look for a heavier, oil free cleanser to help remove it fully.

This look is all about defining the lashes you already have, and making them look their beautiful best. Skinny wands are a good choice for achieving this, as the uber tiny brushes are fab for bottom lashes, or adding definition to the shortest of lashes. The brush allows you to really get as close to the lash root as possible, elongating it and defining your lash line. 

Fan brushes also help create defined lashes, as they do exactly what they say on the tin and help to fan out each lash. Fan brushes actually deposit less mascara colour, which makes them the perfect pick for an au natural look.

Did you know? There’s no need to throw away your favourite mascara brushes. If you’ve found one you love simply give it a deep clean and reuse to separate lashes after applying mascara – hello nifty free lash comb!

Better known as brow gels, these mini marvels are like hairspray for your face (yes really!) as they help keep your eyebrows in place, and help to define and fill them too. But which type is best for you? If you have dark, defined brows then a clear gel will simply help keep them looking their best, but if your brows are a little fair and sparse then opt for one that contains brow fibers, which help build up your brows in the most natural way.

Did you know? It’s best to brush back and forth for flawless looking brows. Dip the brush in the product and wipe off any excess on the top of the tube, then sweep on in the opposite direction of your hair growth to really work in the product and then comb in the other direction to smooth back down.