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First start with an eyelash curler, a favorite tool of mine. This step makes a huge difference in opening up the eyes, whether or not you wear mascara. Curl the top lashes, using little pumping motions (instead of one big crimp), moving from the lashline to the end of the lashes in an upward sweep.
To apply mascara, start as close as possible to the base of the lashes, then work your way out to the ends (it helps to hold your lid up with your finger). One coat will do. More coats equals more drama. To lessen clumping, let each coat dry a minute, then reapply. I go back and forth between each eye to let the other set. Afterward, use a tiny metal lash comb to separate.
Black mascara works on everyone. Brownish-black has a slightly softer look. (Color mascara? It's gutsy, but go ahead!) And for impossibly full lashes, or just for fun, try false lashes.Brow Wow
Full, well-shaped brows are the final frame to the eyes. Even without eye makeup, well-groomed brows are a must. The key, of course, is to make them look as natural as possible.
The spoolie brush is a great tool when you're filling in the brow (ask at a beauty supply store if you're not sure what it looks like). First, brush up the brows to see their true shape and thickness. If you find strays, tweeze them or trim with scissors. Then fill in any sparseness with a brow pencil or brow cream -- this comes in a pot with a brush -- using mini, featherlike strokes instead of strong lines (unless you're Mommie Dearest, you don't want brows to look drawn on). Follow your own brow shape, and go lightly. You can always go back and add more.
Then brush through with the spoolie again. Since brow pencils are a cream product, the spirals of the spoolie draw pencil pigment through the brow hairs, softening and blending, creating an authentically full look. Go back and forth -- filling in with pencil, and brushing out with the spoolie -- until you're happy with the thickness.
Note: Women often make the mistake of going too dark with their brown pencil color. If you have brown eyebrows, you don't need a dark brown pencil. Gray brown is better. Blondes can use taupe.
Finally, use a coating of brow gel to hold them in place. And voila! Your face is perfectly framed.
Sonia Kashuk's book, Real Beauty, is available at bookstores nationwide.