Which Mascara Brush Shape Are You?

The road to beautiful lashes is filled with twists, turns, and angles. Here's how to figure out which mascara wand you need.

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Lengthen Short Lashes

The Brush Type: Spiky with a slight curve.

Why It's Good: It's nice to have a brush with options so you can tailor the tool to your fancy. "If you're looking for more definition, you just turn it on an angle and comb through the lashes for a more defined look," says Mary Ellen Ferri, senior director of global marketing at Elizabeth Arden. "The prongs at the tip of the brush make it easier to reach the little lashes on the inner and outer corners."

Grand Entrance Mascara, $24, elizabetharden.com.
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Bring Life to Straight, Limp Lashes

The Brush Type: A one-and-done curve.

Why It's Good: During a night's rest, eyelashes can become lifeless and dull. One way to resuscitate them is by adding a strong curl that will last all day. Try an applicator that has a curved end: "The curved-wand shape acts as an individual lash styler, allowing the bristles to coat and define lashes," says Tiffany Kilgore, a makeup artist for Lorac. "Use the wand with the curved side facing upwards, so you can pull the mascara from the base of the lashes to the ends evenly." 

Lash Pomade Mascara by Lorac, $23, nordstrom.com.
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Define Your Lashes in No Time

The Brush Type: The no-bristles brush of the future, made with steel.

Why It's Good: This Hourglass instrument may look difficult to use, but on the contrary, the stainless steel helps enhance lashes even more than bristles. "The stainless steel tip is great for longevity, length, and definition," says Moani Lee, a celebrity makeup artist. 

The Curator Lash Instrument by Hourglass, $78, barneys.com.
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Dismantle Those Clumps

The Brush Type: A sharply angled brush.

Why It's Good: Because the tool is angled, you don't have hold you hands or arms in awkward positions to separate every single clump. An angular brush anticipates clumps and brushes lashes away from one another so they don't come together. "This ergonomic brush gives fantastic symmetrical access to lashes," says Alex Sanchez, national makeup artist for Lancôme. That means an even application on both eyes—and no more spidery-looking catastrophes. 

Grandiôse Extreme Mascara by Lancôme, $32, ulta.com.
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Accentuate the Shape of Your Eyes

The Brush Type
: Plush, with crimped edges.

Why It's Good: When eyes need a pop, look no further than a really good mascara that will open up and highlight your natural features. Go for a thicker wand that lengthens and thickens at the same time. "The unique crimped bristles on this brush hug and catch the lashes, allowing each lash to have a coat of mascara," says Carly Giglio, a makeup artist for Stila Cosmetics. "The curve of the brush also mimics your eye shape, so it can reach the inner and outer corners," she adds, noting that this will help tailor your look according to your eye contours.

Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, $23, stila.com.

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Clarify Your Lashes

The Brush Type: The "flamingo neck."

Why It's Good: Who knew a good mascara was all about ergonomics? "This has an ergonomically designed flamingo neck-shaped brush that acts as an extension of your arm," says Young Kim, creative director at Too Cool For School. "All you have to do is twist the dial to get the bend you want, then apply," she says, pointing out Too Cool For School's innovation in customizing the angle of the brush. "It will add a lightweight coat and is flexible," she says, which helps lashes look fresh and healthy.

Dinoplatz Twisty Tail Mascara by Too Cool For School, $27, sephora.com.
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Thicken Your Fringe

The Brush Type: Plush, with silicone bristles.

Why It's Good: When you want thick lashes, you'll need an applicator that can transfer product evenly onto the lash so they look thicker without being loaded down. "The silicone applicator brush we engineered works wonders with our creamy formula," says Dineh Mohajer, cofounder and creative director of Smith & Cult. "It amps up the volume, without flaking and crumbling." Yay! 

Lash Dance Mascara by Smith & Cult, $28, neimanmarcus.com.

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Relax Stressed, Crinkled Lashes

The Brush Type: Straight and skinny.

Why It's Good: Some of us are on the less talked-about end of the eyelash-problem spectrum: our lashes are a little too curled, causing them to muddle together (oh, and annoyingly fall into our eyes!). But there's hope for us, with this straight applicator that is simple in structure but superior in performance. "Our brush is a long lash-changing power brush and is designed for maximum reach, lift, and separation," says Jessica Ross, the East Coast education director for IT Cosmetics. The longer the brush, the better it seems!

Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara by IT Cosmetics, $24, sephora.com.
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