We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

10 Mascara Mistakes You're Probably Making

Mascara is one of those beauty products that can make or break your look. It makes smoky eyes look more sultry. It can make you look awake when you're running on two hours of sleep. It can make you look put-together even when you have nothing else on. It makes your lashes look longer, curlier, and more lush. Who doesn't want that?!

Sure, mascara seems like a pretty self explanatory product, right? Just swipe it on. Except, it's not necessarily that easy. If you want your best-looking lashes ever, you'll want to avoid the following 10 mistakes at all costs:

You wear waterproof regularly

You might think waterproof mascara lasts longer and doesn\'t smudge, and it\'s true. But it\'s called waterproof for a reason: it\'s meant to be worn in situations when you\'re exposed to water. Like going to the beach or pool. Or if you\'re doing a synchronized swimming routine. Waterproof mascara is not meant for everyday use because it\'s difficult to remove. Wearing it on the daily can cause your lashes to dry out and become weak. Plus, trying to remove waterproof mascara daily can even lead to lash loss.

You pump your bottle

If you want to get the most out of your mascara, do not pump the wand into the bottle. Ever. I learned this the hard way by pumping the wand of my first expensive Diorshow mascara purchase. This pumps more air into the tube than it\'s exposed to normally, causing your mascara to dry out. Dry mascara leads to clumpy lashes. Plus, your tube won\'t last nearly as long.

You\'re not applying correctly

Don\'t just apply by swiping a few coats on the under side of your lashes. After years of trial and error and chatting with makeup artists, I\'ve learned the key is to wiggle the wand. To get the best looking lashes, start at the base of your lash line and wiggle the brush as you move upward. You also want to swipe a coat on the top side of your lashes as well.

You curl your lashes after applying

Curling your lashes after you apply mascara will mess up the hard work you just did! Trust me. The first time I used a lash curler on wet lashes, my lashes got stuck together and ruined my eye makeup. I had to start over. Curling freshly coated lashes will cause them to smudge, clump, and get gross. Not to mention that curling your lashes when wet or with mascara on can be dangerous. Doing so can cause your lashes to stick to your curler and pull them out. No thank you.

You share mascara with friends

You might not think it\'s a big deal to use your BFF\'s mascara, but you\'d be wrong. Sharing eye makeup is a dangerous move. Think about how often you use your mascara. Your wand is crawling with your microorganisms and bacteria from your own lashes. And then if someone else uses that mascara, it\'s now hanging out with their bacteria. And that goes back onto your lashes. You never know what your friend\'s lashes might be harboring, so sharing your mascara can lead to pink eye or even more serious eye infections.

You\'re using old mascara

Speaking of eye infections, using old mascara can lead to infections too. Whether you want to accept it or not, you need to toss your mascara after three months. Like we mentioned above, eye makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria. Your mascara tube is crawling with it, especially over time. Using old mascara increases your risk for various eye infections, so don\'t risk it.

You\'re not using primer around your eyes

If you have a problem with your mascara smudging on your lids or under your eyes, there\'s a solution for that. Even if you\'re not wearing any other makeup, applying primer around your eyes can fix this issue. As someone with oily skin, I always apply primer to my eyelids. However, that didn\'t stop the dreaded lower lash residue which always popped up in the afternoons. If primer helps makeup stay put, surely it could help prevent makeup from rubbing off in unwanted areas so I gave it a shot, and it worked! Primer around the eyes has been one of my go-to tricks ever since. Raccoon eyes, no more!

You\'re not removing it completely

It\'s a big no-no to go to bed with makeup on. You know that. But it\'s also a big no-no to be lazy when removing your mascara. Leaving mascara residue on your lashes, and then reapplying mascara on top, can cause lash breakage, eye irritation, and even infections. Not to mention, it\'s gross.

You\'re not separating your lashes

Spider lashes might look dramatic on a runway, but they\'re not cute in real life. Separating your lashes after applying mascara is essential. I was handed a spoolie brush the first time I got my makeup professionally done back in the day, and have used the separation trick ever since. Use a clean spoolie brush or a lash comb to spread out your lashes after your mascara dries for a natural look.

You rush

We\'ve all had that moment where you hit your face with your mascara wand or you sneeze right after applying. It happens to me all the time. In fact, this morning, my dog excitedly bumped me mid-mascara swipe, and I smudged it all over my cheek. Don\'t panic. Instead of rushing to fix your smudges, wait until it dries on your skin. It\'ll wipe right off with a Q-tip!

Try other options

And if you\'re sick of smudged mascara or simply don\'t have the time to apply makeup every day, you might want to explore other options. From tinting to eyelash extensions, there are a ton of alternatives that might be better suited for your lifestyle.