Mascara Cocktailing Is Huge Right Now. Here's Why Makeup Artists and Celebs Swear By It

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You already know that mascara can do wonders for your lashes, but what if we told you there’s a way to elevate your usual technique that will give you even better results? TikTokers have recently discovered “Mascara Cocktailing”—and no, folks, it’s not a fancy new drink. It’s actually a layering method that makeup artists have been doing for decades to customize the effects of mascara. We’ll break down everything you need to know about mascara cocktailing ahead—plus, share some ways you can customize your very own combo. 

Meet the Expert:

10 Genius Beauty Tips We Learned on TikTok

What Is Mascara Cocktailing?

Mascara cocktailing is a makeup technique that involves layering multiple mascaras to create a unique formula that’s tailored to your lashes. “We all have a few different mascaras that we absolutely love, and with mascara cocktailing, you can layer them to get the benefits of all of them at the same time,” says Piccola.

Why Is This Technique So Popular?

You’ll find that most mascaras typically focus on one thing: lengthening, thickening or curling. It’s rare that one tube checks all the boxes, but with mascara cocktailing, you can get the best of all worlds by creating a recipe that works for you. “The options are endless for which mascaras you can mix and layer,” adds Piccola. 

It’s no wonder that makeup artists and celebrities have been using this technique for years. Recently Jessica Alba shared her own mascara cocktail, which features two primers and a lengthening mascara to get her voluminous lashes above. And now beauty creators on TikTok have plenty of cocktail variations for us to consider as well. 

How to Make Your Own Mascara Cocktail

Before you jump on the trend, Piccola recommends looking at your lashes. Are they straight or do they have a natural bend to them? Are the hairs short or fine? Light or dark? Once you understand your lash type, you can determine the best mascara combo for you.

  • Lengthening + Thickening Mascara: If you have fine, short or curly lashes, consider this cocktail for more fullness and definition. Piccola suggests starting with a few coats of a lengthening mascara before swiping a volumizing mascara to the tips of your lashes to build volume.
  • Curling + Volumizing Mascara: If you have thin, stick-straight lashes, this mixture can get you curlier, more voluminous results. Swipe on one to two coats of curling mascara to lift your lashes before topping things off with a volumizing mascara from root to tip for even more volume.
  • Waterproof + Regular Mascara: We love a waterproof mascara for all-day wear. However, some waterproof formulas lack other features (i.e, volumizing, lengthening, etc.), which is where this cocktail comes in handy. “I start with a waterproof curling mascara and focus on building up layers at the root of the lashes. The waterproof formula also puts down a stronger, longer-lasting base. Then, while the lashes are still wet, I swipe a lengthening mascara just over the middle lashes. Building length in the center lashes gives you that wide-eyed, Bambi effect. And the waterproof base ensures there’s no smudging throughout the day,” says Piccola. 

One More Thing

Like we said, mascara cocktailing is not a one-and-done thing. Some combos are going to work and others are going to fall flat (or result in clumps). It’s going to take time to find the right formula for your lashes, but once you do, your lashes will never look better. 

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...