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Even for makeup minimalists, mascara is a must. And though it’s one of the most commonly used products, it’s also one of the most commonly misused. Here, some minor mistakes you might be making (and the super easy ways to fix them).

RELATED: Watching Other People Put on Mascara Is The Best Thing Ever

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You’re Pumping the Wand
We know, we know—you’re just trying to get more mascara out of the tube. But every time you do this, you’re pushing air bubbles in (which dries out the formula faster). To coat your brush evenly with pigment, swirl it around inside the tube instead.

You’ve Pulled Out Too Much Pigment on the Wand
And it’s the biggest culprit of clumps. After swirling your wand around the inside of the tube, pull the wand out against the tube’s opening to remove any large clumps attached (particularly at the tip).

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You’re Not Hitting Both Sides of Your Lashes
Most of us only apply mascara to the undersides of our lashes, but to get darker, fuller looking fringe, you should start by swiping the tops of them, too. (Sort of like you’re sandwiching them in color.) This will make a huge difference—especially if you have light-colored lashes.

You’re Rushing Through It
We’re not suggesting that you add another five minutes to your morning routine. We’re asking for another ten seconds of your time—max. To get lasting lift, hold the wand at the base of your lashes a tiny bit longer than you normally would. 

You’re Using Only One Kind of Mascara
If longer, fuller and curlier lashes are your goal (that’s everyone's, right?), then you should layer a couple different formulas to achieve that. Let us clarify: This doesn’t mean you should be using five different mascaras. We’re talking two, tops. For example, try a volumizing formula for the first coat and layer a lengthening one over that to finish. 

You’re Using Old Mascara
If you find that you’re constantly wiping away flecks of mascara from your face, it probably means your mascara is dried out and needs to be replaced. Generally speaking, you should be swapping out your tubes every three to six months. Not only will this get rid of those annoying flakes, but it will also give you a cleaner, clump-free application every time.

RELATED: How Often You Should Throw Away Your Beauty Products

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