Mascara, applied correctly, can be an over 40 girls best friend. Mascara makes you look more well-rested and awake, doesn’t cost too much, and can give you an instant eye lift.

But as we age, applying mascara become more difficult for several reasons. Often, our near sight is diminished so it’s harder to apply, and any bags or loose skin around the eyes can get smudged with mascara.

Here are some tricks on how to apply mascara without smudging

Use a handheld magnification mirror

If you wear reading glasses, seeing well enough to put on mascara without your glasses gets really difficult. Buy a magnifying mirror for your bathroom or makeup vanity if you don’t already have one, and buy a smaller version that can go in your purse or makeup bag when you travel.

Apply under eye coverup last

In case you get any smudges below your eye, you can cover with your undereye concealer.

If you have oilier skin, a waterproof formula is less likely to create smudges if it gets in contact with oily skin

If you wear contacts or have sensitive eyes, waterproof mascara may irritate your eyes. (If you experience burning or itching, it’s a sign the mascara is irritating your eyes.) Choose a brand that says it’s ophthalmologist tested.

Don’t pump the wand of the mascara

That will dry out the mascara and make it clumpy and harder to apply.

Use a business card.

And, if your mascara is more than 6 months old, THROW IT OUT

Bacteria builds up in mascara, so play it safe and toss it. Tip: write the date you bought the mascara on the bottom of the tube with a sharpie. That way you’ll know it’s when it’s time to throw it away and buy a new tube.

Here are a few mascara brands that give you long lashes and don’t clump, plus some magnification mirrors we recommend.

Do you have any tips to prevent mascara smudges?



Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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