You Asked, We Answered: Which Mascara Wand Shape Should I Be Using?
We could debate the merits of volumizing, lengthening, and curling formulas all day long—but really, it all comes down to preference.
Do you find yourself drawn to a particular type of mascara time and again? Maybe it’s a fat brush with densely packed bristles dunked in a vat of gooey, black, long-wearing product (my personal favorite), or perhaps it’s a skinny little thing with spiky plastic prickles that coats itself in a more prudent fashion. It doesn’t stop there, either. The makeup aisles are packed with curved wands, tapered wands, hourglass wands, and even those ball-shaped wands that may or may not be inspired by the medieval flail.
And there’s a reason you might naturally fancy one over the other…but are you actually using the right wand shape to fit your needs? We’ll see about that. Confirm your suspicions, silence any naysayers, or find a spanking-new wand shape to help you get your best lashes ever.
Here is the ultimate guide to finding the perfect mascara wand type for you.
Best for Mega-Volume: Hourglass Wand
If you want to build incredible volume and length, look no further than the hourglass-shaped wand. Any mascara lover swears by this iconic tube by Too Faced Cosmetics. The thick, densely bristled shape bolsters up your lashline something fierce.
Tip: Make sure to wiggle the brush at the base of your lashes to achieve optimal fullness.
Top Pick: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara; $25; sephora.com
Drugstore Dupe: L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara; $10.99; ulta.com
Best for Major Curl: Curved Wand
A curved wand is able to hug every lash, from corner to corner, which makes it ideal for those needing a pick-me-up. It ensures all-over coverage in just a few swipes.
Top Pick: Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara; $25; sephora.com
Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara; $10.50; ulta.com
Best for Super Length: Tapered Wand
This wand will get into the nitty-gritty inner corner, ensuring maximum length from base to tip. The fatter end coats the outer corner of your lashline to give perfect feline flutter.
Top Pick: Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara; $25; macys.com
Drugstore Dupe: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara; $9.50; ulta.com
Best for Fluttery Thickness: Fat Wand with Dense Bristles
Nothing coats your lashes in epic volume and thickness like a dense brush. The more bristles, the more product can get packed in. If you're going for a falsie effect, this is your secret weapon.
Top Pick: Dior Diorshow Lash-Extension Effect Volume Mascara; $29.50; nordstrom.com
Drugstore Dupe: NYX Professional Makeup Worth The Hype Mascara; $5; target.com
Best for Precise Definition: Skinny Wand with Plastic Bristles
This is not the time for a fat brush, Frances. Soft, dense bristles are looking to volumize, not separate and define. If you want extreme definition (as in, your lashes to look long, separated, and natural!), a skinny brush with short plastic bristles will get the job done.
Hot tip: Start with this type of mascara, and move onto a thick mascara wand to finish with a pop of added volume.
Top Pick: Glossier Lash Slick; $16; glossier.com
Drugstore Dupe: L'Oréal Telescopic Mascara; $10.99; ulta.com
If You’re Always in a Rush: Classic Straight Wand
There's a reason this is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. If you're someone who doesn't have time to waste on de-clumping and precision swiping, a classic straight brush will see you through. The pointed end can easily be rotated to add extra length to your tips.
Top Pick: Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils; $29; sephora.com
Drugstore Dupe: Covergirl Lash Blast Full Lash Bloom; $5.50; target.com
If You’re a Bottom-Lash Gal: Teeny-Tiny Wand
Listen up: This is nothing short of a life-changer for those who apply mascara to their lower lashline (and subsequently smudge mascara all over your under-eyes!). It's super tiny with barely-there texture to separate lashes and disperse product.
Top Pick: Pixi Lower Lash Mascara; $11; target.com
If You’re Looking for Drama: Super Fat Wand with Densely Packed Bristles
If You’re a Perfectionist: Ball-Shaped Wand
This meticulous wand will reach each and every lash, mark our words. Go from corner to corner, and feel like a mad mascara scientist. You've been warned: It takes more precision and time to apply than your usual one-two swipe.
Top Pick: Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara; $32; sephora.com