How to Properly Apply Mascara: A Guide for Gwyneth and Other Mascara-Challenged Users

Gwyneth Paltrow may seem like she knows how to do just about everything, but in an honest interview with Refinery29, the GOOP goddess confessed she has a flaw: she doesn't know how to apply mascara. Say what?! But, seriously. Even after years of having professional makeup artists gussy her up, Paltrow never learned their eyelash tricks of the trade. She said, "I never learned how to do my own hair or makeup because I've been having it done for me on set for almost my entire life. I even put on mascara badly — seriously! I'm always clumping it."

While I'm totally shocked, I'm a bit relieved to hear she’s a little more human than we all ordinarily thought. And because she’s helped me so much over the years with her detox recipes and workout ideas, I thought I'd repay the favor. Gwynnie, and other mascara-challenged users, here's a step-by-step guide for how to properly apply mascara.

Step 1: Curl Your Lashes

Grab your eyelash curler, ladies! Clamp it gently at the root of your upper eyelashes and hold it for five seconds. Then move to the middle of your lashes and then make your way to the tips.

Step 2: Check Your Wand

Make sure you're starting with a clean, clump-free wand. This will help prevent clumping and will make sure enough mascara is getting onto the wand for proper application. You can easily clean your lash wand with a tissue.

Step 3: Zig Zag

Using a zig zag motion, wiggle your mascara wand in an upward motion from the root of your lashes to the tips. Do not sweep! Zig zagging will help separate your lashes while evenly distributing the mascara. If you're trying to lengthen, focus on applying more mascara on your tips. If you're emphasizing the center of your lashes, focus on the motion in the middle.

Step 4: Check for Clumps

If you accidentally put on too much mascara and it clumped, worry not. There are a few ways to deal with this. You could take your lash wand and brush your tips vertically. You could also take a clean, mascara-free wand, run it through water, and gently brush through your lashes.

Step 5: Apply 1-2 More Coats

Make sure you let the mascara dry for a few seconds between coats. A good way to do this is to alternate eyes between application. The most important thing you want to remember, however, is not to apply more than three coats on each eye. This will help to prevent clumping.