Decoded: How to Choose the Correct Mascara Wand to Get the Lashes of Your Dreams

Have you ever reached for a certain mascara and hoped to achieve lengthened, voluminous lashes, only to have your dreams dashed by the disappointing results? Honestly, we’ve all been there. Mascara formulas can talk about lengthening, lifting, and volumizing claims all day, but I’ll let you in on a little secret—the key to voluminous lashes just might be in the mascara brush. 

"Mascara wands absolutely make a difference in how mascara will look,” says celebrity makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez. In fact, a mascara wand could make or break your overall look. Depending on what you want your lashes to look like, you should choose a mascara wand carefully. Gonzalez walked me through the best types of brushes for every lash goal. Warning: This guide might have you rethinking your mascara.


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

For length, volume, and definition: oversize, tapered bristle brush

Choose an oversize brush with tons of different-sized bristles and a tapered tip for a true mascara-wand trifecta. 

For length: conical brush

Gonzalez recommends opting for a wand that’s either cone shaped or has a tapered tip. "By maneuvering the wand, it gives your lashes a lengthening boost at the ends,” she says.

For volume: full, oversize brush

"Use a fuller, dense, and big brush,” says Gonzalez. A bigger brush will help you build more thickness and volume.

For definition: spiky, brush-like bristles

"A weaved bristle brush will give you definition and less clumping,” says Gonzalez. Go for a brush that has bristles that look a bit spiky, as these will help grab your individual lashes to create a defined effect.

Next up, 2022 Has *Already* Been the Best Year for New Mascaras—These Pics Prove It

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.