[This post was originally published 9th August 2017 and revised 15th November 2017]

I think we’ve all picked up a new mascara just for the interesting wand at some point in our lives. Mascaras are constantly being released that promise to have the world’s first whatever wand, that can transform your eye-hairs into the fluttery, voluminous thick lashes you’ve always wanted [side note: ‘eye-hairs’ is probably the weirdest way to describe eyelashes]. There are so many different mascara wand shapes. But what do they do? Are they really any different?

MUAs around the world use disposable mascara wands, which are generally standard and don’t have any sort of gimmick to make them ‘better’. But with a professional technique, they are able to create beautiful-looking lashes anyway. Does this mean that mascara wand shape doesn’t matter at all and it’s all down to formula? Let’s take a look at my mascaras…


Standard Spiral Wand

The most common mascara wand is the spiral, which consists of tightly packed fibres formed into a spiral shape. These wands can be a variety of sizes, with bigger wands producing more volume as they pack on more product at the base of your lashes, and skinnier wands creating length.


Short-Bristle Wand

Mascara wands with short bristles like this one help with coating the whole lash, as it’s easier to get product on the very base of the lashes. As there are densely-packed bristles, every single lash can get coated at once and shouldn’t need many coats. This is especially useful for short lashes.


Curved Wand

Curved wands are shaped to fit the natural curvature of your eye, meaning your lashes get coated evenly and at the same time. Curved wands can also help with curl and shape as well, as the shape means that the wand can hug the roots and lift from there, so this is a good pick for someone with straight lashes!


Tapered Wand

Tapered wands pack on product on your outer lashes, which is perfect for a falsies effect and for elongating your eyes. They also prevent clumping and will separate each lash as there is less product being packed onto the inner lashes. You can also use the very tip to add product to particular lashes.


Plastic Bristle Wand

Plastic bristles rather than fibres is mostly down to personal preference, just like some people prefer a liquid liner and some prefer a gel. Plastic bristles are good for separating your lashes, especially short bristles as you can get right into the lash root and coat each lash individually.


Hourglass Wand

Hourglass wands are seen a lot in high-end mascaras and are said to hug the lashes to create a slight curl and an even coat from root to tip. You can also get right to the root with the shorter bristles in the middle of the brush. This will help your lashes look naturally fluttery and false-lash-esque.

And lastly, the weird and wacky wands. A strange spiral wand, a wand with only one row of plastic bristles, ball wands, wands with a comb… there’s so many gimmicks on the market. Personally I love the two pictured above. The first wand curls my lashes and makes them look like falsies and the second wand lengthens them beautifully. Ball wands are meant for precise application and are particularly useful for the inner lashes.

I think the best option for mascara wands is to try as many as you can. Mascaras should be replaced fairly frequently anyway, so even if you just use one at a time, you can still try a fair few in a short space of time. I do personally think that formula and wand are equally important; if you find a formula you love but hate the wand, it’s not going to be the mascara for you (or you could use a disposable wand you love).

If you’d like to hear me talk about mascara wands, check out the video below and don’t forget to subscribe!



  1. I really like how many kinds of wands there are now. I just prefer plastic bristles and some of the No7 ones are my favourite. I’ve found that saving a wand I like when I finish the mascara and using it with another if I love the formula but don’t get on with the wand is a way to get the best of both worlds. I normally do that with freebies though as I like the formulas of the No7 ones too.


  2. I’m lovin’ IT Cosmetics Tightline mascara because of those tiny little bristles that gets all the way down to the roots. I don’t think that the idea of using your mascara wand to tightline is a new one, but the IT wand sure makes it easier!


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