Despite a long reign as the desert island makeup item of choice for many, mascara has been notably absent from a lot of cool-girl beauty looks on Instagram recently. It's not just on social media that I've noticed its absence. There wasn't a mascara in sight at many of the top fashion shows at London Fashion Week this year either. At Preen, Sam Bryant left model's lashes bare, letting MAC lipstick-smudged eyelids take centre stage for the '90s-inspired makeup. While at Erdem, Val Garland also skipped the mascara entirely—using NARS Kohliner to define eyes instead to create a futuristic cat-eye that was the star of the show.
What's caused this shift away from one of the most basic pillars of makeup? I've put it down to three things—how undeniably cool a bare lash looks, the way that skipping mascara allows another element of your makeup to shine, and the rise in the popularity of lash lifts. Read on to get the full lowdown and find out whether mascara might have had its day.
I love this combination of bare lashes, dewy skin and balm-slicked lips.
There's no denying it—the way that fashion girls step out with bare lashes just looks good. There's something about keeping your eyes free from makeup that makes even the most dressed-up of outfits look instantly cooler. By keeping your eyes pared-back, your look becomes less try-hard and exudes an innate level of confidence.
Plus, if you're a bit of a face-toucher like me, then you can go about your day safe in the knowledge that you won't have panda eyes come lunchtime.
A graphic streak of eye colour and nothing else for a fresh beauty look.
There's one key reason that makeup artists ditched mascara backstage at fashion week this year, and that's because all their beauty looks had another key element that they wanted to draw attention to. Mascara is amazing for its ability to extend even the shortest of lashes and open up the smallest of eyes but, inevitably, this means that your eyes—and lashes—become the focal part of your makeup.
By keeping lashes bare, you can let a red lip, highlighted cheek or bold eye shadow really shine. It might take some getting used to if you're a devout mascara user but I think you'll be surprised at how quickly you acclimatise.
The popularity of LVL lashes continues to grow, and it's not hard to see why. The pioneering treatment, founded by Nouveau Lashes, lengthens, volumises and lifts your natural lashes for six to eight weeks—so you can skip the mascara entirely. Previously renowned as a holiday treatment for women who didn't want to faff about with waterproof mascara at the pool, it's grown in notoriety as a beauty must for busy women.
If you're not ready to fully embrace the mascara-free life right now, then a GDL Lash Lift from The Eyelash Emporium is a great option. Unlike traditional lash perms, it actually straightens your lashes at the root for a more high-impact finish and adds in a lash tint to mimic the effect of mascara.