Beauty Solutions: No More Spidey Lashes

by Sonja on February 23, 2009

image by J.C. Rojas

When I’ve done makeup for friends and they’ve asked for tips, I would tell them to just skip the bottom lashes. If it smears, you’ve got a mess that’s hard to fix. If it flakes, you get little black stuff under your eyes, and it’s hard to apply without looking like you’ve got little spider legs under your eyes. And yeah, that’s so attractive. “Hey, is that a spider trying to escape from your eyes? I can see the legs emerging.”

But lo and behold, I have changed my position after trying two new mascaras. Now I’m doin’ up those little lower lashes with ease and getting a whole new look that really draws attention to my eyes. Here are my discoveries and how they rock my lashes…

Tarte Bottoms Up Lower Lash Mascara

Tarte has devised a killer combo with Bottoms Up Lower Lash Mascara. It has a brush designed just for bottom lashes and a water-resistant formula that really stays put without flaking. The brush is totally unique. It’s short and tapered with wide-set bristles. This makes the mascara so much easier to apply than with a regular, longer brush. It took me a little practice to get it right, because I haven’t applied mascara to my lower lashes in eons. But once I got it down, I loved the look - no spider legs, just longer, more defined lashes that play up the eyes.

Beauty Bonuses: The colors and dyes are derived from natural minerals that soothe and soften skin. It also contains olive esters to condition, treat, and protect lashes. And the formula is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, phthalates, and junk like that.

Available at,,, Sephora, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman for $16.

Estee Lauder TurboLash

A new trend in mascaras is the vibrating brush. Estee Lauder’s mascara in motion is called TurboLash. As a gadget geek, I was very curious to check this out. I had to laugh when I used it. It was so bizarre to install a battery and then have the brush start vibrating. I was skeptical that it would make a difference but discovered that it’s perfect for applying mascara to bottom lashes really easily. I just hold the tip of the brush up to the lashes. I don’t have to move it. It creates just enough movement, as it vibrates, to add color with no spidey-lash effect.

Along the top lashes, the mascara gave me a fantastic, dramatic look with lots of volume and length – almost to the point where it looked like I was wearing false eyelashes – with no clumps. I’m not sure if this was due to the vibration or the formula or both. But the vibration did seem to eliminate the need to wiggle the brush as I pulled up along the lashes, which is an excellent trick for getting extra volume and no clumps. The formula also stays put. Even when I accidentally rubbed my eyes, the mascara didn’t budge and yet it was easy to wash off.

Available at, Belk, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Bon-Ton, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Ave for $32.

Mascara Beauty Tip

When you first get a tube of mascara, there tends to be a lot on the brush, which makes it hard to apply without applying too much, especially along the lower lashes. I find that it really helps to wipe off the excess mascara. Wipe the entire brush along the top of the tube or even on a paper towel (not a tissue – it’s too thin and will get caught in the bristles). There will still be plenty of mascara on the brush, and it’ll be a heck of a lot easier to apply without the clumps. The mascara eventually begins to dry out and wiping is no longer necessary.

Do Tell

So do you typically apply mascara to your bottom lashes? Got any tips to share? Have you tried it with Tarte’s shorter brush or a vibrating brush? Do tell.

P.S. Check out our regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals from companies like Benefit,, and

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Lindsay February 23, 2009 at 6:27 am

I’ve blonde eyelashes, so when I put mascarra on it has to be on both the top and the bottom lashes. I’ve never really noticed any problems doing my bottom lashes…maybe i’m an expert after the many years of application!

What The Pros Do February 23, 2009 at 6:58 am

I find a tiny fan brush is great for applying mascara to the bottom lashes without it getting everywhere. You can really get into the root because the brush is flat.

Liberty London Girl February 23, 2009 at 11:58 am

Lancome’s Oscillating mascara works brilliantly for bottom lashes too. LLGxx

Jackie February 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I so agree… I hate spider lashes… I also use fake eyelashes and the bottom lashes look needy of something… I need these mascaras!

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

❤ What The Pros Do, very interesting. I haven’t heard of that technique until now. Which brush do you use in particular and how do you get the mascara onto the brush?

meligrosa February 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I dont either, I just smear some of my liquid eyeliner at the bottom, for night-out, not typically for day-make up. If I was to use mascara, or eye-shadow it will eventually smear/run after a long fun night dancing etc-

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

❤ Meligrosa, liquid liner is another one I usually don’t have the patience for, since I tend to make a mess with it if I’m rushing. But I adore the look and will occasionally take the time to steady my hand enough to use it. My sister looks amazing in it. Do you have any tips for applying?

LEAH February 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Separating is key. My mascara always seems to dry out so fast. I’ve tried the warming up with a hair dryer trick and it doesn’t always workout so well!

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

❤ LEAH, I figure that’s a blessing in disguise – otherwise I’d be tempted to keep it too long (more than three months) and get “bacteria lash.” :)

Dawnn February 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Sonja- It’s like you’re reading my mind. I was just going over mascara’s with friends. It seems like there are a lot of new trends in mascara’s lately…..from the tubes, to the duel colors, to color enhancing and now to lower lash brushes. Exciting. Thanks for the info!

LEAH February 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

that’s funny! i’m in constant battle with my mascaras - always searching for the ‘perfect’ one..

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm

❤ LEAH, I’m forever trying new mascaras, seeing who has good formulations. I’ve found that Neutrogena Healthy Volume wears really well, has lots of volume, comes off easily, and is highly affordable. For a natural option, everything I’ve tried from Tarte has worked really well. And as I wrote above, the Estee Lauder worked out quite well. I’ve been on a lucky streak with mascara!

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

❤ LEAH, by the way, your jewelry is GORGEOUS and what an elegantly designed site! I love the hammered pieces that are edgy and delicate at the same time. Very pretty!

LEAH February 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm

ooh, thank you so much! :) edgy yet refined…i like to describe my pieces as something a bond girl would throw on for a high speed car chase!
I’m going to go buy those mascaras asap…thanks for the recommendations, love this blog!

Sonja February 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm

❤ LEAH, absolutely. I can totally see a Bond girl accessorizing herself with your jewelry and Daniel Craig. Totally fabulous. And thanks so much for the kind words!

K-Line February 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I don’t apply to the bottom lid - at least not most of the time. THanks for the informative post.

SwanDiamondRose February 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

i don’t know if my tips make sense here. but i just started going mascara crazy again. and for the 1st time in forever started doing top AND bottom lashes. it used to make me look really babydoll but i’m older now so it’s just a bit more feminine. and i wear glasses. i sort of like the look of a pretty pretty eye behind a little piece of glass. AND i use inexpensive mascara, because i actually love how it falls down during the day. my eye just gets smoky. i don’t know why i like it so much, maybe some people just think i am messy but whatever!

Kater February 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Everything always says not to apply to lower lashes, but I always have anyway! I use only waterproof mascara, because not only to I tend to touch my face (oops!) but something about my eyes must be extra watery, because regular mascara ALWAYS ends up all over the place!

In the past few months I’ve started using two mascaras. I use a regular divide and multiply mascara from The Body Shop-makes me lashes so long-on the top and bottom, and then use a rimmel waterproof mascara over both top and bottom. It’s awesome.

I’ve found wiping the wand and using the tip to do bottom lashes works well. I also though am oddly a fan of looking like someone might have stuck a squashed bug to my eyes. I <3 mascara!

lisa February 24, 2009 at 12:43 am

I don’t have enough bottom lashes to merit applying mascara to them, sadly. :(

Eve February 24, 2009 at 4:03 am

I never apply mascara to my lower lashes. To avoid spidey eyes, I have one tip which is more useful than all the vibrating brushes in the world: instead of applying tons of layers onto your lashes while moving the brush, try holding the brush still and “blink” against it a few times. This helps to divide the mascara all over your lashes, and you’ll never get lumps at the top.

Caroline February 24, 2009 at 4:15 am

I’m in the same camp as lisa! I have pretty sparse lower lashes.

In that case, would you recommend skipping mascara for the lower lashes altogether and just applying some eyeliner? Or should even the not-so-abundant lower lashes have some mascara on them?

What The Pros Do February 24, 2009 at 4:32 am

Sonja, Check out the C134 small fan brush here to see which brush im talking about.

When working on multiple models I cant use the same mascara wand so using a fan brush is an alternative to disposibles. Many artists prefer the fan brush to regular wands for the bottom lashes.

For personal use just pick up the product from the wand with your fan brush and paint the bottom lashes.

I find it helps to place some tissue under the lashes when doing mascara so you can catch all the lashes without worrying about painting onto the skin. :)

Sonja February 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

❤ K-Line, this bottom lash thing is a whole new world for me! haha! Thanks for the kind words.
❤ SwanDiamondRose, I love that you go for that look intentionally. I bet it looks very sexy.
❤ Kater, very interesting. I never would’ve thought to double up with regular and waterproof formulas. “…a fan of looking like someone might have stuck a squashed bug to my eyes…” That’s awesome! Isn’t mascara the best?!
❤ Lisa, I don’t have that much to work with myself. But it’s been fun to add color to them.
❤ Eve, what an interesting technique. I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks!
❤ Caroline, you don’t need mascara on the lower lashes, especially if it’s a lot of trouble for you. It’s more of a fun-to-have that can add to the eye-opening effect of mascara. But if there aren’t many lashes to work with, you’re probably better off just sticking with liner.
❤ What The Pros Do, thanks for sharing! I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for one of those brushes. One of my friends just suggested using lens cleaning paper under the lashes to keep the mascara off the skin. I thought that was pretty clever.

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