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An essential — if not mandatory — step in every makeup routine is applying mascara. Whether of the curling, lengthening or volumizing variety, mascara helps open the eyes and in turn brighten the face, making you appear more alert and fresh for the day (or at least it helps you pretend to be). So keep these 10 easy hacks in mind, and get ready for long luxurious lashes that any Hollywood bombshell would be envious of.

1. Always apply two coats of mascara

The key: Wait for the first coat to dry before swiping a second time. This will prevent your lashes from clumping together in one giant mess.

2. Chuck it after two

Is your mascara getting clumpy or dry? Might be time to trash it. The average shelf life of a tube of mascara is just two to four months.

3. Clean your (magic) wand

A clean wand gives you better results, so be sure to wash it every now and then. Cover up your mascara tube, then let the wand soak in hot water for five minutes to loosen gunk and clean the bristles.

4. Waterproof mascara exposed!

Sure, it promises to play hard all day long, but it won’t last in the long run: waterproof formulas tend to dry out faster.

5. No lash curler? No problem!

Just pick up a curling mascara instead.

6. We don’t want to pump you up

Under no circumstances should you pump your mascara wand into the tube. It pushes air in and sucks moisture out, meaning it’ll dry out quicker.

7. Score bombshell lashes

Want long luscious-looking lashes? Before applying mascara, gently powder your lashes to help thicken them up.

8. Every baby lash counts

Having trouble applying mascara to your lower lashes? Go vertical. Orient your brush and apply mascara with just the tip of the wand versus a single horizontal swipe.

9. Mascara can double as a liner

Just apply a light coat of mascara to a small flat brush and you’ll have an instant gel liner at your finger tips. (Is your mind blown yet?)

10. Coconut oil to save the day

When you’re ready to take it all off, coconut oil not only makes a fantastic makeup remover, it’ll nourish your lashes too.