Avoid clumpy mascara by wiggling the wand during application and letting each coat dry before applying the next. Old, drying mascara increases the risk of uneven application and frequently harbors bacteria. Replacing mascara every three months reduces the risk of contamination and helps keep eyes healthy. Mascara that develops an unpleasant or strong odor is also unsafe and requires replacement.
Brush design is another factor that contributes to clumpy mascara application. Many of the most popular mascara brands have brushes with silicone tips. Silicone promotes even application because it glides smoothly over and between the lashes.
Ineffective application techniques also create clumpy lashes, especially on the inner third of the upper lash line. Reduce the risk of this by pulling the brush up and in toward the nose. Some individuals prefer to hold the brush vertically when applying mascara to the inner lashes. Vertical brush positioning also minimizes clumps on the lower lash line.
Clumpy lashes are difficult to separate once the mascara dries. The most effective strategy is to dip a clean toothpick in water, shake it off and use the point to separate the stuck eyelashes. Wetting the toothpick softens the clumped mascara and reduces flaking. This technique also works with spare mascara wands.