Home Makeup Why Do My Eyelashes Go Down When I Apply Mascara?

Why Do My Eyelashes Go Down When I Apply Mascara?

by Gabbi

We all have our own different interpretations of what the “stars” of our makeup routine are. What’s the icing on the cake?

It’s the one thing that can compromise the look of your makeup altogether. For some of us, that can be our lip gloss, or maybe our highlighter, but perhaps one of the most vital parts of our makeup is none other than our mascara.

Eyelashes can be finicky, especially when they’re not cooperating the way you want them to. When they work with you, they can be flirty and fluttery, but when they’re at their worst, it can quite honestly throw off your day.

For some of us, eyelash woes may seem like a consistent issue – one of the most common problems being that they droop once you apply a product like mascara.

So, why do your eyelashes go down when you apply mascara? Your eyelashes may go down when you apply mascara because you’re not curling your lashes properly, the mascara formula you’re using is incompatible, or the health of your lashes is compromised, among other reasons.

Thankfully, all of these issues can be fixed fairly quickly, so your droopy lash problem won’t last too long after you hunt down the root of the problem. 

In this article, we’ll break down each of these causes so you’ll be able to pin-point if it sounds like your case, as well as how to remedy them.

Why Your Lashes Are Going Down

The eyelashes can be some of the most stubborn parts of our face, working hard to stay as uncurled as possible. Even if you’ve spent your entire life dealing with droopy lash hairs, we promise that when there’s a problem, there’s a solution.

As we mentioned earlier, there are three main causes for your lashes going down when you apply mascara:

  • Improper lash curling
  • Incompatible mascara
  • Unhealthy lashes

However, there are other issues that could be at play, including:

  • Poor mascara application
  • Double coating
  • No primer
  • Genetics

Let’s break all of these down even further…

Improper Lash Curling

Your eyelash curler may look a bit like a Medieval torture device, so it’s always best to handle them with caution. In fact, they can be intimidating enough for some of us to want to skip out on using them altogether.

However, if you want lengthy lashes that’ll have people turning heads, it’s not really a device you can skip out on. Even those with super long lashes can attest to the difference that the tool can make, so it’ll be in your best interest to introduce one to your makeup bag if you haven’t yet!

And for those who already have one, how sure are you that you’re using it properly? It may seem like a straight-forward squeeze, but in reality, there’s a certain technique you could be instilling to make the most of your curl, and some tips and tricks you can start practicing that’ll showcase just how much power your curler has!

Here’s a great video from Nikki Tutorials on how to curl your lashes so they stay lifted all day:

Incompatible Mascara

One of the greatest things about mascara formulas is that you really don’t need to splurge on high end products to see a difference in your lashes.

There are some super forgiving formulas, and though some luxury brand mascaras are revered for making a huge difference in the curl of your lash, chances are you can find a drugstore dupe that can get the job done too.

You may have already heard this next tip, but if you haven’t, let us be among the first to tell you what a difference choosing a waterproof mascara can make. This is especially true if you have super stubborn lashes that seemingly refuse to hold a curl, no matter what brand of mascara you use.

Waterproof mascaras will fight perspiration, sweat, and humidity better than other formulas. They also have a significantly lower water content level (or none at all), which makes all the difference in keeping the curl. The weight of excess water holds down your lashes significantly, so cutting them out altogether helps keep your lashes lengthy.

And, if you’re the type of person who opts for a volumizing formula, you may want to think twice. These mascaras are particularly heavy, so they’re more likely to weigh down your lashes than other formulas.

Unhealthy Lashes

Your mascara coated eyelashes will only look as good as your natural hairs look when they’re bare. Because of this, it’s important that you keep the health of your eyelashes in your priorities, ensuring that they’re moisturized and nourished when they’re not coated in mascara.

You don’t necessarily need to invest in an eyelash serum (though there are affordable options like this one from The Ordinary). Simply using a clean spoolie to coat your lashes with vitamin E, coconut oil, or another moisturizing agent like olive oil can be enough.

Take care not to rub your eyes or be too harsh with your hairs, lest you rip some out or impact their growth. For additional help, take supplements that will increase the health of your hair over time, like Biotin!

Poor Mascara Application

For those of us who use mascara on a daily basis, it may not even cross your mind that the reason why your eyelashes are looking sad is that you’re applying your formula incorrectly! Unfortunately, it’s an issue that a ton of us are dealing us, some of us unknowingly.

The best mascara technique includes gently stationing your mascara wand at the base of your lashline, and gently wiggling it up the length of the hair with a slight twisting motion. This ensures that the entire eyelash is coated evenly and not only improves the length of the lash, but the volume as well.

For the visual learners, here’s a video by MakeupAndArtFreak on YouTube explaining the technique (and showing the difference between that, and a traditional mascara application):

Double Coating

Though there are a number of mascara formulas and brands out there that claim that they’re “buildable,” the truth is that if you’re regularly using multiple coats of mascara, it’s doing nothing more than weighing your lashes down and compromising the health of your natural hairs.

Practicing the technique we mentioned above and getting it down pat will prevent the need for you to double dip in your mascara tube! 

No Primer

Mascara primers are an area of controversy in the beauty community. Some people argue that they do nothing but make your lashes heavy, and that a good curl is all you need to prep your hairs. However, some people swear by a good primer and say they help keep your lashes facing up all day and night.

Due to the split decision, we recommend you try a primer out for yourself so you can see if it works for you! There are some incredible formulas these days that revive dried out mascaras, and not only hold curls, but make your lashes look longer! 

For a lasting curl, long lengths, and a nourishing feel, try out Dr. Mascara Fixer from the Korean brand Etude House!

For volume, an all-day curl, and dark lashes, this white primer from L’Oreal is a great pick!


Genetics play a huge part in how our lashes grow in and how stubborn they are! For example, due to certain genetics you may think you have short, stubby lashes, when in reality they just grow in straighter and thicker than other hairs.

Unfortunately, when it comes to genetically finicky lashes, there isn’t much we can offer in terms of a permanent fix. Lash serums can help with length, and a good eyelash curler (especially one catered to your eye shape) can work wonders!

It is possible to “train” your lashes to stay seated in their upright positions, even if they insist on leaning in a different direction. Simply using a a heated eyelash curler (we like this rechargeable one) every day, even on days where you’re not wearing makeup, can let your lashes know where you’d like them to sit!

Final Thoughts

Dealing with your eyelashes going down when you apply mascara can put a major damper on your day, and for good reason! Thankfully, whether your stubborn eyelashes are due to your genetics, or are because you don’t have the best mascara in your makeup kit, there’s a solution in sight for you!

Related Questions

Do you curl lashes before or after mascara?

You should always curl your eyelashes before you apply mascara! Though you may have seen old makeup artists curl lashes twice, before and after mascara application, using a device as abrasive as a curler while your lashes are coated in a moisture-depleting formula like mascara can cause some major breakage!

Can eyelash serums keep lashes curled?

Eyelash serums help your hair follicles hold onto the weight of a heavy lash better, thicken the look of your hairs, and can help length. However, they’re not known for changing the shape in which your lashes come in, so don’t rely on one to help your lashes sit upwards!

Are Asian mascaras better at holding a curl?

If your hairs are particularly difficult to work with, you could definitely benefit from trying out mascaras that are meant for Asian lashes- which are traditionally more stubborn than other eyelashes. 

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