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Why You Might Want to Consider Trying the Clumpy Lash Look

When the clumpy-lash trend hit its peak a few seasons ago, I told myself I’d never jump on board. I’ve spent my life and career trying to find the perfect mascara—one that gives you long, thick, dark lashes with zero clumps. Why would I ever want to purposely make my lashes look I used a crappy mascara? It actually took a makeup-artist friend of mine, Georgina Graham, physically showing me how it looked on my own eyes to convince me otherwise; it was backstage at Francesco Scognamiglio (say that ten times fast), and she gave me a demonstration of the look for the show on my own face. Still, it took months until I finally gave Maybelline New York The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara a try, and once I did, I have to admit I was hooked. Surprisingly, I really liked how spiky lashes looked, but I couldn’t understand why. I’d been avoiding clumps all my life, but it turns out the effect is actually quite pretty. All of this made no sense until makeup artist Lucia Pieroni explained the appeal backstage at Rochas today in Paris.

Taking inspiration from the collection, Pieroni created a makeup look with a nod to beauty of the 1940s: dark, pencil-thin brows drawn with Clé de Peau Beauté Eyeliner Pencil in Black over the models’ natural arches. The rest of the makeup was kept fresh and pretty with a bunch of new product goodness from Clé de Peau Beauté, all out in early 2017 (shown below): Their forthcoming Radiant Foundation Stick (look out for this one because it’s good) around the T-zone, a bit of their new cream blush in Shade 4 on the apples of the cheeks, and shimmering brown and oyster-colored powder shadows courtesy of their new eye-shadow duos.

But it was the clumpy lashes that I was concerned about. Starting with the right eye, Pieroni took Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara (an existing product), and brushed three coats through the lashes from roots to tips. Then, before the formula had time to dry, she held the wand parallel to the lashes and moved it back and forth through the lashes like the windshield wiper of a car, doing this until the lashes began to stick together and turn into little spikes. “This technique keeps the lashes fanned out but quite wonky looking at the same time,” said Pieroni. She repeated these exact steps on the left eye before moving on to the lower lashes, which she painted one by one with the tip of the mascara wand.

“When you clump the lashes together, it actually kind of opens up the eyes,” she said, which caused me to pause. It makes your eyes look bigger? “Yup, because when you use mascara in the traditional way, you almost create a fan shape with your lashes, so you can’t see behind them in a sense,” Pieroni explained. “But when you squash your lashes together, you create gaps that allow you to see the skin behind the lashes, and it kind of takes on a different dimension. It’s actually quite fabulous, especially if you have good, long eyelashes.” So that explains it. The reason I found the spiky lash look appealing was not because it was trendy, or because I all of a sudden had some sort of mascara epiphany, but because the effect made my eyes look bigger and wider. And that’s never a bad thing in my book—clumps or not.

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