Mascara Wand Types: Elle's Beauty School

So this post came about after a crazy experience last week: a lady in Target asked me my advice on mascaras. She shot down every mascara--she'd tried them all...even one I had made up on the spot. So bad, I know! They were all basically the same to her, she said. Long story short (the long story is on my FB), I left in a frustrated huff, but with a sign to finally finish this post. It had been sitting in the drafts folder for years. Think all mascaras are the same? Think again. Let's open up Elle's Beauty School and learn a little about mascara wand types:

I decided to keep this really simple with these basic types: lengthen, tapered, volume, and curl. Let's check out each one:

Lengthening Mascara
  • Usually made of silicone, rubber, and/or plastic
  • Long and narrow wand--usually bendy
  • Gives length to lashes
  • Excellent for bottom lashes
    • Try L'Oreal Telescopic or Covergirl Lash Blast Length or It Cosmetics Tight Line or Benefit They're Real
Tapered Wand
  • Can be nylon bristles or rubber wand
  • Usually short on ends and bigger in the middle
  • Designed to grab all lashes, especially the hard-to-reach ones on the end
  • There are also hourglass wands that are the opposite in design
    • Try Tarteist by Tarte or Covergirl Lash Blast

    • Definition--a sub category of Tapered
    • These wands are usually in an odd shape, like the ball one above from Givenchy. They give definition to a certain area of lashes, like the ends. These are kind of gimmicky to me, but I did want to mention them.
Volumizing Wand
  • Traditional bristle wand, stiff
  • Gives thickness to lashes
  • Try L'Oreal Voluminous or Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara (pictured) or Too Faced Beter Than Sex

Curved Wand or Curling Wand
  • Usually traditional bristles, but other types exist
  • Gives appearance of curled lashes
  • Try one from Rimmel or Maybelline Falsies Benefit Roller Lash (this one lengthens and curls) or DiorShow Over Curl

What's your favorite type of mascara wand?

If you'd like a post on mascara formulas or tips/tricks, let me know!

Extra Elle:

  • Got food poisoning from a salad and ulcers from taking a Goody's powder over the weekend, so my weekend was very low-key. I did check out the Somm documentary on Netflix. It is SO good and I don't really drink or know much about wine. 
  • Do you follow me on Snapchat? I share previews of new products, hauls, bits of my daily life, and of course, CHARLIE! Click the link here or use your Snapchat app to add me below:


  1. I love when volume and curl can be found in one wand :) I didn't know some of the other results you get with the different brushes - thanks girl! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. I must admit most of what I've bought are the traditional curved ones just coz I'm so used to them. I really want to give that Givenchy one with a ball brush a try.
    Happy Monday, Elle:)

  3. Thanks for explaining all these differences in wands. I prefer the curl and volumizing ones for myself. I remember your post on FB about your encounter at Target. People are nuts sometimes! Enjoy your week Elle. :)



  4. I do prefer the volume wands and I do prefer volume, but that cant be the only difference. I tried using one wand with another mascara and the effects weren't the same.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  5. The Lash Blast is one of my favorite drugstore ones. It is crazy to me how many different wants there are out there!! So sorry to hear you weren't feeling well this weekend. That is the worst! At least you got some downtime in to recover :)

  6. oh my god i hope you're feeling better asap! what a way to spend a weekend. and for mascara - i think it took me many years to get the difference but glad to know now! i love anything volumizing

    xoxo cheshire kat

  7. I usually opt for a volumizing wand - I just seem to always have the most luck with those ones!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  8. This is such a great review of the different types of wands, Elle. I've been wondering about the tapered wand, and as crazy as it sounds, had no idea what it did! I don't know if it's the wand for me, but I'm glad I know what it is now haha! Happy Monday!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  9. This is so helpful! I actually didn't know what each type of wand was for! My favorite mascara is the Voluminous so I guess that's the wand type for me!

    Doused In Pink

  10. So sorry to hear you weren't feeling great this weekend! Hopefully the food poisoning has passed. Such a great review! I've never tried a tapered wand before. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  11. This is so helpful! Love the outcome of the volumizing wand, gives more heavy lashes which I love! And think the difference between the wands is rather obvious, so I'm on your side in this hahah! Xx


  12. Yikes I hope you feel better! Thanks for the rundown on the different brushes. I always tend to get volumizing because I need a little extra oomph in my lashes!

  13. That little ball wand - Looks crazy but I can see the benefits of it. I had a friend that would separate every lash with a needle. EVERY DAY. it would take her HOURS to get ready. Drove me nuts. haha

    Hope you are feeling better!

  14. I really love the voluminous one on you the most. I never knew the skinny flat one was for lengthening. I have some mascaras with two wands, so this is helpful!


  15. Ahhh I'm excited about more Elle's Beauty School posts! I'm such a makeup nerd and I can never learn or get enough information. I love trying all kinds of mascaras, but my favorite is still Too Faced Better Than Sex! It's just so good

  16. I loved this Elle--I've seen the different kinds of wands but never really knew why they were different. It definitely helps me figure out which kind I like best!

  17. I had no idea that all the wands could do all of that! Now I know why makeup companies generally show the wands in the packaging when they're trying to sell it to you!

  18. I think I've found mascaras that I love from each different type of wand so it's hard to choose! But I think my favorites are the silicon ones that are longer like the telescopic. I love the roller lash wand too, and the maybelline lash sensational wand! And yes please to the mascara formula post!

  19. I love a good volumizing wand myself. Great post.

  20. I love your little Snap Chat graphic; that's so cute! So sorry that you got food poisoning and ulcers! That's horrible, and I hope you feel 100% soon. I admit that I'm a bit like that lady at Target where I think they are all the same, so this was super informative!

  21. My favorite wand would have to be lengthening since the L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon black is my all time favorite. I also like tapered or volume with the rubber bristles. I hope you are feeling better after this weekend!

  22. I love thickening/volumizing. Thanks for this great post, I am in the market for mascara! Sorry about the food poisoning and ulcer, that is the worst! Hope you are better!

  23. I use to hate th rubber Wands but now I kind of love them! I hope you feel better!!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. This was cool - I guess I use the curling one. I love my Blinc mascara from Sephora! And sure hope you are feeling better!!! :-)

  25. You have gorgeous lashes and this post is extremely helpful. Some people always shoot down everything no matter what and there's no telling them-haha Sounds like an experience for sure.

  26. I don't have a favorite wand I use all of them. I hope you feel better soon.


  27. Sounds like I need to go read your Facebook post! This is very useful information! I tend to prefer the volumizing wands.

  28. I love posts like these and you put so much effort in too. I would say my favourite is tapered. I hope you are over the food poisoning now! Xx

    ♥ Carly Susanne - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  29. My personal favourite think it's a toss between volume and curling wand, even though my lashes are curled already. Find the curling wands give my the full-ness that I like, also volume is great too for people with long lashes gives a great effect. This was a great post, you did a great job!!!

    Katie | https://ktmcgworld.blogspot.ca

  30. What a GREAT informative post! I love mascara...favorite beauty product, so you bet I have one of each of these in my bag! haha

  31. This is such an awesome breakdown!

  32. This was an interesting post! I love using the curl wand or the volumizing one.


  33. This was so informative, thank you!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  34. I swear by the tapered wands. Especially Rimmel and Benefit's...the best!

  35. My lashes are so sparse only a pair of falsies can fake the length and volume... ah I envy your real lashes ;D
    Thank you for the blog visit babe, hope to see you back to check out my EuroTrip honeymoon travel diaries!

    Xx- Julie

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  36. I definitely prefer the lengthen and tapered. Much easier for me to use. Sorry to hear about the food poisoning. I've had that happen to me once and it wasn't fun. Hope you're feeling much better.

  37. This is a brilliant post, Elle! Must say the curve wand that supposedly curl the lashes never really worked for me. So far L'Oreal Telescopic is the one that does everything on my pathetic lashes.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  38. Hope you are fully recovered from food poisoning and that ulcer! My goodness! And your target mascara post cracked me up. I love you made up a name of a mascara. Some people can't be pleased! I normally prefer a volume wand, but I don't mind the curved ones. I dont' really care for the tapered ones, they don't feel good to me.

  39. Wow, I loved the volumizing wand picture, that is really incredible! The lengthening on too, but the volumizing one looks really impressive. I am faithful to two mascaras that I think really work well, but want to try the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart mascara very much!

  40. loved that you included swatch picture with each kind of wand type for more clarification :)

  41. I have been loving the Urban Decay Perversion mascara. I think it's considered volumizing? I'm actually not sure, but I love it!

  42. I basically just need eyelash extensions. The joys of being Asian with short, thin lashes...! I need volume and lengthening... Hehe.

    Followed you on Snapchat :)

  43. Oh girl, I hope you are feeling much better now! Food poisoning is the worst!

    Also, I find it crazy that the lady asked your advice, but then shot down everything you suggested (including one you made up, ha!). Anyway, even if she doesn't appreciate your knowledge, I sure do! I especially love your mascara suggestions! Have you blogged about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara before? I always have my eye out for volumizing mascaras (because while my eyelashes are super long, they aren't super full) and I don't think I remember hearing about this one. But I may have missed it. Anyway, looking into it now! :)


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