Who doesn’t love a good beauty hack or two? Especially ones that promise to make your lashes look longer and fluttery. Unfortunately, some things are way too complicated (like adding baby powder between coats of mascara…what?) or a tad too expensive (hello, lash extensions). But occasionally, we find a few surprising tricks that require nothing but a simple tweak to our existing routine. And while a lash primer and eyelash-boosting serums are must-have products for killer peepers, every beauty addict could use a bag of tricks. Here are 10 split-second hacks to flawless eyelashes. Every. Single. Time.

1. De-clump your mascara by combing through your lashes with makeup remover.

Dip a clean, disposable wand into a glass of makeup remover then brush them through your lashes from root to tip. The moistened bristles will grab any excess mascara and leave you with clump-free lashes.

2. Bend the brush of your mascara wand so it’s easier to manoeuvre.

As you pull the wand out of the tube, gently bend the tip so it’s perpendicular to the handle. This new shape will make the brush easier to control and get to the harder-to-reach areas, like the tiny hairs toward the inner corner of your eye, when applying multiple coats of mascara to both your upper and lower lash lines. 

3. Layer waterproof mascara on top of your regular formulas to make your mascara last longer and make it easier to remove at the end of the day.

Waterproof formula is great at holding a curl and keeping your mascara from smearing throughout the day, but because it can be difficult to remove, try applying your normal mascara first and finish with a coat of waterproof.

4. Use your index finger to prevent above-the-eye smudges.  

After applying a couple of coats, immediately place your index finger in the gap between your eyelid and eyebrow (aka the spot where your not-yet-dry eyelashes hit). Then bat your lashes a few times against your finger. The excess product will come off on your finger instead of your brow. By the time you’re done batting your lashes, your mascara will be dry so you can go smudge-free throughout the day.

5. Soak your mascara tube in a cup of hot water to make the formula thinner and easier to apply.  

Are you scraping the bottom of the barrel tube of your mascara again? If you’re constantly running out of good stuff long before its three month expiration date (you should always toss your mascara after three months to prevent any eye infections), try setting it in a cup of hot water (make sure the cap is on good and tight) and let it soak for a few minutes. The heat will loosen the clumpy, dried-up globbies from the sides of the tube so you can get every little last bit of goodness outta there. Bonus: The warmed-up formula (now more liquid-y) will glide onto your lashes like a dream.

6. Hold the brush at a horizontal angle if you want thick lashes, or turn it vertically for a more natural finish.

The way you hold the brush when applying your mascara can make a huge difference. Holding the brush horizontally and wiggling it back and forth will give you voluminous lashes, while holding it vertically and running the tip of the brush along the length of your lashes will leave you with a longer, more natural finish.

7. Hold a spoon underneath your eye when applying mascara on your lower lashes to avoid looking like a raccoon.

Place a spoon below your eye (rounded side facing out), and then coat lower lashes with mascara using small downward strokes. This way, the mascara will land on the back of the spoon rather than your skin. This trick also works when applying mascara on your upper lashes.

8. Warm up your eyelash curler — a must-have for anyone wanting a flawless fringe — with a blow-dryer so your lashes curl more easily and hold their shape.

Blow warm air onto the lash curler with your blow-dryer until it heats up, wait until it cools slightly (test the temperature on the back of your hand first to make sure it won’t burn), and then curl your lashes as normal. This trick creates curled lashes the same way curling your hair does with a curling iron.

9. Get longer lashes by applying mascara to the tips of your lashes first.

Instead of starting at the base of your lashes, apply the first coat of mascara to the tips, running the wand through the top side of your lashes and coating the tips from above. Then apply your next coat as close to the roots as possible and wiggle your wand from base to tips as you normally would. When you apply multiple coats of mascara to the entire length of your lashes, it can be too heavy and cause clumping. By applying the first coat to only the top side of the tips, you get the added length where you need it most—and none of the extra bulk.

10. Avoid ruining your makeup by using moisturizer to clean smudges.

Your nightly oil-based makeup remover is far too thin and will likely cause surrounding makeup to smear. Instead, pull out a Q-tip and squeeze a tiny dollop of moisturizer onto it, which has a thicker and softer consistency, meaning it will latch onto any rogue smudges and spot-treat like a charm.