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From using an eye mask to lift lashes to using nothing but Vaseline, it's fair to say that TikTok's beauty community is obsessed with all things eyelashes. The mission is always to achieve long, full and fluttery lashes, which is exactly why one mascara trend in particular is racking up all the views right now.
Enter: lash backcombing.
If you were a teen in the '00s, backcombing probably conjures up flashbacks of 'the pouf' hairstyle, where the front section of hair (or your fringe) was teased and clipped back to create something of a bump. Backcombing gave the hair texture and height: two requirements of the look that had us all in a chokehold. Lash backcombing is a little different but the objective is similar: thicker, fuller lashes in moments.
TikToker @scortezzbeauty was one of the first to go viral after trying the trend, with 375.5k views and hundreds of comments. "You need to start backcombing your eyelashes," they told their 959.9k followers. "This is going to make your lashes look so much thicker." The trick should build up a base of mascara right at the base of your lashes, added Scortezz, "but it might take some practice."
So how exactly do you do it? Scortezz uses Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, $43. Lifting their eyelid with one hand and holding the mascara wand in the other, Scortezz starts coating the tops of their lashes (rather than the underside, as you might usually apply mascara), rolling the brush downwards from the base to the tips. "Now dip back into your mascara," said Scortezz, "and you're going to coat from root to tip as you usually would." The result is twice as much volume and lashes that appear more fanned out and defined.
@rabia.sikander Trying @scortezzbeauty backcombing mascara routine. Do you see a difference? #mascarahacks #mascara #mascararoutine #beautyhacks #thicklashes #biglashes #mascarareview #lashestutorial #lashtutorial #essencelashprincess #lashprincess #makeuproutine #viralhack #beautyhacks #viralmakeup ♬ Betty (Get Money) - Yung Gravy
Making like Scortezz, I rolled my mascara brush over the tops of my lashes, starting at the root and combing all the way down to the tips. I was wearing concealer and had pencilled in my brows, so I found it easier to backcomb without holding my eyelid. It did mean I ended up with some dots of mascara on my skin but that always happens and it's easily scrubbed away with a clean spoolie brush.
The trick is to act fast. Once you've coated the tops of your lashes, go straight in and apply your mascara on the underside as usual. Waiting for the top to dry will only result in lashes that clump together (something I learned the first time I tried this). Once I'd got the hang of it, though, I couldn't believe I'd never thought to give lash backcombing a go until now.
Makeup obsessives will know that lash backcombing isn't exactly a brand-new technique. Sure enough, when I recently headed along to the Trish McEvoy counter in Selfridges, where I learned how to nail natural makeup, my makeup artist Sara hinted that this has been a trick of the trade for years.
"I like to roll the brush down over the top of the lashes first," said Sara, "as this evenly separates them and builds up the volume. If you just do this step without coating the top of your lashes, you won't get that volume," Sara told me.
Sara was right. Like Scortezz promised, the lashes on my left eye (the backcombed eye) seemed twice as thick as the lashes on my right but I was most taken by the natural lift it lent them. (By the way, I didn't use a lash curler prior to mascara because I wanted the true effect.) Somehow, lash backcombing made my lashes look perkier.
Would I backcomb my lashes again? Yes. Absolutely. Though not when I'm in a rush. It takes precision, especially the roll-down motion. Eventually I gave up on rolling and simply swiped the mascara downwards, wiggling the wand as I went along. I've found that this is easier and lends pretty much the same effect.
If you have less to spend on mascara, I swear by L'Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Castor Oil Enriched Mascara Intense Black, $21.99, which blows most designer products out of the water and doesn't budge until you see fit to take it off at the end of the day. I also love Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara Black, $12.99 on sale (TikTok-viral for a reason), and Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Waterproof Mascara, $12.99 on sale, which is basically a lash lift in a tube.
The best thing about backcombing your lashes has to be the zero damage. While backcombing your hair can tear the cuticle, breaking hair strands in the process and causing serious damage, this hack is gentle — and pretty genius.