Woman applying mascara

Photo: Getty Images

Q: My mascara always looks clumpy. How can I get a smoother application?

A. There are two reasons why your mascara may be clumping.

The first is application. If you load the brush with too much product, it builds up on the lashes and inevitably causes clumping. To avoid mascara overload, wrap a tissue around the brush and gently squeeze off any excess. You'll notice a smoother, more even application every time.

Excessive clumping is also a sign that it's time to replace your mascara.

A tip for when you open your new tube: don't pump the wand in and out. Every time you pump, you're introducing air into the tube, which dries out the product and results in clumping. Instead, swirl the wand in the tube and pull it out.

This technique evenly distributes the product around the brush applicator and helps to keep the product fresher-and clump-free-longer.

Check out more Ask the Editor questions.