I have always loved mascaras and I have always been very picky and choose very carefully (besides these times I cannot resist myself and buy because I want to). I usually read reviews on Paula’s Choice Beautypedia and then on Makeupalley because one is scientifically researched and the other one is from actual users and then I make up my mind based on these two sites. 99.5% of the time I buy volumizing mascaras.
I always ALWAYS apply two coats because I don’t think that any mascara gives volume just with one coat. When applying, the wand must have enough product on it and cannot be too dry or wet (too wet product makes lashes heavier). During application process I will see if it holds the curl or not. I then have the mascara on the whole day (without touch ups) and before taking it off I check how much it has smudged and flaked. Once in shower I must be able to wash it off without seeing any residue on my face (I use warm water to wash mascara off).
I do not care really how the mascara wand looks like, if it is curved or has little or big bristles. The only wand I do not like is the rubber wand because I do not think that these wands give volume at all.
At the moment I have two favourite mascaras that are Catalina Geo Long and Deep & Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Maximum Volume Mascara. Both give good volume, stay put 12+ hours, do not smudge or flake and hold the curl whole day long. Just amazing mascaras!!!