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Forget the extra shot of caffeine to perk up your eyes after a “meh” night’s sleep. Because when it comes to looking bright-eyed (literally) nothing can help you fake it ’til you make it, quite like long, lush lashes that seem to perfectly arch upwards to naturally open and define your eyes.

But rather than wrestle with falsies or dedicate yourself to an expensive monthly extensions habit, in just a few quick steps you can completely transform not only the length and fullness of your lashes, but also how amazingly defined your eyes appear, too. Here, Suzy Gerstein, makeup artist shares her tricks for how to get the longest lashes ever. Sure, they may not be completely au naturel, but they’ll be pretty darn close.

Keep scrolling for the quick and easy mascara hacks that pros use to create long, thick lashes.

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The size and shape of the brush matter

If your lashes are on the shorter side, opt for a skinny brush which Gerstein says, “can elongate even the shortest of eyelashes.” When it comes to the brush shape, if you feel your lashes are sparse and you crave a more flirty and full fringe, “opt for a big, fat brush which is great for creating thick, dramatic statement lashes,” she adds. And she notes, regardless of your lash type, you may want to steer clear of water-proof or long-wear options as they don’t elongate or thicken and may just cause more clumps.

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Always start with a lash primer

Yes, it’s an extra step and you can’t help but wonder if it’s really necessary…but it is. Here’s why: It helps elongate each individual lash and allows them to hold their shellacked shape longer (it’s especially important for lashes that usually get weighted down or go limp). Plus, primers such as Honest Beauty Mascara Lash Primer often have healthy lash ingredients. Don’t have a primer? Gerstein recommends applying one coat of mascara, then your eyeshadow followed by a second, generous coat of mascara. “The powder shadow fallout will act as a lash primer and create extra length and thickness that gives an almost false lash like appearance,” she says.

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Refine your technique

How you apply your mascara is arguably just as important as the formula itself. Rather than gazing straight forward or down, tilt your chin toward the ceiling which will allow you to clearly see where your lashes meet your waterline. Then, holding the wand horizontally, push it straight into roots of your lashes. Blink so that the concentration of the formula is applied to the roots and wiggle the wand through the rest of your fringe. “I like to think of it like tight-lining with mascara rather than eyeliner.”

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Comb lashes out as the finishing touch

Yes, we know—another step. But instead of tossing (or never reaching for) the comb brush that comes in your makeup brush kit, make it a staple of your mascara routine. Because Gerstein says, if you want some extra va-va-voom and fewer clumps, combing your lashes between each application is crucial. “Focus on pulling the outer lashes up and away from your nose to create the illusion of more length,” she explains. “Then, flip your wand vertically and gently coat your tips using a windshield wiper motion, which will help elongate each individual lash.”

To get your natural mascara fix, try one of these editor-tested options that are well worth coating your lashes with. Just make sure you don’t hold onto them longer than the expiration date, or else some freaky stuff could start happening on your lids.