This story originally appeared on InStyle.com.
Dakota Johnson and I have many things in common. For example, we both love limes, shading our neighbors, enormous jewels, and walking around in dresses that could double as pajamas (the new day to night). The list goes on, and I personally have Johnson to thank for the trick that keeps my eyelashes so long they graze my eyebrows.
Nope, it's not a stunningly effective eyelash serum—this advice is all about instant gratification. Johnson's secret for long lashes first came to light in 2017, when she shared that her grandmother, Tippi Hedren, picked up a genius tip from her days in the spotlight. "She was watching me put my mascara on once, and told me that if you hold the mirror down low and put the mascara on while looking downward, you will get the most coverage from the base of the lashes to the tips," Johnson explained to Glamour. "And, of course, she's right! She's a f-cking movie star; she's a legend!"
Dubbed "the mirror trick" by beauty editors in the know, I've been using this knowledge since that fateful day four years ago. Combined with the best mascara I've ever found, Kosas The Big Clean Mascara, every day that I take the twenty seconds to put on mascara while looking down, I'm left with lashes that are fluttery, long, and thick.
Shop it! $26, kosas.com
I've been writing about and testing beauty products for the last six years, so by this point I've tried hundreds of mascaras, from the most dirt-cheap drugstore gems to ones that cost almost $40 a pop. In that time, I've wised up to some of the ingredients that you don't want near your eye area, whether it's because they'll aggravate your eyes to no end or they contribute to the fossil fuel industry by using petrochemical byproducts. No bueno.
So when clean beauty brand Kosas launched its first mascara last August, it was a bright spot in a dark time. The formula goes beyond not packing a ton of junk and instead relies on ingredients that help your lashes grow while simultaneously turning them into the stuff extensions dream of, minus the long-term damage. Per its name, Kosas' mascara breaks with the brand's usual minimal packaging for a tube that's joyously pink, chunky, and easy to find in your makeup bag.
The curved wand inside lifts lashes as it brushes on the formula, so you can skip the curling step without forgoing eye-opening impact. Notable ingredients include castor oil, of Rogaine-for-brows fame, provitamin B5, and a tripeptide that the brand says supports fuller hair. Along with moisturizing panthenol, jojoba esters, and glycerin, the combination results in a mascara that never clumps or flakes, but maintains my brow-grazing lashes until I inevitably rub my eyes for five minutes after staring at the computer all day (not its fault).
A couple months ago, I made the mistake of trimming my brow transplant while looking straight in the mirror, and accidentally snipped off the tips of some eyelashes (RIP—gone too soon). After incorporating The Big Clean into my routine, I hardly noticed a difference, and within a month or so they were as long as ever. With over-the-mask eyelashes now a highlight, Johnson's tip has never been more appreciated.
Featured photo by Steve Granitz, Getty Images.