Out of all the mascaras I've ever purchased, this is the one I always return to. When I search for better, nothing compares. I've used this amazing mascara for the past 5 years and I use it every. single. day. I get the most compliments on my eye lashes when I use this. It is not clumpy, very buildable and does not flake.. It's very dark but still looks natural. I wipe the excess product off of the brush and then apply it to my lashes, wiggling the brush back and forth across my lashes at the base while also twirling the brush as I move upwards through my lashes. (I hope that makes sense!) I let it semi-dry and then apply another coat with the same technique. Sometimes I apply three or four coats! It's all about the technique. I buy a new mascara about every 4 months. It's usually located near the bottom shelf in the Maybelline section. I haven't tried the waterproof kind so can not comment about that. Hope you love it as much as I do. PS.- sometimes when I want to go from a day-to-night look, I apply a clinique lengthening mascara after I've worn the Full and Soft all day and it looks so amazing!