I absolutely love false eyelashes and don’t think they get the attention they deserve. They add femininity and sexiness to any eye and are used on most fashion photo shoots, runways, and red carpets. In the sixties, false eyelashes were a staple of the makeup routine. Sadly, later generations have lost the knack for them. Women are often afraid that false eyelashes will make them look retro and ridiculous. But today’s false eyelashes are almost undetectable from real lashes and can make eyes look more alert and larger, all while looking natural. With so many different types of false eyelashes on the market, it’s easy to achieve any desired look, from everyday to glamorous and dramatic.
False Eyelash Strips
Some women find lash strips too fake-looking, and in the past, that may have been true, as false eyelashes were often modeled after retro looks. However, eyelash strips have evolved and can look completely natural and very versatile. They come in dozens of different styles. Some offer a retro look; others crisscross at the base, duplicating the look of natural lashes, and are almost undetectable. It’s now hard to tell where natural lashes end and false lashes begin. When looking for strips, pay attention to the shape of your eye. Women with wide-set eyes should look for lashes that are longer in the middle of the strip and taper at both ends. This draws eyes out. When in doubt, try a few different styles to see what works best for your eyes.
Lower lashes are great for strong period looks, such as the 1960s look, and can also be worn for a night out on the town, but always with a smokey eye and upper lashes as well so that they look more natural. If you have sparse lower lashes, lay the strip on top of your existing lashes; otherwise, apply it beneath your lower lashes. You can also use individual eyelashes that are shorter than upper individual eyelashes.
Individual lashes are clusters of hairs attached together at one point that flare to create the most natural look and are great for women who want very light enhancement to their lashes. Sometimes all a woman needs is three or four individual lashes on the outer corners to “wing out” the eye or a few in the center to add height and open up the eye. Women with very sparse lashes should stick with strip lashes as they will hold longer and are easier to apply on a sparse lid.
These are individual hairs – just one, or sometimes two – that are applied to the lash line. Use these for a truly separated lash look, but note that they are more difficult to apply and do fall easily into the eyes, as they don’t have natural hair to sit on. Use strong eyelash glue to the attached.
Three-Quarter Strip Lashes
These types of strip lashes are a favorite of mine because they fit almost every eye and are very comfortable to wear (no poking, as sometimes happens with full lash strips). They are easier to apply than full strips, as they don’t need to be cut down.
These lashes were designed to add just a little fit to the ends of the eyes and create a dramatic look, extending and accentuating the outer corners. They are a great way to add a little oomph to your lashes without using a complete strip lash. Apply as you would an eyelash strip.
Be careful in choosing the correct lash glue. The glue should not be too runny or too strong – glue that is too strong can make the lashes very painful to take off, which is terrible for the delicate eyelid area. Very strong glues tend to be clear and have noticeable fumes when opened. A better option is the glue in a tube that comes out white or iridescent and dries clear. One of my favorite false eyelash glue is Duo Eyelash Adhesive.
How-To Apply False Strip Eyelashes
Applying strips correctly can take time and practice. I like to apply false eyelashes after all of my eye makeup has been applied. This should be the last step, as applying makeup on top of false lashes can cause them to lift off.
- Gently curl eyelashes if necessary (if you have straight or semi-straight eyelashes).
- Apply mascara. (Curling lashes and applying mascara give the lashes something to lie on, so you won’t have to hold them in place.)
- Apply glue along the base of the strip lash. Allow the glue a few seconds to get tacky. (If the glue is too wet it won’t stay in place.)
- Balance the strip on top of the eyelashes, attaching false lashes as close to the lash-line as possible. (If necessary, use the back of your tweezers to push lashes closer to the base of your lashes.) Cut eyelash strips in thirds to allow for easier application. This allows you to apply them in a connect-the-dots fashion. This is great solution for those who have a difficult time balancing entire strips on their lashes. Apply on the lash line beginning at the inner corner of the eye, and connect from the inner corner to the outer corner. If the last strip is too long cut accordingly. (Never cut the inner corner.)
- Allow to dry for fifteen seconds and open the eye gently, making sure that glue has not stuck to the lower lashes. If it has, use a wet pointed cotton swab and run between upper and lower lashes to remove the glue.
- Once the glue has dried clear, apply a liquid liner to smooth out the upper lash line and cover any remaining glue mark or sheen. Alternatively, curl your lashes after you have already applied the false eyelashes. This will allow the fake and existing lashes to blend together, making them also feel more comfortable. With both techniques, use black or brown liquid liner if necessary to darken the glue line after the glue has dried.
- If you make a mistake, simply remove the false eyelashes, remove the excess glue from the false eyelashes, and reapply. Remove any glue remaining on your lid. If it doesn’t all come off, no worries, it will dry clear and be nearly undetectable.