Guide to Fake Eyelashes

by Jennifer Blair

Curl your natural lashes before putting on false ones to help the two blend together.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When you want to draw attention to your eyes, applying mascara to your lashes is a quick, easy way to get it done. However, for amping up sparse lashes or looking extra wide-eyed for special occasions, mascara may not be enough. That's when false lashes come to the rescue. If you've never used falsies before, applying them can definitely be intimidating. But all it takes is a basic understanding of fake lashes -- and some practice -- and you'll be applying them like a pro.

Types

False lashes typically come in two varieties. Traditional lashes are usually a full strip that follows the contour of your natural lash line to add volume and length across the entire eye. You may also apply individual lashes, which are actually clusters of several lashes that are used at the outer corner of the eye -- or anywhere your lashes are sparse -- to elongate the eye’s look. They tend to look more natural than strip lashes, and beginners often find them easier to apply. Natural lashes are usually made from 100 percent human hair and have a softer, more natural look. Synthetic lashes are typically made from a plastic material that may appear artificial and stiff, which can make them more difficult to apply. However, synthetic lashes are more durable, so you may get more uses out of them compared to natural lashes.

Preparation

Prep work for false lashes is key if you want a long-lasting application. While you can apply eye shadow and liner prior to putting on fake lashes, your own lashes should be bare – don’t apply any mascara before the false lashes. Instead, just curl your lashes with an eyelash curler so they’ll follow the curved shape of most false lashes. If you’re using strip lashes, measure them against your eye to see whether you need to trim them to fit. You can also cut a strip of lashes in half and use it to accent just the outer portion of your eye.

Adhesive

With false lashes, it’s the adhesive that really does the hard work. Some false lashes come with their own adhesive, but these can often be of poor quality. Instead, pick up a separate tube of lash adhesive from a drug or beauty supply store to ensure that the falsies stay in place all day. Lash adhesive comes in a squeeze tube or a tube with a wand-style applicator that allows you to brush the adhesive directly on the band. If you use a squeeze tube, apply some glue to the back of your hand and gently run the band of the lashes through it. If you’re new to putting on false lashes, a clear adhesive is best because any mistakes that you might make won’t be visible. However, dark adhesive can give your lash line a thicker, more intense look, which can be ideal for an evening out. Whatever type of adhesive you use, the trick is to let it sit on the lash band for 30 seconds to a minute so it becomes tacky before application.

Application

When it comes to applying false lashes, using a pair of tweezers to hold the lashes can help. If you’re applying strip lashes, grip them in the center and place them as close to your natural lash line as possible; don’t bring them in so they’re perpendicular to your eye, though. Drop the lashes in place from above. Press the outer edge of lashes in place first and gently work your way in, smoothing the lash band out as you go. If you’re applying individual lashes, just press them into the lash line wherever there are gaps in your natural lashes.

Photo Credits

  • Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.