The Pros & Cons of False Eye Lashes

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Sultry, dramatic eyes with sweeping fans of long, lush lashes are every woman's dream. Most women don't have those lashes naturally, though. False eyelashes can help make the dream a reality, but are they for you?

Easy to Apply

It will take a little practice to get comfortable with the technique, but fake eyelashes are not hard to apply. For beginners, lash strips are usually easier. Some brands now come attached to adhesive strips, making application as easy as pressing the lashes in place.

Individual lashes are a little trickier and take a steady hand, but these work better if you're after a more natural look. With either style, it pays to practice a few times if you're planning to apply false eyelashes for a special event.

Affordable Fashion Accessory

If you're looking for an easy and relatively inexpensive way to change your look, false eyelashes are a good choice. With their recent increase in popularity, fake eyelashes are readily available in the cosmetics section of most drug and grocery stores.

False eye lashes are also relatively inexpensive, with most styles and brands priced under $10.00, as of 2010, and if handled carefully, you will be able to reuse most types.

Create a Variety of Looks

From simple and natural to bold and funky, fake eyelashes can help you complete a new look. Create a natural look by trimming small lash sections to a length that matches your own lashes, using them to fill in thin spots, or add more to the outer corner of your eyes as an accent. A full strip of lashes will be much more dramatic. For the truly daring, there are even extra-long theatrical lashes and lashes in fun colors or embellished with jewels or glitter.

May Not Look Real

One drawback to false eyelashes is that they may look, well, false. Brightly colored, metallic or jeweled eyelashes aren't intended to look real, but even 'natural' fakes may look phony and stiff. This is especially true if you haven't had much practice in applying false lashes. A poorly placed lash or lash strip is obvious. Lashes that come loose or fall off are even more obvious.

Damage Natural Lashes

Apply or remove false eye lashes incorrectly and you run the risk of damaging your natural lashes. False lashes are intended to be applied to the eyelid, just above the lash line, not to your actual eyelashes, but even with the most careful application, the glue may spread. Pulling off false lashes without first loosening the glue may remove real lashes as well.

Irritation and Infections

The skin of your eyelid is very sensitive and fake eye lashes and adhesive contain chemicals that can be irritating or even cause allergic reactions. Sleeping in false lashes or wearing them for several days can allow bacteria to build up, leading to infection. And like mascara, eyeliner and other eye makeup, sharing false eyelashes or glue can pass bacteria from person to person.