fake eyelash guide

Photos by Catherine Pusateri

Wearing false eyelashes may feel daunting, especially if you’ve never worn them before. However, they’re not as scary as they seem. With a little practice and a lot of patience, adding falsies to your makeup routine can be an exciting way to enhance any look. 

The first time I attempted wearing false eyelashes was for my eighth grade Halloween costume. Just thinking about it makes me cringe as I remember how the lash edges were not glued down all the way and how they were $2 lashes that looked like plastic spider legs. But that’s okay, it’s important to keep practicing and experimenting because it will only make your makeup game better. I’m still nowhere near a professional, but I have become much more comfortable with false eyelashes over the years.

Before diving into how to apply false eyelashes, there are many different types of lashes that you should be aware of in order to choose the best option for you.

Strip lashes are the most common form of false eyelashes. They are one band of lashes that accentuate your regular lashes. These can range from small everyday lashes to incredibly voluminous ones fit for a drag queen. Some of these lashes use mink fur, synthetic fibers or faux mink. Any false eyelash that uses mink fur will not be vegan friendly, but there are many great lashes that are made with cruelty-free synthetic fibers.

Individual lashes often come in sets with several different sizes. These are for precise application if you wanted only a bit more volume towards the end of your lashes or elsewhere. These are sometimes used as bottom lashes to balance out the lashes used on the top lash line. These have recently become more popular and are a unique way to spice up a makeup look.

Magnetic lashes are fairly new to the makeup world and they require no adhesive. There are two sets of false eyelashes for each of your real lashes, one of which goes over the lash and one that goes underneath it. The magnets that are embedded in the lashes connect to each other through your lashes. Some of these magnetic lashes use magnetic eyeliner as the adhesive for the eyelashes. You may be asking yourself, “Is it safe to have a magnet that close to my eye?” In an interview with Cosmopolitan, ophthalmologist Dr. Ilyse Haberman advises people to limit their use of magnetic lashes and to always use them carefully.

If you’re looking to try some new lashes, here are some of my favorites:

Now that we have looked at a few popular false eyelash categories, let’s talk about actually putting on lashes. Whether you are just starting out with makeup or looking to tackle false eyelashes, here is a brief step-by-step guide for applying lashes. 

Step 1: Carefully remove the lashes from their packaging

Before you start to apply, try placing the lashes on your lash line to map out where you would want the lashes to go. You can even trim the edges for a more perfect fit. Having an idea of where the lashes will be placed will help you when actually applying them. 

Step 2: Curl your eyelashes (optional)

This step is optional, but curling your lashes may help the false eyelashes blend in better. Some people also apply mascara before they apply their lashes. One light coat of mascara could help the lashes stick to the false eyelashes.

Step 3: Put the glue on the lash band

Some lashes come pre-packaged with eyelash glue which you could use. However, not every lash box comes with glue, so it may be helpful to purchase a separate bottle of eyelash glue. I recommend DUO Strip Lash Adhesive in White/Clear because it holds my lashes in place for hours and dries clear. 

There are some eyelash glues that come in black which could possibly help blend the lashes to your makeup better, but you have to be more careful with this. Make sure you have added enough glue to lightly cover the lash band, but not too much that it is spilling over onto the lash itself. 

Photos by Catherine Pusateri

Step 4: Wait 30 seconds for the eyelash glue to become tacky on the lash band

Step 5: Carefully line up the fake eyelash to your lash line and press down

I often press the lash down at the middle and then fix the edges of the lash to make sure they are in the right place. I use a tweezer to hold the lash and move the edges because it offers more precision than my finger does.

Step 6: Realign the corners, with special focus on your inner corner

The inner corner is often the trickiest place for lashes, so it is a good idea to make sure the lash band is in the correct place. Try to get the false eyelash as close to your lash line as possible, but it is okay if there is still some space. 

Double-check the glue and make sure the lash has about 30 seconds to set before applying any more makeup. 

photos by Catherine Pusateri

Step 7: Apply mascara to bond your real lashes to the fake lashes

If you did not apply mascara as mentioned in step two, this is when you should apply it. The mascara, whether your first coat or second coat, will help your lashes blend into the false eyelashes to create a more seamless transition. 

Step 8: Fix any open spaces with eyeliner

I like to go back in with a liquid eyeliner between my lashes to fill in any spots where the false eyelash is not as close to my lash line as I would have liked. Any eyeliner will work for this.

Feeling ready to put some falsies on yet? Remember, the only way to get better at applying false eyelashes is to practice and keep going. Everyone has to start somewhere, even if it is on Halloween in eighth grade.

photos by catherine pusateri

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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

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