Despite having worked as a writer and editor in the beauty industry for over a decade, there are several things I’ve struggled to master, including the art of false lashes. In addition to taking an hour to situate them on my lash line, they always seem to hang off the corners of my eyes in a sad, droopy sort of way. I’ve loved the look when applied by professionals, but just chalked it up to something I could never DIY. However, considering this is the year to bring the drama back to my wardrobe and makeup routine, I resolved to learn how to apply faux lashes once and for all. And I did.
To be clear, I’m actually pretty content with my natural lashes. They’re fairly long on their own, and when the proper volumizing mascara is applied, can appear pretty lush. However, the few times I’ve had falsies applied professionally, I’ve enjoyed the added dose of drama. And nothing wakes up your face like a set of sky-high lashes (and Botox).
In fact, one of my all-time favorite beauty moments was courtesy of Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury, makeup artist for Charlotte Tilbury (who happens to be her aunt!). I had the honor of getting a full beat by the British beauty guru, which included rosy pink shimmering shadow, feathery brows, a glossy peach lip, and — that’s right — faux lashes. The set she used were a more subtle, natural variety that simply accentuated what I was already working with. And I absolutely loved the effect.
While my need for faux lashes over the past year and half has been non-existent, I promised myself when the tides turned, I’d finally learn to apply them on myself. I’d practice and practice until I got it right and was able to make Schwarzkopf-Tilbury proud. And, finally the time came.
Yes, the past few months have seen a resurgence for me, and a return to fancy work dinners, weekend outings with friends, and even the occasional party. So, in an effort to up my beauty game, I’ve been working tirelessly and bingeing countless Instagram and Youtube tutorials to hack the art of applying faux lashes. And, while my technique is still shaky and far from perfect (I still get messy with my lash glue), it’s definitely grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a few crucial tips. No more droopy lashes for this girl. Ahead, I’ll walk you through how I finally conquered faux lash application at the ripe age of 35.
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You’re Gonna Need Tools (& A Light Hand)
While many may find the ready-to-go strips of lashes a perfect fit for their eye shape, I sadly do not. In fact, I believe this is where many of my application problems stemmed from in the past. I have almond-shaped eyes and for whatever reason, the normal C-shaped curve of most faux lashes don’t fall easily along my lash line. As I mentioned before, the inner corners of my lashes often detach and cause them to droop and flail.
In a Zoom call earlier this year with Sweet Street Cosmetics co-founder (and faux lash extraordinaire) Natalia Durazo, I was advised to trim the ends of my faux lashes so that they started about 1/4 into my inner lash line. Game-changer. Using small lash scissors, I do just that and find the lashes settle much easier along the lash line.
Also, I cannot stress the importance of a lash applicator. Fingers are simply too bulky and cumbersome for handling delicate lashes, so a tweezer-like tool to lay them gently on the lid is crucial. It allows the rest of your eye makeup to remain untouched and minimizes a glue mess. Oh, and always apply your lashes with the applicator facing upward instead of straight-on, as it allows the the lash to fall so that the bristles are upward-reaching and give you that more wide-eyed look.
Use The Right Glue
I think this is a given, but with so many options for lash adhesives these days, it can be hard to decipher what’s right for you. Because I prefer a more natural look, I like a clear gel glue that doesn’t show on my lash line. When I want a bit more definition, I opt for a black magnetic adhesive and lash combo (many find magnetic lashes to be easier to apply and less of a mess as well). Go with your gut here. The only thing I recommend is, when you can, select an adhesive that’s the same brand as your faux lashes or designed for your type of faux lash strip. There are a ton of lash options on the market now, including the magnetic variety, and a bad glue-lash match can mean disaster.
Love Your Faux Lashes
As I mentioned before, the options are truly endless when it comes to faux lashes, so you can go as bold or as subtle as you like. Because I already sport long natural lashes, I like to opt for the more feathery, demure styles out there — I just want a little extra oomph. My current favorites are Sweet Street’s So Fly Lashes in Natalia and Velour Beauty’s Effortless magnetic lashes. However, with the holidays right around the corner, I reserve the right to up the ante and go bolder. And now that I’ve got my faux lash game down, the world is truly my oyster.