False Eyelashes Guide: Everything to Know About False Eyelashes
From strips and clusters to glues and applicators, there’s no denying that the world of false eyelashes can seem a little intimidating. If you’ve been wanting to give false lashes a try but have had no idea where to begin, this guide will take you through everything you need to know.
Strip Lashes: Instant Volume & Drama
Strip lashes are the most popular type of false eyelashes, with these usually being the most readily available. They consist of a horizontal band onto which faux lashes have already been applied. This band is then placed across your entire lash line.
Strip lashes are available in a variety of different styles, lengths and colors. Although they may, although they may require a bit of practice to master, strip lashes are actually great for beginners, providing instant volume and drama.
The key to choosing strip lashes that are guaranteed to flatter is to find a style that suits the shape of your eyes. For example, if your eyes are quite round, go for winged, curly lashes to enhance those natural curves while accentuating your outer corners. Those with mono-lids do best with multi-layered strip lashes, while hooded eyes need strips with lashes that are slightly longer in the middle, as this will help to open up the center of the eyes.
Now that you’ve chosen your style, it’s time to look at band colors. Some strip lashes have a nude or transparent band, meaning that this cannot be seen. This gives your lashes a more subtle and natural look. On the other hand, a black band is great for adding some extra definition, doing away with the need to wear much eyeliner.
Chances are, the strip lashes you’ve purchased aren’t going to perfectly match the shape and size of your eyes, so the very first thing you need to do is trim them down to size. Simply lay the band over your lash line, lining up the inner corner of the band with the point of your lash line where your hairs naturally begin. Then, use some tweezers to pinch the band at the point where you will need to trim, creating a small indentation. Once you remove the band from your eye, you will easily be able to see where you need to trim.
Make sure that you measure each eye separately, because you will often find that one eye tends to be slightly wider than the other.
You will now need to apply an eyelash glue to the band of your strip lashes, making sure that you cover the band fully without overdoing it. Give the glue a few seconds to turn tacky before placing the band onto your lash line. Try to look down while doing so, as this will give you a flatter surface to work with. Then, adjust the angle of the strip so that it looks natural, before using your tweezers or applicator to gently press the strip into your skin.
Individual Lashes: A Subtle Boost
Individual lashes are similar to strip lashes in the sense that they also consist of a small band onto which lashes have been pre-attached. However, rather than the band running the entire length of your lash line, the bands used for individual lashes are much shorter, with each one holding between 30 and 60 strands of hair.
This gives you much more control when it comes to applying your lashes - use them to enhance your natural length and volume, or apply them in any areas where your natural lashes are sparse, giving them a new fullness. When applied with a skilled hand, individual lashes will seamlessly blend in with your own, giving you a finish that looks completely natural.
Individual lashes can be made from a number of different materials, with human hair, silk and mink being the most popular. It goes without saying that if cruelty-free makeup is important to you, silk or human hair is the way to go. Silk and human hair have the added benefit of triggering fewer allergic reactions than mink.
Other than material, the two other aspects to pay attention to when choosing individual lashes is color and length. Black and brown are the most common in terms of color, so pick a shade that best matches your natural lash color. When it comes to length, this all depends on the look you’re going for. If you want to keep things subtle, pick a length that matches your natural lash length. However, if you want to enhance and lengthen your own lashes, then you will want something longer.
Individual lashes can be applied in a similar way to strip lashes. However, since their bands are already much shorter, you won’t need to do any trimming.
Instead, you can skip straight to the glue stage. Rather than applying your adhesive to the lashes, you may find it easier to take hold of the lashes with your applicator, and then dip this into the glue. Place the false lashes onto your lash line, just above your natural hairs, and press into place.
Cluster Lashes: A Strategic Accent
Cluster lashes lie in between strip lashes and individual lashes - these bands contain more hairs than individual lashes, but are still shorter than strip lashes. Think of it as two or three sets of individual lashes joined together.
If you’re looking to emphasize and accentuate certain parts of your eyes, then cluster lashes are the way to go. They will give you a full and bold look, without appearing too dramatic. Of course, you can also use them as strip lashes, which can be useful if you have been struggling with your strip lashes lifting up at the ends. Simply combine a few different clusters together for a DIY strip lash.
The cluster lashes you choose will depend on how you want to use them. The more drama you’re seeking, the denser the lash style you should pick. You will also find many multi-layered cluster lashes out there, with these being ideal for a fuller flutter.
Cluster lashes are applied in a similar way to strip lashes, with a small amount of glue being dispensed onto the band before placing this over your lash line and pressing in. You may want to also apply a small amount of mascara at the roots of your cluster lashes, as this will encourage them to blend in more evenly with your natural lash hairs.
Magnetic Lashes: Reusable & Gentle
Magnetic false eyelashes haven’t been around for very long, but they have quickly taken the cosmetics world by storm. Their main advantage is the lack of glue needed when it comes to application, and the fact that they are reusable is another huge plus. The micro-magnets used in these lashes are powerful enough to provide long-lasting staying power.
Magnetic lashes are continuing to grow in popularity, meaning that new styles and shapes are regularly becoming available. While magnetic lashes used to be accompanied by quite a high price tag, this is now changing as they become more mainstream.
Choose your magnetic lash style based on the look you’re going for. Magnetic lashes can be used for everything from a subtle lift to full-on drama, with both strip and cluster styles available.
Again, the material of the hairs deserve your attention. Decide whether you want to go for human or synthetic - this may not make much of a difference to you unless you happen to suffer from certain allergies.
Magnetic lashes feature two magnetic strips that lock together, sandwiching your natural eyelash hairs in between. Begin with the upper strip, placing this over the top of your lash line, making sure that you have it in the perfect position. Then, slowly bring the lower strip up towards it from below, until it snaps onto the upper strip.
If you need to reposition them, or remove them, don’t be tempted to tug or pull at the magnets - this could cause some serious damage to your natural lash hairs. Instead, give the hairs a gentle rub with your fingers and you will find that the magnets naturally slide away from each other.
Eyelash Extensions: A Semi-Permanent Investment
If you’re tired of temporary false eyelashes and want something a little more permanent, then eyelash extensions may be worth considering. However, keep in mind that regular monthly touch-ups are vital if you decide to go down this route, otherwise your extensions will only last for about six weeks.
Let’s be real here…eyelash extensions can be pretty pricey. Expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $500 for a set of extensions from a reputable salon. Don’t be tempted to cheap out on this procedure either, as all of those bargain deals will likely leave you dealing with swellings, conjunctivitis and more.
If you’re prepared to invest, decide whether you want to visit a professional or purchase an at-home kit. Having extensions done in a salon is usually advised, because accurately gluing each individual extension onto your lash line can be difficult to do yourself.
The entire process takes between one to two hours, depending on the style you have chosen. Once done, aftercare is important - make sure that your lashes don’t get wet for the next 24 hours, and be prepared to carefully de-tangle them with a spoolie brush in the mornings.
Choosing an Eyelash Glue
Whether you go for strips, clusters or individuals, most of the false eyelashes out there require the use of an eyelash adhesive. While some lash sets may come with an adhesive included, others will not, meaning that you will need to purchase your own.
So, how do you choose between all of the different eyelash glues out there?
Your first decision is the color you pick. Eyelash glues will usually either be clear and transparent, or will have a deep black finish. If you want to keep your false lashes looking subtle and natural, then a clear adhesive is what you need. However, if you would prefer a little extra definition along your lash lines, then a darker adhesive will provide this.
Next, decide on how you would prefer to apply the lash glue. Adhesives that come in tubes are always better value for money, but can sometimes make the job messier for beginners. Brush-on adhesives are useful too, with these containing a wand-style applicator that makes it easy to apply the glue onto a targeted area.
Do You Really Need an Applicator?
While it is definitely possible to apply false eyelashes using just your fingers, this method will likely lead to so much unnecessary frustration, while also taking more time than it should.
This is where an applicator can be a huge game-changer…
What does a false eyelash applicator look like?
It varies - they’re available in so many different shapes and styles. However, the most basic versions usually look a little something like a pair of slant tweezers, but with a wider tip that is able to provide a firm but gentle grip across the entire band of a lash strip. Applicators are designed in a way that make them easy to maneuver around the eyes, helping you to place and position your false lashes in a way that looks beautiful.
Removing False Eyelashes
While you may be tempted to pull your false lashes off after a long day, resist the urge immediately! Tugging, rubbing or pulling at your falsies will only damage your natural lashes.
It doesn’t take long to do so - all you need is an oil-based cleanser or makeup remover. You can either massage this directly onto your lashes or use a cotton bud to dab the remover onto the adhesive, dissolving the glue away. The false eyelashes should then gently slide off.
Now that you know the ins and outs of false eyelashes, you’re equipped with all you need to make the very best decision for your face. Whether you want to slightly amp up your own natural flutter, or are seeking something dramatic and extra, false eyelashes are guaranteed to perfectly provide that transformation.