How to Buy and Apply False Eyelashes

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There are dozens of fabulous mascaras that can maximize your natural lashes, but no mascara can compete with the results you can get from a good pair of false eyelashes. If you've been coveting the extraordinary fullness and length of celebrities' lashes, falsies are for you. Celebrities aren't relying on mascara alone, and you don't have to either!

Many people feel intimidated by false eyelashes, but worry no more: The Paula's Choice ResearchTeam has expert tips to take the stress out of buying and applying lash strips.

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Buying False Eyelashes

We always say that when it comes to cosmetics, expensive isn't necessarily better, and false lashes are no exception! There are excellent options available at the drugstore and online for a fraction of the price of department store lashes. But no matter where you buy your lashes, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, we recommend human hair lashes over lashes made of synthetic hair. Human hair lashes blend easily with the natural lashline and they take mascara much better than synthetic lashes.

Next, if you're buying a full set of lashes, pay attention to the width of the lash strip (which is the band that the individual lashes are attached to). A thin or "invisible" lash strip is preferred over a thick or opaque lash strip, as the latter tends to be more obvious. Also, the thinner the lash strip, the more lightweight and comfortable the falsies will be.

Shape matters! Falsies come in all different shapes and lengths. Choose those with a shape and length similar to your natural eye shape and with the look you desire. If in doubt, choose a medium length set of lashes with a rounded shape (such as M.A.C. # 35 or #21). Lashes that have the most length in the middle of the eyelash strip create a universally flattering shape.

Recommended Brands of False Eyelashes

  • Ardell (sold in most major drugstores)
  • Kiss Me
  • M.A.C.
  • Benefit

Recommended Brands of Eyelash Glue

  • Duo
  • Kiss Me
  • Revlon
  • Lock-on Lash
  • Smashbox

How to Apply False Lashes

Step 1: Remove the lashes from the container by pushing down on the center of the lash strip with your thumb. Do not pull from either end of the strip because you don't want to stretch, rip, or tear the delicate lash strip. If the lashes are difficult to remove by pushing down in the center with your thumb, use tweezers. (Keep the container, just in case you want to save your falsies and wear them again.)

Step 2: Try on your lashes before you apply eye makeup. You won't have to hold them there with your fingers because new lashes generally have a small amount of adhesive left on the lash band. Trying on your lashes before applying eye makeup lets you gauge what they will look like on, and then you can plan your eye design (especially the eyeliner) around your lashes.

Step 3: Apply your eyeshadow design, but skip the eyeliner and mascara for now. Most types of eyeliner will affect how the eyelash glue sets. If you must use eyeliner before you apply your lashes, we recommend using a liquid liner or a lightweight gel liner. Eye pencils tend to interfere with how the eyelash glue sets, leading to short-lived results.

Step 4: Before applying the lash strip, gently bend and wiggle the strip. This will help it rest more comfortably against the curvature of your eyelid.

Step 5: Try the lashes on again before setting them with the glue. This is your chance to see if your eye makeup needs to be enhanced or toned down. It's much easier to add more eye makeup before the lash strips are in place and the glue dries.

Step 6: Trim the lashes. Almost everyone needs to trim strip lashes to get them to fit properly. Trim the lash strip so that it ends before your natural lashline thins out at the inner corner of your eye. If the lash strip doesn't fit your eye shape, you may need to cut the lashes into two parts for a comfortable fit.

It's best to trim the lash strip from the OUTSIDE. Lash strips typically have smaller lashes at the inner corners to mimic natural lash growth. Falsies that have a dramatic wing shape (M.A.C. #44) can be cut from the inside, but there will be a more obvious demarcation between where the false lashes stop and your natural lashes start.

(Note: It's okay to trim the lashes after Step 2, but you'll mitigate any post-trimming regret by waiting to trim the lashes until you've tried them on with your finished eye design. Once the lash strip is cut, there's no going back.)

Step 7: Happy with your eye makeup design? Now you're ready to apply thfe glue to the underside of the lash strip.

Step 8: Apply the lash strip as closely to the lashline as possible, but don't apply the lash strip to your eyelashes because you don't want to risk getting glue in your eye. Also, it's messy to remove the glue from your real lashes, and you risk pulling out your real lashes if the get stuck in the glue.

Step 9: Give your lashes a minute or two to set with the glue before applying eyeliner over the lash band. Applying eyeliner will help the lash strip blend seamlessly into your eye design.

Step 10: If necessary, complete the look with a light coat of mascara to blend your natural lashes with the falsies.

How to Remove False Lashes

Step 1: Remove your false lashes by gently pulling out from the center of the lash and wiggling until the lash comes off.

Step 2: Use a silicone-based eye makeup remover and a cotton pad to remove the eyeliner and glue. You may need more than one cotton pad to remove the remaining residue of glue.

Step 3: Don't wet the false lash strip. To remove the glue from the lash strip, gently pull the glue away from the band.

Step 4: Place the lashes back in the container.

(Note: Lashes always wear best the first time. For hygienic reasons, we don't recommend using a single pair of lashes more than 2–5 times, and advise against sharing lashes with friends.)

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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