makeup monday (late) (or early): false eyelashes 101

So, you’re thinking about trying false eyelashes, eh?

Ahem, Becky and Heather.

Well, where do you start? With buying eyelashes, duh!

You can buy false eyelashes practically anywhere: drug stores, grocery stores, department stores. High-end, low-end, brand name, generic, to me it doesn’t matter where you get them, so far as they’re the shape and thickness you’re looking for.

Ask yourself this question: Why do I want to wear false eyelashes? Is it to add length? Thickness? To make your eyes look bigger? To change their shape? Once you’ve identified your objective, you can proceed accordingly.

  • If you want to add length, look for lashes that are slightly longer than your natural ones. Go as dramatic as you want. If you want row lashes but don’t want them to be too noticeable, look for rows in which the bunches of lashes are more spread apart. Apply them where your lash line naturally begins and ends, and you’ll maintain your same eye shape while blending the fake lashes seamlessly with your real lashes.
  • If you want to add thickness, look for lashes that have fibers placed closely together or fibers that are crisscrossed. Adding this extra layer will have a dramatic effect on your eyes. Again, apply them precisely along your natural lash line.
  • Both of the techniques mentioned above will make your eyes look bigger. Emphasizing your top lash line while using minimum makeup on your bottom lashes makes your eyes look wider and more open.
  • As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I like to use false lashes to change the shape of my eyes slightly. Instead of rounding them, I like to make them look more almond shaped. For this reason, I look for lashes that are thicker and longer on the outside corners, then gradually get shorter in length as they move inward.

Remember, you can always trim the length of your lashes, (or their width, too, if you’re using rows of lashes), to achieve the look and comfort you want.

I always buy my lashes at the drug store or grocery store. Yes, some people stick to brand name lashes, but I don’t notice the difference – except in price. When it comes to $15 lashes vs. a pair I can get for $2.95 at Kroger, you better believe I’m opting for the better deal.

Once you’ve established your objective, it’s time for action! Here are three options I’d recommend, depending on your comfort level. You can find them at any local drug store and most grocery stores. I use all three of these kinds of lashes on a weekly basis, depending on my mood, so they have the Official Jillian Stamp of Approval.

Individual Lashes

I use Ardell Dura Lash in black, both short and medium

If this really is your very first experience with applying falsies, I’d recommend you start here. Individual lashes, while they sometimes take longer to apply, are much easier and more forgiving than row lashes. You can apply and re-apply each bunch over and over again until you find the perfect placement, without messing up the bunches you’ve already got in place. Plus, they look more natural and are more lightweight than row lashes, so they’ll make your transition to fake lashes a little easier.

I like to apply a couple bunches of medium-length individual lashes to my outer corners, then two or three bunches of short lashes toward the middle of my eyelid. They blend into my natural lashes well and create the almond shape I’m looking for.

Try adding only medium-length lashes, if you want them to be really long, or apply many bunches of falsies close together to add volume and thickness. Stick to the outside corner of your eye for an almond shape, or apply them evenly across your eyelid for a bold statement.

When I did my sister’s wedding makeup, I added two medium bunches and two short bunches to the outside corner of each eye:

Accent Lashes

I use Ardell Accents Lashes #301 in black

Lately, I’ve been loving accent lashes. These still make a dramatic impact but are not quite as dramatic as full row lashes.

This shape is perfect for creating almond eyes. I apply glue to the row, then carefully place them with the longest lashes along the outside corners of my eyes, pinching into place with a pair of tweezers.

Here’s what they look like on me today as I’m typing this. (Get ready for MySpace emo photos):

Row Lashes

Ardell Lashes #120 Demi in black

Row lashes will definitely make the most dramatic statement. Apply glue along the lashes and place them directly on your lash line. Remember to measure first so you can trim the ends, if necessary.

The tricky thing about row lashes is placing the entire row so that it blends into your natural line. This can take some practice, as the rows tend to want to curl up, especially at the ends. Carefully pinch them into place with tweezers, then wait for the glue to dry completely before continuing along with the rest of your makeup.

Row lashes come in approximately one bazillion different shapes and textures, so you can achieve basically any look you’re going for. Here’s me wearing the lashes mentioned above. I love them for their crisscross pattern:

Information overload? Well, hang in there! Let’s talk quickly about glue.

There are many glue options, but I would highly, highly recommend you buy a glue that’s tacky in texture. Tacky glue, even when it dries, will peel easily off of both your false lashes and your eyelids.

Using tacky glue, I’m able to wear the same lashes for at least a week at a time. I just peel them off of my eyelids at night before taking off my makeup, then I reapply them the next day. I’d recommend Duo lash glue, available at most drug stores and at Sephora.

Glues come in black, clear, or white that dries clear. I prefer black, because it blends in with my thick eyeliner. I’d recommend you start with white or clear if you’re new to lash application. That way, the glue won’t be so noticeable if it accidentally gets on your eyelid on its way to your lash line.

If you can, avoid hard-drying lash adhesives. They stay on your lashes forever, and I typically end up pulling clumps of natural eyelashes out with the falsies when trying to remove them. If you have to use a lash adhesive, use baby oil to remove the lashes, as it makes the dried glue a little easier to handle.

Lastly, if you need some live-action instructions, check out my “How to Apply False Eyelashes” tutorial.

So, do you feel prepared now? Well get going! Send me questions, stories and pictures. I’m excited to see your work!

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