How to choose and apply your own false eyelashes

Guest post by Lauren

Lauren was helpful enough to clue us makeup-challenged people in on how to apply one's own false lashes. She also gives us a hand-dandy rundown on what eyelash styles are best for whatever look you're going for, price-based eyelash choices, AND she gives us answers to questions like “does it matter what color mascara I use?” and “do I apply my make-up or eyelashes first?”

fake eyelash application 14

What false eyelash styles give what eye effect:

  • Spikes (like what I'm using), gives a retro, wide-eyed cutie look. Kinda like Twiggy, but more doll-like.
  • Criss-crosses give a natural glam effect. Nice wide eyes, but not super heavy.
  • Dense/full lashes give a retro look like Twiggy.
  • Angles/sweeps give a cat-eye effect. Of course, angles/sweeps are often combined with other styles (often criss-cross, spikes and dense), so you get two looks.
  • Natural/sparse lashes give a very natural look, they just add some fullness.
  • Wisps give a glam look, a little heavy.

And length is EVERYTHING. The longer the length, the more glam and heavy your lashes will appear. The length of my lashes are medium length (longer than my natural lashes, but not super long). At the end of this post I'll post examples of each style.

Tools and products needed:

fake eyelash application 1

  • Your favourite mascara. NEEDS to be black. Not brown or brown-black. BLACK black. I am using MAC's Haute & Naughty Mascara.
  • Eyelash curler. Mine is just some cheap Revlon brand one, but whatever you have is fine.
  • False eyelashes, measured and trimmed. These are some cheap ones (retails for about $5 CAD/box of 10). I'll list some other brands I use and like… High quality lash brands: MAC, Makeup Forever. Above average quality lash brands: Eyemimo, Quo (please note Quo is a Canada only product…but you might be able to find it online). Average/drugstore quality lash brands: Ardell.
  • Eyelash glue. Please note that most eyelash glue contains latex. So if you have an allergy, you'll need to probably order a latex-free glue. DUO is the best brand for glue. It comes in transparent (what I have pictured), and black. I recommend you get transparent.
  • OPTIONAL. Old crappy tweezers. These are tweezers from Tweezerman. I stress the “old and crappy part” because glue will get on your tweezers, and it causes them to dull over time. Just make sure the tweezers can pick up and hold onto the lash. I own two sets of tweezers, one for plucking eyebrows and such, and one for doing my eyelashes. Please note this product is optional… but I'll get to that later.

Step #1:

Apply your eyemakeup as normal. But DO NOT apply mascara or curl your eyelashes. Here is my eye makeup before lashes. Notice I have eye shadow and eyeliner on.

TIP: While eye shadow is not ever necessary when applying false eyelashes, eyeliner is. Eyeliner helps break the gap between your natural lash line and your false lash line. Even if you do apply your false lashes correctly, and they are as close to your natural lash line as possible without actually being ON your natural lashes, there is still a small noticeable gap/difference. Eyeliner helps fill in the gap (no matter how tiny), and creates a more solid line/effect.

Step #2:

It is now time to choose your lashes and trim them. I've already shown you the pair I'm using.

To trim your lashes, place the lash along your natural lash line, then mark with your finger where you need to cut. Cut the lashes at your marked place with scissors. This is kind of an eyeballing step, so make sure you double check. You don't want your lashes too short. You want to be able to comfortably wear your lashes without either end of the lash stabbing either corner of your eye.

TIP: As for which end to trim from, if you are using an angle/sweep style, trim from the end with the shortest hairs. If it's any other lash, trim from the longer end. The picture above is a comparison of a lash before and after trimming. Please note that not all lashes need trimming… that's why we measure.

Step #3:

We are now going to put a line of glue on our non-dominant hand. This is to dip the lashes in. Many tutorials will say just to pipe glue directly onto the lash, but I find this method is more controlled, because the other way I get waaaay too much glue.

Step #4:

Dip one lash into the glue carefully.

TIP: This is where I begin using my tweezers. Many people just use their fingers, but I find my fingers get in the way too much, and I have more control with the tweezers. Keep in mind, I said the tweezers are optional. If you find you can't use tweezers, then don't. I'm just showing how I do mine because I find it works best.

Using your dominant hand (as your non-dominant one has the glue on it), pinch the middle of the lash with the tweezers and carefully and slowly dip it in the glue, dip a little extra on each corner. If you have too much, you can always wipe it off and start again.

This is what your lash should look like after you've dipped it in the glue.

Step #5:

Wait for the glue to get tacky, then apply to your eyelid. Waiting time is about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

TIP: I usually do 30 seconds, then give the glue a couple of blows to make it extra tacky. The more tacky your glue is, the better it will adhere to your eye when you first apply it. You know if your glue is tacky if it isn't as shiny anymore/appears to be more transluscent/looks more solid in areas. DON'T TOUCH THE GLUE TO CHECK. You'll just have to reapply more glue, and it gets messy.

Close your eye lightly (like you're stretching your eyelid), and slowly place the eyelash on your eyelid, as close to your natural lash as you can. If you apply too far away or on your lashes, just remove and start again. If you do accidentally apply it to your real lashes and don't notice (I've done it), removing your lashes will hurt a lot and you risk pulling out some of your real eyelashes.

TIP: I use tweezers to apply lashes, and I apply my lash starting in the middle of my eye. Again, other tutorials will tell you to use your fingers, and start from the outward corner and work in, but this is what is easiest for me. If you find it's easiest to start outwards and work inwards… then by all means do it!

Step #6:

Now we just use the tweezers to press down all edges of the lash and hold for it to adhere. Make sure you spend extra time on the corners because those lift the easiest (also why we use a little more glue on the corners). Once the lash can adhere to your eyelid without you holding it in place with the tweezers, use your fingers to press it firmly into place.

TIP: You should open and close your eye a few times during this process. The first reason is because sometimes, we think the lash is adhered, but as soon as we open our eye, the lash peels off in a corner. This is because our eyelid stretches into a different shape ever-so-slightly when we have our eyes open as opposed to being closed. The second reason is sometimes glue will leak onto our bottom lid/lashes. We don't want our eyes glued shut! When you open your eye, and you notice there is glue on the bottom of your eye (and you will notice!), just use the tweezers to carefully lift and remove the glue from whereever it is. Use your fingers if it's on your bottom lash (you have a greater risk of plucking out a bottom lash if you use tweezers). Be very careful, because tweezers near your eye is risky business.

Step #7:

Repeat steps 1-6 for your other eye.

TIP: DO NOT immediately move on to step 8 after step 6. The reason to start to do your other lash, instead of completing your current one is because the glue needs to dry. Yes, it is adhered to your eyelid, but eyelash glue needs an extra few minutes to fully dry. If you move on to step 8 immediately, your current lash will just fall off or move on you because the glue isn't fully dry.

Step #8:

Double check to make sure the glue is fully dry, then apply mascara.

TIP: To make sure glue is fully dry, you won't see any white. The glue will be clear, maybe a bit shiny, but it'll be clear.

Apply mascara like you usually do, but do it more slowly. Again, you don't want to risk dislodging the lash. Work from the base of your natural lashes upwards, trying to get both your natural lashes and the false ones. This is also the time to redo your eyeliner if need be.

TIP: Mascara helps adhere your natural lashes to the false ones, as crimping and curling them together will damage your false lashes. You also might need to do twice as many coats of mascara than you usually do. I usually do about 4 light coats. Also, you might notice some shininess where glue has dried, or you can see the false lash band very clearly. To combat this, reapply your eyeliner. If you are using liquid, you can just use your liquid liner again. If you are using pencil, don't use the pencil. Pencil can lift your lash very easily. So instead, use some eye shadow in the same color as your eyeliner and an angle brush, then just gently tap the eye shadow across the false lash band to restate your liner/hide imperfections.

Step #9:

Adhere lashes together or add extra curl. You need your eyelash curler for this. But you will NOT be curling your lashes, because curling them will ruin your falsies. What you will be doing instead is tapping the curler so it just barely closes. You don't want to apply pressure and pinch. What you're doing is just touching the false lashes to your natural ones, so the mascara can help them bind together. You only need to do this if your natural lashes are fully adhering to the false ones when you applied mascara. This step is a must for girls with crazy straight lashes.

If you are finding your lashes (the false ones) aren't curled enough for you, or stick out too straight, you can curl them now. But do it very carefully, and only do it once. You should pinch/curl your lash at the base. Do it ONLY ONCE and do it very lightly. If you curl it too much (do it more than once or press too hard), your lash will be too curled, and the false lash will be permanently in that shape.

Step #10:

Clean up and finish. This just involves cleaning up any mascara that got on your skin during application, reapplying undereye concealer, etc.


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