Do you often spend hours in front of the mirror trying to apply fake eyelashes, only to have them fall off after a few hours or stick out at strange angles? We chatted with New York City-based makeup artist Belinda Zollo about the best way to apply and remove fake lashes.
B: Which are your favorite fake eyelashes to use and why?
My favorite ones are the set of full strips like Ardell Invisiband and MAC—especially their # 7 lash). Both offer a variety of styles so you can switch them up depending on the occasion. They appear more natural than some of the character-looking ones, and aren't so ridiculously long that you see them a mile away. The Ardell and MAC false lash strips are also lightweight, which makes them more comfortable.
B: Do you have any tips or tricks for putting on false lash strips?
STEP 1: Before you start to apply, measure the length of the false lash to make sure it fits your eye shape. This will avoid the corner drooping or worse, the end poking into your eye. If the strip needs be shortened, cut the outer edge completely off with small nail scissors.
STEP 2: Take both edges of the false lash and bend them in to create a C shape and hold for a couple of seconds. That's the best way to take out the straightness and ensure it molds to our curved eye shape and stays put without the corners lifting up. Just this alone will make the rest of the process effortless.
STEP 3: Apply a high quality glue such as Duolash for long lasting results, not the glue that comes with the pack! If you have a steady hand, you can squeeze straight from the tube onto the strip. Or an easier trick is to put glue on a cotton swab or a toothpick and glide it across the lash strip. Make sure to be generous at both the inner and outer corner so the glue won't unstick when you blink.
STEP 4: Wait 10 seconds or so for the glue to become more tactile and sticky before placing onto your own lash line. Blow on the glue or gently wave the lash around in the air to speed this up. This is the best way to keep the strip from slipping around while you're trying to line it up properly.
STEP 5: Apply the lash to the base of your natural lash line on top of your actual lashes, not on the eyelid at all. The glue dries clear so don't worry if it gets messy.
STEP 6: Apply mascara last so you can integrate the natural lashes with the false ones, making sure they mesh into each other.
TIP: If you see a gap showing on the eyelid skin between your own lashes and the false ones, don't pull off the strip and start again. You can just fill in the gap with either black liquid liner or eye shadow to hide it.
B: What's the best way to remove false lashes?
Always remove false lashes before taking off rest of your eye makeup. First pre-soften the glue with a cotton swab that's been soaked in an oily makeup remover [try Lancôme or L'Oréal]. Use a dabbing motion along the lash line. This loosens the glue up and breaks down the strength and stickiness. While your eyes are open, take hold of the false lashes at tips of the outer corner. Then close your eyes and slowly, slowly peel them away from your own lashes, working from outer to inner corner—towards the nose.
B: Are the cheaper lashes just as good as more expensive brands?
Generally, no. The very cheap ones can rip easily when you're taking them out of the packet and the hair strands can bend in the wrong places. Or sometimes they don't bend along the band which will make the corners lift off. Totally frustrating. Another main difference between cheap and expensive is the quality of the hair. Expensive ones are made from real hair and sometimes it's the fancy, unique design you're paying extra for. Plus, if you are careful when removing them, you can re-use them a few times and get more value this way. With cheaper brands, you may not be able to use the lashes more than once.
B: Can wearing false lashes damage your real eyelashes in any way?
No, false lashes and appropriate glues don't have any damaging risks. But rough removal of lashes will run the risk of pulling your own hairs out.
B: Is it okay to wear them at the beach or while you're swimming?
It's totally fine to wear false lashes to the beach. Being in water up to your shoulders is okay, but actually putting your head underwater is not ideal. Water can loosen the glue's adhesive. If I have sticky residue when I am applying a strip, I actually use a tiny bit of water on a cotton swab to un-stick the glue.