By Sheila Arkee
One of the very first Breaking Down Beauty makeup tutorials on Painted Ladies was about false eyelash application. Since it was the early days and I didn’t have my photography and lighting down just yet, the results were … murky. Updating this topic is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, needless to say!
False eyelashes are a great way to amp up your eyes, but they definitely take some practice, so don’t feel bad if it takes you a while to hone your technique. After a dozen years of false lashes in my life I’m finally not entirely nervous when I’m applying them, but I can safely say it took about a dozen years to get to this point! Unless you are a false lash prodigy, you won’t get it perfect on the first few tries, so here are a few easy tips to make that practice become perfect.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Here are the tools I use for every false lash application.
A small pair of manicure scissors is always with my makeup kit.
Before you get started, gently remove the lashes from the packaging with tweezers or by placing your thumb in the middle of the lashes and pulling downward. Place the lashes by your eye and see if you need to snip anything off the ends to make sure they match up.
I’m using slanted tweezers but suggest use blunt tweezers for safety purposes. You can use your fingers to apply lashes, but I’ve found that using tweezers makes the process so much easier.
Right now I’m using a clear glue with a brush applicator I found at Daiso, and it works great. What is more commonly available, however, is DUO lash adhesive, which you can find at most drugstores. The great news about DUO is that it now comes with a brush applicator, and that is all kinds of fabulous. Simply brush the glue on your strip of lashes and give it about 30 seconds to set a bit.
If you can’t find a glue with a brush applicator, I recommend putting a dab of glue on the back of your hand or the case for your lashes and using a toothpick or the end of a long q-tip to apply the glue.
You do not have to spend a million bucks on lashes – there are some great ones available for around $5 and less. Red Cherry makes some fabulous lashes that are all around $3. Because of the way my eyes are shaped, I need lashes that are on the dramatic side or else they barely show up at all, so in this tutorial I’m using some from Daiso that were all of $1.50.
Ardell also makes fantastic lashes that are the most commonly available. If you’re looking for a pair of falsies that add volume, I recommend Ardell’s #110 lashes, which are a staple in the kits of many makeup artists.
- Long q-tips
These are life savers and I highly recommend investing in a pack of these. I pick mine up from dollar stores and they’re also available online and at medical supply stores.
Step 2: Prep Your Lashes
Do your makeup as usual, making sure to curl your lashes and add mascara. Some prefer to add mascara at the end, but in my experience mascara is a must as a way to add structure.
Step 3: Application Time
This is it! Here are 3 techniques to successfully apply false lashes. I started learning false lash application with Technique 2, but currently use technique 1 and just go for it. If you are a newbie, technique 3 is the easiest, most foolproof way to learn!
The goal with each technique is to get the false lashes as close to your lashline as possible. Take as much time as you need – the glue dries completely in a couple of minutes so you still have some time to adjust when you’ve placed the lashes on your lids.
With each technique, there is one thing to keep in mind - relax your eyes, don’t close them completely, and look down!
Technique 1: Start from the middle.
This technique is something I worked up to over time. After applying glue to your lashes, apply them so you’re hitting the middle of your eyelids, always making sure to get to as close to the lashline as possible.
Make sure to keep your lids relaxed – avoid scrunching them up like this!
Once the lashes are applied, use the end of long q-tips, or the back side of your tweezers, to secure the ends of the lashes. Blend the lashes with your false lashes with your fingers to complete the look.
Technique 2: Start from the corners.
After applying the glue to your lashes, apply the lashes to the outer corner of your lid and let the glue set for a few seconds.
Then, using tweezers, apply the lashes to the inner corner of your lids.
Here, the ends are secured, but the middle is loose.
Use a long q-tip or the back end of your tweezers to push the mid-section of your lashes toward the lash line.
Technique 3: Cut your lashes in half.
I absolutely adore using half false lashes for a doe-y eyed effect. You can buy lashes sold as half sets, but you can easily snip a full strip for the same purpose. Cutting the strip in half and applying the lashes separately takes a lot of the anxiety out of a full strip application.
However, avoid what I did which was misplace the order of the halves! Ha ha! I kept it because it’s a cool look.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Some people like to add mascara at the end of the application process to meld your lashes and the false lashes, but it’s not something I typically do. However, I will always add a little more liner to blend the strip edges with my lash line.
Separation of the lashes from your corners happens, and in that case you can add dabs of glue by using the end of a long q-tip.
Step 5: False Lashes Removal
To remove false lashes, you can either gently remove them using your fingers, or if needed use a bit of baby oil or an oily makeup remover on a q-tip to loosen up the glue. If you keep your lashes clean and removed the dried up glue, you can acutally re-use them a few times.
That’s about it – now go forth, confidently apply false lashes, and report back!
What are some of your favorite false lash application tips?