Ask a Beauty Editor: How to Apply Fake Lashes Like a Pro

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Reader Question. How do you use false eyelashes and make them look natural? Reagan Fowler.

As someone who has been a beauty lover for a long time, I spent the longest time learning about false eyelashes. Those furry strips are the most frustrating guys, and when they don’t go down – or don’t go down – and you want them to (those ends are cursed), not to mention gluing them so close to your eyeballs feels downright awful.

But don’t worry, because I’m loving false eyelashes right now – keeping my favorite wispies on 24/7 (I sometimes forget to take them off because they’re so comfortable) – and if I can do it with my shaky little hands, so I can you. To help me out, I also enlisted the help of two false lash experts, celebrity makeup artists Renny Vasquez and Joanna Simkin, so that you can apply those eyeball bangs in the blink of an eye.

Step One: Choose your lashes

There are three main types of lashes: individual, clustered, and strip.

Individual lashes are ideal if you want to fill in sparse areas of your lashes. They are applied one at a time, and if used correctly, they blend in perfectly and look like you’re wearing nothing. The customization options for this product are endless, and you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference an inch to the left or right can make.

Cluster lashes are exactly what it sounds like – a cluster of lashes that aren’t as long as a whole lash but longer than a single lash. While this is a popular option for adding some subtle dimension (such as adding on the outer end of a cat-eye look), they can look a bit odd if not appropriately nestled in the natural lash line, so be sure to apply eyeliner and mascara to blend everything in.

A strip lash is an entire strip to be measured and matched to your upper lash line. The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about blending (since they may cover your natural lashes, you usually don’t even need any mascara). Still, the disadvantage is that they tend to look overly dramatic and fake. This is okay if you’re going for the pretty thing, but it might not be ideal if you’re going for the subtle look. That said, many different strip options are designed to be thinner and look more natural, so scroll to the end if you need a recommendation.

Step Two: Remove the lashes

Do you want to make sure your expensive wigs are handled correctly before you’ve had a chance to put them on? That’s why you want to proceed with caution here as if you’re dealing with a fragile flower.

To remove the lash strip, gently peel it away from the outer edge of your lashes. It would help if you never started at the inner corner in case you bend or break a section of the lash – the outer corner doesn’t matter because you’ll probably trim it off.

Step Three. Put on your lashes.

False lashes aren’t a panacea (we all have different eyes, after all), so you can’t just apply some glue and stick them directly to the box.

“Hold the center of your lashes and place the start of the lash band in the inner corner of your eye,” advises Vasquez.” Then, attach the lash band to your lash line. If the end of the lash band goes beyond the end of the lash line, you’ll need to cut off the excess.” Simkin adds that leaving too much at the end can weigh down the outer edge of your eye, so make sure it’s accurate.

Step Four. Apply lashes

Once you have the suitable lashes, lash glue, tweezers, and a mirror, it’s time to start.

Use the tweezers to pull off any excess clear glue from the lash band.” This will bring the lashes as close to your lash line as possible,” says Vasquez.

Apply a thin layer of lash glue to the lash band and wait for the adhesive to become a little sticky, but not completely dry.” Allowing the bond to become sticky will allow the lash band to adhere just right, so you don’t slip off, but still be wet enough to move,” says Simkin. Be patient; the process will take about 30 seconds.

If you’re having trouble getting your ends to stay down, bend the strip into a squishy V within 30 seconds, so the ends kiss. This will better distribute the adhesive between the ends, so they don’t lift.

Holding a mirror under your chin (look down to get an unobstructed view of the top of your lash line, says Simkin), gently place the strip on your lashes. If your hands shake, a lash applicator or tweezers can help you with this.

Using the tweezers or your fingers, adjust the lashes into place, so the outer edges line up first, then the inner corners.

Gently push the strip onto your upper lash line and hold for 15 seconds to secure its position and seal it to your natural lashes.

Most Natural False Lashes

Doe Fairy Starter Pack

If you’re completely new to the falsies game, Doe’s starter pack is equipped with everything you’ll need, including a lash applicator, lash glue, and 4 ultra-fine silk lashes that are so light and airy you won’t feel them on at all.

Eylure London 117 Wispy Light

For a more natural look, try a flowing style. Simkin recommends this one from Eylure and adds that a slightly longer/thicker version is available for larger eyes.

how-to-apply-fake-lashes-Kiss Lashes in Looks So Natural

If you want quality value, KISS is the one for you. This multi-piece comes in sets of 5 that you can reuse, and its tapered-end technology means you won’t be able to tell which lashes are fake and which are real.

MAC 36 Dreamgirl Lash

how-to-apply-fake-lashes-MAC 36 Dreamgirl Lash

Because they’re less dull, brown lashes can be a good choice for a softer effect – this set from MAC has a flirty flare at the end for a feminine touch.

Ardell Lash Natural #120 Multipack

how-to-apply-fake-lashes-Ardell Lash Natural #120 Multipack

The tapered length of these lashes gives the eyes a very subtle lengthening cat-eye effect—plus they’re waterproof!

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