Lashes 101


There is nothing more feminine and alluring than the flutter of flirty lashes.  As a makeup artist, I find that no look is complete without adding a bit of fringe.   There is no other product that elicits more oohs and ahhs, and instantly changes the appearance, and personality, of any girl who wears them.    Leave your fear at the door because they are a lot easier to apply than you may believe.   There are thousands of articles and videos available online that tell you “how to” apply false lashes but here are a few pointers that I hope will give you more confidence and make the learning process easier.

Eye Lashes

Photo Credit Anthony Two Moons

Most women are intimidated by lashes because they don’t even know where to begin.   Start by deciding whether you are more comfortable applying a strip of lashes or individual clusters.  Lashes on a strip tend to be easier to apply, but can look less natural than individuals.  To make a lash strip more comfortable to wear, my advice is to take scissors and trim the outer corner before applying.  To avoid irritation, the strip should end before it reaches the inner corner of your eye.  Trimming the ends also removes the longest outer lashes.  If you look in the mirror, your longest lashes are not at the outer corners of your eye.  Leaving these may contribute to an unnatural appearance.  A common mistake that women make is to apply the longest lashes in the wrong spot.

Individual or cluster lashes can appear more realistic than strips, but require just a bit more time and precision to apply.  Individual lashes are available in short, medium and long lengths.  You do not need to buy “long” lashes to have long lashes.  This is not the place to “go big or go home”.  The secret is to apply lashes along the lash line and drop in longer ones where extra oomph is desired.  Real lashes have a mixture of lengths.  False lashes are used not only to add length but to add immediate density for a bolder lash line.

All you need to begin are a pair of tweezers, strip or individual lashes, adhesive and a pair of scissors.  My favorite brands for lashes are Ardell, Shu Uemura and Thi Cosmetics by Taylor Pham.   For you first timers, the brand Andrea makes a starter kit that has a plastic applicator included.   This tool makes it easier to grip the lashes and keep them in place while you apply.  I find that it is easier to work with a pair of tweezers but suggest you try both to determine what makes you most comfortable.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in applying lashes is to use too much glue.  Half of the trouble while learning is getting them stuck to the tweezers, other lashes or onto your eyelids.  Use less glue and allow it to set until it is a bit tacky before dropping a lash into place.  It takes very little glue to bond the lash to your own.  I never apply a lash without using Duo’s dark tone adhesive.   The pigment in this glue makes it less obvious when dry.

The biggest secret between strip and individual lashes is when to apply mascara.  For strip lashes, apply the strip then curl the lashes with an eyelash curler.  This blends your real lashes into the fake and makes them appear more natural.  Once curled, apply mascara.  You may need to apply more mascara than usual to the inner corners to blend your own lashes into the strip.   Individual lashes are just the opposite.  Once you have applied your mascara, drop the clusters into the spaces where your own are sparse.  Individual lashes tend to move and twist.  Mascara acts as an anchor to hold them in place.  Strip lashes are attached to each other by a thin band.  To hide the band, I always suggest adding eyeliner once lashes are applied.

Lastly, it is easier to learn how to apply lashes by practicing on someone else rather than yourself.  Once you learn how to pick up the lashes, how to place them onto the eye and what angles work best, then you should go to the mirror.  As with everything else worthwhile, practice makes perfect.  If you practice with these tips in mind, you will learn to apply lashes as flawlessly as a professional.

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