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This Finger-Wrapping Trick Makes Applying False Eyelashes Super-Easy + More Secrets to Lashes That Wow

Plus, 4 must-try lashes for less!

False eyelashes are a game changer for those not genetically blessed in the lash department and for those of us whose lashes have just withered over time. They’ve even been Hollywood’s best-kept secret since the early 1900s. “Like the magic wand of makeup, false lashes are the ultimate way to zhuzh up your look! You can add to your natural lashes to make them longer, fuller and more fabulous. They’re designed to amplify your eyes in a way that mascara alone just can’t,” attests Janene Mascarella, editor-in-chief of Beautify.tips by KISS. But if you’re like us, you’ve shied away from the eye accessories because they seem like such a chore to apply. But what if we told you it’s not as difficult as you think, especially with all the new options on the market? Keep scrolling to learn how to apply false eyelashes with ease!

What are false eyelashes? 

False eyelashes are a popular cosmetic option used to enhance (by either lengthening, adding volume or both) sparse, natural eyelashes. “They involve attaching synthetic or natural fibers to your lashes, giving them a more dramatic appearance,” says Saffron Hughes, the in-house makeup artist at FalseEyelashes.co.uk. “These lashes come in various lengths, thicknesses and styles and can be either temporary or semi-permanent.”

Most false lashes available today are crafted from durable manufactured fibers, like polyester, designed to resemble natural lash hair.  And best of all, you can get them for around $10-$15 at the drugstore, so they’re an easy and affordable way to make your peepers pop.  sAnd if you think they’re just for getting glammed up, think again. “They are an excellent choice whether you have a full face of makeup or are going for something a little more subdued for everyday wear,” adds Hughes.

What are the different types of false eyelashes?

Before you learn how to apply false eyelashes, it helps to know which kind you want to use. False lashes can come in different forms, such as individual lashes, clusters or strips. Mascarella provides this guide: 

  • Strip lashes: Think of these as the classic go-to. “A full strip of lashes gives that instant wow factor and can also be the easiest to learn to apply,” she says. 
  • Individual lashes: These are like your little secret weapons. “You can add them here and there to fill in gaps or just pump up the volume where you need it, and they’re super natural-looking,” says Mascarella. 
  • Magnetic lashes: These are the new kids on the block, with no glue needed. “Magnetic lashes are just tiny magnets that click onto your lash line. They’re great for quick, fuss-free application,” she explains. (Click through for more on magnetic lashes.)
  • DIY lash extensions: Salon lash extensions can cost $100 or more and require time and costly maintenance. Instead, try DIY versions for an affordable option you can do at home. Mascarella’s favorite is Falscara (Buy from Kiss, $24.99), which you can buy right at your local drugstore. “You apply these under your natural lashes instead of on top, giving a natural, extension-like effect. Once you get the hang of it, you can achieve that salon-extension look right from the comfort of your home,” she adds. 
  • Press-on lashes: The imPRESS Press-on Falsies (Buy from Kiss, $16.99) go under the lash line and are an innovation to the lash market, exclaims Mascarella. “They’re super easy to apply, no glue needed and so convenient for that instant glam-up, especially for those of us who are always on the go.” 

What type of glue do I need to apply to my false lashes?

Of course, the lashes don’t stay put without some type of adhesive, and there are five choices for glue to suit a range of needs. 

  1. Clear lash glue: It dries transparent, so there’s no visible residue, making it ideal for a flawless, clean lash line. “This can be a fool-proof choice for beginners looking for a natural look,” says Mascarella. 
  2. Dark lash glue: It dries to a dark color for a more dramatic look, blending effortlessly with your eyeliner or mascara. “This is a great choice for evening wear looks or when you want your lashes to make a statement,” adds Mascarella. 
  3. Latex-free glue: Specifically designed for those allergic to latex, this adhesive provides a safe alternative without compromising on hold.
  4. Magnetic eyelash glue: Magnetic eyelash glue isn’t your usual adhesive. “This is a magnetic eyeliner containing iron oxides. Usually applied as eyeliner, it gives a black winged look and lets magnetic lashes snap on securely without messy glue. This quick, residue-free process has revolutionized lash application for its ease and convenience,” says Hughes. 
  5. Sensitive skin formulas: Ideal for those with sensitive skin, these gentle adhesives minimize the risk of irritation or discomfort upon application.

How do I choose the right false lashes for me?

The choice of false eyelashes hinges on personal preferences, desired looks and eye shapes. While you may be tempted to buy whatever false eyelashes catch your eye (pun intended), pinpointing your eye shape and which lash will go best with it is a good starting point, advises Hughes. “This is because they ensure that they’re a comfortable fit, won’t be too overwhelming and can help create an illusion to help balance and accentuate your eyes,” adds Hughes. 

If you have hooded eyes like Jodie Foster 

Jodie Foster with hooded eyes, how to apply false eyelashes
Jodie FosterJon Kopaloff / Stringer/Getty

Hooded eyes mean you have more skin above your crease, and most of your upper lid is hidden when your eyes are open. Therefore, to enhance your eyes, you need to create more depth. “Selecting a style with increased length in the center and heavier volume allows for an eye-opening effect that instantly gives the illusion of larger-looking eyes. Don’t select a style that is too dramatic, as this will close the eyes up,” advises Hughes. 

Related: Makeup Artist: 2 Ways To Use Eyeliner to Lift Hooded Eyes For Younger Instantly

If you have round eyes like Audrey Hepburn 

Audrey Hepburn round eyes, how to apply false eyelashes
Audrey HepburnHulton Archive / Stringer/Getty

You can get away with various lash styles if you are lucky enough to have doe-eyes like Audrey. You can see the most white around your iris if you have round eyes, and long lashes with a dramatic curl tend to look best as this lifts and enhances your upper lid. 

Round eyes pair well with length and curl because, says Hughes, “voluminous styles can sometimes be too heavy and make your eyes look much smaller than they are. Instead, opt for a natural lash with elongated ends for an instant cat-eye effect.”

Related: The Secret to Audrey Hepburn’s Fuller-Looking Eyelashes Is *This* $9 Product

If you have deep-set eyes like Jennifer Aniston 

Jennifer Aniston with deep eyes, how to apply false eyelashes
Jennifer AnistonJason Merritt / Staff/Getty

Deep-set eyes sit behind the brow bone, and if your eyes are deep-set, you need to create depth to open up your eyes, advises Hughes. “You can do this by wearing an ultra-dramatic lash style, as many bolder styles will suit your eyes and won’t overpower them.” 

If you have almond-shaped eyes like Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie with almond eyes, how to apply false eyelashes
Angelina JolieMichael Loccisano / Staff/Getty

Almond eyes show no white above or below the iris, and they’re slightly pointed at each outer edge with a wide center. “Many different lash styles accentuate almond eyes, and they look best when their shape is enhanced with a full lash style that features evenly distributed volume,” says Hughes. 

If you have prominent eyes like Penélope Cruz

Penelope Cruz eyes
Penelope CruzPablo Cuadra / Contributor/Getty

Prominent eyes have a large appearance and can look bulging or protruding. “Don’t opt for an overly long lash, as this can provide an unnatural ‘surprised’ facial expression. Instead, go for a style with short and medium-length lash strands, defining and drawing attention to the lash line and softly enhancing your eye shape,” says Hughes. 

If you have downturned eyes like Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe eyes
Marilyn MonroeBettmann / Contributor/Getty

Downturned eyes (or those with an adverse canthal tint) like Marilyn’s droop down slightly towards each outer edge. Correct the downturned outer corners of your eyes by creating an upward illusion with a full and tapered lash style, similar to a cat-eye look. “The bigger, the better, a dramatic lash will draw attention to your eyes and provide an eye-opening lift,” says Hughes. 

If you have upturned eyes like Lucy Liu 

Lucy Liu with false eyelashes
Lucy LiuTaylor Hill / Contributor/Getty

An upturned eye resembles an almond-shaped eye but features a natural lift in the outer corners. Hughes suggests applying a lash with length and fullness focused away from the outer edges, enhancing your eyes without drawing attention to your upturned corners. 

If you have monolid eyes like Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh with false lashes
Sandra OhMike Marsland / Contributor/Getty

Mono-lidded eyes are most common among Asian women when there is no visible crease on the eyelid as it is covered by skin. Women with mono-lid eyes tend to have very straight eyelashes; therefore, false lashes are the perfect way to enhance their eyes, creating length, lift and curl. “Multi-layered lashes with a curled, fluttery appearance compliment mono-lid eyes as they work to open them up for a wide-eyed illusion. A lash with a graduated length is also a great way to elongate mono-lid eyes, adding a touch of glamour to your look,” says Hughes. 

How to apply false lashes 

Now that you’ve decided on the type of false lashes you’re looking for, time to learn how to put them on. Hughes breaks it down for us in six easy steps (the first two only apply if you’re using strip lashes). 

False lashes should be one of the last steps in your makeup routine after you’ve applied your base, setting powder and shadows. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 1: Trim for the most flattering fit 

Strip lashes will sometimes fit your eye straight out of the box, but often, the lash band will be too long. If this is the case, “use small lash scissors to trim strands from the outermost part of the strip. Cut a little at a time, as it can be easy to misjudge and over-trim. Hold it up against your lash line again to measure it, and continue this process until they are the perfect size for you,” says Hughes. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 2: Wrap it around your finger

You may also notice that the falsies are straighter than your eye shape. To make sure they fit perfectly, soften them up a bit. “One handy trick is to wrap the strip around your little finger or a makeup brush for about a minute before gluing. This helps the strips adjust to the curve of your eyelids so they sit just right without any corners popping up later,” explains Hughes. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 3: Let the glue get tacky 

Now it’s time to add your glue. Make sure to apply a thin layer along the lash strip. But before applying them, let the glue get tacky by waiting for approximately 30 seconds and letting it get exposed to the air. “This tackiness helps the lashes stick better without sliding around and keeps the glue from being runny,” says Hughes. Also, whatever you do, avoid blowing on the glue, as this might introduce germs that can irritate your eye. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 4: Look downward into a mirror 

Here’s a trick for flawless application: position your mirror below your face at a perpendicular angle and look downward. “This extends your eyelid, making placing the false lashes precisely on top of your natural ones easier,” says Hughes.  Next, align the beginning of the lash strip with your natural lash line. Use tweezers or a lash applicator (or your fingers!) to position the middle of the strip in the center of your eye. Gently press along the lash line to secure it in place for a few seconds while the glue sets. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 5: Apply mascara

Once the glue has set and your lashes are secure, apply a coat of mascara to blend them seamlessly. Avoid excessive coats, warns Hughes. Instead, apply just enough to merge your natural and false lashes for a polished look. Also, steer clear from waterproof mascara if you want to use the false eyelashes again, as removing this type is harder. 

Pro tip: Always apply mascara after applying your lashes, advises celebrity makeup artist Merit Sander of Ring My Belle, a beauty on-demand service. “It’s important to make sure your lashes are as black as they can be” to get the best effect, she says. 

How to apply false eyelashes step 6: Apply eyeliner to the upper lid 

If you didn’t use adhesive eyeliner, Hughes recommends concealing the lash base by applying eyeliner along your upper lash line. “Pencil liners cause you to drag across the top edge of your eyelash band and will move them. I recommend using liquid or gel liner to avoid dragging.” 

4 false eyelashes to try

To make things easier, we’ve sourced false eyelashes you can try for under $30!

Ardell Seamless Collection
Ardell/Ulta

Ardell Seamless Collection (Buy from Ulta, $19.99)

Ardell has long been a favorite of celebrity makeup artists. These semi-permanent lashes are applied UNDER your natural lashes to hide the band for a no-show, seamlessly undetectable finish for up to 10 days.  

Kryolan ​​SOFT 3D LAYERED CLUSTERS
Kryolan

Kryolan ​​SOFT 3D LAYERED CLUSTERS (Buy from Kryolan, $10.80)

These vegan cluster strip lashes have an extra fine band for a natural look with a 3D effect.

Paw Paw 3D Faux Mink Lashes in Jean
Miss A

Paw Paw 3D Faux Mink Lashes in Jean (Buy from Miss A, $1.55)

Achieve natural-looking drama with these full-volume, flare-shaped lashes. They contain a thick band for multiple uses with proper care and cleaning — and they cost less than $2.

LUXX Lashcara Pro Kit
LUXX

LUXX Lashcara Pro Kit (Buy from Luxx, $29)

This is an all-in-one DIY lash extension kit. Choose your perfect style, then just apply it in four steps! The unique adhesive keeps the lashes in place for 2-4 weeks and allows you to reuse them 10-20 times. 

How to remove false eyelashes safely

You could be tempted to tear off the lashes at the end of a day of wearing, but doing so can not only damage your natural lashes but will prevent the reusable lashes from being worn again. Instead, Hughes suggests soaking a cotton pad in an oil-based cleanser and lightly rubbing it against the lash adhesive to loosen it. Repeat until the lash strip or clusters loosen enough to lift away without pulling on your skin or natural hairs. Experts say if you properly remove your lashes, you can use them about seven times or more! 

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