When they’re applied properly, false lashes look fabulous. They’re glamorous and chic and make eyes look larger and more bambi-licious. Put them on badly, though, and oh lordy… I’ve never actually seen a spider crawling down someone’s face, but, well, you get the picture.
According to Brenda Ton of Canadian brand ESQIDO False Lashes, there are some surefire ways to get a flawless finish with your glue-on lash strips, whether you want to look natural or vampy.
1. Choosing your lashes
Brenda says that drugstore varieties will almost always look fake because they’re made from synthetic materials that are much darker than real lashes. She says that human-hair lashes have blunt ends, so they’re also artificial-looking. Mink lashes have a slight curl and tapered ends, so they look more natural, and each set can be used up to 25 times. ESQIDO’s are made from naturally shed mink hairs. That means the animals aren’t shaved or harmed to collect the fur. The minks’ living standards are monitored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Individual lashes give you more control of your look whereas strips have a fixed design. On the other hand, they’re more likely to fall off through the day.
2. The shape of things
Lashes can be used to make your eyes look a different shape – for example, flared out lashes create a lift. If you have asymmetric eyes – one eye is noticeably larger than the other or one is hooded – Brenda suggests balancing with makeup and eyelid tape. Her guide to finding the best lash for your eye shape is here.
3. Application technique
First, trim the lash band to fit along your lashline. Rather than squeezing glue directly from the tube to the lash, Brenda recommends putting some onto paper, then ‘painting’ it onto the band with a toothpick so glue doesn’t get everywhere. Wait 30-45 seconds to allow the glue to dry a little. Place a mirror on the table in front of you so you are looking down into it, then use your fingers to place the lashes close to your lashline. Use a tweezer to press the real and false lashes together.
4. To line, or not to line?
Apply eyeliner to disguise the join between your real and false lashes. Tightlining (lining the skin between the top lashes and the eye) also makes your lashes look fuller.
5. Sensitive subjects
If you wear contacts or have sensitive eyes/skin and allergies, you can still wear lashes, provided they are hypoallergenic and use cotton bands, not plastic. Glue can cause irritation too. Brenda recommends DUO Lash Glue ($12, at Sephora), which comes in latex and non-latex varieties.
6. Lash on the run
If your lashes start to make a break for it, you can choose between a repair job or removal. For repair, ensure that you have a toothpick and lash glue with you so that you can stick the lash back on. On-the-go removal is only possible if you’ve used a water-soluble glue. Dip a Q-tip in water or makeup remover and gently dab along the lashline till the lash comes away.
7. Extended benefits
Extensions are another option for those with lacklustre lashes. They’re pricey – between $75 and $200 – but last several weeks until your natural lashes fall out. According to Brenda, the lashes can curl in awkward directions depending on how you sleep. Rubbing your eyes is a no-no as it can cause the lashes to come off. You might also need to change your makeup – no waterproof mascara and only gentle cleansing of the eye area.