I bloody love fake eye-lashes. I spend a mint on them and am addicted to the way they frame my eyes and lift my look. But I know a lot of people struggle with them. Despite the claims on the packaging to be “easy fit” it’s often trail and error unless you know what you’re doing or have a handy MUA on site.
One of the most important things to remember when buying lashes is to get the correct style. There is a myriad of distinct types, from double layer burlesque babies to tinsel tipped novelty strips. Which type do you need? Links are in headings
These ¾ length strips are designed to accentuate the outer edge of your lashes. These create a softer, more wearable look than a full-length lash. They also add a sexy cat like flick to the corners of your lashes.
These strips are full volume and add real glamour to the eyes. They really are an occasion lash and can be quite heavy to wear. You can buy double or triple layer lashes. If you want a full volume look you can stack single layer strips before application for a similar effect.
These are perfect for people with smaller eyes. Not everyone is blessed with large doe-eyes, but this doesn’t mean they should miss out on the benefits of lashes. These are tailored to smaller eyes and work better than trimming lots off a longer strip. You can also use accents similarly.
These are a very discreet, natural lash. Often with just a slight length or volume increase these are perfect for day wear or for a more understated look.
These distinctive lashes have an irregular pattern of long and short flairs to create an edgy, dynamic look. Sometimes these can cross over.
These both lengthen and thicken your lashes offering the best of both worlds. Often available in individual flairs there are some strip versions coming into the market now.
These are small clusters of flairs which are applied like a strip to build your own look. These are more time consuming and fiddley than a strip.
These are the super shiny, thicker strip lashes most of us wear. Available at almost any beauty counter and very affordable, durable and dramatic looking.
These super soft, realistic looking lashes are made from mink hair. This is ethically sourced. I prefer to use faux mink lashes to real ones, they give a very similar luxe look without me worrying about the source.
The softest, lightest most realistic lashes you can buy. These give an ultra-realistic finish and are comfortable to wear. They also come with a more premium price tag.
Don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest option. Often cheaper lashes come with very inflexible wide bands. This makes them hard to fit and awkward to wear. They often don’t last as long either. So, you’ve selected your lashes. Now how do you fit them? Check out my easy to follow tips below for lash success!
How to Apply Strips
- Measure the strip against your own lash line. I don’t know anyone who strip lashes fit directly out of the pack. Every brand I use need a tiny trim to fit my eyes and I have large eyes. Trim excess of the inside edge of the lash band with scissors.
- Use a good glue. Often the glue included with strip lashes is a bit pants. (Eyelure I’m looking at you) some more premium brands don’t even come with adhesive. My favourite is DUO, my friend uses Revlon. It might take a few brands until you find one you like. I like DUO because it lasts well. My lashes don’t budge all day.
- Work the band a little. Lash bands can be quite rigid when they’re new and this makes them hard to apply. Before use wrap them around an eyeliner or biro to work the band and make it more flexible. This way it’ll adhere to your eye shape better.
- Apply a coating of mascara on bottom lashes. Bottom lashes are very hard to mascara once strips are in place.
- Place a mirror in a position which allows you to look down whilst you apply them, this makes it much easier. A great tip is to use a mirror which is flat on the table with your elbows either side. This is a perfect view of how where they’re going.
- Apply a thin line of glue to the band. Don’t be tempted to drown the band in glue. If you do this, it might leech down into the lashes and you don’t want that. Allow a few seconds for the glue to become tacky before you attempt to place the lashes. Manufacturers recommend 20 seconds, but I sometimes leave mine for more like 40, the drier the glue, the stickier it’ll be. Just before you apply the strip add a little additional glue to the end of each strip. This is the bit which refuses to stick.
- Holding the lash strip by the lashes gently place as close to your own lash line as possible. The outer edge of the strip should sit on the outer corner of your natural lashes first then gently press against the ends of the lengths to press the band into your eyelid. Use the end of a make-up brush to apply a little additional pressure to the ends of the band.
- Once the strip is in place and stuck apply a coating of mascara underneath to blend your real lashes into the false ones for a more natural look.
You can buy lash applicators to make this job even easier. Looking like a small tong, these gadgets help you by clamping the lash firmly and allowing you to place the band right against your lash line. I prefer to use my fingers but when I first began wearing strips my lash applicator was invaluable.
Looking After Your Lashes
Although lash strips are disposable with careful use and care you can often get many wears from a good pair. When removing the lash use a cotton bud and make up remover to gently soak the band lose before gently peeling away. Avoid grabbing the lashes and ripping them off as this is a fast track to damaging your strip and tearing out your own lashes.
After use you’ll find glue remaining on the lash band. This needs to be removed before the next wear for successful re-application. Carefully use a pointed pair of tweezers to peel the glue from the lash band (or your fingernails if you’re a lazy sod like me).
Always re-attach your lashes to the card they came on. One of my friends loses more than enough lashes by leaving them on her bathroom shelf, dressing table etc.
If mascara builds up on the lengths of your lashes carefully wash them in warm water. And allow to dry naturally. The success of this will depend massively on the quality of the lashes. I’ve ruined cheaper lashes by crying when wearing them.
A great hack is carrying an empty Kinder egg with you in your bag. If you have to remove your lashes you can pop them in there safely. More then enough pairs of lashes have died in my handbag. These days I have an actual travel case, but the Kinder Egg works great too.
My own favourite brands are the more expensive Eyelure ranges, Fleur de Force Accents, Ardell (especially the Wispies, Demi Wispies and Faux Minx), Red Cherry (Wispy and Trace), Doll Beauty (Olivia) and new latest discoveries Millie Dollar (False Promises) These are the ones I turn to again and again, but everyone has their own favourites. Experiment with styles and when you find one you love you can look for similar types.
I’m a total lash addict. Don’t be scared, give them a go. They’re a fabulous way to inject some cheap, easy glamour into your look. If you have any fabulous brands I’ve missed, or tricks I’ve not mentioned let me know in the comments!