One of the attributes that I wish I was a little more blessed with are my eyelashes. I know a lot of you feel the same way. Maybe your mascara just doesn't get the volume you want, or maybe you curl and curl and you still feel like your lashes are invisible. If you have wimpy, short, sparse, thin lashes, or even if you just want your eyes to really stand out, there is an alternative to just mascara: false lashes.
I know falsies can seem very intimidating at first but when done properly, it can actually take less time than applying mascara. Plus, it is something that has a lot of instant gratification because it can make such a big difference.
Just as an overview of false lashes, they come in many styles and lengths. My personal favorites are Asian-brand lashes like Shisem or Echo. They often look more natural because they are shorter to accommodate the sparse lashes that many Asians have. They also come in real hair or synthetic hairs, and prices vary from a couple dollars to really fancy designer Shu Uemura lashes up to $100 per pair. I personally believe you can get great results from cheap lashes at $2-5 per pair. If you take good care of your lashes (cleaning, removing previous glue, repositioning the curve of the band, etc), you can wear them basically until it starts falling apart or losing its shape. I chuck mine after an average of 5 uses.
Just to show you a few varieties, here is my collection of falsies.
I put a heart next to my two favorite pairs. The right one is my newest, style XOG특 (a bit thicker than regular XOG) from Shisem. They are criss-cross style with thicker lash groupings and are one of the shortest I have, making them great for "ordinary day" use.
The lashes on the left are really lush and long, which pairs nicely with a dark smokey eye for photoshoots. I used them for this previous look. The brand is Smashbox and I'm not sure of the style # but it has nicer fibers than drugstore lashes and the band is clear which makes it more seamless on your lid.
You can try many different kinds for different looks but I find criss-cross lashes to usually look good. For first timers, I recommend looking for shorter lashes as you want to get used to how it looks with your face first.
Another important thing to know about is false eyelash glue. Many lashes come with glue but I have MUCH MORE success using glue bought separately. I personally have two kinds, and I prefer the dark-colored LashGrip adhesive. It dries dark and blends in with your eyeliner. White glues must be colored over with eyeliner.
One thing to note is that lash glue isn't crazy sticky. Don't worry though, it will stick! I always hear people saying to wait a while until it gets tacky and honestly that doesn't work for me. I wait maybe 5 seconds and just go for it while it is still wet. :D
Now, on with the tutorial!
Ok, so the first step you need to do is curl your natural lashes. This will help to keep the falsies in place and blend with your natural lashes.
Next you want to measure the length of the false lashes compared to your eye. Many are too long for me so I place the glueless lash on my lashline and see how much I want to cut off. I know it's a blurry picture but you can see at the end where it would look nicer a bit shorter.
Take some small scissors and cut the amount you want off from the outer edge. Many lashes taper in length and you want to keep the short, inner lashes because it looks more natural. Notice I am cutting right outside of a large grouping. This is to help hide the band at the end.
Next, apply the glue in a thin line on the band of the lashes. I try to make sure it is covering the outer and bottom edges because that is what will hit your lid and stick.
Since de-sticking usually happens at either corner, I add a little extra glue there to make sure it will stick well. I wait 5 or 10 seconds, then apply while the glue is still wet.
Here comes the hard part! Take the lashes and apply them as close as possible to your lash line. You can either apply the lashes to your lid (which is what I prefer) or you can glue on top of your lashes as long as it is very close to the roots. I place one corner first, holding it down for a few seconds, then do the same for the other corner and middle. Try to adjust while the glue is still wet because it dries quickly. If you mess up, don't give up! Just try again. It takes practice and is much easier the more you try.
Successful attachment! By the way, these are lashes from the 2nd row, 1st column. Now, you can stop here but these are looking a little sparse for my taste so I will go to the optional next step...
Mascara! I don't use mascara with all my falsies (more to clean, yuck) but it is great for blending in your real lashes with the false ones and gives a nice boost and final touch.
Here's the final look, a photo with a toothy smile because you asked for it. ;)
Hope that clears up the mystery of falsies for a lot of you. Leave me a comment if you have any other questions!