Kim Kardashian’s eyelashes have swept many of her admirers off their feet and there are many women out there who wish they could achieve the same effect with their own lashes. But the fact that Kardashian resorts to a liberal application of false eyelashes in order to make this impact puts the brakes on any attempts at imitation for many make-up lovers. After all, it is a lot harder to stick on false eyelashes than it is to stick on false nails.
Horror stories abound of women messing up their make-up thoroughly at the last minute, having unsuccessfully tried to stick on false lashes. But there’s help at hand. Here are some expert tips for achieving Hollywood-style lashes at home.
First, you have some decisions to make. Do you want full lashes, which come in strips and must be trimmed to fit the width of your eyes, or individual lashes, which come in small clusters? Do you want self-adhesive lashes (usually easier to apply) or non-adhesive ones, which require you to dab glue onto the base of the strip and allow it to set before applying (these can get messy)?
While the self-adhesive strip lashes are sure to make an impact, there is a knack to applying them properly. Jill Peters, a Dubai-based make-up artist, has some advice:
“Use a pair of tweezers to hold the lashes against your natural lash-line and gauge the width. False lashes tend to be approximately four to five hairs longer than natural lashes so, if necessary, trim them to fit, starting at the outer edge: using nail scissors be sure to cut from the inner corner so as to maintain the curl of the outer flair.”
But only snip for width, not length, Peters warns: “It is not a good idea to cut the length of the false lashes if you are going for a more natural look as it will look blunt and messy. There are lots of false lashes available to buy pre-cut to different lengths.”
The sticky bit
Before you stick on false lashes, Peters recommends curling your natural lashes with an eyelash curler. “False lashes are already curled, so curling your natural lashes will help them sit in perfect alignment,” she explains.
If you opt for the non-adhesive lash strip version, you will first need to squeeze a bit of glue along the bottom of the strip. Then, holding the strip with tweezers, place the lashes along the upper lid, right above your own lashes. Press them into place in the centre, then work into the inner and outer corners of the lid. Experts suggest holding a mirror below your chin and looking down as you apply the lashes. Hold in place for several seconds to ensure a good bond. Then you can gently brush on mascara.
With individual lashes, the self-adhesive kind are easier to use. Use tweezers to press each tiny cluster in place at the base of your lash line, starting from the outer corner. It is a fiddly process, so allow yourself plenty of time. Peters also suggests that a line of black eyeliner can be helpful to camouflage the false lash line whether you are using a lash strip or individual lashes.
Want thicker lashes?
What if you want even thicker lashes than the ones available in the packet? Is it possible to wear two sets of false lashes at once?
“It is better to buy a thick set of false lashes rather than combining two lots if you want to achieve a more natural look,” says Peters. “But if you still want to use two sets, follow the procedure as described above for the first lot and then repeat the procedure over again for the second on top of the false lash line.”
“Another solution is to use a full set of fake lashes and then stick on a few individual lashes on top of the full set to build up thickness to the volume you desire,” adds Peters. “Here too, be sure to curl your natural lashes before sticking on the two sets. Then apply mascara.”
But be prepared for lash-related mishaps when wearing false lashes out, warns Peters:
“It’s a good idea, when wearing false eyelashes, to keep an emergency repair kit in your evening bag: a tiny tube of eyelash glue and a toothpick for pressing detached lashes back in place. Be careful with the toothpick though taking care not to injure yourself.”
Jill Peters answers some false lash FAQs:
Are false eye lashes synthetic or made of human hair?
False eyelashes are mostly synthetic but human hair lashes are also available, although they are very expensive.
Are false eyelashes reusable?
Yes, they are. But they will last longer if you remove the make-up on them after you have taken them off.
Strip lashes can be used a few times, but remember, they lose shape after three to four uses. Individual lashes can’t be used more than a couple of times.
How do I remove the glue that accumulates on my used false lashes?
Dip a cotton bud in your eye make-up remover and gently rub along the lash line before removing the lashes from your eyes, as this will loosen the glue and the lashes will pull away from your natural eyelashes easily.
Next, soak the false lashes in a little eye make-up remover and leave for two to three minutes whilst you remove the rest of your make-up.
Remove any excess glue from the lashes by pulling the glue away with tweezers.
Once removed, store false lashes in the original holder to maintain their shape and preserve hygiene.
For how many hours can I continuously wear my false eyelashes?
You can wear false eyelashes all day. However, it is not a good idea to sleep in them as it can cause irritation to your eyes.
How can you ensure a strong bond between the false and natural lashes?
Applying a little extra mascara helps bind the lashes together, but do it gently. And if the false lash strip comes off at the side during the day, reapply a bit of glue (preferably dark-coloured) on the affected area, then press it in place for a few minutes.