Mascara is often the "desert island" makeup of choice -- as in the one item a woman would want if she was stranded. Defined eyelashes frame and draw attention to the eyes while waking up the entire face, but, these days, adding false lashes is becoming another alternative to using mascara alone.
Even though false eyelashes have been around for decades, they have often been reserved for actresses and models and as special occasion accent pieces. Retail eyelash bars and elaborate home kits have been increasing in popularity as an option for weekend wear and even, for some, as a daily part of a makeup routine, but they can still be intimidating to apply. Some of us may still wonder if we can even pull them off without looking overdone.
We'll look at two options for donning long, fluttery lashes and suggest some ways to give them a try before adhering them to your eyes.
Ideal Uses for Eyelash Strips
If you've ever tried false eyelashes from the drug or beauty supply store, it's likely that they were in strips. With a single, thin base shaped to arch along the real lash line of the eyes, eyelash strips are a one-piece way to add lots of lashes in a little time and usually for little cost. From $5 varieties to elaborate pairs that cost hundreds of dollars, strips of false eyelashes all usually adhere by adding a special adhesive to the base of the strip and pressing it just above the upper lash line. Once applied, a coat or two of mascara added on top will help blend the real lashes and the fake into a more seamless set of wide-eyed peeps.
Eyelash strips also come in a variety of lengths and materials, so they can look entirely natural while adding volume to natural lashes, or they can be dramatic, touch-the-eyebrows feathery fake ones in assorted colors. Strips can be pretty long-wearing and are generally easy to moderately difficult to apply by yourself. But if you're intimidated by the prospect of using sticky stuff near the eyeball or tangling together your new lashes before you even get them on your eyes, it's even easier to have them applied at a salon or specialty eyelash boutique.
Ideal Uses for Individual Lashes
Individual faux lashes differ from strips because they come in singular and tiny strands that can be added to your natural lashes strategically. Adding a few dark, long ones to the outer corners of the eyes creates a cat-eye affect similar to tracing out a long black line across the lashes and outward. Using individual lashes to fill in sparse spots or areas where lashes have fallen out is a great way to build up what you have without using an entire strip.
Getting individual lashes applied is generally affordable, but those who are adept with tiny strands and minute drops or pieces of adhesive may have no problem filling in their own lash lines. Others, well, may get frustrated and sticky-fingered without actually getting the lashes to their eyes. Watching a few online tutorials comparing both strip and individual lashes may give the best indication of how well you would do on your own.
If it seems over-the-top to consider taking the plunge into added plumage, pick a night to try out some drugstore options and venture out with friends who do the same. Many women use them naturally and routinely without batting an eye -- just lots of eye lashes.
- Davidson, Lynn. "False Eyelashes Can Damage Your Real Ones." DailyMail.co.uk. Nov. 14, 2011. (May 10, 2012) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2061211/False-eyelashes--la-Cheryl-Cole-damage-real-ones.html
- Roemer, Molly. "Makeup Tutorial: False Eyelashes." 2012. (May 11, 2012) TotalBeauty.com. www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/false-lashes-guide
- Shu Uemura. "False Eyelashes." ShuUemura.com. 2012. (May 9, 2012) http://www.shuuemura-usa.com/_us/_en/accessories/false-eyelashes.aspx