Double Black Diamond Beauty: False Eyelashes
So I was planning to put this demo on How To Apply False Eyelashes in the “Beauty 101” category, until I realized that there is nothing 101 about applying false eyelashes. NOTHING. This is advanced placement, National Honors Society, grad-level coursework for hardcore primping addicts only.
Oh my God, y’all. You’ve GOT to try false eyelashes. You will LOVE THEM. I love them. I can no longer live without them.
So I bought some false eyelashes and adhesive during our Smackdown Field Trip to Ulta (as requested, before and after photos are coming soon! probably!). They were cheapie cheap: $3.50 for lashes and $3.50 for a tube of glue. I knew from the Wisdom of the Laura and the Seconding of that Wisdom by Paige to go for the individual lashes instead of the strips, but I didn’t really know anything about whether any specific brand was better or worse, so…I just went with whatever Ulta carried, which were these fabulously old-school Duralash ones by Ardell. (Honestly, does that package make you want to wear a bell-bottom pantsuit to the roller rink, or what?)
I went with the “Short” ones, because DUDE. NOT SHORT. And I have pretty long lashes to begin with. The “Long” version looked like they would probably overtake my eyebrows. I also chose black, since I wear black mascara and figured…oh, I don’t know. Black just seemed like the way to go.
Now here is the part where I totally screw up: I bought adhesive for STRIP LASHES instead of the stuff for INDIVIDUAL LASHES. And I did not notice my mistake until AFTER I used it.
Oh, and I neglected to buy any adhesive remover. Which turned out to not be such a big deal, since I had the wrong kind of adhesive to begin with, but I’m getting way ahead of myself.
What you’ll need at home: tweezers, clean and makeup-free eyes, a mirror and a steady hand. (Paige wasn’t kidding about applying them pre-triple-espresso, and I will add in my own two cents about applying them after a bottle or so of wine.) (Yeah, that? No.)
Squeeze a tiny drop of glue onto a flat, non-absorbant surface. (Foil works best, although I just started using the coated cardboard box the glue came in.) Pick up a cluster of lashes with your tweezer — you’ll have to figure out what angle and grip works best for you, but I found closing the tweezer around the entire cluster somewhere around the middle made them easier to deal with. Dip the end in the glue and then just…stick it on there.
Close your eye.
Pull your lashline taut with your free hand, like you’re getting ready to apply eyeliner.
Stick the lash ON TOP of your natural lashes, as close to your lid WITHOUT TOUCHING it as possible.
Release the tweezers gently and let the glue set.
I found that sort of poking my natural lashes from the bottom with the (closed) tip of the tweezers helped ensure that the falsie secured correctly.
If you completely mess up the placement (I kept somehow ending up with the occasional upside-down one), just pull it gently away and try again.
The Ardell lash instructions say to start in the center of your lashes and work outward — then go to the inner corner of your eye and work back to the center, using 10-15 lashes total. I used about seven or eight from the center on out, and found that this achieved the look I wanted. Applying lashes any closer to the inner corner of my eye made me look freakish and overdone. Spider-monkey, Britney-Spears’-Matt-Lauer-interview lashes. This makes sense, since I usually only apply eyeliner from the center of my eye to the outer corner. Then I trim the center lash just the tiniest bit to get it to blend back into my natural lash line.
I’ll be honest: I completely effed them up the first time I attempted this. I spaced them way too far apart and didn’t get them all lined up close enough to my eyelid. This is when I panicked about not having any adhesive remover.
And this is when I decided to just yank them off anyway, and discovered that they pulled off fairly easily.
And this is when I realized I’d purchased the wrong type of adhesive. Hmm.
I tried applying the lashes again, and was amazed at the difference this time. False eyelashes definitely take a little trial-and-error and practice, but in the end, they aren’t REALLY rocket science. You’ll get the feel for the “right” way to apply them pretty quickly. I mean, they either look good, or they don’t. If they don’t, yank ’em off and try again. I also found that if I was gentle when I removed them (basically, try to tweeze the entire cluster and pull instead of yanking on one individual lash strand) and didn’t overdo it on the adhesive, I could re-use the lashes over and over.
Which, unfortunately, I did. A lot. My lashes easily stay on all day, but fall off when I wash my face. Or take a shower. There’s usually one or two wonky ones hanging on by a thread when I wake up in the morning. The packaging promises they’ll last “three to five weeks.” HA. MY ASS.
“But Amy!” you say, “You bought the wrong adhesive! You eeeeeediot!”
To which I reply: Yes. Exactly. Which is why I am not giving up. Not yet! Not ever!
I love the way these things look. The difference is pretty dramatic in person, but not drag-queeny. If you’ve ever wondered why you can never get your eye makeup to look like the models in the magazines, this is why. They’re all wearing falsies — even just two or three clusters on the very outer edge of your eye will make a big difference. No mascara or eyeliner required, although they do curl beautifully with a quick flip of an eyelash curler. My eyes are naturally pretty small and squinty, but the falsies make them seem much bigger and doe-like.
But see? Not over-the-top at all:
So basically: the Ardell cheapie lashes themselves are great. Seriously, there’s no need to pay more. The jury is still out on the adhesive and the staying power, however. I’ll be returning to Ulta for the correct kind of glue, but I also might poke around Sephora and see what other (pricier) brands can do.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maintain daily wear, but for any type of special occasion (which for me generally means LEAVING THE HOUSE), falsies are going to be a definite must. I can apply a full set in a matter of minutes, and other than a vague tightening sensation right as the adhesive sets, I don’t even feel like I’m wearing them. Until I look in the mirror, and (despite wearing sweats and no makeup and a messy-ass ponytail) get a glimpse of just how fabulously glamorous I really look.