Double Black Diamond Beauty: False Eyelashes

By Amalah

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.
(weeps bitterly)
lashes.jpgSo 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?)
IMG_7462-1.JPGI 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.)
IMG_7464-1.JPGSqueeze 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.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Kathryn

    May 9, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Oh my Lord, this is AWESOME. I cannot wait to try these. Literally–cannot wait. I have a final to take today (my very last law school final!!!) and I am already considering how quickly I could finish it up and be on my way to Ulta. Also, I may be investing in the undereye circle stuff you talked about on Monday…Unfortunately for me, I had just spent a bazillion dollars at Sephora that morning for stuff that doesn’t work all that well. You promise the Ulta stuff is nice?

  • mdvelazquez

    May 9, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    These look awesome.

  • TasterSpoon

    May 9, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Huh. My previous experiments with lashes have been goopy, plus I have to slash on a layer of liquid eyeliner so they don’t look all raggedy. But then, I was applying to my eyelid at the lashline. I must try this apply-to-the lashes method! And is it healthy to just leave them on for several days or does it do a number on your natural lashes, like I think fake nails are ultimately bad for you? Off to Walgreens…

  • Shawnee

    May 9, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Love, love, LOVE false eyelashes. I am addicted. I normally just add maybe four on each eye, focusing on the outer edge of the eye, & it’s amazing how much difference it makes. (And I already have fairly long lashes.) I use the Duralash glue for individual lashes (is there really a difference or are they just messing with us?) & I’m sad to report that mine still only stay on for three days, max. Can’t wait to hear if other brands work better . . .

  • quinn

    May 9, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Awesome post. I’ve been wondering about false eyelashes for what seems like ages. Now I’m trying to figure out how to cram in a trip to Ulta in the next day or so… Must try falsies NOW. MUUUUUST.

  • Jennifer S

    May 9, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Gotta admit, that was a great post. I was scarred for life by a set of false eyelashes I had to wear for a school play. (They were 2 inches long AND glowed in the dark!) They fell off alot and the glue that came pre-adhered to them bothered me. But I am totally willing to try again, with normal lashes that don’t glow in the dark. You rock. Also my husband will not laugh at me.

  • Isabel

    May 9, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve only used them once and to be honest, had forgotten about them. Sounds like I need to go and buy some more.
    (and really…we need more “how to’s” as they are the new black!)

  • Alison

    May 9, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    This is exciting. To clarify, you attach them to the other lashes and not the lid? Don’t you risk pulling off natural lashes when you remove the fake ones?

  • Heather Barmore

    May 10, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Oh this is the part where I say that in person, they looked oh so natural but oh so very amazing.

  • missbritt

    May 10, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve only ever tried strips, and never realized they were supposed to last for longer than a night.
    I wonder where you can find individual lashes like that in BFE aka IOWA??

  • Suzy Q

    May 10, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    OMG, these things saved my freaking LIFE when my eyelashes were falling out from stress. It wasn’t pretty, I can tell you. But, since I have white-blond lashes, I first have to curl and apply mascara before these go on. And, they really are fairly easy once you get the hang of it.
    Alison: You place them with the little end on the edge of your lid right on top of or between your lashes.

  • *Otter *

    May 11, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I KNEW you’d love them! And I think it was sort of fortuitous that you bought the wrong adhesive, because that gave you a chance to play around and get the hang of it without a glue that sets for DAYS (or even weeks). So, you were once again just being your wise, wise self :~)
    Oh, and I tried the Makeup ForEver brand from Sephora for $14 (wearing them for about three days now) and I can’t tell any difference that would make me plop down the extra cash for these, plus I dig that retro packaging of the drugstore brand.
    I think this comment is now officially longer than my dissertation, which makes me a doofus on both counts. Hi!

  • megglee

    May 11, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    so what about people like me, who have no curl whatsoever in their lashes, and even when I try the eyelash curler, they curl for maybe 30 seconds (seriously, you can see them stubbornly uncurling themselves without time-lapse photography or anything–with your naked eye!) Would the falsies just curl up and away from my rimrod straight lashes and look, well, horrible and false? I guess I’ll just have to try. I don’t have a sephora or an ulta anywhere near here, though, does anyone have suggestions of where else I might find these individual kind of lashes?

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    Amy Corbett Storch

    May 13, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I am happy to report that TARGET also sells the Ardell lashes…and the Sonia Kashuk line carries ones that look virtually identical.
    I also purchased the right kind of adhesive and haven’t had to replace a lash in days. Whee!
    And Alison, yes, you attach them to your LASHES, not your lid. And they’ll either fall off on their own with no risk to your real lashes, or you can use the Adhesive Remover to take them off sooner.

  • Kristina

    May 14, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Amy – thank you thank you thank you! I had never even considered false eyelashes until I saw this post. I wanted to try them before my friends wedding this last weekend but didn’t have the time to run to an Ulta. Luckily there was a Sally’s Beauty Supply nearby and I found the Duralash brand there. They were super easy to put on, just as you said, and super easy to take off again with the adhesive remover. I am now in love! And I second the notion about the short being long enough. I bought medium and ended up trimming them down! You should have seen the hubby and I with the scissors and well, just don’t ask. I am doing this for every special occasion I ever go to again!

  • Mary

    May 15, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Would you ever consider doing a comparison of mascara? Some of us are too old/too lazy to use false eyelashes, but wear mascara every day. It’s a pain to find one that stays on and doesn’t wind up pooled under your eyes, but comes off at night without six kinds of remover. I eagerly await your wisdom. If what you pick is safe for contacts, so much the better. Thanks!

  • zoie

    September 14, 2007 at 1:48 am

    I went to Ultra and got ardell singles. They have them in a new package with all the lashes look very nice and neat, instead of before where the one single was going in 3 different directions. Now they are 3 hairs but formed nicely together but they seperate, so they look nicely groomed. The kit was 5.99 and comes with the glue, glue remover and a nice pointed pair of tweezers. This is the first time I ever tried the seperate kind so I just did 3 on each corner of my eyes and im going to sleep in a few hours so I want to see if they stay on like the instructions say. I didnt want to waste them and put more on in case they come off easy and I have to do them again tomarrow.

  • Rachel

    December 7, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Susan at FridayStyle ran a bunch of mascara reviews a few months ago. Her requirements were about the same as yours and I believe she settled on Lash Out by Loreal. It’s definitely worth checking out!