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- lisa johnson on Beauty Resolutions: Keeping Things Clean in 2013!
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Tag Archives: individual false lashes
Jessica sought me out to to emphasize her gorgeous blue eyes with a little smokiness and added lashes, and also to control shine (she described her skin as oily) and cover some redness. I think the before & after photos from our trial run speak for themselves:
Because of her skin type, I made sure to do a little extra skin prep to delay and minimize oil production. Airbrush makeup goes the distance, and indeed, she reported that the look lasted all day – and all she needed to do to control shine was use a little blot powder. That’s what I like to hear!
Check out some pictures from her big day (I especially loved the reception entrance outfits!)
Photography: TAB Photographic
False lashes don’t have to be applied in a full strip – as I suggested in Part 2, you can cut them up and apply them any way that’s comfortable for you. But if you don’t feel like hacking a strip to bits and just want a little added “oomph,” individual cluster lashes might be perfect for you. And while they take a little practice and finessing to apply correctly, it’s well worth the effort!
Individual cluster lashes come in different lengths, and it’s best to err on the shorter side of things when you’re starting out so they blend in seamlessly with your natural lashes (in some cases, I’ve even trimmed them a bit). My preference is for knot-free flares (no visible “bulb” at the base of each cluster, which can be very noticeable) – I get the most mileage out of Ardell Duralash Naturals in short and medium, which I reviewed here. (You can also watch me applying them on live TV here!) You can get them in brown, if you have lighter hair and/or want a subtler, “no mascara” effect.
Here’s how to get those tiny little suckers on:
- Curl your natural lashes and apply a coat or two of mascara.
- Gently free the lash cluster from the packaging (I like to use tweezers) and pluck away any excess glue.
- Dip the very end of the lash into a drop of the lash glue. You only need a TINY amount! (I use the same glue that I use with strips for one-day wear, but Ardell also makes a product called LashTite which is for wearing lash clusters up to a week or more, and requires a special remover. )
- Look down into a mirror to help with accurate placement.
- Apply the cluster directly into the natural lash root, focusing on any gaps or areas that you want to thicken (I usually emphasize the outer corner and center of the eye). Try not to apply them above the lash line, where they’ll be noticeable.
- Use tweezers or your fingertips to gently pinch the cluster against the natural lash, to ensure that they lie at the same angle.
- You can apply them where needed, or layer them – but be sure to check occasionally to make sure that they are not sticking out at odd angles. Be sure to use shorter flares, or trimmed flares, as you work inward.
- One the glue is dry, gently add a light coat of mascara to marry the clusters with the natural lashes.
Here’s a glimpse of Jenny, one of my 2011 brides! I arrived at the Ivy Creek B&B in Hadley on October 8th to do makeup for her and her sister, with hairstylist Jen along for the ride. We had so much fun – Jenny has a fun, bubbly personality and loads of creativity – and she was very excited about the prospect of pro beautification for her big day. (Leigh-Anne, in classic butch fashion, politely declined makeup – gotta respect the natural look!)
And then, after the ceremony, Jenny came to my apartment for a brand new eye makeup look for her reception – going from natural neutrals to smoky purples! I love a bride with a sense of adventure about makeup. Here are some captures from the day:
Photography: Yosra El-Essawy and family/artist candids
Anna’s prom was Saturday at Chez Josef, and I was delighted when her mom (who also happens to be my next-door neighbor) hired me to do her daughter’s prom makeup.
Anna is a local vocational high school student focusing on cosmetology, and in addition to being naturally gorgeous (and having beautiful skin), this girl knows her color theory! When I asked what she liked for makeup, she told me “warm colors, not cool” (which made a prettier, more natural complement to her skin tone). She had a subtle but fabulous French manicure with gold tips for the event, so I added matching shimmer to her eyes which gave the natural makeup look a little added “bling” when she blinked, and loads of natural-length individual lash clusters to bring out her eyes. Peach blush and lip gloss completed the look.
The makeup looked wonderful paired with her red prom dress, and I was lucky enough to get photos of the completed look. First, a before & after:
And here’s the finished look, along with her handsome date!
A few weeks ago I joined the talented Binita Patel and her photography team for a stylized shoot at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at Elm Bank. As luck would have it, we didn’t get to explore the grounds that day (the early Spring rains drove us indoors), but nothing could dampen a stylized shoot featuring a beautiful laughing bride with peaches & cream makeup and watermelon & teal decor! I particularly loved our bride’s infectious smile and stunning hair, sculpted to perfection by Maricruz.
You can view the complete shoot on Binita’s blog; here is an assortment of my favorites:
Ashley, one of my October 2011 brides, was a particularly special job for me because it almost didn’t happen as scheduled! She and her husband Jeremy hadn’t yet had the opportunity to have a reception to celebrate their marriage with family and friends, and so they set a date – and she contacted me right away to learn more and to secure my services.
But immediately after mailing the check, Ashley learned that her military husband might be deployed for a tour abroad – before the wedding. She contacted me and asked me to hold off on depositing the check until they got the official decision, saying that she understood if she ended up losing the date in the interim. Luckily, no one else asked about that particular Friday evening, because a month later, Ashley contacted me again saying that they got the all-clear, and the wedding would proceed as scheduled.
(Civilian couples who might be reading this, just take a moment to appreciate how lucky you are! I can’t even imagine how stressful it would be to change plans halfway through planning a wedding, but Ashley was totally down-to-earth about it.)
I did airbrush makeup for both Ashley and her mom, using a palette of soft pinks and lavenders and applying individual false lashes to enhance Ashley’s already long, lush lashes. And, to my delight, she was kind enough to share a few of her favorite pictures with me:
Photos by Brian David Crawford
Presenting my first 2012 wedding – and what a production it was! This amazing wedding giveaway was won by a wonderful and very deserving couple, Mike and Nicole, who had been engaged for a year but, because of family illness and loss, were unable to set a date. That is, until they entered – and won – the opportunity to tie the knot before a crowd of loved ones AND spectators on Friday the 13th (January). I was asked to do makeup for the bride and maid of honor, and readily agreed – and they were so much fun to work with, and so grateful to have won the giveaway!
Nicole and I never had the chance to schedule a trial run; her look was sorted out on the day of (on a tight timetable no less!) She was kind enough to let me take a before & after to show the difference the airbrush foundation, shimmery gold eye makeup and individual false lashes made on her already beautiful face:
Seems like I hit the mark, because I was pleased to read the following review on WeddingWire a few weeks after the event:
I give Liz 10 stars.. I can not say enough about my makeup, I was beyond pleased & excited. Super friendly, flexible (came to me). My makeup was flawless and will use Liz a lot more in the future.
But enough outta me… check out these amazing photos from Nicole’s big night on the ice:
Other vendors who contributed their services:
- Justice of the Peace: Marianne Kornblum
- Photography: Snap Shots Unlimited
- Videography: Epic Filmmakers
- Wedding coordination: Eutopia Events
- Bride’s dress: Bridal Corner
- Bridesmaids dresses: Stylez for the Aisle
- Groom’s tux: College Formal
- Hair: De Ja Vous Hair & Nail Salon
- Wedding cake: Royal Icings
- Venue: Mass Mutual Center
- Uplighting: CJC Event Lighting
- Wedding bands: Hannoush Jewelers
- Flowers: Langone’s Florist and Greenhouse
- Party Favors: Pops Biscotti
On a beautiful Saturday in June 2011, I made the short trip to Emily’s Bed & Breakfast in Amherst, MA to do Melissa’s wedding makeup. And might I say, what a cool place! I’d never been there before, but check out their website – I loved the unique rooms! Discovering a new place so close to where I live is always a delight.
Melissa, who made the trip back to Amherst from her home in San Francisco (hooray for Western MA destination weddings!), was getting prepped with her bridesmaids in the Carriage House (the “Janet” room, named for a local author). Like many B&Bs, the lighting there is very soft and romantic, so to do makeup I was glad I had my Glamcor Lighting Kit – sometimes you’ve got to shed a little light on the subject! Melissa and her groom both prefer the natural look, so she opted for airbrush makeup and very subtle shading, with a bit of gold to bring out her eyes – nothing too dark. Naturally, I had to add a few individual lash clusters too!
Photos by Cronin Hill Photography
Last Friday I had the honor and pleasure of appearing for a second time on WWLP’s Mass Appeal, a local lifestyle program that airs weekday mornings at 11:00am. Remember my article about individual false lashes a few weeks ago? Host Ashley Kohl asked me if I’d like to present a segment about lashes on the show, and of course, I said yes. Local model Kim joined me for the segment – she came over bright & early for her makeover before we headed to the TV station for the live taping, and I loved giving her a glamorous, holiday-inspired look using shimmery gold eyeshadow (matte contour shadows plus MAC gold pigment applied wet, for those curious!), black eyeliner and soft red lips. Here’s the segment:
My goal was to go over different ways to achieve flirty, fabulous lashes – but since TV segments go by quickly, I thought it would be helpful to share my notes here!
First, here’s how to make the most of the lashes you were born with:
- Use eyeliner right at the root of the lashes to make them appear thicker – I like a gel eyeliner on a flat-tipped brush, but pencil also works well. Makeup artists call this “tightlining.”
- Make friends with that scary torture device known as a lash curler! You can find them in many different shapes and sizes (Ashley particularly loved my little corner lash curler). Squeeze gently but firmly at the base of the lash (taking care not to catch your skin) and work your way towards the tip to achieve a nice, soft upward curl.
- You have lots of choices for mascara formulas – thickening, lengthening, waterproof or regular, etc. – and many different styles of applicator wands; I’m partial to CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, but it’s really about what works best for you. Just remember that mascara ads are misleading (the models’ lashes are usually fake and enhanced digitally), so don’t expect the formula alone to get the results.
- When you apply mascara, first wipe any excess globs off so you don’t make a mess. Apply by wiggling the wand gently at the base of your lashes to coat them thoroughly, and continue to wiggle the wand up the length of the lashes, which will help add thickness and length. You can add as many coats as you’d like, but stop before you get stiff, clumpy lashes (unless that’s the look you’re aiming for).
- Use a lash comb (I like metal-toothed combs; Tweezerman makes a nice one) to separate any clumps and keep the lashes wispy. You can also use a clean, disposable mascara wand, as pictured below:
Still want a little added thickness? Individual flares to the rescue! Here are some tips:
- If you want a natural look, choose short or medium knot-free individual flares (here’s my review of my favorites).
- Use a tiny dot of waterproof glue at the base of each lash – I usually hold them with tweezers and dip each lash cluster into the glue on at a time.
- Looking down into a mirror can make it easier to apply lashes on yourself.
- Place each cluster directly at the lash root, focusing on the outer corner and center of your eye. The lashes should be a length that blends into your natural lashes seamlessly.
Want the real drama? Here’s how to make the most of lash strips:
- You have a variety of styles to choose from! Check out your local drugstore or beauty supply shop to see what’s available. To keep the look natural, look for clear, flexible bands (nothing too thick or too dark, unless you plan to wear heavy eyeliner), wispy styles (the more “uniform” the lash, the less believable it looks), and realistic lengths (especially if you wear glasses!)
- Place the lash on your eye to see whether it fits – very often, they’re too long to wear comfortably. Trim lash from outside in so it fits your eye shape – removing the longest lashes will keep the nicely tapered shorter fibers to blend with your natural lashes.
- Bend and flex the lash band to help it shape itself to your eye (I sometimes wrap them around a brush handle to achieve that nice curve) – this will help prevent the ends from lifting up.
- Apply thin strip of a clear-drying glue, with a little extra on the corners. You want a solid stripe of glue but not so thick that it starts seeping down and gumming up the lashes.
- Let the glue set for 30 seconds before application (I usually give them a little wave in the meantime) – you want the glue to be sticky enough that you won’t be struggling to hold them in place while they dry.
- Place the strip on top of your lashes in the center, & then adhere the corners. Press the band as close to the natural lash line as possible; you don’t want a visible gap.
- Once the glue has set, “pinch” the false lash together with your natural lashes. You can also gently add a bit of mascara to marry the two lashes together.
- Touch up the strip with eyeliner as needed (sometimes the dried glue looks a bit shiny, so you can matte it down again with eyeliner if desired).
- Peel off gently from the outside in when removing your makeup. I don’t recommend sleeping in your makeup, and that includes false lashes!
- Never share false lashes or mascara with others. You may be able to get a few wears out of your lashes if you gently remove excess glue and mascara before storage, but they are not for sharing. Think of false eyelashes and mascara like underwear!
Who doesn’t love flirty eyelashes? For those of us who weren’t blessed with long, thick lashes at birth or who have lost lash density over time, false lashes are a welcome addition to our makeup arsenals. But as a makeup artist, I am exceedingly picky about what lashes I will use on clients, especially if the goal is a natural look that doesn’t scream “Check out this crazy thing I glued to my eye!” Getting a natural result is half technique, and half product choice. And after exceedingly frustrating results from different lash brands (some that were so long or so oddly shaped that they couldn’t possibly pass as a natural lash without trimming/reshaping), I am sticking with my tried & true Ardells!
I prefer the Duralash Naturals (pictured on the left) because they are knot-free… which means you won’t have a bunch of tell-tale dots once you’ve glued them on. (Those dots really ruin individual lashes for me; even with dark eyeliner on, you can usually see them!) I almost always select the short length because it’s usually the best match with the existing lashes – if the individuals applied are too long, they stick out oddly and the effect is very noticeable in photos. (Trust me, I learned this the hard way!) Occasionally I’ll mix in some medium length lashes for effect, but I get the most mileage out of the short flares. One thing I love about them is they aren’t too “uniform” – the length and shape of each flare is very slightly different. This closely mimics the beautiful, random wispiness of natural eyelashes.
While I do use Ardell’s strip lashes as well (depending on the effect I’m looking to achieve), I find myself reaching for the individual flares more often than not because I can add just enough emphasis exactly where it is needed without weighing down the eyelid. This is especially helpful for folks with smaller eyes or more mature eyelid skin – a heavy lash would only make the eyes look even smaller.
I start with the natural lashes already curled and a coat of mascara applied. To add lashes, just a tiny dot of glue is needed (the clear-drying Duo is my favorite). Don’t add too much glue because then the extended dry time will allow the lash cluster to slip out of place. What I do is squeeze a drop of glue onto my makeup palette (and wait a few seconds for the glue to start getting tacky, making application easier), grasp one of the flares with tweezers, dip the very end into the glue, and press the base of the flare right into the lashline – not above, but as close to the other lashes as possible. (You can also swipe the tiniest bit of glue against a nearby natural lash to give the flare something additional to stick to, to help hold it in position.) I usually focus the flares on the outer part of the eye and stop somewhere in the middle, and once the glue is dried, blend them together with the natural lashes by gently pinching them together and then adding some mascara.
If you’re applying lash clusters to yourself, try holding a mirror under your chin and looking down into it as you place each lash. Go slowly and make sure the lash doesn’t twist into a funny position as you place it. It takes practice, but the results are worth it!
The effect can be anything from unnoticeable to very dramatic, depending how many lash flares you apply and whether you layer them or not. Here is a before & after close-up of a bride’s eye – I used smoked-out eyeliner and a mix of short and medium length flares to emphasize her eye shape and give her lashes for days (without the false lash “look”):
What do you think – are you ready to try individual lashes yourself?