Product review: Ardell Duralash Naturals
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?