How to get fabulous lashes

 In How to, Interviews, Press, Products

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.

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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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:
Model with red lips combing through eyelashes with clean mascara wand

Photo by Tyler Shumway

Still want a little added thickness? Individual flares to the rescue! Here are some tips:

  1. If you want a natural look, choose short or medium knot-free individual flares (here’s my review of my favorites).
  2. 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.
  3. Looking down into a mirror can make it easier to apply lashes on yourself.
  4. 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.
Asian model wearing natural makeup and false eyelashes

Photo by David Pankratz

Want the real drama? Here’s how to make the most of lash strips:

  1. 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!)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Peel off gently from the outside in when removing your makeup. I don’t recommend sleeping in your makeup, and that includes false lashes!
  10. 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!
Bride with sexy eye makeup, false eyelashes & berry lips

Photo by Sandra Costello



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  • Sandra Costello

    Liz, I love the WWLP segment! You seem so relaxed and Kim looks awesome. Congrats!