Many of you have asked me, on many occasions, how to accomplish false eyelash application. To tell the truth, right now I feel like the least qualified person in the world to explain this to you. You know how it is when you’re young and there are these wholly inexperienced kids in the schoolyard trying to explain sex acts to each other and it just kind of unravels into a dirty game of “Telephone”? And at the end of the line there are kids walking away thinking that a beej consists of a girl cramming the first three fingers of a guy’s hand into her mouth? That’s kind of how I feel about trying to do a tutorial on lash merkins right now, as I haven’t used the damn things in at least two years. I know, right? Cue the, “but I thought you were a makeup artist” bit. Well, I guess it’s more accurate to say I was a makeup artist.

See, two or so years ago, I was offered a full-time position at the part-time job I was holding in between makeup gigs. They offered me insurance, benefits, the whole nine. My makeup gigs were slowing to a dead crawl, I live in a town with little-to-no real film industry, and the word “recession” was being kicked around more than I was comfortable with, so my Kevin Aucoin aspirations gave way to the life of a working stiff. Around this same time, I discovered a girl-friendly upstart blog where I could blab, gab, mock, and dangerously overshare to my hearts’ content. It was there where I found that my makeup knowledge could be put to good use among my new pals on the comment boards. Which led to this very category of posts on this very blog. And you know what? I don’t miss being a makeup artist very much. There is something so much more fulfilling about helping real women navigate the confusing and often misleading world of cosmetics. There is really nothing benevolent about making up pretty women and models to be that much prettier for the camera. You show up, you do that job, you go home. However, when I write a post recommending a concealer to a woman who’s been struggling with dark circles her whole life and I help her find something that works for her -that helps her overcome that little bit of insecurity and feel like the best version of herself- that is the sort of thing that stays with me. So yeah, if you’re wont to take advice from someone who’d rather write about makeup for a living than apply it, I’ll cut the Lifetime Movie Channel spiel and give you the goods after the jump

When applying false lashes, a lot of folks will tell you there’s a “right way” and a “wrong way.” Whereas I kind of feel like it’s more of a “there are some guidelines” type of thing. In fact, because everyone’s eye shape and hand-eye dexterity are different, I recommend for everyone to try doing it the “wrong way” at least once, so that you’ll know exactly why certain things are a no-go. Also, there’s the offhand chance that a blunder could just be the best method for you. The “right” way to do things will be left in regular type, and the “wrong” way will be in blue, so you can try it for yourself.

Selecting your lashes:

First of all, unless it’s Halloween and you’re going as Liza with a Zeeeeee, these are a no:

Just. Don’t. It’s too much lash for anyone in their right mind. If you are truly not in your right mind- like, if you think Miss Tyra is classy glamour personified- you still shouldn’t try to wear these. Because, the best case scenario is that you’ll end up looking like you’re doing a bad Jennifer Coolidge impression. Peep the video on this wikihow, if you want to know what I mean:

So, what lashes should you choose? I know some people would be inclined to think that the smaller your eye, the larger the lash is needed to widen your peepers. However, the opposite is true. If you have small eyes, go for the most understated, demure lashes you can find, and I promise it’ll make a big impact.

Conversely, if you have big ole giant Colossal Squid eyes like Anne Hathaway, you can pull off more dramatic lashes without looking like you washed out of Wigstock.

Application: Before you jump into this, if you’re a neophyte don’t rush it. Take your time and learn to get it exactly right. Even if you have to peel the lashes off and reapply 20 times, it’s all learning. I believe mistakes can be the best teacher, so go with it.

  1. Hold the lash strip up to your eye to see how much, if any, you need to trim off. Now, I absolutely hate to cut up a pair of brand new strip lashes, no matter how oversized they are for my eyes. I typically will try to apply the things fresh-from-the-package, so that they’ll look horrible on and I can remind myself why I have to trim the lashes in the first place. Besides, it’s hard to know where to trim a lash strip without seeing where it pulls away from the eye worst or where it looks the least natural. So, shoehorn those puppies onto your eyes to get a good idea. Trim the lashes to suit your eyes. ==============================================================
  2. Squeeze a bit of eyelash glue (I recommend Duo brand adhesive) onto the back of your hand. Tightly grip the lashes and carefully drag the band through the glue, making sure you get an even amount on the whole strip, just enough glue to wet the strip and color it white (lash glue is white, then dries clear). But, you know, that’s not to say that the squeeze-tube-directly-onto-lash-strip method doesn’t work. It can work, but the results are mixed. Sometimes it works great, other times you’ll glue your eye shut. When it comes to lash glue, less is more. But, I recommend trying to put on a lash strip with way too much glue on it, with the glue unevenly distributed, or both. I think you need to see for yourself why the back-of-the-hand method is best.  ===========================================================
  3. Let the glue sit for about 30 seconds so it’ll get tacky. If you just go ahead & throw the lash on while the glue is still all liquid-y, you’ll have a big, slide-y mess on your hands, and let me tell you: cleaning lash glue off your eyelids is not fun. Nor is it conducive to putting on the rest of your eye makeup. This is one blunder you don’t want to try, so just be patient and let the glue set a bit. ===========================================================
  4. Carefully grip the lash strip with a pair of tweezers and set the falsies down onto the base of your eyelashes. Starting from the outer corner and working in, gently press the strip down onto your lashes. Or you could work from the inner corner out- try it. As the inner corner of the eye tends to be the most pop-off prone, which is a dead giveaway to onlookers that you’re wearing fake lashes. This part will take you a few tries to get right, as you want the strip lashes glued to your actual lashes, and not the skin above the lashes- the part you put your eyeliner on. Hold the strip down with your fingertips at both corners for about a minute, giving the glue plenty of time to set.  =========================================================
  5. You’re done! Kind of. Once your lashes are in place, not popping off at the inner and outer corners and generally looking… OK- gently peel them off again. You heard me: take them off. If you want those babies to stay put all night, you’ll need to put them on successfully twice in a row. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it’s worked for me. If I’ve got them on perfectly the first time, they’ll be peeling off within 3 hours. But if you do it twice, they’ll stay in place for hours. However, if you’ve reapplied them 3 or more times (or just went buck wild with the glue) let the glue that’s already built up on the strip dry, then carefully peel it off until the strip is clean again. Then do the application twice.
  6. Put a thin line of black eyeliner on, as close to the lash line as you can get. Then repeat steps 2 – 4. If you’re a one-application pro, then do this part first, before even beginning step 2.  =============================================================
  7. Once the lashes are on again and set, gently apply mascara to help “bond” your lashes to the fakes. Fill in any remaining gaps in your lash line with eyeliner. Done! ==========================================================

Sound hard? That’s because it is truly a pain in the ass. But, I’ve got yet another tip to make the whole thing infinitely less painful…. But, that’s going to have to wait for another post. MUAHAHAHAAAA!!! Stay tuned for more, but until then feel free to lash out in the comments!