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How to Apply Individual Eyelashes

I’ve struggled with sparse lashes my entire life, trying nearly every mascara and lash-growing product on the market. Even though I have the best products and tools in my makeup bag, my minimal lashes don’t live up to my grand expectations. I stayed away from false lashes in the past because I was afraid they’d look fake—that is, until my makeup-artist friend showed me how to apply individual eyelashes.

1. Selecting the eyelashes. The store shelves hold many different types of false eyelashes. You can buy individual eyelashes or lash clusters, or you can get strips of eyelashes and cut them yourself to create individual lashes. I find that both individual lashes and lash clusters look more natural than a full eyelash strip.

2. Preparing the area. If you want your eyelashes to last all night and into the morning, start with a clean, dry canvas. Wash and dry your face well and apply your foundation and powder before applying individual eyelashes. If you plan to wear eyeliner, apply it first, as it can be difficult to create a nice line after you’ve put on the lashes. You’ll want to hold off on mascara until the lashes have been applied.

3. Working with the glue. I buy a brand of eyelash clusters that come with their own glue, but you can also buy lash glue separately. Never use any other type of glue, especially super-glue or nail glue, when applying eyelashes. I place a small dot of glue on a piece of aluminum foil because it protects my vanity counter and doesn’t absorb the glue like a tissue might.

4. Applying the lashes. Individual lashes are a bit difficult to work with, so I use tweezers to make things easier. Select one lash (or one lash cluster) at a time and gently dip the end into your glue dot. A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it. Close your eye and attach the lash to the existing lash line, making sure the curl is following along with the natural curve of your lashes. I never apply the lash to my eyelid or skin because this results in a less natural look. You’ll generally have a minute or two to nudge it into place before the glue dries.

5. Deciding where to place the lashes. Because I like a natural look, I apply individual lashes or lash clusters only to the outer two-thirds of my top lid. The lashes on your lower lid and the inner third of your upper lid are naturally much shorter, so applying lashes here will give you away. I like to start my application in the middle of my upper eyelid and work my way out, spacing individual lashes or lash clusters sporadically in between my natural lashes.

Once I’ve applied individual lashes to both eyes, I let the glue dry for a few minutes and then apply a few coats of mascara to blend the fake lashes into my natural lash line. This creates a really dramatic look and also helps to camouflage the false lashes.


Written by Amber Hilton

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