Prepare to flutter your heart out.
Because we weren’t all blessed with Bambi-level lashes to bat, we’ve come up with some pretty ingenious ways to fake it ‘til we make it. Below, we take a look at the different ways to make your eyelashes look longer and thicker to see which ones are worth the occasional tears.
- Eyelash Curlers
- False Lashes (Self-Applied)
- Eyelash Extensions
- Lash Lifts (Keratin /Botox Lift)
Cost: $5 – $80
Lasts: 1 Day
Even the most pared-down makeup routine tends to include mascara – whether you wear black, brown, purple, or clear – one little wand can do a lot to make your eyes pop.
Of course, there are downsides. Mascara can only really enhance what you already have, and putting too much on leads to 5 clumped-together lashes with a high chance of racoon eyes by the end of the day. Still, it’s cheap, easy and washes off!
Cost: $2 – $16
Lasts: 1 Day
While they resemble a medieval torture device, eyelash curlers can pair with bare lashes or precede mascara to add an extra dose of doe-eyed to your look.
To make best use of an eyelash curler, remember to:
-Only curl clean, dry, and makeup-free lashes
-Start from the inner eye and work your way out
-Don’t squeeze too hard or too long – 7 seconds should do – or risk breakage
-Give your lashes a break every few days (and give your curler a clean!)
-Don’t try heating up your metal curler – spring for ones designed to get warm and wait til you’ve perfected your technique!
False Lashes (Self-Applied)
Lasts: 1 Day
Available in strips or ‘individuals’ (usually 2 lashes) these are an old school stand-by for go-big-or-go-home eyelashes, but they take a lot of practice – because who wants to finish a night out with one bald-looking eye?
To use them, you’ll need scissors, tweezers, glue and your lashes. It also helps to use a compact mirror held under your chin when applying to line up your lashes with your lash line.
Here’s our favourite tutorial for putting on fake lashes from FOREO Ambassador Aaliyah Jay:
Once you’re a pro – or if you want a more subtle look – you can try the individual lashes to add more volume in specific places, or try custom styles like a limousine lash like Constance Wu wore to the premiere of Crazy Rich Asians.
Lasts: 4-6 weeks
There’s almost nothing that beats individual lash extensions in terms of drama, but you can also use them for a more natural look that lets you go makeup-free without people constantly saying you look tired.
Generally, lashes are available in different colors, lengths and materials (usually silk or mink) as well as styles. A natural look will use similar lash length around your whole eye, while a ‘dramatic’ style might put longer lashes in the middle. If you want a sexy siren look, ask for longer eyelashes on the outer edge for a cat eye you don’t need to cuss out your eyeliner for. I, as an oily-skinned lady – love having eyelash extensions because it means I can skip mascara and eyeliner, making me look fresh faced for longer each day.
What are the cons to this miracle procedure?
Time: A full set can take 45 minutes to and hour and a half to apply
Upkeep: While eyelash extensions can last for up to 6 weeks, you need to treat them right. That means no getting them wet for the first 24 hours, frequent combing and minimizing contact with oil-based anything (that means no makeup remover and absolutely no mascara)
Damage: If your technician is skilled, you shouldn’t see damage to your lashes, however if they accidentally get too many ‘baby lashes’ glued to the extension when applying, your eyelids may look a little bald and mangled once all the false ones fall out.
Lash Lifts (Keratin /Botox Lift)
Lasts: 8-12 weeks
OOMPH-Level: 4 /5
The latest in lashes is the lash lift – basically a perm for your eyelashes.
If that sounds terrifying, I can testify firsthand that it’s both better and worse than you think. Basically, silicone pads are placed on your eyelid and each lash is coated with a perming solution, then lightly stuck to the pad so as to curl around it.
Now, I am an old-hat at eyelash extension but this takes much longer, and I got very claustrophobic during the procedure. Pro-tip: plug yourself into a long podcast or two!
The lash lift should last 8 -12 weeks, and while how dramatic the effect is will depend on the length of your actual lashes – I found out I have shorter lashes on one eye (boo!) – you can wear mascara with it to add extra emphasis.