Eyelashes are all about drama, and how much you want to create is up to you. Whether you want to make the most of what your mama gave you or are ready to reach for the falsies, there are countless ways to up your lash game. From natural-looking wispies to a full-on fringe and everything in between, we tapped the best experts in the business to share every product, treatment, trick, and tip to get the lashes you've always dreamed of.
How the ‘Under Lashing’ Trend Works
For the most part, the attribution of long, wispy flutters is often either from an excellent eyelash serum, expertly crafted and applied false lashes, a killer lash lift and lash tint, or a fresh set of lash extensions. But a new type of false lash technique (there are lashes specifically made for it), known as under lashing, is making waves — and we are here for it.
Under lashing is one of professional makeup artists' best-kept secrets, and, finally, it's here for the rest of us to try. A must-do technique on sets where long, natural lashes and an ‘open eye’ are part of the overall look, under lashing involves the application of small clusters of faux lashes (it doesn't work with strip lashes) under the lash line rather than on top of it. The technique also conceals any traces of fauxness. “With under lashing, the look is more natural and seamless because the band is usually undetectable versus applying lashes on top of the lash line,” says celebrity makeup artist Renny Vasquez. His pick? KISS Falscara Eyelash Kit.
So, where did the concept come from, and why is it gaining traction right now? No one can really pinpoint who made under lashing popular, but celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg learned it from a drag queen. Regardless, innovations have allowed the technique to come a long way. The biggest issue with previous iterations of lashes used in under lashing is that they were heavy, which Greenberg says made it hard to perfect. “Brands like FlutterHabit have cornered the market with their glue and lashes — you don't need to wear mascara with them, either — which last for a few days," she adds. By adhering the lashes to where they naturally grow from, there's less distinction between the natural and faux lashes and more of a natural, seamless look.
To under lash, which can be a little confusing and tricky at first, Greenberg says you'll need good glue, lashes, and tweezers. From there, follow the steps below:
- “First, dip the top part of the end of the lash into the glue and let it get tacky,” she shares.
- Next up, she says to “place the lashes from the outside in the area where the lash naturally grows out of the eye.”
- From there, “you'll want to push the lash up and into the natural lashes, so that they adhere properly,” Greenberg notes.
While you can go as natural or dramatic as desired, she adds that the final look depends on the style of lashes you choose. “They will look more like extensions instead of fake lashes,” Greenberg shares.
At-home under lashing may be new, but lash professionals have been doing it for years in lash extension applications. Adhering individual lashes under the lashes rather than on top creates a more blended look, says Clementina Richardson, a celebrity lash and brow expert and founder of Envious Lashes. “We do this in the salon when applying lash extensions so that the extensions look more blended,” she explains. “Otherwise, the lashes sit on top of your natural ones and look very obvious.” Even so, not every pro does lashes this way. Richardson explains that applying extensions under the lash line is much more complex than applying lashes above the lashes, which is why it's important to go to a skilled lash technician.
Everything You Need for Envious Lashes
If under lashing isn’t your thing, there are many other ways to get a full fringe. From lash-lengthening serums to volume-pumping mascaras and all the tools that the experts stash in their kits, these are makeup artists' favorite — and under-the-radar — ways to get a doe-eyed look.
An excellent eyelash curler makes all the difference between limp, straight lashes and those that sport the perfect curl. Whether donning mascara or false lashes, it's always best to curl the natural lashes first and then apply mascara, says makeup artist Tanya Mann. “This gives false lashes something to stick to,” she explains. Plus, it minimizes any unnatural transition between the base of the natural lashes and the strips sitting on top of them. Curlers are relatively easy to use — place the lashes into the curler, press down on the clamp, and pump it about 10 times to create lift and volume. Of course, the closer you curl to the eyelid, the more curl you'll achieve.
There is one caveat with eyelash curling: If the natural lash is naturally curly or extremely short, avoid curling them. Also, the proper curler makes all the difference, too. “If your curler doesn't have a sponge or pad on it, it can damage or cut the natural lashes if you curl or press aggressively onto the lash line,” warns Dionne Phillips, celebrity lash expert and founder of D'Lashes. “It's not necessary to curl the lashes daily, but properly washing them and good nutrition helps keep the hair strong.”
Curlers come in all varieties, from more traditional ones, like the cult-classic Shu Uemura Iconic Eyelash Curler and Lash Star Curler Supreme Lash Curler, to heated eyelash curlers like, Lash Star's Heated Lash Curler. There are even specialty curlers, like the Tweezerman Every Lash Curler, to get tiny hairs at the outer and inner corners of the eyes.
Unless you go the route of lash extensions, mascara deserves a home in every lash look. Mascara is nothing more than a temporary lash enhancer, but it has its place. Besides being easy to apply, it's also the simplest for daily use, says makeup artist Alexandria Gilleo. “I recommend mascara for every day and false lashes for special events or if you know someone is photographing you,” she explains. False lashes “add that extra pow to the eyes,” but, if you have the right mascara, “fake lashes aren't necessary for every day,” Gilleo says. Try the new Roen Beauty Cake Mascara for a megawatt, super long look. It features a one-of-a-kind ultra-fluffy wand and a buildable formula.
Fiber and tubing mascaras, like Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara and Blinc Original Tubing Mascara, work a little differently. These waterproof, smudge-proof formulas contain microscopic polymers that form a film around the lashes. Mann says they can give the lashes serious length without the need for false lashes. But unlike pre-shaped false lashes, tube mascaras take the same type of shape as what you get with traditional mascara.
For an organic option, there’s Kjaer Weis’ Im-Possible Mascara and Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara. There are even mascaras infused with lash-enhancing and lash-growing ingredients and formulas to coerce the lashes to become stronger, thicker, darker, and longer while getting the look of mascara-swathed lashes. WanderBeauty Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara and Skin Research Laboratories neuMASCARA are creamy, inky black mascaras that offer this benefit. And to prevent mascara from flaking, budging, or shifting, apply a lash primer, like Estee Lauder Little Black Primer or Grande Cosmetics GrandeREPAIR Leave-in Lash Conditioner, first.
SUPER DUTY GLUE
A good glue is crucial for false lashes to stick correctly and stay put for hours on end. Lash glues are either clear or tinted. Darker lash glues, like Ardell DUO Dark Striplash Adhesive, leave less room for the skin on the eyelid to show through and create gaps. The key to getting the glue to cling just right is to let it get tacky (this can take 30 to 60 seconds). Otherwise, the strip will not adhere to the natural lashes and slip off.
Newer glue-based liners, like KISS Lash Glue Liner, have come onto the scene and act as both liquid liner — the only way to blend any gaps between the natural lash line and strip lashes — and glue. Glide the liner across the lash line like a regular liquid liner to deposit glue, and then pop on your favorite pair of lashes. For sensitive eyes, Mann likes the atex- and formaldehyde-free Tarte Tarteist Pro Lash Adhesive.
While tweezers can work, specifically designed lash applicators, which resemble a mini eyelash curler of sorts, allow for the most precise application. Philips explains that these tools give a little extra leverage. “Lash applicators help with maneuvering the placement of the false lash,” she says. “They also facilitate with positioning the lashes directly onto the lash line, so that they lay right all day with the proper adhesive.” If you are looking to add one to your kit, the dual-ended Sigma Lash Applicator and multitasking LoveSeen Lash Applicator Tool both do the trick.
The options are virtually endless when it comes to false lashes (think: inexpensive strips, individual lashes, extra voluminous clusters, and full-on glam mink lashes). Plus, there are a plethora of different thicknesses, lengths, colors, and styles to create virtually any look imaginable. It's all about preference and the occasion. For example, for more dramatic moments, use a full-bodied lash, says Sarah Shin, director of product development at Lilly Lashes.
For the basics, Mann recommends Ardell lashes, which she likes for the affordability factor. If you want a step up from what mascara can offer, try a lash that's in between the two. The Lilly Lashes Lite Faux Mink are a semi-wispy style that adds a touch length and volume with a soft curl (they’re also reusable up to 15 times). Gilleo recommends using a thicker lash when the occasion calls for full-fledged, over-the-top glamour. “Just make sure they blend in with your natural lashes by using some eyeliner,” she says.
No matter what you pick, Shin says there is a common misconception about wearing mascara with false lashes. Rather than apply mascara after your lashes, try it the other way around. “To get the maximum wear out of false lashes, we recommend applying mascara before applying the lashes,” she explains. One thin and even coat of mascara will suffice. “This way, you'll avoid damage and build up,” she adds. Plus, layering on a coat of mascara to the natural lashes gives the falsies a sturdier base. “Then, you can use an eyelash curler to bond the natural lashes with the falsies to achieve a seamless application,” Shin shares. “It makes the application much easier and less messy.”
The Best False Lash Tips From the Experts
Until you successfully master the art of applying false lashes, trial and error is part of the process. “It takes practice,” Mann says, admitting that “lash mishaps can be seriously frustrating.” While she recommends trying to conquer both regular strip lashes and under lashing, her overarching advice is to go with whatever lash and technique feels most comfortable and helps you achieve the lash look you want. With that in mind, below are some of our pro’s best tips for fabulous faux fringe.
1. Create Natural-Looking Lashes
For more of a natural look, try under lashing. Mann explains that it eliminates the visible lash band, a dead giveaway that someone is wearing false lashes. “Since the lashes are applied under the natural lashes, they look like they’re yours,” she says. “It also reduces the struggle of getting unwanted glue on the eyelid, which means less potential for messing up the rest of your eye makeup.” Plus, many under lash advocates say the method feels more comfortable. “Anyone who’s worn falsies knows that unless they’re applied pretty perfectly, you feel them,” she adds. “With under lashing, most people say they can’t feel the lashes at all.”
If you’re going with traditional strip lashes, Phillips recommends selecting a wispy style so that light can shine through and onto the pupils. “This will give the eyes more of a sparkly effect,” she says. "When lashes are too heavy and dense, they do something to the lid and appear like an awning that blocks the light.” Our favorites are the delicate inky strips of reusable falsies from LoveSeen. They gently top natural lashes to create the look of light and airy lashes.
2. Get Lashes to Stick
Magnetic lashes are another option and are considered easier to apply — especially for the novice lash wearer. Some lashes work well with magnetic eyeliners, like Infinity Lash Wear Magnetic Liner, an all-in-one adhesive (sans conventional magnets) and eyeliner in one for a precise application. Other options are Lilly Lashes Click Magnetic Lash, which features faux mink lashes that look real, and Younique Moodstruck Magnetic Lash and Magnetic Eyeliner, which helps take the guesswork out of how to adhere the lashes to your natural ones. These easy-to-apply lashes contain 10 mini magnets on the backside of the strips for optimum hold that don't budge (they stay put for up to 10 hours) even in the heat or humidity and offer long-lasting comfort. Line the upper lash line with the magnetic liner and then place the vegan, trimmable magnetic strip over it — you'll feel it pull into place.
3. Trim as Needed
False strip lashes should fit the length of your eyes and complement your eye shape. In the inner corner, they should sit where the natural lashes begin and end at the same place at the outer corners of the eye. Unfortunately, if the strip is too long and hangs over the outer corner of the eye, it can weigh the eye down and create a heavy or droopy-looking eye. “Just like tailoring your clothes, you should do the same with your lashes,” Mann says. Also, don’t be afraid to break them in. “Lashes can be stiff at first, but you want them to be soft and pliable,” she shares. “So, work with them before applying them by wrapping each lash around your finer or moving them kike a wave with your fingers.”
In addition to trimming the lashes, you can accomplish more mobility and create a more natural-looking feeling on the eye by cutting strip lashes into three equal parts, says celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein. After cutting, Gerstein uses tweezers to apply them with an even amount of glue on each band.
4. Create a Seamless Transition
Mann says the golden rule of false lashes is to create a smooth band blend or one as close as possible to your natural lash line. “You don't want to see any skin or a space between your natural lashes and your new flutter,” she notes. To do so, use black eyeliner to fill in any holes or lighter areas. Or, if you have the patience and skill, try inserting a few individual lashes to cover up any gaps in the lash line.
5. Apply Lashes Looking Downwards
Rather than popping on a pair of lashes while looking straight into the mirror, Gilleo says to have a handheld mirror below you and look downwards when applying (with a lash applicator). “This angle will effectively make sure the lashes are as close to the lash line as possible,” she adds.
6. Go for the Longest-Lasting Option That’s Applied Professionally
Some women swear by long-lasting eyelash extensions. Although they’re an investment — an initial set can set you back upwards of $200 and fills, done every 10 to 14 days, can be another $75 or more — but they guarantee the look of flawless, I-woke-up-this-way lashes. “For me, waking up with beautiful lashes every day is like a dream come true,” Mann says.
Although most lash extension technicians advise against wearing mascara over extensions, not everyone agrees. According to Phillips, some of her lash extension clients revert to mascara if they can't fill as often as needed or need mascara for added darkness. “There are some that like mascara over extensions for the confidence of having something pretty on their eyes,” she says. And, of course, there are plenty of women who take a break from their extensions and go back to using mascara.
Best left to a professional, lash extensions cannot be applied at home, and Phillips stresses the importance of only doing them with an experienced lash tech or esthetician.
7. Lift Them & Tint Them
According to Richardson, lash lifts and lash tints are a great way to get glam lashes without any extra accoutrements. “While you’re not adding extra volume, you’re curling the lashes that hold for a few weeks and tinting them, making it look like you found the world’s best curl mascara,” she says.
Just like the key to a good hair day is healthy locks, the key to great lashes is healthy lashes. Opt for a lash-enhancing serum to help strengthen the strands and encourage healthy growth. Loaded with peptides, botanicals, vitamins, and other lash-thickening ingredients, they work over time to increase lash density and natural volume. Some of the best options include the OG Latisse®, Rodan + Fields Lash Boost, Grande Cosmetics Grandelash MD, and LiLash Purified Eyelash Serum, which also increases natural curl. Formulas like the Revitalash Lash & Brow Masque and D’Lashes D’Volumizing Lash & Brow Growth Serum, meanwhile, also help restore health to the hair on the brows. It can take four to six weeks to start seeing results from lash serums and continued use is required for lasting benefits, but, with a little consistency, you’ll be well on your way to your loveliest lashes yet.
All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.
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