Your Step-by-Step Guide to Applying False Eyelashes Like a Pro
False eyelashes are one of the few things in life that simultaneously bring us incredible joy, as well as crippling anxiety. (Also on the list? Real Housewives of Orange County marathons and Miley Cyrus’ Instagram feed.) Up until now, our own method of application has fallen into the “stick it near the vicinity of our eye and hope it looks good” category. (This works about 50 percent of the time, and is not a technique we would recommend.) Luckily, we now have a falsie expert on our side: resident Byrdie beauty guru and celebrity makeup artist, Lauren Andersen.
Responsible for the long, fanned-out lashes of celebs like Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen, Andersen is clearly a master of the craft—which is why we tapped her to show us the ropes. So with no further ado, we are delighted to present the ultimate guide to applying fake eyelashes like a true professional.
Keep flipping for the step-by-step guide to applying individual and strip lashes, plus Andersen’s best falsie tricks!
A surprising discovery we made while observing Andersen apply individual lashes? She applies them after mascara. “[After applying mascara], let your lashes dry,” she says. “The great thing about individual lashes is they let you fill in any holes or gaps in your lash line.”
Next comes the difficult part: actually applying the lashes without poking your eyes out. “I use tweezers, some people use their fingers,” Andersen says. “I like tweezers so I can place them exactly where I want them—they should follow the direction of your natural lashes.” She starts above the iris of her eye, then fills in the lash line going out. “You want the lash to barely touch your skin, not the base of your real lashes,” she says. “I stabilize my arm against the mirror, so you might want to sit on your sink!”
As for the lashes themselves, she recommends choosing knot-free versions (she’s using Ardell’s DuraLash Naturals Individual Eye Lashes ($5) for our tutorial)—they don’t have a band and create a more seamless, natural look when applied to your lash line.
For a more dramatic look, Andersen will add one or two medium-length individual lashes on the outer corners of her eyes to give her lashes more extension. If you notice a lash or two go awry, don’t be afraid to fix them as the glue is drying. “If individual lashes tilt to the left or right, you can just use your finger to straighten them,” Andersen says.
Unlike individual lashes, Andersen says applying mascara after you finish gluing your lashes is vital to making the final effect look natural. “This helps blend them into your natural lashes,” Andersen says. “When you’re getting to the inner corner of your eye and you want them to blend more, you can take scissors and actually trim off the longer edges of the lashes so that they blend with your natural lashes as well.”