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We’re all for a great mascara and we definitely appreciate lash extensions, but false lashes hit that perfect sweet spot in between those two ends of the spectrum. They’re as commitment-free as mascara, but offer the more impressive lengthening and volumizing results as extensions. Not to mention that there are more styles out there than ever before, ranging from ones that are subdued and natural to full-on dramatic.
You may be wondering how the hell do you apply these things?! Well, New York City-based makeup artist Joseph Carrillo says that he finds it easier when your first starting to practicing how to apply a false lash is to not use your curler to start, and don't apply mascara just yet. "Start by looking down in to a mirror. Get some angels tweezers and pull the lash from the holder. Peel the falsie from the out corners to the center. Get the tweezer from the center of the lash and add lash glue (a thin layer is fine)," he says. Carrillo continues with waiting 30 seconds so I can get tacky and then apply closest to the lash as possible. Setting it down in the center of the lash band fist. And adjusting the edges to sit perfectly.
And voila. "Then I'd coat ur lash w the falsie together with mascara so the two to become one... and let out ur inner spice girl," he adds.
It may seem complex but remember, practice makes perfect. Whether they’re part of your everyday routine or something you reach for on special occasions, once you’ve realized the magic of falsies, there’s really no going back. Ready for the best part? While there’s a countless number of pricey options out there, you do not—we repeat do not—have to break the bank to find a great set of false lashes.
Ahead, the best drugstore lashes available now.
Best Overall: House of Lashes Allura Lite Lashes
This super-soft option is made of silk, ensuring they feel completely light as you wear them so that blinking is never a chore. The style is totally versatile—wearable yet dramatic enough to make it worth your while. Plus, they’re just the right size for most eye shapes, saving you the time and hassle of having to trim them down.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Dramatic False Lash Kit
Yes, all of these are affordable picks, but this option really takes the money-saving cake. Nice and bold, they’re choice for adding both extra volume and extra length, and we also appreciate that they come with an included applicator tool and contour tray to make application easier than ever. And, as the name suggests, they’re made with a super high-quality, synthetic fiber to ensure they’re vegan and cruelty-free.
Runner-Up, Best Budget: Colour Pop Dame Falsies Faux Lashes
Not quite sure if falsies will work for you? Still haven’t mastered the application technique? Need a pair for one night only? For all of the above scenarios, these wallet-friendly lashes come up huge. They deliver plenty of volume and length and work on pretty much any and every eye shape.
Best Classic: Ardell Natural Lash Black 120
Arguably the most beloved drugstore lash brand, ever, we have yet to meet a makeup artist who doesn’t carry some type of Ardell lash with them at all times. There’s no shortage of styles to choose from, but this timeless option is one of the best-sellers. The 120 lashes blend in with your existing fringe, rather than covering it up, making for a natural yet beautiful end result.
Best for Short Eyelashes: Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes
While it may seem counterintuitive, if your natural lashes are on the shorter side, you actually don’t want to go with extra-long falsies; they can just end up weighing down your lid and, TBH, looking strange. Enter this alternative, which lengthens your natural lashes and adds a pop thanks to their subtly flared shape. The tips are also tapered, ensuring that they blend in seamlessly.
Best Magnetic: Eylure ProMagnetic Eyelashes & Eyeliner System
If you don’t want to deal with glue or adhesive, the latest batch of magnetic falsies offer the perfect solution; these are some of the best you can find at the drugstore. Step one: Line your lash line with a few coats of the included liner, which contains magnetic iron oxide. Step two: Press the lashes into the liner, where the tiny magnets on the ends will attach to the iron oxide. Yes, it’s that easy—plus, these lashes are reusable up to 15 times.
Best Natural-Looking Lashes: Ardell Naked Lash #422
Contrary to popular belief, you can in fact use false lashes to enhance a natural and subdued makeup look. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, try these. A mid-length and layered style ensures they deliver just a touch of volume—more of an eye-opening effect rather than a "hey, look at my lashes" effect. The band is also invisible, and the featherweight texture means they feel nearly undetectable, too.
Best Dramatic Lashes: Eylure False Eyelashes Dramatic 3D No. 196
On the flip side, if you are in fact using falsies to create more of a dramatic look, these are choice; the slightly angled, super-full style makes a serious statement. Also nice: It comes with a dermatologist-tested, latex-free glue (great for the sensitive set) that lasts up to 18 hours.
Best Color: UOMA Beauty Black Magic Carnival Trinidad Eyelashes
Looking to add a pop of color into the mix? Look no further than this show-stopping set from UOMA Beauty, which features a 3D color blend of bold black and bright purple lashes. Super dramatic and voluminous, these falsies will definitely take any eye look to the next level.
Best Individuals: Ardell Lash Trios
Adding just a few individual falsies to the outer corner of each eye is one of those go-to, pro makeup artist tricks that makes a major difference. It’s a great move for those seeking a more natural end result and/or don’t love the look or feel of a full strip. This pack comes with 32 trios, each featuring a few lashes, in both short or medium lengths so that you can completely customize your eye look. Use them solo, as we said, or layer them over a full strip for major impact.
Best for Volume: House of Lashes Iconic Lite False Lashes
This style delivers va-va-voom volume, making even the finest and flattest of lashes look full and lifted. Credit a v-shaped formation and crisscrossed pattern, coupled with a super-thin band that’s totally undetectable. Plus, if you take good care of them (AKA remove and store them properly in between uses), they can last for more than eight wears.
Best for Length: Kiss Falscara Eyelash Lengthening Wisps
As a general rule of thumb, full strips are attached to your lash line and sit on top of your natural lashes, but that’s not the case here. These are meant to be placed at the underside of your fringe, making the band much less noticeable and the end result much more natural. These come in lifting and volumizing styles, but we’re partial to this lengthening option for making fringe look extra-long. FYI, you do need to purchase the glue separately.
Runner-Up, Best for Length: Coloured Raine Bossy Lash
If you’d rather apply a full strip over individual wisps, then opt for this ultra-lengthening set from Coloured Raine. Providing a whopping 22mm of length, you can feel good knowing these lashes are made from vegan faux mink. Plus, they’re 100% handmade—and with proper care, they can last you up to 15 applications.
Best Style Options: Eliace False Eyelashes Set
Versatility is the name of the game with this Amazon fan favorite. You get a whopping 50 sets across five different styles that run the gamut from natural to bold, all made of a high-quality synthetic fiber. (A convenient applicator is included as well.) Happy shoppers rave about both the quality and incredible price.
We’re giving top honors to the House of Lashes Allura Lite Lashes. Made of super-soft silk with a lightweight feel, they bring the perfect amount of drama without being too over-the-top. Perfect for beginners, e.l.f. Cosmetic’s Dramatic Lash Kit will only set you back a few bucks while adding gorgeous fullness. Plus, the kit comes equipped with an easy applicator tool. Finally, the Ardell Lash Trios allow for a custom look, whether you're looking to apply a few wisps to the outer corner of each eye or layer them on for major impact.
What to Look For in False Lashes
No one wants to spend 30 minutes applying their falsies, which is why celebrity makeup artist Carolina Dali recommends seeking out a set that is easy to apply. “When applying lashes, I don’t want the process to be complicated or time-consuming; the more approachable and easier they are to apply, the better the final result,” she says. “The process of lash placement is already tricky in itself, so when choosing lashes, I look for ones that are easy to trim and apply.”
Material and Lash Flare
Of course, the actual material and look of the lashes are also important to keep in mind. Dali prefers to go the cruelty-free route and opt for synthetic fiber lashes—and if you feel the same, you’ll want to avoid anything made from mink, which is commonly used amongst lash brands. “The thickness of each individual hair also matters,” she says. “I prefer them to be just a little thicker than my own lashes. The flare of the hairs is very important—a nice variety of hair lengths and good flare will open up the eyes and make them look bigger,” she says. That said, whether you’re going for a more natural look or something more show-stopping, you’ll still want to reach for a pair that mixes lengths and has a flared shape.
Adhesive Backing Strip
Finally, Dali recommends looking for a set of lashes with adhesive strips over one that needs to be glued on. “I find that lashes with a thin adhesive backing look more natural, blend better with our own lashes, and don’t add weight to the lash line,” she says. That said, the keyword here is thin: “Lashes with heavy strips add weight to the lash line that instantly makes the eyes look smaller and sleepy—which we don’t want. The thinner and more discrete the lash strip, the better.”
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