During my teenage makeup experimentations, I dabbled with false lashes and, as predicted, it was a huge fail. I tried to apply them with tweezers and used different glues, but nothing worked. So I gave up and resigned myself to a lashless existence.
It was a trip to New York in 2010 that changed everything. I packed three pairs of falsies in hopes of finally nailing them. I don't know what happened in that hotel bathroom mirror, but my lash application worked. The transformation was so impressive that now I wear them every time I put makeup on.
I'm the go-to lash girl, hunched over colleagues' desks at 5:58 p.m. armed with my Duo glue, ready to stick false eyelashes on to the uninitiated. I can apply them within seconds, with two fingers, eyes open or shut and without a mirror. Not trying to brag, but beauty dreams really do come true.
It takes practice and confidence. I followed every tip going, but you have to find your own technique. A non-negotiable is waiting for the glue to get slightly tacky (around 45 seconds, depending on the weather). I find it easiest to use my fingers for the most precise and beginner-friendly application. Follow the same movement you make when applying liquid liner, by gently stretching out the outer eye, then place the lashes as close to your lash line as possible. The quote, "nevertheless, she persisted," is very apt here.
So, why do I do it? Mainly because they're quicker for me to apply than three coats of mascara to achieve my desired look. They give unrivalled length, volume and fluffiness and give eye makeup (especially a feline flick) a little pro touch.
I started with a pair of Eylure lashes and never looked back. Since then, I've got a steady supply of both affordable ones and pricier options from brands like Huda Beauty in my collection at all times. I've picked out a couple of my faves, but we've also hunted down what the professionals use. And the best bit is that they're all under a tenner.
These reside in my lash wardrobe for the days when I need to tone it down on the lash drama and go for a more natural look. My favourite thing about these is that you can layer two pairs together for ultimate fullness and it'll still be under £10.
You can't go wrong with these lashes, as the substantial band has allowed me to wear the same pair a few times. I gently wipe any excess mascara and glue off with some micellar water and they're ready to be worn again.
Recommended by: Mary Greenwell
Legendary makeup artist Greenwell won't go anywhere without these lashes, saying they are "my number one favourites, as they are 100% natural and divine. They have become an essential in my kit."
Recommended by: Neil Young
Young recommends Eylure's lashes as they add volume and "a touch of sexiness to your eye makeup." He also advises that "as with any false lash, ensure it fits the shape of makeup you've created, and avoid synthetic lashes for a seamless finish."
Recommended by: Joyce Bonelli
As one of the Kardashians' regular go-to makeup artists, it's no surprise that Bonelli has a trick or two up her sleeve when it comes to giving the sisters their trademark long lashes. When doing Khloé Kardashian's makeup, Bonelli applies Ardell's individual lashes before applying mascara for an off-duty but still glam look.
Recommended by: Lisa Eldridge
"If you haven't used them before, I would suggest that you start with the half sets," suggests Eldridge. Screenface offers plenty of options, but the 307s from the natural selection give you a, you guessed it, natural look. Essentially, these go from the centre of your eye to the outer corner. Eldridge has plenty of other recommendations and tricks in her tutorial here.
Recommended by: Pixiwoo
If you're looking for something a bit different for New Year's Eve that's still at an affordable price point, then look no further than Eldora lashes. The ladies over at Pixiwoo have brought this brand to our attention with its range of incredible lashes. "There are some absolutely crazy ones," says Pixiwoo, "but there are some great everyday lashes and some which are so natural you'd never guess you had them on." We're sold.
For lashes that look like you have your own glam squad these are the way to go.
Watch How to Apply False Lashes Below
Opening Images: Imaxtree