For eyes that make a BIG impact

For many of us, mascara is an essential item to really widen and open up the eyes, but it’s not the only thing we beauty lovers have at our disposal. While a lash-building mascara might help to give you some va va voom, (or eyelash extensions for the bold!), false lashes are also a great option. They used to be solely associated with OTT glamour, but things have really moved on and there’s now a lash out there for everyone – even those of us who prize a natural look. Here’s everything you need to know about them.

The different types of false lashes & how to pick the right ones for you

When you think about false lashes, the type that probably springs to mind first are strip lashes. As these are made to be worn across your entire lash line, they’re generally best should you want a dramatic look with lots of volume and definition – especially if the band they’re attached to is black. That said, strip lashes can also provide a natural look if the lashes themselves are less dense and the band is barely visible. There really is a set for everyone - you just need to know what effect you want to go for!

When choosing strip lashes, here are a few handy tips to bear in mind. If you have hooded eyes, strip lashes that have longer hairs in the middle of the strip may be your best bet, while deep-set eyes will need strip lashes with longer hairs for them to be visible. Rounder eyes will look fabulous with a winged lash.

The other type of false lashes you might want to try are individual false lashes. As their name suggests, individual false lashes are separate lashes with which you can add a boost to the length and volume of your natural lashes wherever you see fit. Because there’s significantly less of them, they tend to offer a more natural look than strip lashes. The easiest and most common individual lashes come in the form of ‘clusters’, which often have a little knot holding the hairs together. These are the easiest kind to apply and will save you lots of time rather than dropping on individual hairs. And if you want a really natural look, we recommend picking individual clusters that are knot-free.

How to apply false lashes

How to put on false lashes depends on what kind of false lashes you’re applying. Here are our go-to guides for either option for foolproof, fluttery results every time.

How to apply strip lashes

After removing the lash from the tray via the outer corner, make sure that the strip fits by holding it at your lash line. It should start where the bulk of your natural eyelashes begin at the inner corner of your eye. Applying it too far in will irritate your eye. As for where it should end, look to the outer corner of your eye and count about 3 lashes inwards. If you need to trim the strip, do it from the outside edge and cut downwards so you don’t end up losing more lashes than you bargained for. Bend the strip back and forth to loosen it up as this will help it to mould to your eye shape when you come to apply it.

Now, it’s time for the glue. It’s important to note that the lash glue comes in a few different colours so if you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a white glue that turns clear when it dries. Dot a very thin layer along the base of the strip and wait a few seconds before application. When applying the strip, look down and drop them onto the base of your own eyelashes (we suggest using your tweezers). Once on, you may need to move them or wiggle them into place. Hold them in place for a few seconds to set.

If you want to create more lift, simply push the lashes up at the root before they set – gently though!

How to apply individual false lashes

Firstly, apply a dot of glue to a disposable surface like a piece of cardboard or tin foil and let it sit for a bit – applying individual false lashes with super wet glue will encourage them to move around, which is exactly what you don’t want.

Then, grab a lash with a pair of tweezers. You’ll need to grip it quite firmly and near the root to avoid pulling out the hairs. You might want to practice the angle and motion of this a few times before you dip it in the glue so that you don’t have to make any awkward movements. You want to follow the curve of your natural lash line.

Starting at the outer corner, drop the lash cluster on top of your natural eyelashes, right at the root. As with the strip lashes, you’ll have time to wiggle it to the right angle before it sets. Work your way inwards, varying the length of the clusters depending on the effect you want. For a cat eye look, add them just to the outer third of the eye.

If you’re using clusters with a knot, you might want to fill the spaces in between the knots with a matching eyeliner so that they blend in nicely and look really natural!

How to remove false lashes

To remove your lashes, soak a cotton wool pad in eye make-up remover, place it on top of your eyelid and hold in place until they start to loosen and come away. What you may not know is that, if you take care of them, false lashes can actually be reused!

How to clean strip false lashes

Many of us don’t realise that you can get multiple uses out of your false lashes with the right aftercare.

To clean strip lashes, take a cotton bud soaked in a water-based eye makeup remover (oil-based will warp the lash and leave a residue that could interfere with the tackiness of the glue when you next go to apply them) and use it to remove any glue and dirt. Then, clean the lashes themselves by placing them between two cotton pads soaked in the same water-based eye makeup remover. Once dry, you may want to mist them with an alcohol solution to kill any remaining bacteria if you have any to hand.

How to clean individual false lashes

After they’ve been taken off your lash line, remove any dried blobs of glue from each cluster with a pair of tweezers. If you’ve used clusters with knots, be careful not to tug too hard in case this causes them to break. Then, pop them back into their original packaging before it’s time to use them again!

The best false lashes

So, now that you’ve read our full guide on false lashes, it’s time to choose some. Whatever look you’re going for, here are six great options to try.

Check out more top-rated false eyelashes here.

Strip lashes
Best strip lashes for value

Boots Volume Style Saskia No.25

• Latex-free glue

Who said full, feathery and fluttery lashes had to come at an astronomical cost? Our very own don’t! Not only do these lashes mesmer-eyes, but they also add gorgeous length too – we’re stocking up!

Best strip lashes for a natural look

Too Faced Better Than Sex Faux Mink Falsie Lashes - Sex Kitten

• Cruelty-free

• Vegan*

In the wonderful world of makeup, one person’s ‘natural look’ is another person’s ‘high glamour’, but we think a balance can be struck by wearing a pair of these with minimal makeup.

Best strip lashes for a dramatic look

Try: Kiss luxtensions singles 02 KLCL02C

With three different lengths of curls densely packed, these lashes offer a delicious dose of drama. They’re absolutely perfect for partying! With the right love and care, these lashes can be reused again and again.

Easiest strip lashes to apply

Try: Eylure Pro Magnetic Eyeliner & Lash System - Faux Mink Accent

• Size: 25ml (eyeliner)

Now, these are really something special. While most magnetic false lashes work by sandwiching your natural lashes between two strip lashes – you guessed it – magnetically, these work via magnetic eyeliner for all the oomph of false lashes with less of the hassle.

Best strip lashes for a smokey eye look

Try: Eylure Smokey Eye Lash No.21

If you’re looking for false lashes that offer multiple layers of convenience, look no further than this pair. They allow you to have a subtle smokey eye look without going to the effort of actually doing a smokey eye. They can hold for up to 18 hours and they’re reusable up to 5 times. Sounds good, right?

Individual false lashes

Try: Eylure Individuals (Knot Free)

For more creative freedom, opt for individual as opposed to strip lashes. You can add a few for a subtle look, or as many as you like for something more glamorous. This kit contains short, medium and long length flares and being knot-free (meaning that they won’t look oddly clumpy at the narrow end), they’ll always look relatively natural!

Lash glue

Try: Huda Beauty Waterproof Lash Glue

• Size: 7g

If you wear false lashes a lot, it’s a good idea to invest in a separate lash glue. This one offers a long-lasting and waterproof hold and the dark tone of the glue creates the illusion of lashes that are even thicker and more voluminous than what ‘normal’ lash glue allows.

Try: DUO Quick-Set Striplash Adhesive Clear

• Size: 7g

• Vegan*

This waterproof formula ensures long-lasting wear while remaining gentle enough for contact wearers and people with sensitive eyes – don’t worry about the white glue as it soon dries clear.

*Vegan formulas do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Photography: Getty Images