Want to make the most out of the lashes you were born with? Here's how to start ANY lash-enhancement exercise:
- Use eyeliner right at the root of the lashes to make them appear thicker - a gel eyeliner applied with a flat-tipped brush works well. Makeup artists call this "tightlining."
- Make friends with that scary torture device known as a lash curler! You can find them in many different shapes and sizes. Squeeze gently but firmly at the base of the lash (taking care not to catch your skin) and work your way towards the tip to achieve a nice, soft upward curl.
- You have lots of choices for mascara formulas - thickening, lengthening, waterproof or regular, etc. - and many different styles of applicator wands; it's really about what works best for you. Just remember that mascara ads are misleading (the models' lashes are usually fake and enhanced digitally), so don't expect the formula alone to get the results.
- When you apply mascara, first wipe any excess globs off so you don't make a mess. Apply by wiggling the wand gently at the base of your lashes to coat them thoroughly, and continue to wiggle the wand up the length of the lashes, which will help add thickness and length. You can add as many coats as you'd like, but stop before you get stiff, clumpy lashes (unless that's the look you're aiming for).
- Use a lash comb (metal-toothed combs get the most precise results) to separate any clumps and keep the lashes wispy. You can also use a clean, disposable mascara wand.
- If you want a natural look, choose short or medium knot-free individual flares.
- Use a tiny dot of waterproof glue at the base of each lash - hold them with your fingers or with tweezers and dip each lash cluster into the glue one at a time.
- Looking down into a mirror can make it easier to apply lashes on yourself.
- Place each cluster directly at the lash root, focusing on the outer corner and center of your eye. The lashes should be a length that blends into your natural lashes seamlessly.
Want the real drama? Here's how to make the most of lash strips:
- You have a variety of styles to choose from! Check out your local drugstore or beauty supply shop to see what's available. To keep the look natural, look for clear, flexible bands (nothing too thick or too dark, unless you plan to wear heavy eyeliner), wispy styles (the more "uniform" the lash, the less believable it looks), and realistic lengths (especially if you wear glasses!)
- Place the lash on your eye to see whether it fits - very often, they're too long to wear comfortably. Trim lash from outside in so it fits your eye shape - removing the longest lashes will keep the nicely tapered shorter fibers to blend with your natural lashes.
- Bend and flex the lash band to help it shape itself to your eye (you can also try wrapping them around a brush handle to achieve that nice curve) - this will help prevent the ends from lifting up.
- Apply thin strip of a clear-drying glue, with a little extra on the corners. You want a solid stripe of glue but not so thick that it starts seeping down and gumming up the lashes.
- Let the glue set for 30 seconds before application (give them a little wave while you wait) - you want the glue to be sticky enough that you won't be struggling to hold them in place while they dry.
- Place the strip on top of your lashes in the center, & then adhere the corners. Press the band as close to the natural lash line as possible; you don't want a visible gap.
- Once the glue has set, "pinch" the false lash together with your natural lashes. You can also gently add a bit of mascara to marry the two lashes together.
- Touch up the strip with eyeliner as needed (sometimes the dried glue looks a bit shiny, so you can matte it down again with eyeliner if desired).