For makeup artist Patricia Lee, lashes are to beauty as a gilt edge is to a painted masterpiece. They are "the accent that completes any and all makeup looks, drawing more attention to the eyes, like a picture frame," she explains.
To lengthen, thicken and boost natural fringe, false lashes have now become de rigueur on the red carpet, where celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Ginnifer Goodwin and Anne Hathaway wear them to finish looks that are like works of art. But the accessory is also gaining widespread popularity outside of Hollywood, becoming a go-to option for day or evening. We asked Lee, who works with Shu Uemura, known for its luxe false lashes, to give us her tips on finding the right faux fringe and applying it to achieve that perfect flutter.
"There is no right or wrong pair of lashes," Lee says. It is important, however, to consider where you will be wearing them and the effect you are going for when choosing a pair that is right for you.
Individual lashes, like those offered in MAC 30 Lash, are a great option for those who wish to build out a specific area on their natural fringe, perhaps elongating them at the outer edges or emphasizing them in the centers to open up eyes. Half lashes, like those found in Urban Decay Urban Lash Instaflare, are the easiest to apply, as you have less length to line up with your natural lashes. They also look gorgeous when creating a cat eye and perfectly complement winged liner. "Full lashes open up the eyes the most, as they add volume to the entire lash line," Lee says. "They are the most dramatic and also the most flattering for those with sparse lashes.”
When putting together a more subtle, natural look for daytime, Lee recommends choosing either individual lashes or a softer pair of full lashes, such as Shu Uemura Soft Cross False Lashes. For more dramatic, playful, glamorous results, select a layered pair of lashes, such as Shu Uemura Smoky Layers False Lashes.
For individual lashes, apply each strand with tweezers for optimal precision. For full lashes, Lee offers this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Measure the lashes to make sure the band is the right length for your lash line. For the most comfortable fit, they should begin approximately one-eighth inch away from the inner corner of your eyes.
Step 2: Wiggle the band to soften the lash, so that it may fit easily over your lash line.
Step 3: Curl the lashes with an eyelash curler before putting them on. You'll get the loveliest curl this way.
Step 4: Squirt a bit of lash adhesive to the back of your hand. Using tweezers, pick up some adhesive and spread it across the band.
Step 5: Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to become a bit tacky. This ensures that the lashes will adhere immediately, without lifting.
Step 6: Tilt your head back slightly, while looking in the mirror. Using tweezers, hold the lashes while you apply them. Place the center on your lash line first. Then place the left and right ends of the lashes down.
Step 7: If necessary, you may use your eyelash curler and lightly press your real and false lashes together for a seamless finish.