If there’s one makeup skill that can make even the most veteran beauty editor quake, it’s applying fake eyelashes. It’s not everyday we decide to break these babies out, but when we do, it’s usually for a special occasion, so we need them to look as natural as possible. Think of them as the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae.
We don’t know exactly where it all goes wrong, but somewhere between adding the glue and placing the faux lash strip on our eye, things tend to get a little messy. To help us master how to apply fake eyelashes once and for all, we tapped celebrity makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez. Keep reading to find out all her false lash tips and tricks.
STEP 1: Apply Mascara
The first step to applying fake lashes doesn’t actually involve any falsies. “I like to start with a light coat of mascara,” says Gonzalez. This helps the lash strip blend with your real lashes better. She calls it “camouflage” for falsies. One of our favorites is the Maybelline New York Falsies Lash Lift Mascara.
STEP 2: Fit the Strip to Your Eye
“If you’re using a strip, you want to fit them first, then trim if need be,” explains Gonzalez. To properly trim a fake lash strip, you want to always cut excess off at the outer corners. Try the Shu Uemura Natural Volume False Lashes or the Lash Star Visionary Lashes for a subtle look.
STEP 3: Glue
Once the eyelashes are the proper size, it’s time to apply the glue. You can either brush a light coating of glue directly onto the lash strip or apply a dab of glue to the back of your hand and run the strip through it. No matter which method you choose, just be sure you don’t glob on too much product. Lightly blow on the glue until it becomes less wet and more tacky, then you’re ready to apply. Gonzalez’s favorite glue is the KISS Lash Couture Strip Lash Adhesive in Black.
STEP 4: Apply Your Lashes
Now time for the tricky part — application. “Staring downward into a mirror, place the lashes and push with [your] fingers as close to the root of your lash,” says Gonzalez. Looking down is the key here; it will help you get the fake lash strip as close to your real lash line as possible.
How to Make Fake Eyelashes Look Real
Let’s be honest, the ultimate goal here is to make our fake lashes look like the real deal — right? To do so, Gonzalez recommends applying your fake lashes after you do the rest of your eye makeup. “If done before, eyeshadow tends to fall onto the tops of the lashes,” she explains.
Another hack: Opt for individual lashes instead of a strip. It may seem like more work, but for truly natural-looking lashes, individually placed fake lashes mesh better with your real ones. Just be sure to mix in different lengths — small medium and long — to help them blend nicely. Try the KISS Ever Ez Trio Lash to get this look.
Gonzalez loves one of KISS’ newest products, Falscara, to achieve I woke up like this lashes. “They are perfectly wispy and instead of applying above the lash, you apply underneath, which is why you also can’t detect the lash weft,” she says. “They are great for those of us who love that lash extension look.”
How to Remove Fake Lashes for Minimal Damage
While peeling away fake eyelashes can be very satisfying, taking them off the wrong way can pull at your real lashes. To avoid any tugging in this sensitive area, reach for a makeup remover. “I like to use an oil-based remover, paying close attention to the roots. They will literally slide off.”