A Step-By-Step Guide to Applying Fake Eyelashes Like a Pro

February 10, 2023
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
A person looking to the side of the camera applying false eyelashes to their lash line with tweezers

Whether you’re a makeup veteran or a newbie, we think it’s safe to say that applying fake eyelashes takes serious skill. Between adding the glue without making a mess and placing the faux lash strip on our eye in the right place, things can go from 0 to 100 — fast. The last thing we want is out-of-place, unnatural-looking lashes. To help us nail false eyelash application once and for all, we tapped celebrity makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez. Keep reading for all of 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 L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Washable Mascara for its ultra-lengthening and lifting formula that will blend well with faux lashes.


L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Washable Mascara

STEP 2: Fit the Strip to Your Eye

“If you’re using strips, you want to fit them first, then trim if need be,” explains Gonzalez. To properly trim a fake lash strip, you always want to cut the excess off at the outer corners. Try the Eyelure Fluttery Light No. 117 Lashes for a subtle look. If you want to pump up the drama (and we don’t blame you), check out the NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Lash! Vegan False Lashes.


NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Lash! Vegan False Lashes

STEP 3: Apply the Glue

Once your 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 (this usually takes about 30 seconds), then you’re ready to apply. Gonzalez’s favorite glue is the KISS Lash Couture Strip Lash Adhesive in Black.


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 key here as it will help you get the fake lash strip as close to your real lash line as possible. You might also consider using a pair of eyelash tweezers, which can help you push the strip directly on the lash line.

How to Make Fake Eyelashes Look Real 

Let’s be honest, the ultimate goal here is to make 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 you apply them 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 if you are going for truly natural-looking lashes, individually placed fake lashes blend better with your real ones. Just be sure to mix in different lengths — small, medium and long — to help them blend nicely. Try the Ardell Lash Faux Mink Individuals for this look .

Gonzalez also recommends KISS 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’re great for those of us who love that lash-extension look.”

How to Remove Fake Lashes for Minimal Damage

Removing false lashes the wrong way can cause damage to and even pull out 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,” says Gonzalez. “They will help them literally slide off.” The Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover is a gentle, dual-phase remover that will whisk away all traces of mascara and lash glue residue.  


Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover


Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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