News & Politics

Long, Lush—and Fake: Applying Faux Eyelashes

Mastering false eyelashes in the blink of an eye.

Adele and Michelle Obama. Photograph of Adele by Frederic J. Brown/Newscom. Photograph of Obama by Chuck Kennedy/White House.

“Faux eyelashes have significantly grown in popularity over the past year,” Bluemercury cofounder Marla Malcolm Beck says. “They are no longer just for special occasions.” Why the surge in interest? You can thank the more authentic-looking options on the market as well as all the celebrities—from Adele to Michelle Obama—who are batting fake lashes. If you’re worried you need a beauty-school degree to get away with them, these tips will have you winking in no time.


One size doesn’t fit all. To make false lashes fit your eye, match the length of your natural lash line—most fakes will be too long, so you’ll have to trim them for a perfect fit. Clip the inside of each crescent a few lashes at a time; manicure scissors work best. Consider Laura Mercier Corner Faux Eyelashes ($18)—they add instant fullness without looking too Katy Perry.


Make it natural. Before putting on lashes, remove excess oil from your eyelids and don’t bother with eye primer—otherwise, the glue might not stick. Curl your own lashes first. “Before applying glue to the base of the faux lash, wrap the eyelash around your finger in the direction of the lash arc to emphasize the natural curve,” Beck suggests. Follow with a few more coats of mascara to blend your lash with the faux.


Easy does it. Don’t yank off the strip like a Band-Aid—this can damage hair follicles. Gently tug, starting from the outside of the eye and pulling toward the tear duct. If you feel resistance, apply a wet, warm washcloth to the eye for 15 seconds and the false lash should slip off. With proper care, you can get two to three uses; after that, the lashes lose thickness.