False lashes can be difficult to manage—mastering how to apply them may be enough to put you off from wearing them altogether. But today, there are more than the traditional strip lashes to choose from. Other false eyelash types, like cluster and individual lashes, have made it all the more reason to become an expert at applying falsies—not to mention, customize your look. Ahead, we’re breaking down the difference between cluster eyelashes, strip, and individual lashes so you can determine the best option for your next eye makeup look.
Cluster vs. Strip vs. Individual Lashes: What’s The Difference?
In order to explain the difference between cluster, strip, and individual lashes, we’ll need to break down the details on each type of false lash—including what they are, how to apply them, and who should use them. Speaking of…
What Are Cluster Lashes?
Cluster eyelashes are exactly what they sound like—false lashes that come in a bundle form with a few individual lash hairs in each bundle. These can be used to increase thickness, volume, and length in specific areas, such as the outer corner of your eye. They can be applied using a pair of tweezers and lash glue just like any other false eyelash. Since the individual hairs are in a cluster, it’s best to space these out along your lash line when applying them so you don’t end up with an obvious section of false lashes. Use these if you like to add a bit of drama to your look without going as bold as a full, strip lash. Since these don’t involve a full band going across your lash line, you can likely get away with skipping liquid eyeliner if you choose.
Editor’s tip: Keep in mind that cluster lashes run the risk of appearing unnatural due to their bundled form. Play around with placement and consider using them in conjunction with other false eyelash options (more on that later) to create the perfect lash look.
What Are Strip Lashes?
When you think of false eyelashes, strip lashes are probably what come to mind. This is essentially a full set of lashes. They reach from the inner to outer corner of your lash line. While they’re available in different styles, because of their full size, they tend to create a more dramatic appearance compared to other false lash types. When applying them, it’s important to line your upper lash line with black liquid eyeliner, like our L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner, Waterproof in Black, to help disguise the band of the strip lash and the glue you’ll use to apply them. At one point, strip eyelashes were the only type of false lash on the market. But with so many other options available now, we recommend saving these for a special occasion or your Halloween costume.
What Are Individual Lashes?
You can probably guess that individual lashes are just what they sound like—single lash hairs that you can apply to add thickness and length to your fringe. They’re applied with lash glue and a pair of tweezers one-by-one. While these can be tedious to apply, they often give the most natural-looking false lash look due to the ability to precisely place them where needed. Individual eyelashes are perfect for day-to-day use or for anyone who prefers subtler false lashes.
Editor’s tip: You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of false lash—you can combine all three a multitude of ways to customize your eyelashes. Consider pairing individual and cluster lashes to create a cat eye. Focus your individual lashes at the inner corner of your lash line and use cluster lashes at the outer corner for a denser appearance. There are no hard and fast rules!
Next up: Now that you know the difference between cluster, strip, and individual lashes, along with what option might be best for you, you may be curious about reusing them. Head on over to our article, How To Clean and Reuse False Eyelashes, to get the details.