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How to Apply False Lashes Step-By-Step

There’s a learning curve, but practice makes perfect.


Mascara can work wonders on your lashes, but when you want an even more dramatic look, applying false eyelashes is a great option. If you’re not used to wearing falsies, putting them on can be tricky at first, and it can take lots of time, makeup remover and trial and error to get it just right.

While there’s no such thing as a foolproof application, there are some tips that can save you from struggling with your strip lashes the next time you decide to wear them. Keep reading to learn more about how to apply false lashes like a pro, and tips that will help your falsies blend right in with your natural lashes.

How Do I Choose the Right Type of Eyelashes?

The types of lashes you can choose from include individual, cluster and strip eyelashes. Individual lashes are single pieces of hair that are applied on the lash line one at a time, and they can be used on both the upper and lower lash line. While they look the most natural, individuals are also the hardest style to master at home due to the fact they require a very precise application. 

Cluster lashes (also referred to as wispies) are small bunches of hair that are connected with a ball of glue, almost like a strip lash that has been cut into sections. Clusters are easier and faster to apply than individual lashes, but they can also be hard to put on for newbies because they require multiple applications to fill the lash line.

Strip lashes are lash hairs placed on a band (or strip), which is applied to the lash line. They’re the easiest type of fake eyelash to apply, but it can take some time to learn how to make them look natural — that’s why we’re here.

How to Put on Fake Lashes

First, you’ll need to gather all the materials you need. Having access to everything you need in one place will save you a lot of time scrambling to look for tools while the glue on your strip lash is drying out. Make sure these tools are handy before you start:

Strip lashes (let’s start with the simplest lash to apply)

Eyelash glue

A pair of tweezers

Small Scissors

Eyelash curler



Step 1. Curl Your Lashes and Apply Mascara 

Using an eyelash curler is one of the best ways to blend your actual lashes with false lashes. Make sure your eyelashes are clean (no mascara or glue residue) before curling your lashes. After that, you’ll want to add some mascara, which will help blend your natural lashes with your falsies for a seamless look. Amp up your lashes with a few coats of L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara for a curled and lifted look.

Step 2. Size Your Strip

Since everyone has a different eye shape and size, you'll probably need to trim your falsies. Make sure they’re the right size for your eyes before you start applying them — you can easily do this by holding the lash band across your lash line and comparing the two. If they’re too long, give them a quick trim with your scissors to fit your eye shape

Step 3. Apply Eyelash Glue

Brush your eyelash glue onto the lash band and let it dry for about 30 seconds so it can get tacky. If you apply your lashes too early while the glue is still wet, your falsies won’t stay in place. 

Choose a lash glue that has a matte finish, as one that dries with a shiny finish will be apparent against your lash line, giving away the fact that you’re wearing a strip. You can also go with a black lash glue formula that will help your lashes look even fuller and can hide any mistakes. 

Step 4. Perfect Your Mirror Angles

When applying fake eyelashes, you may be inclined to look straight ahead into a mirror, especially if you’re in your bathroom or sitting at a vanity. Instead, grab a hand mirror and look down into it to help give you a better view of your natural lash line. You need to get as close to your lash line as possible to glue on eyelashes correctly.

Step 5. Use Tweezers to Apply Your Lashes

Grab your tweezers to hold the lashes in place, then place them as close to your natural lash line as possible, starting in the middle of your eyelid. Then, stick the sides down, briefly holding your tweezers to your lash line to ensure that the glue fully adheres to your skin, which will help your falsies stay put. Using your hands is an option here too, but if you’re new to putting on fake lashes it’s a lot harder, plus enlisting the help of clean tweezers ensures a sanitary application process.

Step 6. Top It Off With Eyeliner

Wait about two minutes to allow the glue on your lash line to fully dry (making your fake lashes stick), then reach for your eyeliner. Applying liner over the band of your false eyelashes will help hide the strip, and it’ll make your lashes look even fuller. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner to get the job done, since it’s transfer proof and long-lasting.

How to Apply False Eyelashes on Straight Lashes

If you have straight lashes, apply your falsies to bare lashes first, let the glue dry and gently curl your lashes and the falsies together. Then, apply a layer of mascara to blend the two together. If your lashes are really stubborn, waterproof mascara can help to keep them curled. It just makes removal a bit more lengthy.

How to Remove Fake Eyelashes

When it’s time to take off your false eyelashes, make sure to never tug on them or rip them off, as this can cause damage to your natural lashes and even pull them out. Instead, use a micellar water or an oil-based cleanser to saturate the area so they easily fall off without coming apart. The good thing about this method is that you can also get a few wears out of your strip lashes, all while keeping your real lashes intact. 

False Lashes Frequently Asked Questions

What Are False Lashes Made of?

Typically, false lashes are made of synthetic materials like polyester. These types of lashes are more affordable and vegan. Mink lashes are another option; they’re derived from a small animal called a mink, which is similar to a ferret or otter, and they’re known to be softer and more expensive. Lash technology has improved greatly in the past few years so it’s more than possible to get a vegan lash that looks and feels like mink lashes.

How Long Does it Take to Apply False Lashes?

Applying falsies can be done in less than a minute if you’re familiar and experienced with the process. If not, it can take a little longer, but remember practice helps and it does lead to (near) perfection. If you’re new to lashes it can take anywhere from five to ten minutes with some trial and error in-between. If it takes longer than that, don’t be discouraged, just keep practicing and you’ll get better.

Do You Apply False Lashes to Skin or Lashes?

False lashes should always be applied to the skin above the lash line. If they’re applied directly to your natural lashes, you risk losing your natural lashes as the glue can pull them out and damage them. 

How Long Do False Lashes Last?

False lashes can last throughout the day (and night if you use the right glue), and it’s best to apply a new set daily for the health of your eyes and sanitary reasons. As for how long they can last before needing a new set, most falsies can be worn multiple times if they’re properly cleaned, cared for and stored. Check the packaging on your false lashes to confirm how many wears they have because every brand is different. 

Can You Sleep in False Lashes?

Sleeping in false lashes is not ideal because they can irritate your eyes, potentially leading to bigger problems, like infection and getting glue in your eyes. Think of sleeping in false eyelashes the same as sleeping with makeup on — it’s a big no. 

Do False Lashes Damage Your Own Lashes?

If applied and removed properly, false lashes should not damage your natural lashes. Make sure that you don’t ever tug on your lashes and avoid applying glue to your natural lashes. 

Next: How to Create Smudged Eyeliner Makeup in 3 Simple Steps

Photo Credit: iStock

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