Alright, first things first; I'm not suggesting that all of us think falsies are part of an 'everyday' make-up look. In fact, up until late last year I'd avoided them in both my day and night life. I was convinced false eyelashes looked absolutely ridiculous on me and that every time I put a pair on I became some kind of drag queen alter ego I never knew I had.
Actually, it turned out, I was just picking up your typical pair of lashes without giving much thought to how most are geared towards the more dramatic, evening look and thinking big was better anyway, because if you're going to be false you might as well be really false right? These just feel too much for daytime to me though, so this year I challenged myself to scour the shelves to see if a more subtle pair were out there, for putting on for a day out if I felt like it. I picked up two very different pairs of lashes - one pair were a full strip of lashes, but very fine and not too long and the other were this pair from The Vintage Cosmetic Company. I'll admit I was completely trying to not buy anything from this brand to avoid being a complete cliche, but this pair of lashes were doing something a bit different. Let me just say, when I put the first pair on I honestly couldn't tell the difference. They were so subtle they were practically invisible - perfect if I was trying to camouflage them in my own lashes, but that wasn't really the idea. No, I wanted to be able to see them and I was after a sort of 'daytime pin-up' look where you'd get extra length, volume and definition, preferably with a Marilyn-esque, feline flick out of the corner of my eyes.
This Betty style provides. Here's why I love them:
- They're not a full-length strip, but more like 2/3 of one - this makes them both easier to apply (as less to align) and more natural-looking. There's no faffing with trimming these to size - they worked for me from the word go
- They're also more natural-looking - but not too natural - because the only exaggerated length is at the ends of the strips, providing that lash-flick I was after and added volume for the rest of my lashes
- For both of these reasons, from a distance it probably wouldn't be obvious I'm wearing them, but in these photos you can see they're adding just enough extra to look like enhanced versions of my real lashes - perfect
To demonstrate the pretty, yet subtle, difference these lashes make, I took some before and after shots, where I'm coincidentally pulling really similar facial expressions - let's pretend I planned it that way! See what you think...
Now, I'm not a pro at applying lashes by any means, but I have picked up some tips from wearing these that I thought might help anyone who's as un-used to them as I was!
Applying false lashes the easy way
- Put mascara on your real lashes first. I've seen lots of advice about putting mascara on after you've applied falsies, to blend them together. I say a) this isn't necessary and b) this is only going to work perfectly once! Just make sure you curl your real lashes as much as possible for your mascara application, as falsies always have a lot of spring that I know my natural lashes don't. That's really all you need to do - they will still blend into one this way. Apply mascara to falsies and you've got to get it off before you try it again with that pair. I just don't think they'd ever be the same again somehow.
- Ignore all advice about using tweezers to place them. I put this on a par with whenever I try to eat noodles with chopsticks - I attempt to use an unfamiliar pointy tool until I eventually realise that what I'm used to is easier. In that case, it's a knife and fork, but in this case, it's my good ol' fingers. I was having a total nightmare with applying lashes until I just used my hands - instead of trying to work out how to angle lashes on the end of a metal instrument
- Use the best glue. For me, we're talking Eyelure glue - just the regular stuff that comes with their pairs will do (although I believe you can buy it separately too). I made the mistake of using the glue that came with this pair here and I almost ripped out all of my real eyelashes as a result. That stuff was more like superglue than eyelash glue, it's truly dreadful. It shouldn't hurt to take falsies off - so if it does, get yourself some different glue.
- Give the glue some time to get tacky. When the glue is first applied it's not as sticky as when you wait at least ten seconds. Some advice says to wait as long as 45 seconds - I've never done that, but giving 20-30 does help them to stick right away, rather than pinging off because the glue is too 'fresh'. This is extra frustrating when you're trying to get them stuck perfectly to the outer corner of your eye, believe me.
- Apply the strip from the outer corner in. It felt more natural to me to stick the lashes down from the 'inside out', but every time I did it that way I was ending up either with one pair starting in a different place to the other, or both ending too soon before my natural lashes did on the outer corner of my eye, which looks really weird with falsies. Changing to stick the outer corner first means I get it right every time.
- Check you really have got the outer corner stuck down. If you turn your head to the side, you'll see if your lash strip is actually glued to your eyelid, or if, as kept happening to me, it was hovering a millimetre or so above my skin, which looked perfectly weird. You will need to firmly push it into the corner - it feels a little bit unnatural to do, but makes the difference! If you only notice it's not stuck properly after you've applied, you'll have to take the whole thing off and start again to fix it.
So there you have it, those are my favourite falsies right now. The 'Betty's are available to buy direct from www.thevintagecosmeticscompany.com for £6. I picked my pairs up from Boots so you may find them there too in the UK. Do you have a favourite pair of lashes? Do share!