"Why yes, these are my false lashes..."
To start- I hate the term “fake eyelashes.” I have naturally growing eyelashes. They are normal and sufficient for the purposes in which we have these things in the first place. But sometimes, I actively seek out the impossibly lashy sweep of a lady Disney character.
There are perhaps a lot of things I could rail on about when it comes to the implication of having long, thick eyelashes. That it reinforces a characterized stereotype of femininity or that it simply derails a sense of what true beauty is. But then I see a picture of myself with them and think, eh fuck it. I’ll fight the patriarchy later. I don’t just “look good.” I actually look vibrant in this picture. I look like I sleep MORE than 8 hours a night. I look like I religiously take a multivitamin and drink 64 ounces of water a day from a non plastic bottle.
In any case, I’ve scoured the market and I come back to my dear Unbounders with some notes from my adventures (and misadventures) in false fringe.
The Professional Job: In the midst of a winter rut, I decided to try false lashes for a bit of fun. I felt the professional route would be best for the first attempt since I’m an award winning klutz and I felt glueing my eyes shut would be embarrassing and inevitable. At the recommendation of my sister, I booked an appointment with a reputable eyelash extension technician. I’m not here to promote anyone or any particular company but there are specific technicians (or stylists as they say) that are trained by a larger nationwide company. I went to one of these people. Since the first experience, I have also been to a local place that just does lashes and who knows where their certification standards lie. Both were good. Just read the online reviews and you should get a good idea of what to expect. Anylash, we have a bit of a consultation, I lie down on the table, they tape my lower lashes down (relax, it’s cool) and she begins to apply false individual lashes. I fell asleep with five minutes, which ruled because I can generally never sleep in public. When I woke up an hour and a half later, she was almost finished. They looked AMAZING. I was a woman obsessed. I would wake up everyday, throw on a bit of blush and barely ever applied a stitch of makeup otherwise. They lasted for about 6 weeks and then the false lashes began to shed. Keep in mind, these things get pricey. Even getting a “fill” to replace fallen lashes can be costly. It’s something I’d consider doing again before a long vacation or if I had a string of weddings to attend.
The Serum Fix: Ugh, so there’s this stuff. Some are prescription and there are several “over the counter” options. Basically it’s not hard to come by a product that promises lash enhancement these days. I tried one after chatting with a model about her insanely nice eyelashes. She also said that she had begun to use it on her eyebrows to thicken them up a bit. I was sold then (having just come off a pretty bad eyebrow waxing) and found the brand she recommended online. The trickiest thing is just to remember to apply it and most instructions say you’ll need to apply diligently for 6-8 weeks before seeing any results. I didn’t experience any of the possible side effects. They are pretty steep though should any of them come to fruition. In any case, I can’t really say for sure if these products really work. It may be a bit of a placebo effect. (Was there once a eyelash there? Is that one longer?) I guess I don’t really have the patience to literally watch my eyelashes grow. I didn’t keep up with it. I think it worked? I don’t know. No one said anything? In any case, nothing dramatic or wonderful to speak of here. These products generally run around $80 if you buy a fancy brand, prescription is more expensive and you’ll need to speak to a medical professional about not having a satisfying amount of eyelashes, which seems a little silly I guess. To each their own on this one!
The Drugstore Route: So this is where I reside now. I am a recreational false eyelash addict in a way. A birthday party, New Years, and perhaps for those nights when you can just anticipate an onslaught of photographic evidence of the revelry. These are the nights that I think, “oh yes, it shall be done. I shall lash out tonight.”
Here’s my plan of attack for a nice and easy lashing: I buy only one brand. Ardell. The lashes are great, the clear glue is good but not too good- with my luck one eye's set will come off easily and the other will hold on for dear life. I don't need those things hanging around at brunch the next day. I generally buy the ones that cover about one half of the outer lid. I cut each piece into two “panels.” I think the larger pieces are what often causes lashes to look weird and fakey. I apply a bit of the glue, wait about 30 seconds or so, cozy up to the mirror- seriously I’m like 3 inches away- and place the lashes on top of my natural lashes as close as possible but not touching the skin. Again now, I don’t attached them to my actual eyelid. I apply a tiny bit of mascara to the ends to add some extra thickness and to hold them in place a bit. And then, I’m a lashed up and ready to rock. They get a night on the town then off they go with some good eye makeup remover (get the good stuff. think richer/oily, nothing light.) Use and lose them; love them and leave them, I always say (about lashes). The process takes two minutes tops. Cost is around $6.
OH! And these are my next conquest. But first I’ll need a place to properly parade around a pair of false eyelashes that charmingly depict the iconic skyline of ol’ London town (I know what you’re thinking and yes, I promise to use a light blueish gray eyeshadow to create the fog effect).