HOW TO | Applying False Lashes

False lashes are one of those things in the world of makeup that have a bad rep. Often times they just seem to be too over-the-top and borderline intimidating for people who aren’t familiar with them. But I’m here to tell you all that they aren’t so bad, and when applied properly, they can look quite natural. So if you’ve ever wanted to try some out (right in time for the holidays) but never got the hang of it, then you’ve stumbled upon the right post!

Lashes, lash tweezers, house of lashes glue

What you need:


First and foremost, you will obviously need a pair of lashes. The type of lashes you choose is entirely up to you, but if you’ve never used some before, I suggest trying out any natural lashes with a clear band, like this one by Ardell or these ones by Red Cherry. Lashes with clear bands are generally a lot easier to apply than ones with a thicker band because they are more flexible and more comfortable to wear. After you’ve found a pair of lashes, you need to find a good glue to make sure that they stay on all day. I highly recommend the Duo lash adhesives; it comes in a clear version which dries translucent and a dark version which dries black – again, it all depends on your preference, but if you’re starting out, try the clear version. I’m using the House of Lashes Dark Adhesive which I like, but not love. Lastly, this part is optional, but I find it MUCH easier to apply false lashes with a lash applicator. It has two sides, one to apply the lashes and one to press down the lashes in place. I think they’re a great tool for beginners however it is entirely possible to easily apply false lashes with your fingers as well.


1. Take lashes out of packaging

pulling lashes out of package

Usually when you buy a brand new set of lashes, they will be glued to the packaging. You have to remove them by carefully pulling at the band either with a pair of tweezers or your fingers until the lashes come off. Don’t tug at the actual hairs unless you want to yank some out or even mess with the shape of the lashes. Once you get the lashes off, you can gently pull off any residual glue from the band.


2. Make sure lashes fit

fitting lashes

Making sure your lashes actually “fit” you is key step to natural-looking lashes and comfortable wear. If you’ve ever tried to wear false lashes and found that:

  • They were poking you in the inner and/or outer corner of your eyes
  • Your lashes were lifting in the center after applying them

…then the lashes probably didn’t fit you properly. How do you check if the lashes fit your eyes? Simply hold them against your eye and place them where your natural lashes start in the inner corner (In the image I have above, I started a little further into my inner corner, which is not the right place to start the measurement). If the lashes extend too far out from where your lashes naturally end in the outer corner, you need to shorten them. Most of the time you don’t need to cut a huge chunk off, so start by trimming off tiny parts and keep measuring them against your lashes until your desired length is achieved. An important thing to remember is to always cut your false lashes from the end with the longest lashes (i.e. the outer corner), not the inner corner. If you cut from the inner corner, your lashes may not look as natural.


3. Apply lash glue

Putting glue on lashes

The way you apply lash glue to the lashes is probably the most crucial part of the process. If you apply too little, it will dry up too quickly before you can apply the lashes, and if you apply too much, you will end up with a giant blobby mess on your eye. The key to applying lash glue is to make sure you apply just enough to coat the band; no more, no less. You also have to make sure that there is enough glue on both corners of the lashes because that’s usually the first place where the lash starts to lift. Applying lash glue can be tricky if you don’t use a glue with a brush tip, so if you’re using a lash glue with a squirt tube, just push out a tiny blob and run the lash band along the blob of glue. Don’t try to squeeze the glue onto the band as you would squeeze toothpaste onto a toothbrush – you’ll end up with way too much glue and it will probably mess up your lashes and your eyes. Once you get enough glue on your lashes, it should look something like this:

letting lash glue dry

Now, the waiting game. If you put the right amount of glue, you should wait around 25 seconds before applying the lashes (closer to 35 if you’re using the Duo glue). Waiting for the glue to get tacky is, in my opinion, the most important part. I’ve had countless experiences where I applied false lashes with wet glue and all of them ended with me glueing my eyes shut and screwing my makeup up. Moral of the story is: be patient and wait for the damn thing to get tacky. If you do happen to apply your lashes while the glue is still a little wet, just leave the lash on your eye and don’t touch it until 10 seconds later.


4. Apply lashes

putting lashes on

Before I apply my lashes, I like to prep my natural lashes with one coat of mascara to make sure they blend in with the false lashes. Some people like to apply mascara after they’ve applied their lashes, which is totally fine, however I prefer applying mascara before because I don’t really like the way mascara looks on false lashes. Once you’re ready to apply the lashes, do so by looking down into a mirror and place the band of the lashes as close to your natural lash line as possible by coming in from the top of your eye, not perpendicularly. Make sure you’re holding the lashes toward the center (just like it’s being held in the picture above with the lash glue drying). Next, pull the outer part of the lashes and push them in place where your natural lash line ends. After, take the inner part of the lashes and push them in place where your natural lash line begins. Once your lashes are where you want them to be, press the false lash band against your natural lash line to secure the lashes in place while they completely dry (This video does a great job of illustrating what I just described). Once you’re done, it should look something like this:
false eyelash tutorial red cherry lashes WSP
false eyelash tutorial red cherry lashes WSP house of lashes

lashes on

Notice how the band isn’t too apparent since I’ve applied it close enough to my natural lash line and the lashes fit my eyes. I chose to apply the lashes without any additional eye makeup apart from one coat of mascara on the upper lashes to show how natural they can look, however if you decide to wear lashes with eyeliner, the band would probably be even less noticeable.


5. Remove false lashes

false eyelash tutorial red cherry lashes WSP house of lashes

After a glorious day of having lovely, long, and full lashes comes the time to remove them. If you want to make sure that your lashes remain in pristine condition, you need to be very careful with the way you take them off. I am very guilty of simply ripping them off my eyes and calling it a night, however I’m beginning to be a little more scrupulous with my lashes since I have taken off chunks of my own before and I’ve ruined several expensive pairs due to my carelessness. To do this, all you need to do is grab a q-tip, soak it in oil-free makeup remover, and run it along the lash band until the false lashes com off effortlessly with the slightest tug.


6. Clean false lashes

cleaning lash glue

In case you weren’t aware, you can actually reuse your false lashes! Usually the brands you can find in the drugstore can last between 5-10 uses before throwing them out depending on how well you take care of the lashes, which is awesome because sometimes they aren’t very cheap. Luckily, it is really easy to clean and care for them. Once you remove the false lashes, you can loosen the lash glue by gently running a q-tip soaked with oil-free makeup remover along the band, and gently pull off the residual glue. Once the band is clean, you can take a q-tip and soak one end in rubbing alcohol and gently clean the lash hairs and band from any residual makeup or mascara. When the lashes are clean, gently wrap them along the curved ends of the original packaging it came in (hopefully you kept it!) and save it for future uses!

cleaned and reused lashes

And there you have it! Hopefully this tutorial was useful. I plan on writing more posts about different types of false lashes as well as another tutorial on how to apply individual false lashes. Please let me know if there are any other posts you would like to see or if you have any suggestions for this blog!


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