No offense to mascara, but fake eyelashes are like the cosmetic's more mature older sister. Instead of slavishly applying coat after coat of black ink to the tops and bottoms of lashes, and often smudging it on our eyelids or losing an eyelash or three while trying to remove it before bed, fake eyelashes are a no-fail way to instantly get the kind of pretty, perfectly separated and thick lashes of our dreams.
Feeling sensitive? All faux lashes will carry you through. "False eyelashes are a great way to have tear-proof makeup — instead of having eyeliner and mascara run down your eyes when you attend a big event, false eyelashes won't leave dark streaks down your face," says Courtney Lutkus from StyleInGo. "False eyelashes are a wonderful way to enhance your eyes without piling on a ton of makeup. While mascara can only darken and lengthen the eyelashes you have, false eyelashes can multiply the eyelashes that you have."
Think false eyelashes are all alike? Depending on your price point and what you feel most comfortable wearing, there are a bevy of options out there. "The most popular eyelash materials are human hair, plastic, and mink," Lutkus says. "Human hair and mink are preferred for their realistic look — with mink eyelashes being the priciest. Eyelash adhesives ensure that the lashes stay on all day, but the lashes can be easily pulled off at the end of the night." A set of mink eyelashes from You Complete Me costs $30 (Violet Grey, $30), while a pair that uses human hair, such as Andrea Modlash Strip Lash (Drugstore.com, $3), costs significantly less.
"While false eyelashes don't have special ingredients that will help to strengthen and grow your lashes, by wearing false eyelashes as an alternative to mascara it can help your lashes stay strong and healthy," Lutkus says. "Mascara weakens your eyelashes and makes them brittle. Thus, by wearing false eyelashes as an alternative to mascara your eyelashes will start to look thicker and healthier."
There are fake eyelashes, which are made of heavier materials and should be worn for one evening or day only — and there are eyelash extensions, which you can sleep in, wake up in and wear for weeks, explains KP Murray of Elle Lash Bar in Washington D.C. "Eyelash extensions are the best option when using false lashes to enhance your look. This is because eyelash extensions are placed using the correct weight and correct length individually on your natural lashes," Murray says. "They are placed 1 mm from your skin, so there is no contact with your lids or skin. The adhesive used is undetectable and is medical grade. Once your natural lash is ready to shed, the extension that is placed on your lash naturally sheds with the extension so there is no pulling or breakage."
The average length of time eyelash extensions last on your lashes is two weeks, according to Professional Makeup Artist Ashley Spedale. "Every day we naturally shed 3-5 lashes, so in about two weeks half of the extensions will have shed," Spedale says. "With extensions comes some maintenance; however, the pros of this is say buh-bye to your mascara and wake up feeling more wide eyed and able to run out of the house! Most of my clients call it a mini eye lift. No need for as much make up either. It becomes an addiction!"
Imagine being able to wake up and cut the time it takes you to make yourself even prettier in half. You can thank eyelash extensions for that. "Eyelash extensions are better than mascara for a few reasons," Murray says. "Makeup application takes a lot of time. Eyelash extensions save time in the morning."
All that wiping and rough housing we do to our made-up lashes to get all that gook off? Not only does it result in eyelash loss, it also messes with the delicate skin around our eyes and, when not removed properly, can hurt our eyes. "Mascara can damage eyelashes," Murray says. "Waterproof formulas are drying and cause breakage. Curling your lashes after applying mascara can also cause breakage. The majority of women do not remove all of their mascara, which causes it to dry, become brittle, and break your lashes. Old mascara also harbors bacteria and can infect the lash follicle."
Fake eyelashes and extensions provide the easiest way to change up your look in a matter of seconds — and, yes, to even Kardashian-ify your look. "A strip lash is amazing to wear for an event because I feel it completes the make-up look," Spedale says. "You can make your lashes appear to be longer and thicker for the day/night. If you wanted a look like the Kardashians, one might want to double stack a strip lash or even triple stack them."
And, guess what? Lash makers are getting hip to the fact that women aren't thrilled about spending money on lashes they can wear once or twice but then have to throw in the garbage.
"There are many eyelash brands that are coming out with mink false lashes or a faux mink lash that can be worn up to 30 times if taken care of properly," Spedale says. "Brands like Lilly Lashes now offer these. You can also check out House of Lashes for some really great strips or my favorite by Ardell called Demi Wispies, which you can get at your local drugstore."
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