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Applying false lashes can be an uphill battle — especially if you want them to look as natural as possible. While you can pay for extensions or beg your friend to help you, knowing how to apply them yourself is a vital skill to have in your beauty arsenal. To help you out a bit, we’ve enlisted several makeup gurus for their tips on how to apply fake lashes yourself and which tools to use.

How to apply fake lashes

Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg says to start by getting the fit right. “Before you do anything, I would measure [the lash] to make sure it fits your eye,” she says. “You never want the outside of the lash to be too long or it will drag your eye down.” Placement on the inner corners is important, too. Greenberg says that “lashes should never stop too close to your inner eye, think 2 millimeters” from your tear duct, or else they will annoy you all day. Once you’ve measured, you can trim the length of the eyelash strips.

Another easy way to ensure any lashes will fit your eye shape is to cut them into two or three sections. “I always cut lashes,” says makeup artist Amanda Wilson. “I find they’re easier to apply and you can control them a lot easier when they fit your eye.”

To prep the fake lashes for application, Wilson recommends loosening up the band a bit so it won’t be as stiff right out of the box. “First, curl it with a lash curler, then, bend your faux lash, rocking it back and forth to kind of break up the shape it has straight out of the package,” she says. “You won’t hurt the lash — you just need it to not fight you back. You can also prepare your natural lashes by curling them and applying some mascara — Greenberg says this creates a foundation for the fake lashes to rest on.

When you’re ready to apply the strip, makeup artist Carly Jo says to apply a thin layer of lash glue to the band. “We want the glue to get tacky within 15 to 30 seconds to ensure the longevity of the wear,” she says. Wilson also notes the importance of waiting for the glue to get tacky or else “if it’s too wet it will just slide all over your eye.”

After 30 seconds, apply the lash onto your lash line. “The easiest way to see where you’re applying the lash is to look down into a mirror versus straight forward,” Jo says. “It’s up to you whether you want to use tweezers, a lash applicator or simply your fingers to apply.”

She likes to place the middle of the lash down, then secure the outer and inner corners. Once in place, she says that you can press the fake lashes to your real ones with your fingers to blend them together and close any gaps.

How to apply individual lashes

To apply individual or cluster lashes, Jo recommends first using mascara on your natural lashes. Then, starting with the outer corner cluster, apply the glue and let it get tacky as you would when applying strips — this usually takes about 30 seconds. Place the outer corner lash on the outer corner of your eye.

“After you apply the first lash, mirror that same lash on the other eye — and continue with every lash. I recommend bouncing between both eyes versus working on one eye, then the other, so you can make the lashes look as cohesive as possible,” she explains. Once you get the outer and middle lashes placed, you’ll want to add in shorter and lighter clusters toward the inner corner of your eye.

“During and after the application, it helps to have a clean spoolie on hand to brush through the lashes. This helps separate the lashes if they get clumped in one spot, as well as fanning out the lash to look more realistic,” says Jo. She advises making sure the glue is almost completely dry before you brush, though, and adding a thin layer of mascara at the end to blend your real and individual lashes.

How to clean fake lashes

How should you make your lashes last beyond one wear? Jo says to remove any leftover glue from the band so you don’t have any remaining residue. “To clean them, I like to soak them in micellar water for five minutes and then run a clean spoolie through them to remove any product,” she says, adding that you can use your fingers to gently remove any additional glue still on the band. “Once all of the product is removed, pat off any excess micellar water and use the spoolie to brush the lashes back to their original shape. Let them air-dry and they’ll be good as new!”

Lashes

While you can also check out this list of 11 best fake eyelashes, according to experts, we’ve highlighted some additional favorites here. From natural to dramatic, the below picks give an overview of the different types of fake lashes to try.

$4 at Walgreens or $7 at CVS

Ardell Double Up Wispies
What does Los Angeles-based makeup artist Latrice Johnson look for in a good lash? “If the band will be comfortable, [and] I love a fluffy natural lash,” she says. The Ardell Double Up Wispies are one of her top picks.

$5 at Ulta or $7 $6 at Amazon

Ardell Soft Touch Trio Individuals Knotted
“To make lashes look like extensions I use either individual lashes or three cluster individuals to create that look,” says Johnson. Jo also loves trios because they make application a bit easier. “If you’re just starting out with individuals, I highly recommend clusters,” says Jo. “They’re typically three individuals on one mini strip, so they help reduce the application time.”

$5 at Target and Ulta

Ardell Lash Wispies
Furthermore, Johnson says that “if you need the eye to [appear more] open, I [would] gravitate toward a lash that is longer in middle and shortens on the ends,” like this traditional Ardell Wispies lash. Coming as a recommendation of Jo’s as well, this would make for an excellent beginner lash.

$35 at Younique

Younique Moonstruck Magnetic Lash
When applying strip lashes, Greenberg looks to magnetic lashes by Younique first because they’re super simple to use. She says that you apply the brand’s Moodstruck Magnetic Liner like a traditional eyeliner directly to your lash line. Wait two to three minutes for it to dry, then snap the lash on from the inside to the outside. The lashes are available in two styles: “Encouraging” for a more subtle look or “Inspiring” for a dramatic, tapered lash.

$15 at Cammy Nguyen

Cammy Nguyen Dime Piece Lash
“If you’re not into magnetic and you love super-dramatic lashes, I love Cammy Nguyen lashes,” says Greenberg. “They’re made really well and look fantastic. She has so many quality styles to choose from.” We think this Dime Piece style would be an excellent choice.

$30 at Flutterhabit

Flutterhabit The Original Luxe Faux-Mink Eyelashes
Greenberg recommends you try Flutterhabit’s cluster lashes if you have trouble applying strips. “I love these because every eye shape is different so they work so well,” she says. “You lay [lash] glue on a surface. Then, dip the clusters [working] from the outside in” and apply them in sections. She notes that you don’t have to use all four clusters one each eye — use however many look best for your eye shape.

$6 at Amazon and Walmart

Ardell Accent Lashes 315
If a full-sized lash strip overwhelms your eye shape, consider trying accent lashes instead. Greenberg is a fan of Ardell’s Accent Lashes in the style 315. “Dip the lash into [lash] glue evenly," she instructs. "Place [the lash] on the [outside] corner of your [natural lash line]. Wait for it to dry, then fuse the fake lash with your real lashes with another coat of mascara.”

$6 at Kara Beauty or $7 at Walmart

Kara Beauty A1 Fabulashes 3D Faux Mink Lashes
Faux mink lashes are popular amongst the beauty community for being lightweight, fluffy and comfortable to wear. Jo’s choice would be a lash from Kara Beauty’s 3D Faux Mink Lashes line. Try the style A1 for a touch of glam without being too dramatic.

$11 $5 at Amazon or $7 at Kiss

Kiss Lash Couture Faux Lash Extensions in Venus
The Kiss Lash Couture Faux Lash Extensions in the style Venus are a top pick of celebrity makeup artist Delina Medhin. These are a great, affordable option to do your own temporary lash extensions right at home.

$8 $4 at Amazon or $5 at Target, Ulta and Kiss

Kiss My Lash But Better in So Real
Medhin would also recommend the style So Real from Kiss’ new My Lash But Better collection, which feature a super-fine band that you hardly notice while wearing. We’ve tried them ourselves and are obsessed.

$8 $7 at Amazon and Walmart or $8 at Ulta and Kiss

Kiss Lash Couture Luxtensions Collection in Royal Silk
The Kiss Lash Couture Luxtension Royal Silk lash has quickly became a go-to of ours after discovering it on TikTok. It’s designed with a mixture of lash extension curls as well as a thin band for versatile, comfortable wear.

Lash adhesive

From $5 at Amazon or $6 at Target

Duo Brush-On Striplash Adhesive
Both Johnson and Medhin recommend the Duo Brush-On Striplash Adhesive. “I use latex-free adhesive to be safe for any latex sensitivity that myself or client might not be aware of,” says Johnson. “I love [this] because it’s durable, strong and works well with any eye sensitivity.”

$4 at Rite Aid or $5 at Ulta and Walgreens

Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive
“The Kiss Ever EZ Lash Adhesive is a staple in my pro kit,” says Jo. “It’s affordable, long-lasting and suitable for sensitive eyes!” Just apply this waterproof formula to the lash band, wait 30 seconds for it to become tacky, then place the strip on your lash line.

$7 $5 at Amazon

Darkness Eyelash Glue
For a quick-dry lash glue, Greenberg recommends this K-beauty option by Darkness that’s formulated to keep your lashes in place all day.

Lash tools

$13 at Sephora and Ulta

lash Lilly Lashes Lash Scissors
Johnson is a fan of the Lilly Lashes Lash Scissors because she “can use them for both cutting [her] lash band and [doing her] brows.”

$15 $13 at Amazon and Walmart

Tweezerman Tweezermate 10x Lighted Mirror
“My go-to handheld mirror for lash application is the Tweezerman Tweezermate 10x Lighted Mirror,” says Johnson.

$4 at Ulta

J. Cat Beauty No Hassle Eyelash Application Helper
“Lash applicators like this are great for beginners because of the curved shape,” says Jo. The applicator here is designed with a curved angle to help you position the lashes on your lash line with precision.

$10 $6 at Walmart or $11 $7 at Amazon

Revlon Curved Blade Cuticle Scissors
According to Jo, “cuticle scissors are the best tool to use to trim your lashes” — making these great to have handy for both lash and nail care.

$5 at Walmart

Goody Large 2-Sided Styling & Magnifying Mirror
Jo also recommends using a handheld mirror when applying lashes. This one she recommends features a magnifying mirror, which “helps to really see where you’re applying the lash.”

$17 at Amazon and Ecosmetics

Tweezerman Lash Assist False Lash Applicator
“I love the Tweezerman Lash Assist to grip the lashes for easy application,” says Johnson.