False Lashes - Let's Get It On!

In the backstage world of a Hollywood film set, television production, or Broadway play there is a product we as professional makeup artists use time and time again…the false eyelash!

False eyelashes are a blessing to many, a burden to some, but truth told: a properly applied false lash can bring out the beauty in the beast. You just have to know how to “get it on!”

Let us take a little journey down the road of the false eyelash…

Legend has it that American movie director G.W. Griffith designed the first pair of fake lashes in 1916 for his film Intolerance, because he wanted his Princess Beloved character to have lashes that were so long, they would gently touch her cheeks when she looked down. A wig maker set to work creating these lashes out of human hair and gauze and the rest is movie magic history. However, actress Seena Owen who portrayed Princess Beloved found the false lashes so cumbersome that she could only wear them a few hours at at time, otherwise her eyes would swell shut!

Marlene and Marilyn would be the next famous icons to spotlight “falsies” in the way that they were intended and then we have the unfortunate cases embedded into our memories forever a la Tammy Faye Baker!

The 60s brought us Twiggy! Women and teens loved a great false lash look and they did not hesitate to wear a thick, black lash that was obviously fake! This time period was also the birth of the cluster lash and individual lashes that were applied only by a professional cosmetologist. We have come a long way baby!

Fast forward to current time and you will discover that false lashes made from human, sable or mink hair are the most popular amongst celebrities like Madonna. However, synthetic material in various colors and textures are available to the everyday consumer by simply walking into your local drugstore. Feathers, sequins, diamonds and other accoutrements are also a large part of “today’s” false lash made famous by the legendary makeup artist Shu Uemura.

But what you really want to know is how to make eyes at the world like a Pro and get those false lashes on and have them stay on…so here is what you need to know…

Manicure Scissors
False Lash
Liquid Liner
Black False Lash Glue

Decisions, Decisions – you will need to decide what look you are seeking. A full-set of false lashes creates high drama and clumps or individual lashes are more subtle or sophisticated. There are no hard and fast rules so have at it girl and rock those lashes!

Apply Last – all other makeup should be on and set with powder. Leave lashes free of mascara and any other lash product (plumpers, conditioners, etc.).

Remove It – use a tweezer to gently remove the lash from the packaging, pulling from the outer corner. If you are using individual lashes you will also want to remove them with a tweezer. Do not remove the strip lash from the inner corner because you will cause the lash to lose its natural curvature.

Trim It – hold lash up to natural lashes and measure. If false lashes are too long, use small scissors and snip off a few clumps at the outer corner – not the inner corner. However, there is always a tiny piece of the false lash strip that sticks out from the inner corner and that should be snipped off prior to application.

Glue It – using a black lash glue either a) directly apply the glue to the strip from the tube or b) use a toothpick and squeeze out a tiny amount of the glue onto a palette or other non-stick surface. Dip the tip of the toothpick into the glue and run it along the strip of the lash. Individual lashes use same method of squeezing out glue onto non-stick surface and dip end of false lash into glue holding with tweezer. The toothpick is a sure-fire method for not over applying eyelash glue. DO NOT APPLY LASH GLUE DIRECTLY TO NATURAL LASH LINE (trust me, I have seen this happen).

Stick It – place a mirror on your bathroom counter (or look into a wall mirror)– you are trying to achieve looking down, not necessarily closing your eye. Place false lashes above your natural lashes, as close to your lash line as possible following the natural curve, press down and adjust if necessary. Recently I was schooled on the Pearl Method of applying false lashes and I have started to use this application in all of my work. Celebrity Makeup Artist, Eve Pearl invented this technique and you can view her instructional video by clicking here.

Coat It – let glue dry for several minutes and apply mascara to both the natural and false lash to adhere them together.


Do have fun with false lashes!

Do not be afraid to try out a natural lash and wear it during the day!

Don’t over apply lash glue!

Don’t panic if you glue your eye shut – it will not stay that way – just gently remove the false lash and begin over!

Do try to find a false lash that has a black strip, but if you are using lashes with a clear strip – take the advice of Eve Pearl and coat the clear strip with black liquid liner and let dry before removing from the packaging!

Don’t sleep in false lashes!

Do use a false lash to achieve a balanced look and trim them if necessary!

Do pull lash gently when removing!

Drugstore or beauty supply stores carry a wide variety of synthetic false lashes that can work for any occasion day or night. Ardell is this Pro’s choice, but recently I tested Revlon false lashes and was pleased with the result. Both are wonderful and reasonably priced. However, these are one-time wear only lashes unlike Shu Uemura’s lashes that can be removed, cleaned and worn again. Also, I mention using black false eyelash glue above - try to find it if you can because it dries black and won't change the color of your eyeliner. White glue is supposed to dry clear, but not always.

Next up on In My Professional Opinion: Spotlight on Smashbox!

Photos courtesy: My Diva's Closet and Shu Uemura USA.


  1. I figured there was a reason for the super gorgeous eye lashes that made their debut on Friday!

  2. Exactly! Weren't they totally fab? Those were the Revlon False Lashes! Are you going to give them a go?

  3. What is your favorite and most effective way to clean lashes? Reccomended products?
    Love how detailed this post was!

  4. Well first you want to make sure that the lashes are able to be cleaned and reused. Drugstore lashes are one-time only, but I guess you could try to remove mascara and glue in order to wear them a second time. Here is how I clean reusable lashes: using mild soap and warm water, gently remove mascara and glue. Take a tweezer and pick" glue off the strip of the lash, use disposable mascara wand to clean between the lashes after dipping the wand into eye makeup remover - lay to dry on paper towel and replace in packaging. You are trying to not loose the natural curvature of the lash. I also use a shadow box (from Michael's) and straight pins and "prop" lashes up - sort of like I was creating a display of false lashes (if you will) - this method ensures that the lashes don't lose their shape - does any of that make sense? I need to take a photo of that method!