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false eyelash extensions

Let’s Talk Falsies: A Beginner’s Guide to Lashes

Fluttery eyelashes right this way.

By: Jacquelyn Greenfield

If theres one thing that every beauty guru knows, its that a fluttery lash can take any makeup look to the next level. While some of us have been truly blessed with long, curly lashes—I’m talking to the men here, too—the rest of us tend to need multiple swipes of the most volumizing and lengthening mascara we can get our hands on. At times that may seem like enough, but when your eyelashes are so short that even the most expensive mascara and curler on the market don’t do the trick, what are you left to do? Luckily there are plenty of products and services that offer a solution to our stubby lash problem, from oils and serums to extensions and falsies—there is hope for us.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you might not have the slightest clue where to begin. You could give growth formulas a try, but what if you want instant results? This is where falsies or fake eyelashes come into play. False eyelashes and extensions can give you the ultra-long lash look you’ve been eager to achieve. For the experienced beauty guru, getting lash extensions or putting on falsies can be a cakewalk. However, if you’re a newbie to the lash life, it can seem very challenging and a tad bit confusing. Take it from me, someone who wore costume makeup for dance competitions for years—I couldnt put my own eyelashes on to save my life. Luckily, I had the chance to speak with “the pioneer of eyelash extensions,” Dionne Phillips, owner of D’Lashes Luxury Eyelash Extension Spa. The L.A.-based lash artist shared her insights on navigating the lash space for beginners along with expert tips and tricks on how to put on falsies.

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For a newbie to the lash game, where would you have them start?

“Since the days of COVID with the pandemic, it’s all about the mask and your eyes. People are wanting to add some drama or a little bit more texture and contrast to the eyes now. If people are comfortable coming in and laying down for extensions, I would recommend a classic, basic, natural look to the first-time wearer. [If they’re not comfortable coming in,] I would have them start with strip lashes, or falsies, in a very light, pretty, wispy style. They’re very natural and basic but still give that pop and extra contrast that they are looking for.”

What is the process for a basic lash extension?

“With doing basic lash extensions, I use classic extended-wear lashes. They’re one single silk fiber attached to one individual micro hair, and it’s called an anagen. They are attached to one of your lash hairs one at a time.”

What about falsies? Do you have any special tricks for applying them?

“[Falsies] come on a band or a spine—consider it a band of lashes. They often come in different variations, lengths, and thickness. In the past there were just flat strip lashes and it didn’t offer much depth to them. Now they have multi-level lashes along with lash clusters that have about three layers of lashes that emulate lash extensions. So if you can’t get to your lash extension service or want to see how you’d look with fuller extensions before going to the salon, I would definitely give these a try.

“The biggest trick is letting the adhesive glue dry, getting it a little tacky for about 13 seconds. Where a lot of beginners mess up is applying the lash too soon, when the glue is still wet. Blow on the lash and fan it with your applicator or your finger, whatever way you find to be more comfortable when applying them. Most glues have a blue indicator that will let you know; once it turns completely white, it’s more tacky. Now you’re ready to apply. With a magnifying mirror, I recommend to start by placing it right in the middle of your eye while adding slight pressure. Then pressing it down towards your nose but not going beyond your brow so it’s even and it’s not hanging off your eye—giving your eye a relatively droopy look. Hold it like that for about 20 to 30 seconds to make sure it’s in place. Also, pre-measure your lashes before applying glue and make sure they fit the length of your eye.”

What’s the lifespan of both types of lashes—extensions and falsies?

“Extensions can last up to six to eight weeks depending on your lash artist. After about four weeks you may have some straggler lashes because they can become sparse over time. It’s important to come every two and a half to three weeks for a lash touch-up. The fuller your lash look is, the more sparse they may become over time, so you’ll want to come in for a touch-up sooner. With some strip lashes, they’re just one-time wear. Other regular strip lashes you can usually wear up to 30 applications.”

What are the best ways to maintain lashes?

“For strip lashes, it’s important to keep them in a safe and dry place once you take them off. A lot of people tend to rip off their lashes at the end of the night and just put them anywhere. Keeping them safe will help them last longer.

“You don’t want your extensions to wear over time. It’s important to properly wash them. Wash them, [but don't] aggressively rub—gently massage with a soft eyeshadow brush in a downward motion with a lash shampoo. It helps keep your lashes hydrated and not too dry or brittle. For the beginner, it will help retain your lashes longer before your first touch-up.”

What styles work best for different eye shapes?

“There are so many different shapes of eyes—that’s why I appreciate each lash style with each eye shape. The shape determines how their lashes are already growing. The [false] lashes are basically a [complement] to the natural lashes. You can manipulate that with different lengths of the eyelashes. For example, with a hooded eye, you may want to go with a curlier extension on the end—or maybe a shorter extension, not too heavy, not too long on the ends of the eye. With hooded eyes, having a bit of a longer length of lashes will give the illusion of the eye being bigger. With a wide-open eye and eyes [that are] more rounded, you may want to go with just a little bit shorter in the middle of the eye and definitely shorter on the ends to kind of lift the eyes up a little. It give the eyes a more open and fresher appearance.”

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