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How to Apply False Eyelashes Like a Pro

Updated on November 3, 2014

You Can Do It. It's easy when you have the right instructions.


What's a Girl Supposed to Say?

At least once a month when I’m buying groceries at one of the local supermarkets, a new cashier will say to me, “You have beautiful lashes. I wish I had lashes like yours.”

If there is no line-up of people behind me, I tell the cashier, “You can have lashes like mine. They’re called 'Demi Wispies 120' down at your friendly drugstore.” The cashier then inevitably protests, “Oh! They’re not yours? They’re false? I’ve tried applying false eyelashes and they turn out a mess. One goes this way, one sticks out that way! Glue everywhere!”

Today I want to write about something truly not earth-shatteringly important: how to apply false eyelashes.

I am talking about natural-looking false lashes on a strip -- not individual false eyelashes.

Ardell has made false lashes for as long as I can remember. Ardell seems to have other labels for the same line of false lashes. One distributor or label is Salon Perfect. The lashes are numbered the same as Ardell’s false lashes.

There are also many other brands in the United States and Canada. Beware, though. If the eyelash strip is particularly thin, these can be troublesome. One particular brand like that is sold in little black cases with transparent lids. I cannot recall the name of the brand, but you can recognize them because the strip is very black and very thin. Application is easy the first time with this inexpensive brand, but the next time you apply each false eyelash, you will notice the strip of each lash is bent this way or that. It does not curve properly ever again.

For realistic, natural looking eyelashes, I use Demi Wispies, number 120, in the Ardell brand. Look over the many styles and brands of false lashes in your vicinity and choose your favorite. Remember, though, you want your eyes to look pretty -- not Halloweenish.

Salon Perfect is one of many fine eyelash products.

Tools of the Trade

You might decide to start with a 'starter kit'. Most of the starter kits contain a so-called lash applicator. If you elect to use that thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never try to apply false lashes again. It's a clumsy little utensil.

I'll be giving simple instructions a bit later in this hub on how to apply false eyelashes. You won't need a plastic applicator. You will need a thumb and an index finger. If you’re right handed, use your right thumb and index finger to apply the lashes. If you’re left-handed, use your left thumb and left index finger.

Starter kits contain the pair of lashes, the ‘applicator’ and a small tube of glue. Starter kits usually cost between $5.00 and $7.50. All you need to buy is a package of lashes and a small tube of false eyelash glue. For the glue, LashGrip Eyelash Adhesive is one I recommend. It comes in a small tube. You can buy it in black or clear. I buy the ‘clear’. Within a minute or two of application, the white glue turns transparent and invisible. There are other good brands of eyelash adhesive on the market, no doubt, but do an online search to look for negative feedback and possible detrimental effects to your eyesight before choosing one.

Should you Remove your False Eyelashes at Bedtime?

After wearing false eyelashes, off and on -- a little pun there, for a good many decades, I did read an article stating eye lash glue can – in a small percentage of cases -- cause eye problems. The glue used in the research was not Lashgrip as far as I could tell, but I began to take my lashes off at night once I’d read the article. That was five years ago. I have since reverted to wearing my false lashes to bed whenever I want -- just like I did for thirty years before reading the article.

It’s a personal decision.

I hope you will do a little research for yourself and reach your own conclusions. Another thing to consider, albeit much less serious, is if you toss and turn a lot at night or if you sleep with your face buried deeply into your pillow, you will wake up with deformed false eyelashes. If they are ruined, throw them away. They are not salvageable. Learn to sleep on your back like a zombie.

I jest. These man-made eyelashes are pretty tough stuff. Up to a point, they will survive your night's rest.

How to Remove and How to Clean False Eyelashes

Soon I will review the three easy steps to applying false eyelashes but first I need to explain two other points: removing false lashes and cleaning false lashes.

Removing false eyelashes is easy. You gently lift the outer corner of one lash at a time and pull it off.

When you want to clean the lashes, you don’t need a pair of tweezers to do so. Tweezers just get in the way. You simply take your thumb and index finger, place them on either side of the strip of the lashes and gently pull at the residual glue that is stuck there from your previous day’s (or days') wear. Gently peel the glue off so that you can apply fresh glue.

Demi Wispies is a natural-looking lash

Step One -- How to Apply False Eyelashes

Before you begin to apply your new set of false eyelashes, you need to have dried and cleaned the counter surface you will be using. You need a small pair of scissors, one pair of false lashes and one tube of false eyelash glue.

Take each strip of lashes out of the case with care. You pull the outer end, the wider end, of the lash from the case. If you do this wildly, you will ruin the shape of the lash.

In the above photograph, you can see where I have placed a pair of scissors perpendicular to a 'right' false eyelash. Exactly where I have the scissors pointing is where you should cut the lashes. You need to cut away the excess amount of lashes so the effect will be more realistic. Please note: You are never cutting the inner area of the false eyelash. You cut the extra amount from the outer area of the false eyelash.

Do note in the next photograph, it is not the same eyelash. It is the 'left' eyelash which has had the outer edge cut off. However, you would cut a little less off each eyelash, the right and left eyelash strips, if you have very wide eyes. I do have fairly wide eyes, though, so these two photographs portray pretty much the correct amount you will need to snip on any eyelashes you plan on wearing.

Now you need to carefully remove the excess glue from the two strips of lashes. This is not LashGrip glue that is on each strip to hold them into the case during shipping. This, I believe, is a toxic glue. If I have forgotten to remove the tiny amounts of glue from the strips before I apply the new false lashes, I have found my eyes watering within a short period of time. In these instances, if I didn't get the opportunity to remove the eyelashes right away, my eyes began to hurt. The glue which is used to hold the lashes in the case can be dangerous to your eyes, so be sure to carefully remove it from each strip.

Little or no eyeliner and mascara on the eyes can be pretty, too.  But now you have choices.
Little or no eyeliner and mascara on the eyes can be pretty, too. But now you have choices. | Source
Lady with false lashes.  To be or not to be.
Lady with false lashes. To be or not to be. | Source

Step Two -- Applying the False Eyelash. You're in Charge

You are now ready to begin the application process. First, gently squeeze the glue tube, holding it at least eight inches from your body. You need to learn to control the amount of glue that comes out. When you first try this, you can have a champagne moment where the glue comes bursting forth like bubbly out of an uncorked bottle. Squeeze only enough glue for this one application.

Pick up the first false lash and hold it steady with one hand while you apply the glue straight from the glue tube with the other. I know you’ve no doubt been told to use a toothpick for this phase, but really, it’s not necessary. Draw a thin line of glue across the top of the lash, just slightly inside of the strip. Put down the tube of glue.

Are you ready? This is when you have to realize you are bigger than the eyelash. You can do this! It’s just like when you’re trying to place a piece of material in a sewing project under the machine's needle. You know you’re in charge. You know you can arrange and rearrange the fabric until everything is perfectly suitable to you. And so it is with lashes.

Stand in front of the mirror with your one strip of lashes. Lean forward. Place the strip of lash on the top of your eyelid, aiming to have the outside end of the strip lay at the far end of your eye. Don’t concern yourself too much with the exact placement as the glue will be tacky and pliable for at least 30 seconds. The glue has an approximate 30 second set-up time.

Place the strip on top of the lid, as I said. Pretend you have a sort of mini-ditch or mini-canal where your natural lashes grow out of your eyelids. This is the imaginary ditch you want to place your strip of lashes into. Now comes the important but easy little trick. You gently take hold of each end of that little false eyelash -- your right thumb and finger on the right end of the false eyelash and your left thumb and finger guides the left end of the false eyelash -- and you press very gently on each end so the ends slip into that natural groove or ditch where the roots of your eyelashes originate. If, in fact, you didn't have it quite placed correctly on your eye, lift it up, move it slightly to the left or right (still holding and guiding it with both hands) then place it down and press the right and left end of the lash strip into the groove as previously explained.
You are three hundred times bigger than this little strip of lashes. You can do this!

Another important tip is this: If you have applied the eyelash and it's looking good except for one end of it, don't lift the whole eyelash up. You are in charge! Just gently lift the one little end ever so slightly -- just lift one-sixth of the entire lash -- and then gently place it where it should have gone the first time.

By the way, I don’t recommend you use mascara on your natural lashes before applying false lashes unless you do so very sparingly. If, for instance, you’ve purchased black false eyelashes and your own natural lashes are very light brown, you can apply mascara very lightly, but if you apply too much the mascara will cause the eyelashes to separate from the natural lashes. A space will be between the two sets of lashes.

Now apply the other false eyelash. It’s easy. You're still learning this, so if you’re not quite happy with the placement the first moment, lift the false lash, clean any glue you might have gotten on your natural lashes and reapply another thin strip of glue. Repeat the application of the false lash into the imaginary ditch or crevice where your own lashes grow. (Ditch isn’t a very pretty word. Crevice? I’ll try to think of a better word one day.)

Step Three -- Success

Don’t forget to wipe the excess glue from the glue tube and put the lid on. Your glue will last you for months and months even if you apply lashes daily, but it won’t last at all if you leave the cap off. It dries up.

When you are first learning this, you may want to apply a touch of eyeliner before you begin the application -- just to the outer, upper corner of each eye -- so that you can ‘even out’ the look of each eye. You want the strip of false eyelashes to be even-steven in comparison to one another in their placement on the eyelid.

Soon you will find the application of false eyelashes to be very easy. After four or five applications you will be confident in your new ability. Practice makes perfect.

Oh. Postscript. You are half-blind, you say? You can’t possibly apply eyelashes at your age?

Do you wear glasses? I'll admit it is a little trickier when one’s eyesight is not what it used to be. But I can still get the ol’ eyes on. I apply glue to one strip of eyelashes and place the pretty little eyelash into my imaginary 'ditch' as noted above. Recess might be a better word than ditch. Then I put on my eyeglasses to see how I’ve done. The glue is pliable, remember. I don't usually have to apply the same eyelash strip twice, but hey, if I do, that's okay, too.

You only live once. Have a go!


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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      4 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thank you, GarnetBird. Nice to see you. I'll pop by and see if you've been writing.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 

      4 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Encouraging, Pam!! Good job.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thank you for stopping by and reading and commenting, Timetraveler2! My only problem with false eyelashes is I cannot see close up without glasses on. But I have my eye shape memorized, so usually I can get 'em on. I actually prefer my eyes bare these days, but my husband doesn't. C'est la vie.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      6 years ago from USA

      I used to wear false eyelashes back in the day and never had problems with them. However, now that I'm older, I tend to shy away from anything that might give me problems...especially eye problems. False eyelashes are glamorous and fun, but I think using some caution with them is a good idea. Really well done hub and voted up.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Gosh, I actually reached 100 on a score for an individual hub today. It's the first time I've done that. And thank you to whoever you people are who keep 'pinning' this one.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      dreamseeker2, thank you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never bought them, but I would like to try them after reading your insightful and informative hub here. Thanks for the share. Voted up and useful.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I'm glad you liked it, invitationinuk.

    • invitationinuk profile image


      6 years ago from newyork

      Great hub, thanks for your share, It's very helpful.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Good! Let me know how it goes.

    • TeachableMoments profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Pamela, thanks for the great tips. I have been trying to put on fake lashes forever, but I can never get it right. Hopefully with your suggestions I will be successful. Great hub.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I think they're fun to put on, but I can't remember how I felt about it when I first started wearing them. Thanks for stopping by to read this little hub.

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 

      7 years ago from Canada

      You make it sound fun and easy to put these little things on. If memory serves, it wasn't all that fun when I tried it, but I might try again -- with these instructions.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I've been away a lot this summer and am just getting back to reading and enjoying the many hubs here again. It was so nice to find your note. I'm glad you enjoyed the tips, tillsontitan.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      What great tips you have here! I've worn huge false eyelashes for Halloween and really nice false eyelashes for weddings (applied by professionals, not me). Now that I've read your great tips I'm going to have to go buy some and try them for real.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      writer20, thanks for reading and for the votes. Good luck with the lashes -- it is easy.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      biancalyne, good luck to you on your new try with the lashes.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      7 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub, now I'm going to try them. My top lashes are okay but my bottom ones are very short.

      Voted up, useful and very interesting, Joyce.

    • biancalyne profile image


      7 years ago

      Yesss I love fake lashes! My eyelashes are so short. I found packages online of 10 sets per box and they were super cheap.. not sure if it's me or the lashes but I haven't gotten them on successfully yet. I'll try your advice and hopefully they work for me!


    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      I'll never be the horse woman you are -- except in my dreams -- but look at that: we have something in common! lol Thanks, Angela.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Wunnerful, wunnerful -- wore false lashes years ago and putting them on/off became second nature. With the years I became lazy and quit wearing them and I love the way they look so don't know why -- as I said, guess just lazy. BUT...your wonderful Hub has encouraged me to try again -- at this age need all the help I can get -- thanks for the great instructions. Best/Sis

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Wow, that's really something that you glued your eye shut. That could not have been fun. I'm glad you found this helpful.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Hi moonlake, Good luck when you try it again. It's not very hard -- just takes patience. Thanks for reading.

    • Cristale profile image

      Cristale Adams 

      7 years ago from New York

      This is very useful. I attempted to do this when I was much younger and actually glued my eye shut. Thanks for the real deal on how to apply them so I can maybe wear them.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      My lashes are so thin. I have tried false eye lashes with no luck. Years ago I could put them on but not now. I will have to try it your way. Good information. Voted up on your hub.


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