How To Trick People Into Thinking You're Wearing False Lashes

I really hate putting on false eyelashes. 1) It’s expensive to keep up. 2) They are really hard to put on properly. 3) They tell you that you can’t glue your eye shut, but I have had this happen on TWO occasions and let me tell you, if you accidentally put on too much glue, it will happen, and it will be horrific and terrifying (although admittedly easily resolved). And 4) If you don’t do it ~perfectly~, you risk them falling off mid-event, which looks awful and tacky. But it’s okay guys. I’ve learned to replace falsies with some makeup tricks I learned several years ago. I’m going to share my secret method for insanely long, dark, perfect lashes. Use at your own risk (or just say f*ck it and get eyelash extensions, your call).

Step 1: Mascara

We start our journey by applying mascara. I mean, you can do the rest of your makeup first, mascara is usually the last step on my eye makeup before I move on to the rest of my face. Apply one coat of mascara (and only one) to top and bottom lashes. I like to apply the first coat holding the brush horizontally and loosely wiggling it at the base of my lashes. It helps with applying evenly and minimizing clumps. Use a quality mascara that has a good brush. I like fluffy brushes best, but whatever works for you. If you’ve never had a mascara you really loved, I recommend investing in Diorshow. It’s the OG of perfect lashes (although pricey) but in my opinion, it’s the absolute best. I switch up my mascara every so often, but I consistently go back to it.

Dior - Diorshow Mascara Black 090 0.33 oz/ 10 mL

DIOR Diorshow Mascara – $29.50

Step 2: Translucent Powder

This is my secret weapon. I use it for everything, particularly my v oily face. Since I use it on my really sensitive, acne-prone skin, I buy Laura Mercier’s powder, which is pricey. If you’re only using it for your lashes, feel free to get a cheap one, like this $5 NYX one. I’m sure they work the same, I just like how Laura Mercier’s looks on my face and there is no point in buying another one. Once you have your powder, take a fluffy brush and swipe it onto your lashes, top and bottom. Mascara is sticky, that’s how it adheres to your real lashes. But as you apply multiple coats, that stickiness also makes it stick to itself, making it clumpy and tarantula-leg-looking. Shivers. The powder minimizes the mascara’s stickiness, while also adding another layer of thickness. When you apply the next coat, it will go on smoothly. A few makeup brands actually tried to market this concept, like this Too Faced one, where you started with a feathery fiber coat and put it in between layers of mascara. It totally worked! It made my lashes huge but also crazy in every direction, so I think powder works way better.

Laura Mercier - Translucent Loose Setting Powder Translucent 1 oz/ 30 mL

LAURA MERCIER Translucent Loose Setting Powder – $39

Step 3: Curl

Before you curl your lashes, swipe your curler with your translucent powder. My eyelashes will not curl without mascara on them first, but as we talked about, mascara makes your lashes sticky, and the curler can actually pull them out if they stick to it. I always put a little powder on my curler so it doesn’t stick by accident. Curl your top lashes at the base by pumping the curler (you know, like squeeze, squeeze, squeeze instead of just holding it down) 10 times on each eye. It just works better, I don’t know. Don’t bother with the bottom lashes.

Tweezerman - ProCurl Eyelash Curler Rose Gold

TWEEZERMAN ProCurl Eyelash Curler – $22

Step 4: Comb

Your eyelashes should now be super open, but they may have gotten a little bit disheveled from the curling. I like to take a spoolie brush (or a clean mascara wand from an old mascara) and just loosely untangle them. Depending on how long your real lashes are, you may not need to do this. Just make sure they are separated and there are no clumps.

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Classic Double Ended - Filler & Spoolie #208

SEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Double Ended – Filler & Spoolie #208 – $12  

Step 5: Repeat

Then you repeat. I like to do 3 coats of mascara total. For the second coat, I like to actually hold the mascara brush vertically instead of horizontally, and swipe my lashes starting from the inner corners out. I think it just adds a different dimension to the coats. Then you proceed through steps 2-4 the same way, taking extra care to remove clumps with the spoolie brush, as you’re more likely to have gross buildup the more mascara you have on. You may not need to curl each time if your lashes hold the shape really well from the first curl, but definitely recurl if you see them falling. Use your own judgment. For the final coat, you can skip the powder, since you want the color of your lashes as dark as possible. Only apply powder to the curler (very, very important, assuming you don’t want to rip your eyelashes out) if you need to curl again on the final layer. Comb through to straighten out any remaining clumps, and you’re good to go!

All of these steps might feel like overkill, but the results are seriously worth it. Plus, you won’t have to worry about whether you have a wonky fake eyelash when you’re at the club. There’s really nothing more tragic than a wonky eyelash, and I speak from personal experience. Let me know how my method worked for you in the comments!

Images: Eric Ward / Unsplash; Sephora (4); Giphy

Holly Hammond
Holly Hammond
Holly is an ex-sorority girl with the personality of Elle Woods meets Wednesday Addams. She is an artist, writer, animator, and part-time magician. Her parents are v proud but also like to ask her when she's going to get a real job. Buy art from her so she can pay for her bulldog's dermatologist.