Today’s makeup trends focus a lot on the eyes – dark statement brows, shadows in pops of color and bold liners. With a more pronounced brow, longer and fuller lashes take center stage. If you’re like most people and you weren’t born with thick, naturally curved, full dark lashes, fake eyelashes might be what you need to add some glamour to your overall look.
To understand why eyelashes may appear thinner as you age, it’s important to know that eyelashes go through a 4-phase process: grow, rest, shed and regrow. Regrowth is important because people will lose about 20% of their lashes every 2 weeks, and for many of us in Act 2.5, the process tends to slow down the older we get.
So what can be done to make lashes look fuller and longer? For some, layers of mascara can do the trick, but when that’s not enough, it might be time to consider some alternatives, like eyelash extensions or fake eyelashes which have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Their popularity is mostly due to new designs and the easier application process that has come a long way since the the 1940s when women in Hollywood began to embrace artificial lashes. From Rita Hayward to Marilyn Monroe, long lashes were sexy. A flash of Twiggy or Cher may come to mind when you think of big sultry lashes. And of course, there was Madonna who wore a $10,000 pair of mink and diamond lashes to promote her Re-Invention tour in 2004.
Today, more than ever, the trend is the longer and fuller the better. Depending on your budget and time, you can achieve a great lash-look a couple of ways.
Extensions vs. Fake – Which is Right for You?
Eyelash extensions are an option if you have a loftier budget and can schedule time for fill-ins every 3-4 weeks. These are semi-permanent lashes that are glued to your own eyelashes. They are customized by color, style and curl and require a professional for application. The initial process takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours and can cost anywhere from $100 – $300. Fill-ins will be necessary and, depending on how many lashes you need, can cost between $50 – $80.
The other option is to buy fake eyelashes and apply them yourself. These require a daily application and are removed before you go to bed. Many are applied with an adhesive, but a relatively new process uses magnets.
The eyelashes applied with an adhesive can be purchased in clusters, or the most common, in a strip. The cluster lashes give a more natural look, but can be more cumbersome to apply. The strip is easier and quicker to fasten to your top lash line. (One tip is to cut it in half to make it easier to apply.) Before you retire for the night, soak a Q-tip in eye makeup remover (preferably oil-free) and run it along the lash line. This should loosen the glue enough so you can gently remove the lashes.
The magnetic lashes get rid of messy glues and don’t require any solutions for removal. They come in a top row and a bottom row, each with magnets that lock in place. For installation, place the top row close to the the lash line then take the bottom row and place it underneath your top lashes. The magnetic strips will connect, locking the lashes in place. To remove or adjust, gently use your thumb and forefinger to slide the strips apart.
Fake eyelashes are a cheaper alternative to lash extensions, and although it will require a learning curve initially, it is worth the effort. Prices vary but you can purchase a good set for less than $10 at your local drugstore.