Our beauty writer’s guide to adding length, volume and glamour – without using strip lashes
As we’ve established now, I really love makeup. I’ve loved it since I was a toddler, and as a result have dedicated hours and hours of my life to practising various techniques and mastering any product I could get my hands on. There are, however, a few exceptions to that rule. Things which I wasn’t immediately good at or that didn’t immediately look brilliant and therefore I didn’t bother repeating. One of them is applying strip lashes.
I just can’t do it. Every time I’ve tried them I’ve struggled with the placement, and even when I have managed to get the placement right, one end has pinged off at an inconvenient moment. Aside from that, I find them a little uncomfortable and find the worry that they look gammy distracts from my fun and fancy evening (I have only ever applied them for fun and fancy evenings). I haven’t entirely given up yet. It annoys me that I haven’t mastered them when I see so many glamorous gals on my Insta popping them on with ease and looking incredible as a result. In the meantime, though, I have mastered some alternative methods of adding length, volume and glamour to my lashes.
The first, is the individual lash cluster. A lot of people balk at the idea of these. I think they look like they’d be trickier to apply than a strip lash — but in my experience it’s the opposite. They may take a little more time, but it’s much easier to achieve a natural look and you can tailor it to whatever you want to achieve by applying more or less. If you mess one up you can take it off and you haven’t ruined the whole eye, and if one or two fall off over the course of the night, you’re not left with the contrast of one fully lashed eye and one partially nude one. Also, they feel a lot lighter and more flexible than a strip lash. I like Ardell Duralash Individual Knot-Free Flares (€7.50) which come in both a mixed set which includes short, medium and long lashes, or a box which is solely comprised of mediums which is great for people who balk at the length of the long option or never bother with the short.
If you want to go a little bit fancier, pro makeup artist @Nikki_Makeup’s collaboration with Sweed lashes has resulted in the ‘No Lash Lash’ (€24), which look entirely natural thanks to their invisible cotton band. These guys are also reusable up to 10 times, which softens the blow of the price tag.
When it comes to glue, Duo (€8) is my number one and has never let me down.
If you’re looking for a speedier option, I have found lash clusters which come in duos and trios to be a revelation. These are a little chunkier and less natural looking than individual clusters, but can be fired on in a minute or two and can really deliver the impact of a strip lash. I find these very easy to apply because they are still very small and you can nestle them right into your lashes without disturbing the overall look. Penneys do a big box for €6.50.
Finally, magnetic lashes are relatively new to the market, but can be very effective. You simply apply magnetic liner, and then pop the lashes on. They do stay on if you apply them well and leave them alone for the duration, but won’t be an option for anyone who doesn’t like a thick liner look. These products are in their infancy (my current fave is Eylure’s) , but most of the big lash brands are producing them now, and I reckon they’re going to get better and better.
Lost in translation
What are people talking about when they say ‘blurred lip’? For a while, you were no one in the world of beauty if your matte lipstick didn’t have an ultra-sharp edge separating it from the rest of your face, but these days lots of Insta queens are moving toward a softer effect. A blurred lip means a slightly smudged or blended effect around the lip, usually achieved with a pencil brush.
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