6 Types of False Lashes - How They Work & What Makes Each One Unique
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False eyelashes transform the face in a way that few other makeup products can. They add instant glamour even to the most subtle makeup look. If you’re ready to experiment with some new lash styles, you may find yourself a little confused. There are so many different types of false eyelashes sold in stores and promoted at salons.
So what on earth is the difference between individual lashes and extensions? How do magnetic lashes work? Most importantly, which of these types of false lashes will be best for you? This article explains it all, with a deep dive into the 6 main types of fake eyelashes.
1. DIY Eyelash Extensions
The most recent addition to the world of false eyelashes is DIY eyelash extensions. This is an option that stays in place for 5-10 days, rather than just one night. DIY extensions are designed in segments, with an invisible strip at their base. Each segment is shorter than a strip of lashes but longer than individual flares, for easy customization.
Who Are DIY Extensions For?
Unlike other types of false lashes, DIY extensions offer multi-day wear. They’re great for people who want fuller lashes for multiple days in a row (or all the time). They’re a budget-friendly alternative to professional lash extensions.
They’re also a great choice if you find that most lash extensions and false lashes look too artificial because of how they sit on top of the lashes. DIY Extensions are applied from below, so they don’t have any visible band or gap with the natural lashes.
That said, DIY extensions can come in very dramatic styles. Since they last for multiple days, it’s important to choose the best lashes for your eye shape.
How to Apply DIY Extensions
DIY eyelashes come with strong-hold glue. Instead of applying it to the extensions, you first apply it to your own lashes, almost like mascara. Then, with a pair of tweezers, you bring the first segment of extensions and attach them to your natural lashes. Do the same with the rest of the segments, until you’re done!
It takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very simple. Check out this video to see the process in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ArM8_MPiYw
Best DIY Extensions
- Best Natural DIY Extensions: Lilac St. Doe
- Best Classic DIY Extensions: Lilac St. Originals
- Best Voluminous DIY Extensions: Lilac St. Volume
2. Strip Lashes
Strip lashes are the most well-known type of false eyelashes. Their design is simple and intuitive. They have a long, rounded band at the base, with a row of lashes attached to it.
Who Are Strip Lashes For?
Strip lashes are great for beginners because they’re easy to apply, at least compared to other types of lashes. They offer a convenient dose of glamour when you want a dramatic look for just one night.
If you like a softer look, most strip lashes won’t be for you. They don’t look as natural as other types of fake eyelashes, because the strip is usually visible above the lash line. If your goal is a very natural look, you might prefer individual flare lashes or DIY extensions.
How to Apply Strip Lashes
To use strip lashes, first trim the band to fit your eye. Then apply glue to the base, and give it about 30 seconds to become sticky. Then, fit it directly over your lash line, pressing it in carefully. Be careful, because if you don’t bring the strip close enough to your natural lash line, you can end up with an odd gap. Finally, apply a layer of black eyeliner to hide the lash band.
To see how it’s done, check out this video.
Best Strip Lashes
- Best Rounded Lashes: Lilly Lashes Mykonos
- Best Cat Eye Lashes: Velour Lashes Mini Me
- Best Budget Lashes: Ardell Demi Studio Effects Demi Wispies
3. Individual Single Lashes
Single false lashes are the most natural (but also most painstaking) of all false lash types. To the naked eye, each little cluster looks like a real single lash. Single lashes consist of a tiny knot at the base, and somewhere between one and 4 lash hairs bunched together to give subtle enhancement.
Who Are Individual Single Lashes For?
For the average person, single lashes can be very difficult to work with. Using them by yourself is a difficult process, and the results only last for a day, unless you use a strong-hold glue. For the average beauty enthusiast, they’re rarely worth the effort.
However, for those with gaps in their lash line, they might be worth it, because they fill in sparse areas very naturally. They provide the user with a lot of control and endless customizability, so many makeup artists adore them, as well.
How to Apply Individual Single Lashes
Applying single lashes, one by one, is a slow, meticulous process. You apply a small drop of glue to the base of each lash, give it a few moments to get sticky, and then place it exactly where you want it.
This video shows this entire process, although with strong-hold glue.
Best Individual Single Lashes
- Best Medium-Length Single Lashes: Ardell Knotted Single Individuals
- Best Long Single Lashes: Red Cherry Single Long Black
4. Individual Flare Lashes
Flare lashes are the more voluminous alternative to singles. Some brands even use the terms interchangeably, since they’re so similar. Like singles, individual flares also consist of just a few lashes tied together to a small base. The key difference is that they flare out, for a more voluminous look.
Who Are Individual Flare Lashes For?
Flare lashes are great for anyone who wants more control over the shape of their lashes and doesn’t mind putting in a little more effort. They come in a wide range of sizes, so it’s possible to use them both for natural and dramatic styles.
They can also be a great option if you only want to amp up a specific section in your lash line. For example, they look fantastic when concentrated on the outer half of the lash line, for a cat-eye style look. You can also use them on top of strip lashes for a more dramatic style.
Finally, stage performers often apply them along the lower lash line for a doll-eye look.
How to Apply Individual Flare Lashes
Applying flare lashes is very similar to applying singles, but it’s not as arduous as using singles. It’s all about dipping each individual cluster in glue, and placing it exactly where you want it. This video is a great example of one style you can create!
Best Individual Flare Lashes
- Best Budget Flare Lashes: Ardell Knotted Double-Up Individuals
- Best Natural Flare Lashes: House of Lashes® Le Petit Single
- Best Multi-Size Flare Lashes: M.A.C. 30 ARTISTE LASH
5. Magnetic False Lashes
Magnetic eyelashes are a newer innovation. They are sold as strip lashes or cluster lashes, with tiny magnets attached to their base. Instead of adhering to the lash line with glue, they adhere with magnets! It’s a cool gimmick, but it’s not perfect.
Old-school magnetic lashes came in sets of 4 and were nearly impossible to apply. More recently, most magnetic lashes come with a magnetized eyeliner, for a simpler process.
Who Are Magnetic False Lashes For?
If you’re allergic to most lash glue ingredients or you want something that’ll be very easy to remove, magnetic lashes are a great choice. They come off in seconds, without any pulling on the lashes. The drawback to their ease of removal is that they can slip off more easily than other types of false lashes.
They’re also nice if you struggle with lash glue because they’re so easy to apply. However, they can be difficult to wear. The main issue is that the magnets are heavy. They weigh the eyelids down, which can be uncomfortable.
How to Apply Magnetic False Lashes
To use the old-school lashes, you sandwich your natural lashes between two lash strips. The magnets on the strips adhere to each other through the natural lashes to stay put. It’s a finicky, difficult process, so no surprise that they’ve fallen out of favor.
More recently, brands started releasing magnetic eyeliners. First, you apply the magnetic eyeliner as you would a liquid. Then, the single magnetic strip simply adheres to the eyeliner! It’s an easy process, and you can see it in action here.Best Magnetic False Lashes
- Best Accent Magnetic Lashes: Eylure ProMagnetic Accent
- Best Subtle Magnetic Lashes: MoxyLash Classy
- Best Cat Eye Magnetic Lashes: Glamnetic Lucky
6. Eyelash Extensions
Whether eyelash extensions count as false eyelashes is entirely debatable. What’s clear is that they’re the most long-lasting option of the bunch, since they can only be done professionally. Unlike the other types of fake lashes, which you only wear for an evening, extensions last for 4-6 weeks.
Who Are Eyelash Extensions For?
Eyelash extensions are great for anyone who wants long-lasting dramatic lashes and doesn’t mind spending money on them. Because they’re done by a professional, they’re convenient if you have dexterity issues and cannot apply your own lashes.
On the other hand, if you like to change your style often, they might be too great of a commitment.
How to Get Eyelash Extensions
To get eyelash extensions, you’ll have to visit a salon. The service can be quite expensive, between $200-$500 depending on material and style. The cost makes sense, though: eyelash technicians are professionals who create complex, custom looks.
The process is similar to applying individual single lashes at home. However, the glue itself is much stronger and more long-lasting, and there’s room for side effects. You need to know you’re in safe, capable hands when getting eyelash extensions done.
Lashes as You Wish
Now that you know about all of the different types of false lashes, you can start experimenting! Will you choose dramatic strip lashes for one night only, subtle flares, long-term extensions, or the best of all worlds with DIY lash extensions?