Strip lashes, individual lashes, lower lashes, half lashes, semi-permanent lashes – there seems to be so many different types of false lashes on the market that it can start to become a little confusing for those that are new to make-up or wearing false eyelashes. Most of the looks that I do will include some sort of false lash whether they are small and natural individual lashes for brides and special occasions, or the more dramatic and creative strip lashes for stronger bridal looks and photoshoots, the right type of lashes will open up the eyes and enhance their shape and generally compliment rather than dominate the whole make-up. But if you get it wrong you can end up doing the opposite as lashes that are too thick and big for the size and shape of the eyes can give you a top heavy droopy look which can pull the eyes down making them smaller and sleepy in appearance. The best false lashes should not be the first thing that you see when you look at someone, lashes should look thick and full but blend into the make-up without looking too obvious that what you are wearing are false.
False lashes are better applied after you have finished your make-up so they stay clean otherwise eyeshadows can drop and sit on top of the lashes which will not give the make-up a nice clean finish. Apply your mascara before putting on the false lashes, there’s no need to apply mascara after but you can if you want to. Here is a breakdown of the different types of false lashes:
Strip lashes are the ones that most people have heard of and are the most common ones that you will find in the shops. They range vastly in style from very natural looking lashes which have very small fine hairs to much thicker fuller lashes. Strip lashes also come in various colours and are also the creative lashes you can find with diamonds and feathers etc. attached. They are the more uncomfortable type of lash as they are stuck to the skin of the eyelid so you can feel them, usually this feeling will disappear after a few minutes as you get used to wearing them. As they come in a large range of styles they are good for those looking for a more dramatic look, creative and fashion looks and those that want to dramatically change their eye shape as these lashes hold their shape better compared to the individuals lashes that follow the shape of your natural lashes.
Start by measuring the size of the strip lash against the size of your eye (where your eyeliner would be but follow the start and finish of your natural eyelashes), if they are too big then cut the ends till they fit the size of your eye, I usually cut the outer edge rather than the inner edge . Apply a temporary glue such as Duo lash glue along the band, wait a few seconds for it to become a little tacky and then place as close to the root of your lashes as you can so the lashes are stuck to the eyelid. If your natural eyelashes are straight then use an eyelashes curler before applying the strip lashes so that they curl upwards blending into the false lash more. If you want a very dramatic look and your false lashes are not too thick then you can apply another set of false lashes on top of the first to build up the thickness.
Half strip lashes
These are half strip lashes that are applied to the outer half of the eyes for those looking for a more natural look, you can also cut your full strip lashes to make your own half lashes. The ones pictured above are more creative in style but you can also get them in the normal natural styles too. Apply them in the same way as strip lashes to the outer half of your eyes.
Lower strip lashes
These lashes are for the lashes under the eyes, they are strip lashes and are applied in the same way as the top lashes but are stuck to the skin underneath the lower eyelashes, so the natural lashes are going to sit on top of these whereas the upper lashes are underneath the false lash. Bottom lashes are typically seen in 60’s style make-up along with thick strip lashes on top too.
To remove all of the different types of strip lashes pull from one corner and move across towards the opposite corner and lashes will easily come off.
Individual lashes (also called inserts) are small clusters of hair that have a natural curl and come in various sizes – mini, short, medium and long. These lashes allow you to be more creative with the design of the false lashes depending on the look that you or your client are going for. You can build up the sizes so they gradually get longer towards the ends by starting with the shorter lashes on the inner lash line then building up to the medium and/or longer sizes. These lashes can also be applied in double layers to build up the thickness if needed. Alternatively for a more natural look you can apply a few clusters to the outer half only. The size you use depends on the size of your natural lashes and how natural or dramatic you want the finish look to be.
Individual lashes are applied differently to the strip lashes as the small flairs are dipped in glue and then applied on top of the eyelashes near the root but not touching the skin, this makes these lashes much more comfortable to wear as you can’t feel them because they are not touching the eyelid. Either use a temporary glue such as Duo or you can use a longer lasting glue if you would like them to stay on for approximately a week. If you are using a stronger glue then its best to apply to clean lashes with no make-up on or get them professionally applied at the salon.
These are the lashes that I used the most when doing bridal and special occasion make-up as I find that people like the comfort of not feeling that you are wearing false lashes, they are also more versatile so I can adjust them to suit the clients lashes or needs. They are also longer lasting and a bit more water resistant than the strip lashes as they are sitting on the eyelashes which are dry meaning that the lashes grip a bit better, strip lashes are stuck on the skin of the eyelid so there is more chance of water getting in between causing them to start lifting a little at the inner corners. I feel individual lashes are that little bit more water-proof and longer lasting for brides and those that are worried about lashes coming off.
Single lashes are exactly that – just single hairs similar to individual lashes except you are applying each hair one by one rather than small clusters. They are applied in the same way as individuals and are available in different colours and lengths.
Removing the individual and single lashes depends on what glue you have used, if you used the temporary glue then just rub off all of your eye make-up and the lashes will loosen up and come away. Although it’s the same glue as the strip lashes don’t pull the lashes off like you would with the strips, because the individuals are stuck on your eyelashes you don’t want to risk pulling off your natural lashes or hurting your eyes, so loosen them first by rubbing with your eye make-up remover or facial wipe. If you have used the stronger glue then either let them fall off naturally or use the remover for that particular glue, you can also go back to the salon where you had them applied and have them professionally removed.
Permanent and semi-permanent lashes
Permanent or semi-permanent lashes are a salon based treatment where each of your own eyelashes are isolated and bonded with a single false hair, each lash is bonded one by one so the treatment takes approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours. They are also called permanent lashes as they can sometimes stay stuck to the natural eyelash for the full life cycle of the hair falling off with the natural lash as it would naturally be shed. I see these more as semi-permanent rather than permanent as many tend to loosen over time through being touched by washing and cleaning the eyes, sleeping, wearing make-up etc. The lashes come in various lengths and thickness and even in colours that you can mix in the with darker hairs for a subtle hint of colour which can work to enhance different eye colours. The glue used is strong enough to keep the hairs attached for quite a few weeks but you need to be careful when wearing make-up and washing your face etc. as the less gently you are with the lashes the more they will start to loosen and therefore the quicker they will fall off. They require maintenance so if you want to keep the lashes on you will need to go back for infills every two weeks as a few of the lashes will start to naturally fall off. These are good for brides that want their lashes to last throughout the honeymoon or if you are going on holiday and don’t want to apply mascara especially if you are swimming. You will need to have them professionally removed or you can let them fall off naturally but they will start to look a bit patchy. The main disadvantage to these lashes is that you can’t add lashes where there are natural gaps in your lash line as they are applied on top of what you already have giving you more length and thickness but not more lashes.
If you are not having your lashes applied professionally then it may take a bit of practice as they can be a bit fiddly in the beginning, strip lashes might be easier to start with as it’s just one piece that you are applying rather than lots of little ones like the individuals. Individual lashes can also be more fiddly if your natural lashes have a natural curl or are not growing in a straight line as they don’t sit straight on these type of lashes so the application becomes a bit trickier. Practice with different angles with either your mirror or the angle of your head and eyes when putting lashes on yourself as I find looking down into a mirror with my eyes open stretches the lid allowing me to see at the same time as applying, so if you are having trouble it might be the angle of your eyes or mirror when applying the lashes rather than your technique.