A couple of weeks ago, I ended up cruising online for natural-looking, fluttery false lashes (which is also how I ended up with my Dolly Wink lashes). Having survived much trial and error over the last year with different styles (hardly any made it onto the blog), I had already concluded that my favourite strip lashes were the graduated and spiky kind. My strip lash foes, on the other hand, were the types which were too uniform and/or too long at the outer ends. They just looked cheap on me.
I ended up buying seven pairs of lashes (see above photo): Ardell Demi Pixies, Babies, Luckies and Fairies; Gypsy Lashes #92 and #94; Andrea Modlash #53 and Duo Eyelash Adhesive in "dark". I ordered from eyebeauty.co.uk where all pairs were between £2.99 and £3.99, and the Duo adhesive was £5.98.
I thought it would be useful to show how each of these lashes look when applied. Sometimes false lashes surprise me and look much better (or worse) on my eyes than in the packaging.
All lash styles were soft and easy to apply and didn't need trimming (saves time). All the Ardell and Andrea lashes state that they are "100% European human hair". I personally don't ask for that as a requirement in false lashes but some people might.
Before I go on, here is how my eyes look with just a single coat of mascara... blah...
Ardell Demi PixiesFrom the Ardell Invisiband natural range
Ardell Demi Pixies look a bit scary in the packaging because they're so "stripy" as well as quite long and curly at the ends. But they are much nicer on, with the gaps not so apparent once on top of natural lashes. Out of all the lashes, these were the ones that made me say "wow" when I looked in the mirror. Although they do have a bit of that spidery "pap shot of Cheryl Cole looking tired/stressed/teary" look about them. I don't know why this style is in Ardell's "natural" range as I would say they're more for full-on glamour than a natural look. Maybe because they're "demi" (3/4 length) and not full length.
Ardell LuckiesFrom the Ardell Invisiband natural range
Ardell Luckies are my favourite for a true natural look. They're much shorter than the others and taper down at the ends, and they're perfectly arranged for a plush, full look. They give me the lashes that I've always dreamed of achieving with mascara but never quite managed. I reckon you could wear these without people knowing they're fake. In fact, they're so easy to wear that I wonder why I bother with mascara at all... I might as well just slap these on every morning (if I wasn't so worried about my eyelashes falling out due to overuse of false ones).
Ardell BabiesFrom the Ardell Invisiband natural range
Ardell Babies are three quarter length strip lashes which are longer at the outer end. They're identical to the Andrea Modlash #53 also in my order. They're so natural-looking, you could almost miss them. This style doesn't excite me much... they're just a bit meek, like false lashes for beginners. I prefer the full and voluminous look of Ardell Luckies on my eyes. Plus I've never really suited that feline extended-outer-corner look.
Ardell FairiesFrom the Ardell Invisiband glamour range
Ardell Fairies are similar to Ardell Luckies but much longer, a tiny bit less densely-packed, and with more variation in length between the short and long strands. The strands are slightly criss-crossed at the base. They achieve long, wispy lashes without being overly-dramatic and I like the way they're shorter at the sides.
Gypsy Lashes #92
Gypsy Lashes style #92 are really pretty lashes. They're full length, longer in the middle and shorter at the ends. They achieve a full look despite not being densely-packed. They have the same lash length as Ardell Fairies but I find them less interesting to look at.
Gypsy Lashes #94
Gyspy Lashes style #94 are different to all the other styles because they're really dark and dense (almost opaque) at the base and not on "invisiband" spines. If there wasn't the random variation in length, these could look really cheap. But instead, they give a striking, fluttery look which would really make the eyes stand out in photos. Like my other favourites from the bunch, these are longer in the middle and shorter at the ends. Andrea Modlash #81 is an identical style which I didn't manage to get hold of this time.
Andrea Modlash #53
Andrea Modlash style #53 are identical to Ardell Babies (further up the page) as far as I can tell!
Duo eyelash adhesive in dark tone
I hesitated before buying this tube of Duo eyelash adhesive because I've never had a problem with those tubes of Eylure glue that come with lash packs. But I now know why it's the best-selling eyelash adhesive brand - you only need the tiniest amount for it to secure lashes onto the eyelid and it's waterproof. Plus the dark tone is great because any visible blobs will much less noticeable. I don't agree with the thirty seconds they advise waiting before placing the lashes though. The glue would be dry in patches by then, risking the lashes peeling off later.
The full ingredients of Duo eyelash adhesive are:
Water, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Rubber Latex, Fragrance (Parfum), Formalin Solution, Ammonium Hydroxide.
Application tips if you're as bad at applying strip lashes as I used to be
I used to be the worst person ever at applying strip lashes but now it takes me just seconds. One thing I've found really helpful is to always use mascara on curled lashes before attempting to position the strip lashes. I used to think I could skip that step of the process, but I realised it's essential because the mascara stiffens and neatens up my real lashes, rather than them being all wispy (frizzy?) and hindering my view of the base of my lashes. It also gives the false lashes more structure to rest on top of so that they're less likely to be droopy or wonky.
When I'm ready to place the lashes, I find it easiest to hold the strip (on both ends) above my eye and behind my real lashes. Then when I think the outer end lines up with the outer corner of my eye, I lower the strip down until the outer end is stuck down in the correct position. I then adjust the rest of the strip by handling the lashes with a finger and thumb until the spine is in place along the whole length (but not fully stuck down). Finally, I use either my ring finger or little finger to press the spine/band down securely from the outer to the inner end.
Some people use tweezers for the adjusting and then the blunt end of the tweezers to press along the spine, but I find I have my control with my fingers.
Don't try to stick the spine on in one go... Start with the outer end first and move inwards.
The glue seems to make a massive difference too. I recommend Duo eyelash adhesive if you've struggled in the past with the standard white, gummy glue that comes in false eyelash packs.
I hope this post has been useful (seriously, I really hope so because it took me flippin' ages to compile). Do you find you stick to certain styles of false lashes too once you've found one you like?
By the way, I don't wear false lashes that often in case you're wondering. Just on the occasional evening out when I can't be bothered to fight with mascara on my stubbornly short and straight lashes. Oh, and when I wrote "natural-looking" in the title, I meant relatively natural-looking... more like... less fake-looking if you know what I mean.