Faux lashes, originally reserved for the baddest chicks on the red carpet and runway, have evolved into a beauty staple as common as concealer. Follow these lash tips from Rubia Brooks, a licensed esthetician for Benefit’s Brow Bar, to lash out longer, with or without the stalker-azzi.

The Prep

Start with clean lashes and eyelids. If your eyelids tend to get oily, prep your lids with a silicone-packed primer after you wash your face. Otherwise, “lashes will not stick to the adhesive as well,” advises Brooks. “Mascara on your natural lashes can prevent proper blending with faux lashes.”

If it’s your first time lashing out, Brooks recommends using strip lashes before spending the money on individuals. “If they want to switch it up next time, they’ll be more comfortable in learning how to take care of them.”

Are you getting your lashes done in a salon? Cool, just check their credentials. “Often times, salon owners will just have one certificate displayed, but not everyone there will be certified,” cautions Brooks. If the name of the person performing your lash service doesn’t match the name on the state board certificate, thank them for their time and get out of there. (Like Drake said, “Like a sprained ankle, boy, [that] ain’t nothin’ to play with.”)

The Application

When Brooks applies individual lashes on her clients, she swears by surgical-grade lash glues “since they have a watery texture that makes them easier to apply.” These are pricey glues, costing between $100-$150 dollars and only designed for use on individual lashes. For clusters and strips, store-bought lash glues are fine. Brooks recommends using latex-free, colorless lash glue “in case of allergies and to avoid the dotted-line effect.” If you are applying strips at home, try cutting each strip in half for a more controlled and even application.

The Maintenance

When I first tried faux lashes, I had a friend ask me, “You know you’re supposed to wear goggles when you wash your face, right?” Eh, not quite, mamas. However, Brooks does recommend that you protect your lashes in other ways like “when washing your face, splash your eyes clean and pat dry, instead of rubbing.” Also, avoid mascara, if you can, since it can shorten your lash longevity. However, “heated eye curlers are a great alternative to mascara for individual lashes, but using it on clusters can pull them out.”

When applying eye shadow, Brooks advises using a cotton pad to shield your lashes “so the dust particles won’t settle and build-up in your lash line…with proper care, [lashes can last] one and half weeks, but don’t keep them in longer than two weeks.”
The Removal

What is Brooks’ favorite lash glue remover? Baby oil, since “it will not irritate the skin.”(Is there anything baby oil can’t do?) To use, soak a cotton ball in baby oil and apply it to your lashes. Wait 5-10 minutes and then gently run the cotton ball over your lashes to soften the adhesive.

She also recommends taking a 1-2 week rest period between lash services. “Everything in our skin needs to breathe…we need a break from acrylic nails… all of these have chemicals and are not meant to stay on the skin for long periods of time.”

As popular as they are, some women may still be intimidated to try glue-on lashes, but lashes can transform your face. Brooks agrees: “Lashes completely change the way you look…brings more attention to your face…it’s an easy way of getting ready in the morning…try something new, there’s no woman who doesn’t like to have long lashes.” Word.

-Christina Mason

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