You've heard whispers that your favorite strip of falsies can be reused again, which poses the obvious question—how many times is too many, and is it safe to do so? In short, yes, but the reapplication method depends on how well you clean and care for them. Although makeup artist Allan Avendaño doesn't reuse lashes on his clients, which include Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen, he certainly knows a thing or two about tending to a set you want to keep around for a while, so we just had to ask him for his tips on keeping your strip pristine. "Regular lashes can last at least 4 or 5 times if taken care of, whereas mink can last even longer—pretty much until they're just unusable," he says. First things first, you'll need to remove them properly. Whether you're working with individuals or a full strip, Avendaño advises using your fingers instead of tweezers, which can run the risk of damaging the lashes (as well as possibly yanking out your own. "If it's a strip, pull off from the outer corners toward the inner corners," he says. "When working with individuals, do not run your fingers together to get them off. It will completely destroy the lash and you won't get it to lay the same."
Next comes the glue removal process. Often times, you can easily peel the glue from the lashes once they're off your eyes, but if it doesn't seem to budge, remember that patience is everything. It's better to work slowly, bit by bit, to remove the glue with either your fingers or tweezers than risk bending the band out of shape. For individuals in particular, Avendaño advises holding the hairs between your fingers, and carefully twisting the end to get the glue off the flare. Finally, you'll need to clean any mascara residue off of the lengths. "Take a tissue and lay the lashes on it, then use Q-Tips dipped in makeup remover to gently swipe off the mascara while holding the lash against the tissue," he says. "Repeat until all the makeup has come off, dry with tissues, and store them in their container in a cool place." We can't stress the "cool place" aspect enough— Avendaño confessed that on one occasion, he accidentally left a few boxes in his car on a hot day, only to come back to sets warped from the heat.