Brighten Your Holiday Look with Fake Lashes
D-I-Y: Steps 1 & 2
1. Curl natural lashes and apply all eye makeup but mascara. Hold scissors at an angle to trim fakes one by one to desired length before applying.
2. Squeeze a bit of glue onto a piece of the lashes' plastic packaging. Use tweezers to gently pick up a cluster; dip the base into the glue. Wait 20 seconds for glue to get tacky before applying.
D-I-Y: Steps 3 & 4
3. Place the cluster near the outer corner of one eye, between lashes and hold the base against skin. Repeat with another cluster, working your way inward. Do the same thing on the other eye. Four clusters per eye is plenty.
4. Let lashes set for about 30 seconds before touching them; most glues will dry clear. Brush on mascara.
If You Want a Subtle Effect
Wear short lashes, which you can buy or customize by trimming a standard pair, or opt for a small cluster (three hairs) and apply it only to the outside corner or center of the eye. "Human hair looks the most natural," says N.Y.C. makeup artist Genevieve Herr, who likes ones by Ardell and has put lashes on Liv Tyler and Kate Winslet.
If You Want a Bit of Drama
Try a medium-length strip made of synthetic material. "It will keep its shape and last longer," says makeup pro Kristofer Buckle.
If You Want To Go All Out
Reserve mink, fox-fur, colorful and rhinestone-sprinkled versions for a wild night out, says L.A. makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle, who has applied fakes on Hilary Duff. "Don't wear these to work."
The Lowdown on Lash Extensions
What They Are Individual lashes (most are synthetic, some are real) are applied by certified professionals at salons and spas. Brands to look for include Shu Uemura, Novalash and Xtreme Lashes.
How Much They Cost These are an investment: $250 to $500, depending on where you go.
How They're Applied A technician chooses the most flattering length for your eyes and bonds 60 to 80 lashed to your own lashes (not eyelids) using medical-grade glue.
How Long They Last A month with proper maintenance: Remove eye makeup gently with a cotton swab, don't rub your eyes, and don't sleep on your face.
How They Come Off Natural lashes shed after 90 days, so extensions fall out when real lashes do. If you want to remove them, "don't pull them out yourself," says N.Y.C. ophthalmologist Alfred Kulik. "Go to a professional."
Q: I've never bought fake eyelashes before. Which brand is best?
A: Drugstore aisles and department store counters are filled with high-quality fake lashes, and many cosmetics companies are adding lashes to their collections. But makeup artists tend to keep one brand in their kits: Ardell. Makeup artist Genevieve Herr loves the knot-free, human-hair ones because they look most seamless and natural. Ardell also makes synthetic lashes, which are ideal for more adventurous looks: "They can be in wild colors or styles because they aren't limited by length, shade or texture," says Kristofer Buckle. Ardell offers short, medium and long lengths to suit every level of drama; and at under $5 a pair (including rhinestone versions), they fit all budget levels too.
At left: Ardell Knot Free Duralash Naturals in Flare Medium Black, $4; drugstore.com.
Try these star beauty looks for your next holiday party.