Sunday, 20 January 2013

How To: Wear False Lashes for Day

Wearing false lashes for every day. It's a little bit of a contentious topic. If you say it, people tend to think you're either extremely high-maintenance, or drastically insecure (or possibly both..). And indeed, there is something about the degree of faff required to do it that would put most sane people off. Until you have to, that is...

I will freely admit I'm a bit obsessed with eyelashes. Although they don't seem majorly noticeable, having a bit of a flutter is something that makes me feel more confident and, well, prettier. A nation seems to agree with me, judging from the rocketing sales of false lashes, growth serums, and volumising mascaras. When I was younger, fake lashes were the preserve of make-up artists, whereas today you can wander into any drugstore and be confronted with a dazzling array of fluttering falsies.

Like a lot of girls, I've become a dab hand at applying strip lashes to boost my flutter power on a night out, but until recently, I've never worn them during the day.

However, this all changed after I had individual permanent eyelash extensions applied during the Christmas party season. My best friend, Lady T, continually has them and is always singing their praises, so I assumed I'd love them as well. In fact, the only reason I hadn't gotten them done before was the high initial cost (good extensions are upwards of £70 for a full set, and then £30 every three to four weeks to maintain and infill them). However, I managed to get a deal on Wowcher to have a full set for just £19 at a place near where I work.

I did not get on with them at all. When I first had them done, it was almost as if I had an allergic reaction to the glue, as my eyes were streaming and stinging for a good couple of hours after they were applied, which was weird. And then, although I liked the look of them, I really struggled with the feel. They felt heavy and scratchy, like they were pulling on my real lashes. My eyes were even more puffy than usual, sore and irritated in the mornings. Plus, you have to be so careful with how you remove your makeup and not getting them wet, which is near-impossible in the shower. They also got foundation or some other makeup caked in them which I couldn't remove!

I did intend to keep up the maintenance of them, but being away over the Christmas holidays and then I wasn't able to go either on my first week back at work- before I knew it, lots had shed and they looked patchy and awful. Then I just wanted them off. But even though I had a little tube of removal formula, most of them wouldn't budge. I tried soaking cotton pads in baby oil but it was only half- successful. It took ages for them all to finally shift, and it had ruined my real lashes, which were left short, sparse and patchy. In short, I won't be having extensions again!

Anyhow, the state of my remaining lashes is pitiful. I was so embarrassed, I actually tried wearing strip lashes to work, just to cover up the bald patches in my own lashes.

I thought it would be a major hassle each morning to put on falsies, plus I didn't want my colleagues to notice I was wearing any, either. However, it turned out that with the right tips and tricks, wearing lashes can be just as quick and easy as piling on mascara every day! So I wanted to share the great things I've found that make falsies every day an effortless reality...

1. Choose the right type of lash

Thick, dense or fancy falsies can look amazing on a night out. But during the day, you don't want to look overdone. So choosing the right lashes for the job is the most important part of the process. Lashes with a big, thick band that needs to be disguised with heavy eyeliner are not a good choice. I discovered Eyelure do a range called 'Ultra Naturals', that, you guessed it, are designed to look like your own lashes- only better. Why are they so natural?
  • The strands on them are ultra-fine to blend perfectly with your real lashes.
  • The lashes are a mix of brown and black fibres, to tone with your own
  • The band is very thin and clear- virtually undetectable
This makes them the perfect choice for wearing during the day without announcing to the world that you're faux! They are also reusable, so if you care for them properly you can get a lot of uses from them. They're advertised on the packaging as an 'alternative to mascara'

2. Trim to fit your peepers

It's a really important step, but one a lot of my friends who complain that they find it hard to apply fake lashes never seem to do! Eyes come in all different shapes and sizes, whereas lashes are standard, so before putting any glue anywhere, hold the lashes up to your eye and check the length. If they are too long (and they usually are, even though these Eyelure Ultra Naturals fit me perfectly), trim a little section of the inside edge with nail scissors. Taking off from the inside edge looks far better than trimming off the outer edge, which generally ruins the gradient of the lash. Make sure you match up both lashes!

3. Choose the right glue

I think most people now know that, generally speaking, the little bottle of glue that comes with your lashes, is not great quality and only really good for touch-ups on the go. And if you're going to be wearing falsies on the regular, then you need a good quality, waterproof glue that won't let you down. I've got nothing but praise for the 'quick beauty' brand Girls With Attitude that does false lashes and nails and nail wraps. But more importantly, you're going to need one that comes with an application brush, like their Hypoallergenic Eyelash Glue. Either that, or source a very fine eyeliner brush that you don't mind messing up, because...

3. Apply the glue to your lashline, not to your falsies!

Admittedly, this is not what we're usually told when it comes to applying our lashes, but I have to tell you its the single thing that makes the most difference to getting a good fit and getting them on quickly, and if you're really using your falsies as a mascara alternative, a quick application means they are practical. I can honestly say that, even though its a simple concept, I had never considered using glue on my lashline rather than on the band of the lashes.But I was idly browsing YouTube for false lash application tips (I like to think I'm fairly good at it, but you can always learn new things) and found a video with this tip.And now I've discovered it, I'll never go back to doing it the other way. It's a small change, but its sooo much better because:
  • The lash goes on exactly where you place it, rather than sliding about wet and smearing glue over your lid
  • If you reuse your lashes as I do, there is less of the glue build-up on the lash band over time, which is hard to clean and is usually the main reason I end up throwing a pair away

4. Use an application tool

With the rise in popularity of false lashes recently, more and more tools have started to appear to help us to put them on swiftly and accurately. I've had a couple of different applicators now, but hands down the best I've tried are the Bourjois 2-in-1 Lash Applicators, which they launched alongside their own line of fake lashes. If you find putting on lashes is difficult, this will perhaps be the best investment you could make. You use the shallow fan 'tweezer' end to grip the lashes and position them, and the end that looks like a cuticle pusher to press down the corners and make sure they adhere nice and tightly. Using these babies to apply my lashes literally made it a two second job, meaning you could do it every day with no fuss. These are much better than the other lash applicators I've bought, and well worth the £4.99 price tag if you plan on wearing lashes a lot.

5. Rinse and repeat...

You really need to clean and care for the lashes properly if you expect to get multiple uses out of a pair. At the end of the day, take a cotton pad and soak in some eye make-up remover and a drop of two of Baby Oil (this will gently dissolve any glue left on the lash band). Peel off your lashes carefully, and place them onto half of the pad before folding it over. Leave to soak while you take off your other make-up. Gently press down on the pad to pick up any residue, but don't rub too much or you might end up damaging the lashes. Keep your lashes stored inside a proper travel eyelash container when not in use to keep the shape. Lots of cute travel lash cases are easily available on eBay, like this...
If you take the small amount of time to look after your lashes properly, you'll get many uses from one pair, which means wearing them regularly and during the day needn't cost a fortune!

And voila, the finished, natural daytime look...

So, what do you think? Would you wear falsies during the day? Have you got any top application tips?

Til next time... xxx


Avon Beauty Haul

Just recently, I’ve started to get into Avon cosmetics, and I got my delivery the other day from them so I thought I’d do a quick haul and review post on the items I purchased.

I haven’t used Avon for many a year. When I was very little, I remember loving to play with my mum’s sample box (she had been an Avon lady several years before I born). It had all these miniature bottles of perfume and teeny-tiny sample lipsticks, which I was fascinated with. I used to play beauty counters with it (an interest that clearly hasn’t gone away with age!). Mum still used Avon products and she used to get the odd thing for me, too. I remember loving their ‘Planet Spa’ range as a teenage- which they still do!

After I left home I didn’t know anyone who did Avon, and so I haven’t used anything from them in many a year. Truth be told, I started to think of them as a ‘old’ brand that didn’t have much to offer. But they seem to have had a bit of a revamp and started to creep back into my consciousness, First, they got Reese Witherspoon on board as a ‘face’, and their mascara and lipstick ads were on the TV.

Then, I began hearing really good things about their Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector serum, which made quite a splash in the beauty media. I was quite desperate to try this, so when I found an ‘Avon lady’ at my new workplace, I started placing orders again.

The serum is now one of my absolute faves. At £20 a bottle, its a lot more cost-effective and just as good as the Clinique Laser Focus Repairwear serum I was using, and I think it’s given me better results. It comes in a neat little mirrored vacuum pump applicator that looks good on the dressing table as well, so I’m pretty much a convert.

I didn’t need any more serum this time, but here’s what I purchased and my thoughts:

•    Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro - £9.99

This cream comes in a split pot, with an amber-coloured get to use on lids and browbones, and a lightweight cream to go below the eyes. Both formulas are easily absorbable and don’t leave any oily residue, so you can apply make-up afterwards with no problems, which is good. I’ve been using the cream day and night. Its primary aim is to target and erase lines, but I don’t have any around my eyes (yet), so I’m just using it to try and combat my dark circles and puffy eyes. It seems good at taking down the morning puffiness somewhat. My circles aren’t too bad at the moment and I’m not sure if that’s the effect of the cream or not, as they do vary anyway. Nothing I have tried so far (even creams that specifically promise to tackle dark circles) has really shifted them, but based on a couple of weeks use, this is doing as well as anything!

•    Herve Leger Purse Spray Trio - £9.99 (currently going for £18.99 on Amazon, so looks like I got a good deal!)

This was in the end of year sale, and I couldn’t resist it, although I normally wouldn’t buy perfume without smelling it first. You get a silver metal atomiser (not amazing quality but it’ll do) and three different slim vials of perfume that slot in- the scents are ‘Femme’, ‘Ete’ and ‘Intruigue’. Ete is nice and fresh, Femme is my favourite, and a gentle floral, and Intrigue is more of a spicy, honeyed wooded scent. All are perfectly nice, especially since I mainly bought this for keeping in my desk drawer or handbag and freshening up on the week. I love handy products like these! I think Avon perfumes have improved a lot since smelling my mum’s sample book.

•    Shine Attract Lipstick in ‘Happy Pink P04’ £5.00

I didn’t really need a new lippy, but I was intrigued to try this one. It has a core of colour surrounded by a clear gel, resulting in a sheer semi-gloss wash of colour for the lips. Plus points: the formula is nice and moisturising, the colour I chose is pretty. I also like the packaging with the slim silver tube and clear top- it’s a lot classier than their usual lipstick packaging. However, this is just too sheer for my liking. It would work a lot better if they made the centre a ‘stain’ rather than a lipstick formula. I doubt I would repurchase this, just because I’d barely finished applying all my make-up before it had sunk to an invisible trace! Not a bad formula, but definitely needs more staying power! Good for a ‘natural’ look.

•    MagiX Face Perfector £7.00

I had been quite keen to try this after hearing good buzz, and I’m not disappointed, although I think I might have misunderstood the product. I believed it was a primer- one of the first ‘drugstore’ ones you could get before everyone started bringing them out last year- but I now think it’s actually meant to be more of a ‘Nanoblur’ style product, which delivers an improved, soft-focus skin finish. Or perhaps you can use it for both, I’m not sure? It made my skin extremely matte and smooth, presumably coating it with silicone, so make-up just glided on. I wouldn’t wear it without anything else, but I do think it works very well as a ‘companion’ to your foundation, and it supplies SPF 20, which is an added bonus. I think I will get a lot of mileage out of this product in the summer months when my skin is a lot oilier and foundation doesn’t go on well.

•    Quick Dry Nail Spray £3.00

For me, this product was the absolute star buy of my order, and something I will certainly be repurchasing. I always use a quick dry spray on my nails because I’m chronically impatient at waiting for them to dry and usually end up smudging them. Also, I used to have a very bad habit of painting my nails in bed (I know, I know..) which of course meant I’d usually end up getting polish all over the sheets! I have been using a drying spray from Pretty Perfect that comes in a large aerosol can, but it absolutely stinks (and you can smell it for days afterwards on your hands) and it’s freezing cold, which is less than pleasant in winter. This Avon spray has changed all that. It’s a little pump-action bottle, and the smell is only a faint, innocuous melon smell that fades quickly. It also dried my polish a LOT quicker, and my nails were touch-try in about 5 seconds flat, which impressed me no end. The spray is kind of oily (good for your cuticles?) but sunk in quickly. I’m very impressed with this, it’s my new best friend as a girl who’s impatient but loves nail polish! I don’t think I will be without this now as its so far superior to the spray I had been using. Definitely recommend this product!

So there we go, Avon has recaptured my interest and I’m sure I’ll be looking at more of their products in future. If you don’t know an ‘Avon lady’, you can order online at
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