A Primer on Fake Eyelashes

Fake Eyelashes have an impressive ability to transform your face. The Everything Guide to Eyelashes is a week of stories on the Cut about lashes, from all the mascaras we’ve obsessively tested to our personal feelings about why eyelashes matter.

So you want big, fluffy, dramatic lashes? You’re going to need to look past the mascara tube and set your focus on falsies. Fake lashes have it all; they are reusable and highly effective. They are evolving, too: Recent innovations have ushered in creative takes on the traditional fake lash, from magnetic lashes to lightweight hybrids that are similar to, but not quite, extensions. It’s safe to say that the fake-eyelash waters can be confusing and muddy, so the Cut constructed a guide to help you find the fake lashes that are perfect for you.

The Basics

What are fake eyelashes made from?
Lashes are sourced three ways: from synthetic materials, human hair, and animal fur. Most lashes are synthetic and made from a flexible, plastic-like material. Synthetic lashes are more affordable than those made from human hair and animal fur, but they are also the heaviest of the three and look more obviously “fake” because of their extra-shiny finish.

Animal lashes come from brushed fur that’s been harvested from a variety of animals, including minks and horses. On the other hand, human lashes are indeed derived from human hair, and unlike synthetic lashes, both human and animal lashes are ultra-fine, soft, and easy to curl — but they will lose their shape if exposed to water.

Wait, what about silk eyelashes?
Silk eyelashes are not actually silk, but rather a blend of lightweight synthetic materials. Think of them as the middle ground between traditional heavy synthetic lashes and fur lashes, in terms of price and appearance.

How long do they last?
You won’t be able to use synthetic lashes for very long. Even if you clean and store them carefully in between uses, synthetic lashes will begin to degrade after fourteen or fifteen wearings. Human and animal lashes last much longer. With proper care, you can reuse those up to 30 times.

Got it. So how can I keep my lashes in tip-top condition so they last longer?
For starters, take them off every night before you go to bed. The last thing you want is to roll over a perfectly good lash strip and irrevocably alter its shape. You’ll need to clean them, too. After peeling them from your eyelids, take a makeup remover- or micellar water-soaked Q-tip and gently brush it along the lash strip. Once you’re done, store your lashes in a case so they don’t get crushed.

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