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How to Apply Individual Lashes Yourself, aka DIY Lash Extensions

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Long, lush eyelashes can be achieved in a number of ways—a great mascara, a professional lash lift, or the best false lashes. Eyelash extensions are also increasingly popular thanks to their long-lasting look, but they can be costly and tough to get done professionally. One option people are turning to instead? Individual false eyelashes, which give the appearance of lash extensions but can be done from the comfort of your own vanity.

“Unlike strip lashes, which can appear a bit more stiff, bulky, and bold, individual lashes look more natural,” explains lash technician Rochelle-R. E. Magno. Although individuals take “a bit more patience,” than regular faux lashes, Magno says “those who have experience with false lashes will find ease in application versus those who are beginners.” Plus, they “allow you to somewhat customize your look on the spot, unlike a strip falsie.”

In other words: At-home lash extensions are tricky to master, but worth the effort. Thinking of trying out the trend yourself? Continue reading below to learn everything there is to know about DIY eyelash extensions, including a step-by-step how-to courtesy of Magno.

About the Expert:

Rochelle-R. E. Magno is a lash technician, a VaultBeauty member, and owner of The Lash Gallery in New York and New Jersey.

DIY Lash Extensions vs. Professional:

Applying individual lashes yourself can yield some stunning results, but they take some time, energy, and patience to perfect. Still, some benefits of DIY-ing include that you’re “able to apply at home—or anywhere—at your convenience without having to look for a stylist,” says Magno.

They’re generally affordable and easy to find too: “Individuals can be found in most pharmacies, beauty stores, or general merchandise retailers,” the lash expert adds. One brand beauty lovers are gravitating towards are LASHIFY LASHES. LASHIFY is a pioneer in the at-home DIY lash extension system, and everything is fully customizable to your liking. They’re high quality and the brand provides in-depth education on everything you’ll need to know for perfect application.

Depending on the location, a full set of professional lash extensions can cost upwards of $300. Researching lash techs can take time too, from looking up reviews to comparing before-and-after photos on social media. “You want to consider their level of experience,” says Magno. Then, she notes, “Once you find the right professional, will they have availability at the time you need?”

However, there’s one major benefit of professional lash extensions: If they’re done right, they’re far more durable. “Falsies are usually worn for daily wear and not made to stay on for long duration, unlike professional lash extensions which are kept on your natural lashes until they fall off naturally or are removed by a professional,” explains Magno. Plus, they can outlast more conditions like weather and swimming pools (good intel if you’re heading on vacation).

How to DIY Lash Extensions:

Ready to attempt the look on your own? Read on for the tutorial with Magno’s expert advice on lash application.

Tools You’ll Need:

Steps to Achieving the Look:

1. Sanitize.

“Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your face to lower the risk of infections,” says Magno. Ditto any tools you’re using, such as your tweezers.

2. Check the instructions.

Specific steps can vary brand to brand. “It’s always best to follow their instructions to properly apply and use,” notes Magno.

3. Strategize placement.

“Map out where you’d like to place the falsies,” advises Magno. “Depending on the look you’re going for, your falsies can be applied below your lash line or above your lash line,” she explains. Also, keep in mind that individual lashes come in different lengths, so place the lashes in a way that enhances the eye shape (i.e., longer lashes in the center and shorter lashes in the corners).

4. Prep the eyelash adhesive.

Pick up the lash with your applicator, and apply a thin layer of glue (we like BEAUTYGARDE Eyelash Glue For False Lashes) to the end, either with a cotton swab or by putting a small droplet on a clean surface and dipping the base into it. “Make sure you do not over-dip, as it may cause a thicker glue buildup which will take longer to dry and may be more obvious to see when placing the falsie,” advises Magno. Then, “wait 10-15 seconds or until glue becomes tacky, then fan the lashes to increase the drying process.”

5. Apply the first lashes.

Being deliberate in your placement, “Begin by looking in the mirror, and carefully place your first lash at the center of your eyelids, touching your lash line with your eye slightly opened, so you can see the upper lash line. Once you’ve placed the first falsie, take your tweezer and brush your natural lashes towards each other to help blend them together,” says Magno. Follow with the center lashes on the other eye, so you have both “anchor” lashes placed.

6. Add more lashes.

Continue adding lashes in the inner and outer corners of the lash line until you achieve your desired look. If you make a mistake along the way (which you almost definitely will, especially if it’s your first time), you can use makeup remover or lash remover to remove the lash and any residual glue.

7. The finishing touches.

Once the glue dries—which takes a good 10-15 minutes, don’t rush it!—you’re ready for eye makeup. To help blend and secure placement, you can use a tweezer, your fingers, or an eyelash curler to gently squeeze the false and natural lashes together,” says Magno. “Then apply mascara to your new lashes, and use black eyeliner to hide excess glue, if any.”

How to Remove DIY Lash Extensions:

Your new long lashes can last up to a few days with basic upkeep (keep your hands off, be gentle while cleansing, etc.). They will most likely begin to fall off naturally, but when you’re ready to take them all off, it’s important to do so properly. Two words: Don’t. Pull! You can rip your own lashes right out with them—eek. “If you plan to reuse the lashes, then oil-free makeup remover is best to use,” says Magno. (However, if you do not intend to reuse them, an oil-based makeup remover is more effective, the lash expert says.) Simply saturate a cotton pad with the remover, and gently rub in until all faux lashes are removed. If lash glue residue remains, continue to gently wipe off with makeup remover. To reuse the lashes, clean thoroughly with makeup remover and isopropyl alcohol, and place back in their original packaging.

Interested in learning how to take your DIY beauty methods even further? Well, we have all the tips. Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Lindy Segal
Lindy is a contributor at IPSY, a beauty and lifestyle writer, and Real Housewives aficionado. She was an editor at People and Glamour, and her freelance work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Who What Wear, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated August 7, 2023 12:00 AM