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What you need to know before you try false lashes

  • As the trend gains popularity, Lounge finds out what’s causing the craze behind false lashes
  • Celebrity hair and make-up artist, Daniel Bauer guides us on which lashes suit what kind of eyes

Know the difference between dramatic lashes and everyday lashes.
Know the difference between dramatic lashes and everyday lashes. (Photo: Daniel Bauer Academy)

For Mumbai-based marketing professional and restauranter Vandana Pujary, the thought of trying out false lashes always seemed like a tempting quick route to add instant glam to her naturally big eyes. Her birthday gave her the perfect opportunity to give them a try and Pujary couldn’t have been happier. “I loved it. (The shape I picked) gave so much volume to my lashes and I didn’t need to do anything other than apply some mascara, no curling too. I even contemplated getting lash extensions, which last longer, but stopped myself, thinking this would just be a start to a whole set of other treatments," says Pujary, for whom lash extensions promised to be a time-saver.

A strip of glam

If you have ever been trapped in a loop of watching beauty tutorials on Instagram, it’s difficult to miss the lure of applying strip lashes that somehow pull together even the wildest eye make-up looks. Regardless of your eye shape, the many styles and sizes that have been on offer in the international market present solutions to open up both small eyes and hooded eyes. Such is the craze for lashes that you will find several videos dedicated to finding the right lash glues too.

Despite our love for eye make-up (India is one of the biggest markets for kohl pencils in the world), lashes had been restricted to fashion shoots and weddings—for a long period, we only had access to dramatic lashes. The story, however, is different today.

From street cosmetic vendors who peddle copies of internet beauty brands like Kylie Cosmetics on Mumbai’s Linking Road to high-end beauty aisles, everyone is selling lashes. The newest entrant in the market is online beauty portal, which has added 10 different styles of reusable false lashes to its own brand of cosmetics. And the range offers both ends of the spectrum—everyday as well as intense lashes for high-glam looks.

“The global false eyelashes market size is expected to reach $1.6 billion (around 11,400 crore) by 2025," according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., registering a 5.4% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is expected to remain one of the lucrative markets through 2025, exhibiting the highest CAGR of 6.6% from 2019-25. "Growing awareness of evolving beauty trends and availability of new and more effective products in countries like India, China, South Korea and the Philippines will drive the regional false eyelashes market," says Reena Chhabra, CEO, Nykaa Brands.

The company, which had been selling lashes by other brands—dramatic lashes are best-sellers—was tempted to enter the field after consumer insights indicated lashes were being adopted for everyday looks if they were easy to use. Some were opting for cosmetic lash extensions at salons too.

In January, actor Jacqueline Fernandez dabbled in the business by collaborating with Huda Beauty (the brand, by Iraqi-American beauty influencer Huda Kattan, incidentally started by selling lashes) to launch a lash style named after her. But since luxury lashes can only be used five-six times, people don’t always want to splurge on them. So Nykaa chose to launch an affordable line, which includes glue, to encourage first-time users.

Make-up artist Daniel Bauer
Make-up artist Daniel Bauer (Daniel Bauer academy)

Do it right

When it comes to falsies, celebrity hair and make-up artist Daniel Bauer prefers applying individual lashes in the right spots to give a natural, custom-eye look rather than go in for strip lashes—he believes extremely long false lashes can make your make-up look dated. The best way to use strip lashes is to first cut them to the desired length, but amateurs may not know this, so your eyes could end up looking smaller instead. “Almost all of my clients opt for single lashes as they give you a more believable look, but not everyone can apply them on their own. Fuller, plumper lash strips, if done right, can give an immediate glamorous vibe to your overall look, be it a day or an evening look," says Bauer.

The artist, who works with actors like Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone, says that before picking a style, you should always ask why you need false lashes. Then, apply a few individual lashes on one eye and give yourself a few hours to check if your eyes are sensitive to the glue. “When choosing strip lashes, there are two key things to look out for—are the lashes attached to a clear strip or a black strip? Black strips have a better hold and are more suited for heavy eyelids or monolids. For small and big eyes, I would recommend going for clear strips as they are more delicate, but will give you that volume without an OTT (over the top) look some lashes sadly have," says Bauer. Those with hooded eyes should take special care in picking a style, or just opt for individual lashes in the corner.

If you have the money, Bauer recommends you don’t reuse lashes—it will help avoid eye infections.

A coat of mascara can help cover the strip and add extra drama, but remember to curl your lashes before applying mascara or they could snap in half and even pull your real lashes. While lash strips applied with glue (which needs to be used sparingly) can stay put for 12 hours, semi-permanent lashes applied by a professional can last up to two months.

Start by curling your natural lashes. Next, bend the strip gently so that it conforms to your eye shape better. Use a tweezer to place the lash in the middle and then work on the corners, this will offer you a better grip. Always wait for a few seconds for the glue to get a bit gummy for a better grip. “After completing, conceal the glue with a thin liner along the upper waterline, this will make the eyelashes look more natural and hide the glue bits. To take them off, gently rub down with your finger, or you can also use lukewarm water as most glues are water-based. Try not to pull them out, as you might be pulling out a real lash too," advises Bauer.

Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based fashion and lifestyle journalist.

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