How to Apply Fake Eyelashes Like a Pro

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Putting on fake eyelashes can instantly elevate your makeup look, but most people cringe at the thought of applying them. Though you may not be wearing falsies every day (though you totally can if that's your style), it's still helpful to know how to put them on if the occasion arises. From big moments like weddings and proms to Halloween makeup and even just a really fancy date night, there are a handful of instances that may call for a strip of eyelashes, and it's good to be prepared. Aside from a super-flattering lipstick shade, fake lashes are the one product that has the power to truly transform your entire look.

If you're wondering how to put on fake eyelashes, you're not alone. For many people, even the thought of attempting the task is too intimidating to consider. Luckily, you don't have to be a professional makeup artist to master it. There are also new products on the market designed to make the task even easier. Depending on your preference, you can try lash strips, individual lashes, and half strips of lashes.

With expert tips from Romero Jennings, a global makeup artist with MAC Cosmetics, you'll find it's actually simple to master. Dig up your lash glue, grab a mirror, and get ready to master how to apply fake lashes once and for all.

Additional reporting by Jessica Harrington

Step 1: Find Your Perfect Lash
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Step 1: Find Your Perfect Lash

The first step is to find your perfect lash. You can find a variety of styles that go from demure and natural to full-on drama. "The MAC 33 Lash ($15) sort of spreads out into a V, and most importantly it's longer in the center," Jennings says. "It's a great date night lash because it looks cute and more approachable."

Step 2: Curl Lashes
Caroline Voagen Nelson

Step 2: Curl Lashes

"An important tip is you have to do a lash curler before you apply your lashes," Jennings says. "Get as close to the root of the lashes as possible." He recommends curling it twice in the same place for the maximum result.

Step 3: Apply Mascara
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Step 3: Apply Mascara

The next step is to apply mascara before you apply the false lashes. "If you have superlong lashes, you can do mascara after the fake lashes," Jennings says, "But I prefer to do it right after curling the lashes, so this way it holds the curl in place."

Jennings prefers MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara ($27). "I love it because it really coats the lashes all the way around like a tube, and if you keep applying the mascara, you can get an amazing look."

Jennings recommends to keep looking down while the mascara is drying so you don't dot your lids with mascara. But in case the inevitable mascara smudge gets around your eye, he likes to use a dab of eye cream on a cotton swab (make sure to remove the excess) to clean up any smudges.

Step 4: Trim Your Fake Eyelashes
Caroline Voagen Nelson

Step 4: Trim Your Fake Eyelashes

Before you glue the lashes, it's important to get an idea of placement by doing a test on your lids. Once you know where you want to place the lash, trim any edges to make the false lashes fit the base of the eyelid.

Step 4: Apply the Glue
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Step 4: Apply the Glue

Next up is applying the glue to your lashes. Jennings likes to apply more glue on the outer corners of the lashes, working inward toward the center. "The key to doing lashes is giving yourself drying time for the glue," Jennings says. "You want the glue to get a little sticky before applying it to your own eye. Drying time should be about a minute to a minute-and-a-half for it to get tacky."

Step 5: Place the Lashes Using Tweezers
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Step 5: Place the Lashes Using Tweezers

"Tweezers will help to really place the lash properly," Jennings says. "You get more precision with the tweezers as opposed to your fingers." Once you've placed the lashes, you can adjust them quickly while the glue is still a little tacky.

If you're nervous about using your sharp tweezers near your eye, we recommend using the KISS Mistake Proof Applicator ($6), which is designed for applying fake lashes.

Step 6: Touch Up Eyelash Glue With a Brush
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Step 6: Touch Up Eyelash Glue With a Brush

"For peace of mind, you can go back with an eyeliner brush if you feel that you've missed some spots," Jennings says. "You can just dot a few pieces of glue just for reinforcement. So if you see any gaps, you can absolutely fill and adhere the lash."

In case you're worried about stiffening your brush, just wipe off the excess glue and the rest will come off with soap and warm water.

Step 7: Brush Through With a Clean Brow Wand
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Step 7: Brush Through With a Clean Brow Wand

If you feel any tightness or feel like you have glue in places it shouldn't be, go back with a dry brow wand and just separate anything that might be stuck, so your eyes feel comfortable (and not watery).

Step 8: Apply More Mascara
Caroline Voagen Nelson

Step 8: Apply More Mascara

"Once the lashes are in place, apply mascara just at the root to fuse the false lashes with your real lashes so there is no space," Jennings says. He does not like to apply mascara to the tips of the false lashes, though, since that can negate the feathery feeling of the lashes.

Caroline Voagen Nelson

Now your lashes are in place and you're ready to add some makeup to your naturally enhanced look.