If you’ve been thinking about giving a set of false lashes a go, this is where to start.

By Wesley Shaw
Updated September 11, 2020
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Fake lashes can be a bit intimidating. The worst beauty faux pas, as far as most Southern women are concerned, is looking like you’re trying too hard. Lashes can quickly fall into that category. As with so many things, the trick for how to apply fake eyelashes with the best results is keeping the mantra “moderation is key” in mind. We’ve outlined a few key tips that will have you living the lash life to its fullest potential—without looking like your lids are gearing up to fly South for the winter. Learn how to apply false eyelashes the right way with a little help from these tried-and-true tips.

WATCH: This is When You Should Toss Your Eyelash Curler

Select the right lash.

When selecting your false eyelashes, this is one area where we recommend splurging a bit. (Not to worry—this affordable lash glue, on the other hand, will do the trick.) The first thing you need to keep in mind is that different eye shapes require their own set of rules. Skin tone, facial feature prominence, and hair color can all affect which lash variety works best. Makeup gurus at Sephora will give you a free consultation—so take advantage of it. They’ll be able to help you find the perfect pair of lashes to match your features and lifestyle.

Adjust the lash width to your eye.

Not all eyes are created the same, and we'll be darned if we let you think false lashes are made on a one-size-fits-all spectrum. You must adjust your falsies to match the width of your own lash line. A simple way to do this is to hold up the lashes to your eye, pinch the overhanging amount, and clip away the excess with a small beauty utensil such as cuticle clippers.

Pro tip: If you're feeling overwhelmed by thick lashes fanning from inner to outer corner, snip those babies in half and only apply to the outer corner of your eyes for just a hint of drama.

Apply eyeliner before and after.

For the most precise line to blend your false lashes into your lash line, we recommend liquid eyeliner in the darkest shade you can find. Although liquid liners can be a bit tricky and require a steady hand, practice makes perfect to master a truly covetable cat eye. Line your eyes before applying your falsies, and then be sure to go back and touch up over them for a seamless blend of color.

Avoid making a mess.

Speaking of tricky liquid eyeliner, the best way to avoid making a mess out of your work of art is to use tweezers (very carefully) to place your falsies on your eyelids. The thought of smudging the perfect cat eye at the fault of our own fingertips makes us cringe.

Pro tip: Wait a few seconds after applying glue to your lashes for them to become tacky, then apply to forgo a sticky, sliding mess.