Skip To Content

    We Tested Five Kinds Of False Eyelashes And Here’s What Worked Best

    The struggle was very real.

    by ,
    Photos by Lauren Zaser

    We're Alexis and Joanna, two people who are very bad at applying false eyelashes.

    Alexis Nedd / Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Left: Alexis with Tommy Pickles eyelashes. Right: Joanna poking herself in the eye.

    We decided we wanted to conquer false lashes to finally get those cool baby deer eyes. So we forced ourselves to wear false lashes every day for a week, testing a new kind each day.

    The individual lashes seemed the scariest, so we brushed up on the application process with this YouTube tutorial.

    Thoughts before starting:

    Joanna: I have very short eyelashes. I usually just coat them in ungodly amounts of mascara and leave it at that. My high school Spanish teacher once said that some people are just effortlessly glamorous. She then pointed out which students in class had that effortless glamour, and I wasn't one of them. Looking back, that was a pretty weird and messed up thing for a teacher to say, but I'd like to think that false eyelashes might help me exude a kind of effortless glamour.

    I've tried to apply false eyelashes exactly once before in my life and it didn't go well. It looked very bad, and I aborted the look immediately before leaving the house. I'm worried that wearing fake lashes is something I'm just not capable of doing, but by god, I'm going to try.

    Alexis: My eyelashes are very insignificant-looking. I don't wear mascara because I'm too lazy to take it off at the end of the day and would end up sleeping in it, which according to MY high school Spanish teacher is how her friend went blind. So with my no-mascara, teeny-lash baseline, I want to know what it feels like to have my eyelashes serve any aesthetic function on my face at all.

    I can apply false eyelashes to other people because I have experience doing theater makeup, but I never got around to learning how to put them on myself. I tried to do it for last year's office holiday party and have a whole night's worth of humiliating and easily discoverable selfies where my lashes are clearly hovering a quarter inch above my eyelid. Very chic.

    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    1. Ardell Professional Natural Demi Wispies —$3.99

    2. Sephora Collection Luxe False Lash —$17

    3. Sephora Collection Individual False Lashes —$10

    4. e.l.f. Natural Lash Kit —$2

    5. e.l.f. Individual False Lashes —$1

    6. Duo Eyelash Adhesive —$9

    7. Sephora Collection Bulls Eye Lash Applicator —$12

    Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Joanna: The Sephora strip lashes were surprisingly easy to apply, but I wasn't prepared for the "Va-va-va-voom" effect they had on my look. It felt like I had spiders living on my eyes. But they did make me feel glamorous. Even when I was waiting for the train, shoving hash browns into my mouth, I felt truly glamorous.

    I probably didn't need to apply thick liquid eyeliner in addition to these lashes. I was so desperate for eyelash drama that I went overboard, like a college freshman chugging vodka for the first time. I was drunk on a bold eye look and there was no turning back.

    I wondered if people could tell a difference. They could. "Your eyelashes look amazing!" one co-worker said. "They're not...real are they?" They sure aren't!

    Feeling the wind flowing through my eyelashes was a new sensation.

    Alexis Nedd/BuzzFeed
    Alexis Nedd/BuzzFeed

    Alexis: I went the opposite direction of Joanna with these — I wanted to know what they looked like without any eyeliner at all. I didn't realize that this would highlight my horrible Day 1 false lash applying skills. I'm pretty sure I got one eye on right, but the other one (on the right side of the above photo) was DEFINITELY not secured to my face correctly. I left it like that for the rest of the day to preserve the truthfulness and honesty of this experiment.

    The Sephora strips were very subtle and short and looked the most like a naturally thick, mink-y set of eyelashes. I even forgot I was wearing them a few times during the day, because the effect was not the hyper-sexy, dramatic look I expect from a falsie set. That said, when I took them off at the end of the day my eyelids looked especially naked in their natural, teeny-lashed state.

    Oh, and I messed up and forgot to take a "before" picture on the first day so I used a selfie from another day. I didn't suddenly decide to change my clothes and my hair to better suit my new lashes. I only did that on Day 5.

    Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Joanna: This was a dark day. Applying individual false lashes is truly a rocky emotional journey. Everything I've ever read about false eyelashes says that the individual ones look more natural, so I always assumed they were the best option. But DAMN. Doing ONE eye took 40 minutes.

    For the first five lashes, I wanted to scream and cry. Then I started getting better at it. Wow, I thought, I CAN do anything. Then disaster struck. I somehow applied too much glue. My real eyelashes became glued to my eyelid. I accidentally ripped off several beautifully applied false lashes and had to start over. By the time I got to the second eye, I was ready to crawl into a hole and die there.

    I also did not realize that the lashes were different lengths. By the time I noticed, it was too late. I already had one eye with only super-long lashes, and a second eye of only shorter lashes.

    I asked my boyfriend if he noticed anything different about me. He couldn't tell a difference. Finally I pointed out my eyelashes and he said, "They're so long! I hate them!"

    But my co-workers liked them. As I was talking I was cut off with, "I'm sorry, your eyelashes are distractingly beautiful."

    At the end of the day, as I was riding the subway home, one of the eyelashes fell off. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I thought it was a bug that had somehow come from my own eye.

    Alexis Nedd/BuzzFeed
    Alexis Nedd/BuzzFeed

    Alexis: Ah, individual lashes. Harbingers of glamor and sophistication (or in my world, the reason I looked like Bunny The Especially Frisky Librarian at work on Tuesday). I can't deny that these looked really impressive on me, but they were also a bit...much. I had to wear my glasses down on the tip of my nose all day because the lashes were so long! And they were heavy! I felt like I was babysitting my own eyes (babeyesitting?) all day, hoping my lashes wouldn't fall out onto my keyboard.

    The application process was also literal hell. In all fairness I should have anticipated that strategically gluing approximately 48 bundles of hair to my face would take longer than 30 minutes, but I'm a lazy bed squid of a person who values sleep over eyelash prep. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to get these on. I was late to work! I had to email my boss! He hates getting emails!

    I didn't understand the different lengths either and ended up with longer lashes on one eye, I dropped three of the lash bundles down the drain and gave up on them forever, I accidentally pulled half an eyelid of not-quite-dry lashes off with my tweezers... man, it was a rough morning.

    Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Joanna: I had a difficult time getting these to stick to my eye. These were a little less flexible than the Sephora strip lashes. They ended up looking a little lopsided but I just accepted it because they made me very late for work.

    This glue also hurt a little bit when I pulled off the lashes, but that might be because I'm a baby.

    Overall, these made me feel kind of startled when I looked in the mirror.

    Alexis: Having learned my lesson with strip lashes on Day 1, I put on my usual thick-ass eyeliner to hide any application mistakes — and it worked! The e.l.f strip lashes were very wonky and stiff, but you have no visual insight into my struggle because my margin for error was wide enough to land a plane.

    These are also the most plasticky false lashes we tried. They're not trying to look like real lashes, they're trying to look GLAM. And, to be fair, I did feel fabulous batting my lashes around the office. There's something very liberating in being fake-showy on purpose. Is this how drag queens feel?

    Also, Joanna, you're right. This glue hurt a lot and took a few of my real lashes with it when I took the strips off. RIP.

    Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Joanna: OK, OK, I know I put these on wrong. There weren't enough lashes to cover my entire eye, so I tried to do that thing where you just put lashes on the outside corner of your eye. But they're so much longer than my normal lashes that it looks... wrong. I know this.

    These individual lashes were very fragile. It was difficult not to destroy them.

    Alexis Nedd/BuzzFeed
    Alexis Nedd/ BuzzFeed

    Alexis: First things first: These lashes are incredibly delicate. I was a little overzealous in taking a few of them out of their packaging and ended up completely dismantling three of the bundles before I could even try to get them on my face.

    There were fewer of these in the pack compared to the Sephora individual lashes so I think they look a little patchy. I could also have completely messed up and put them on wrong, but the way they look above reminds me of the Grinch's fingers. You know the ones, from the Jim Carrey movie. Google "Grinch Fingers" if you don't know what I'm talking about.

    Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed

    Joanna: These lashes were kind of short. I have small eyes and they weren't long enough to cover my entire lash line. But they did look pretty natural. As you can tell from my dead-eyed expression, I'm pretty over false lashes at this point.

    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
    Alexis Nedd / BuzzFeed

    Alexis: I didn't think these lashes were short at all! They reminded me of the e.l.f strip lashes but were thicker and more natural-looking. If I had to wear more dramatic lashes, these would be my go-to because they have the best of both worlds: thick, easy-to-apply, and long enough to show that I put in the effort to wear fancy girl lashes.

    After a week of struggling, we revisited our favorite lashes for one last application attempt to see if we could get it right.

    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    The final results of eyelash anguish:

    Alexis is wearing Sephora Collection Luxe False Lashes.

    Alexis is wearing Sephora Collection Luxe False Lashes.

    Alexis is wearing Sephora Collection Luxe False Lashes.

    Joanna is wearing Sephora Collection Individual False Lashes.

    Joanna is wearing Sephora Collection Individual False Lashes.

    Joanna is wearing Sephora Collection Individual False Lashes.

    Final thoughts:

    Joanna: I feel much more confident in my ability to wear false eyelashes. But effortless glamour comes at a price, and I feel like I may never wear them again? Then again... if I ever have to look really good for some reason, I will probably come crawling back to these evil tiny hairs.

    Things I learned:

    1. Avoid using too much glue. It will destroy you.

    2. Trimming individual eyelashes with scissors is not so bad, even though it feels like a weird arts and crafts project.

    3. Really make sure you're holding the lashes against your eyelash skin for a few seconds before removing the tweezers.

    4. Pay close attention to the length of individual lashes — they may vary!

    Favorite lashes:

    Sephora Collection Individual False Lashes

    Even though these lashes revealed a dark side of myself and tested my will to live, they did look the best.

    Alexis: I feel significantly sexier and flirtier when I wear false eyelashes, so I should probably minimize my lash use for the good of the world. Seriously, they are an instant confidence boost.

    Things I learned:

    1. Put on enough eyeliner and no one can see your failures.

    2. If you have one of the tweezer-looking false eyelash applicators, use it to clamp your lashes down to your eyelid before the glue dries.

    3. Individual lashes can smell fear, so approach them carefully and don't freak out!

    Favorite lashes:

    Sephora Collection Luxe False Lash

    These looked the most realistic and gave me the natural-looking full lashes I've always wanted. Everything else was too theatrical for my taste.

    Some products were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge.