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Put This on Your Face: Lashes

Welcome back to Put This on Your Face! Picking a lash product can be so hard! Are you looking for length, shape, or lift? Do you want to look like you have falsies on (more on this later) without actually having to put falsies on? Are you vegan? Honestly, sometimes it feels like the options are endless. The last time I checked, there were a whopping 385 options under the ‘mascara’ category at Ulta alone. Thankfully, all hope is not lost! Here’s a quick guide to things you can do with your lashes.


I love mascara — mostly because I don’t sleep well, and a single swipe can instantly make me look more awake. If you’re in the mascara market and looking for volume, you could try the new-ish, $20  Rare Beauty Universal Volumizing Mascara (Selena has been killing it lately) or the tried-and-true classics, Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara ($27) and Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara ($28). The L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara ($11) is also great, waterproof, and at a lower price point. The COVERGIRL Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara ($9) is supposed to be excellent, and as a bonus, it’s paraben-free, vegan, and under $10.

If length is what you’re after, the Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara ($27) works wonders, as do Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($24) and Milani’s Highly Rated Anti-Gravity Mascara ($11). The ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara ($28) is my personal fave, mostly because it’s gentle for sensitive eyes, and the brush is unlike anything I’ve seen before — it’s dual-sided and somehow manages to coat every lash without making it look clumpy or feel heavy. Also, it comes off with my regular face wash (no eye makeup remover required)!

No-makeup makeup looks are all the rage, so if you want to give your lashes extra oomph without adding too much pigment, you could try the Glossier Lash Slick ($18) or even any clear mascara — this Wet n Wild one is under $3! Alternatively, you could try a mascara that doesn’t match your natural lashes. The ColourPop BFF Mascara ($9) comes in several shades, including a gorgeous bright red, and both the L’Oreal Voluminous ($11) and the Maybelline Great Lash ($6) come in bright blue.

Also, while we’re here, let’s talk about mascara expiration and when to stop using the mascara you opened right before the pandemic started. The Experts (FDA) say that mascara has a shelf life of about 3 months once opened. I know that seems short, and I’m sorry — I hate it too! I take most cosmetic expiration dates with a grain of salt, but not eye products. On the bright side, many of the mascaras listed above come in trial or travel sizes, or are even sometimes offered as samples during checkout, making it easier to follow FDA guidance without wasting too much product.


Do you need lash primer? Not necessarily. But you might want it, especially if you’re going for a fuller lash look or playing around with a funky color. Lash primer does for mascara what face primer does for foundation: it gives you an extra-smooth base. Primers tend to come in white or clear, and they go on before your mascara (hence, primer). Some primers are meant to add extra volume, like the Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer ($30) or the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer ($11). Others are strengthening, like the Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer ($23), or deep-conditioning, like the tarte Opening Act™ Lash Primer ($24).

False Lashes

False lashes come in all shapes and sizes. If you want a more subdued, natural look, you could buy individual lashes, like the Ardell Double Up Individuals ($7). If you want something fuller, or just an easier application process, a half lash or full lash is probably best. The House of Lashes Iconic False Eyelashes ($12) or these Sephora Collection Weightless False Eyelashes ($15) are both solid, everyday lash options. For something more dramatic, you could try Huda Beauty’s Classic False Lashes in Carmen #9. If you wind up going the full lash route, just make sure to trim the corners of the lashes so that they fit your lash line (most false lashes are quite long).

With most traditional false lashes, you’ll need lash adhesive. I like to spread a thin layer across the part of the lash where it’ll come into contact with my lash line, and then let that dry down for about 15-20 seconds before placing the false lashes on my natural ones. Tweezers are an excellent way to ensure the lashes are snug against your lash line, but honestly, the idea of tweezers near my eyeballs is terrifying so I’ve been using my fingers.

You can find Ardell Duo ($6) pretty much everywhere, both at large cosmetics retailers and at drugstores. It comes in a tiny tube, has great hold, and it’s fairly inexpensive. Because it comes in a tube, however, sometimes application is a little challenging (some parts of the lash get more adhesive than others). If you want to ensure the adhesive is evenly distributed across the lash, brush-on adhesive is probably best. You could try the Lilly Lashes Brush On Lash Adhesive ($13) or the Sephora Collection Brush-tip Lash Adhesive ($8).

If the idea of putting sticky stuff near your eyes doesn’t feel great, you could explore magnetic lashes ($30). You’ll still need to put something on for the magnets in the lashes to stick to, but it won’t be an adhesive, it’ll be a magnetic liner ($25). Once that’s on, you just plop the falsies on top and you’re all set!

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Ashni is a writer, comedian, and farmer's market enthusiast. When they're not writing, they can be found soaking up the sun, trying to make a container garden happen, or reading queer YA.

ashni has written 51 articles for us.


  1. I love the Benefit They’re Real! tinted primer as an everyday mascara–it basically adds colour without volume/weight so it looks very natural. But it’s kind of hard to find in my area–does anyone have any similar recs? It seems like so many mascaras are all about volume.

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