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You may not pull them out with the same eagerness you did before the pandemic, but it’s hard to find people who don’t love wearing a good set of false eyelashes. They may not love applying them, which many people still hunt down YouTube videos to get assistance with, but everyone loves the way they bring attention to the eyes. We love the length. We love the intensity. We love the flare. However, in our attempts to wear false lashes, we leave behind all sorts of glue and makeup on them, which can be hard to remove and lead to gunky, gross-looking lashes. When that occurs, the ability to reuse a set decreases and some people immediately peel off their lashes and throw them away.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the proper care, as most are easy to clean, lashes can be saved and reused a few more times. Makeup artist Saffron Hughes of offered us some tips on how to make full use of the lifespan of your lashes so you can bat your winged eyes longer.

Use a lash applicator or tweezers

The first step to taking better care of your false eyelashes is knowing how to remove them from packaging in a way that doesn’t tear them up. Start by removing them from packaging at the band in the outer corner, and slowly peel the lash off. If you pull the false eyelash off from the tips, you may damage them before you even get the chance to wear them. Not to mention, the tips of lashes tend to be much finer, so they aren’t as durable as the band when trying to pull them out to use. In addition to using tweezers or a lash applicator to be more gentle, they additionally help you to precisely place your lashes on your lash line.

Clean your false eyelashes

Clean your lashes before you wear them if you weren’t already doing so. Hughes recommends you avoid pulling lash glue off with your hands as that could rip the eyelash or distort its look. Instead, place the false eyelashes on a paper towel and use a cotton bud, which has been soaked in eye makeup remover or rubbing alcohol, to gently rub away the eyelash glue. After gently doing so, dip another piece of cotton in warm water to remove any remaining glue, and then leave your lashes to dry on a clean towel.

Store your lashes correctly

If you’ve been snatching your lashes off and then throwing them in your makeup bag at the end of the night, that’s not going to preserve them. It’s also not a good idea to store them when they’re wet, as that could cause bacteria to develop. Instead, Hughes recommends giving your lashes an hour to dry after use before returning them to the box they came in. Placing them there can help to maintain the lash shape. If you leave them askew on your dresser, for example, they can end up acquiring dirt, dust, and debris that can cause an eye infection. Also, store your false eyelashes in a dark place, away from sunlight. That will prevent any distortion of the color.

Retire your mascara

Lashes are already dramatic enough that you don’t have to apply mascara. And since they can decrease the lifespan of your lashes, that’s another reason to save mascara for bare-naked eye days. Hughes recommends buying lashes that are dyed dark with dual-layered lash fibers if you want more volume and length, and that way, you can avoid gunk left behind by mascara. But if you must use it, stick to a water-based mascara and apply one light coat to your own lashes before applying falsies. This will help the false option to stick well to your natural lashes and will make everything look more natural.

Do not curl your false eyelashes

Save the curler for your own lashes. If you bought a good pair of falsies, they should already be long and lifted. Hughes actually says that curling fake lashes can end up pulling them off and/or create an unnatural bend to them. As with mascara, if you must use an eyelash curler, apply it to your natural lashes first before following up with a light application of mascara and then your falsies.

Apply a thin layer of lash glue

Hughes says where we all go wrong is putting too much glue on fake eyelashes. Too much glue can spread all over your eyelid and make them harder to apply. Also, it can make for quite the headache when you want to clean your falsies and can pull out some of your natural lashes. So when you’re ready to apply your fake lashes, use a thin layer of glue on the band and perhaps, on the lash ends to make sure they are applied securely. And always wait for the glue to dry a little bit and to get tacky before putting on the falsies.

Instead of stacking eyelashes, use 3D lashes 

For those who stack multiple strips of lashes on the eyelids to look as glamorous as possible, you can stop. It can require too much glue and put too much weight on your natural lashes. If that’s not enough to get you to quit it, Hughes says you are wasting two sets of lashes and weakening their ability to be reused. Nowadays, you can buy 3D lashes for extra drama and a voluminous, feathery look that’s still light on the eye.

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