What’s everyone’s excuse for avoiding false eyelashes? According to expert Mabel Lee, people love reverting to the old “they’re too difficult to apply” reason. That’s exactly why she created the Velour Effortless Collection, the latest offering from her lash line, which has been a top seller in Sephora since 2015.
There are many reasons to consider adding one of her lash styles to your routine—like the curved tool for placement and latex-free glue for hold—but what we really appreciate is that it’s truly meant for the beginner or someone who simply wants to glue and go.
Ahead, Lee shares seven hacks for applying fake eyelashes for the first time—because it’s truly not as intimidating as it looks.
Glue Takes Time
One of the biggest mistakes Lee sees people make while applying falsies is not waiting for the glue to dry. When we rush to put them on, this only means they’re more likely to fall off in the middle of the day. Instead, she says to “give the glue 10 to 20 seconds for it to get tacky. It will make your lash application so much easier.”
When you don’t have the luxury of a makeup artist applying lashes for you, it’s really about the angle in which you apply them. As you’re putting them on yourself, Lee says to put a mirror directly underneath your chin, so you can look down and get a really good view of your natural lashes. Looking down leaves more room for you to get the falsie directly on top of your natural ones.
Lee’s Velour lashes actually come with a tool that looks like tweezers at first glance, but is actually curved to the natural shape of your eye. If you have shaky hands, this makes laying the lashes atop your eye much easier; just be sure to grab the whole false lash instead of just the ends. Doing the latter may lead to the hairs ripping off prematurely.
You should be able to get a good number of wears out of false eyelashes, but some of that depends on how you treat them fresh out the box. Lee says that whenever you’re using a new pair for the first time, you should “toggle the lashes to loosen the band. It just makes it so much more flexible” and easier to curve to the shape of your eye.
A lot of eyelash tutorials teach us that mascara is the best way to make your falsies look like the real thing. And although makeup does sometimes enhance their look, Lee says we should actually avoid mascara if we really want them to last long. Instead, focus on buying quality ones that don’t need that extra enhancement.
Another way to ensure your lashes stay full and healthy looking is to make them the last step of your makeup routine.
“It should truly be your last step,” says Lee. “I do all my eye makeup, my foundation, and when I’m done, I pop on my lashes. If you really want mascara, apply it on your natural lashes first, wait for it to dry and then put your lashes on.”
Sure, lashes are prone to collecting dust when we don’t store them in a case (luckily, Velour has those), but you should also avoid overcleaning them or soaking them.
“A lot of people, after every use, they start pulling on the glue. Ours melts into the band, so you don’t need to do that,” says Lee. “I usually start peeling the glue after six uses. If it really gets dirty, get a Q-tip, dip it in makeup remover, and brush off the excess.”
And if you accidentally get into the shower or pool with them on, simply air-dry after.
Secure the Ends
Ever find yourself walking down the street and all of a sudden making painfully weird faces because the wind blew off half your eyelash? Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for that. Unless you’re carrying lash glue in your purse—like Lee does—you can either hold down the lash to get that grip back on or prepare ahead of time.
“I always put extra glue on the ends to really secure that hold,” says Lee. Also, if the lashes you’re wearing are a fresh pair and you really want them to stay on, go in with two layers of glue before applying. However, keep in mind that the second and third time around, “you only have to apply one because it’s already tacky.”
Mind Your Makeup
And lastly, wearing fake lashes without mascara doesn’t mean your eyes should be completely neglected at the end of the night.
“I always make sure I take my makeup off. Some people when they wear eyelashes leave the glue and residue on.” Keep your glands and natural lashes clean at all times to ensure seamless falsie application from day to day.
A version of this article was originally published in March 2018.