Thursday, November 26, 2009

True or False?

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They're pretty common in lolita. Perfect make-up is almost a necessity, and eyeliner & mascara will do wonders to your eyes, but sometimes there's just one final, absolutely necessary step. Is it the rhinestones at the corners of her eyes? Is it the glitter shadow, or the perfectly-manicured brow? All are great ways to add to your look, but there's one last thing, and despite the fact that they're sometimes glaringly obvious when worn, it is by far one of the best ways to make your eyes look doll-wide, and no, I'm not talking about circle lenses. If a butterfly flapping its wings causes a hurricane by the time it travels around the globe, you'd hate to think what one wink from these babies could do.

Yes, today we're going to talk about false lashes. They might be intimidating, but if you find the right style &apply them correctly they can be SO worth it. They will make your eyes stand out more and look wider &brighter, making you look more awake - like you have big porcelain doll eyes. First, let's talk about styles (examples from Shu Uemura):

  • Natural Lashes. These are usually black or brown and made to just enhance your natural eyes. Usually they're the same length as natural lashes or only a little longer and slightly thicker. These are good for daily dressups and non-lolita wear - they'll enhance but they won't POP like "fancy" ones will.
  • Individual Lashes. These are individual clumps of a few lashes each that you place manually wherever you need. Directions for use here - I have never used them myself, but they seem to be an interesting idea &something I'd like to try in the future.
  • "Fancy" Lashes. These are the lashes favored by most lolitas, in my experience. They are big &dramatic &impossible to ignore. They come in hundreds of styles, from feathered to jewelled to glittery to colored to lace to... basically, if you name it you can find it. My favorites that I've worn myself are these with little pearls stuck THROUGH the lashes. Unfortunately I left them at my parents house and found them "mysteriously" cut to pieces with all the pearls pulled off. I think I know who the culprits are...

These are the main styles - obviously, within each there are hundreds &hundreds of variations, so shop around. Speaking of, where can you buy them? If you're interested in lashes for everyday wear, I recommend going to a high-end cosmetics store like MAC or Sephora and getting a really nice, natural-looking pair. However, for the crazier once-in-a-while styles, I've had amazing luck with Halloween and costume stores like Party City. If it's out of season or you live in a country or area where Halloween isn't celebrated (poor thing!), you can find them online as well. My Diva's Closet is very popular and has a great selection, but I've never ordered from them myself. Another thing to think about is adhesive. Many companies include a small sample tube with their lashes, but not always - check the packaging to make sure. There are also self-adhesive lashes - I don't love them, but they work for some people &are good for beginners who don't wnat to have to worry about glue drying. I'd like to point out that most adhesive contains latex, to which many people (including myself) are allergic. I found latex-free adhesive at my local beauty store but I'm nervous to try it out because of the horror stories I've heard about it: I remember hearing about a lolita who wore used a supposedly "latex-free" adhesive, only to wake up the next day with her eyes swollen shut because it wasn't exactly as hypo-allergetic as the packaging made it out to be. My reaction isn't terrible, but it was only recently that I realized that my eyes aren't supposed to itch &sting the entire time I'm wearing my falsies, so pretty soon I'll probably bite the bullet and try the latex-free stuff soon.

Okay, so you have your lashes: now, let's apply. There are many companies that make eyelash applicators, but they kind of scare me - curlers are intimidating enough! Make-up is not supposed to need machines! I just apply them myself, by hand, the old-fashioned way. Everyone has their own method, but here's what I do:

  • Apply all other make-up except mascara first - your primer, shadow, liner, etc.
  • Before applying glue, take your lashes and put them against your lashline to make sure they're the right length- trim if necessary from the inside corner.
  • Apply a thin line of glue on the lash band.
  • Wait a few seconds to give glue time to "set". Once it becomes tacky, you can begin applying.
  • Start at the outer corner and lay the lash on your eyelid as close to the lash line as possible. Press it into place &scootch it down a little further to ensure it stays as low as possible. Continue in the same manner with the center and inner corner, then repeat the whole process on the other eye.
  • Apply mascara (black, brown, or clear for funky colors). If you want, you can apply some liquid liner over the band, but I've never found it necessary. Curl lightly with an eyelash curler so your natural lashes stick to the fake ones.

&you're done! They're a little strange at first, but you should get used to them in a minute or two. If they still feel uncomfortable or even painful, remove them &reapply. After removing them for the day, clean the band &lashes with a bit of eye make-up remover - whatever you're using on the rest of your eye should be fine. Depending on how healthy your natural lashes are, it may be good to rub some petrolium jelly/Vaseline on them, as mascara &chemicals in other makeup can dry out your lashes, making them brittle &weak - I've never done this myself but I've heard it helps others.

Besides that, there's not much to it. Just be careful - a well-timed wink from one of these babies and you'll be the apple of any onlooker's eye. Use with caution, &be careful where you aim these things!

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