09/28/2010 12:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Faking It: The Secret to Long, Lush Lashes

Blame it on Sophia Loren, but I'm obsessed with long, luscious lashes. I just got back from New York Fashion Week, where I directed the makeup for six shows -- three of which called for gorgeous faux lashes: LaQuan Smith, Venexiana and Walter. As I've always said, fluttery will get you everywhere, especially if you're powering down a runway or street. It seems I'm not alone in my thinking. Lash envy is everywhere: from mascara addicts who can never have enough lash-elongating mascara to the Latisse-loving crowd who anoint their eyes as a nightly ritual. Not everyone can boast Kim Kardashian's buxom lashes, so why not try falsies?


Fun and flirty eyelashes from Napoleon Perdis

Apparently, they first turned up in the 1916 silent film, Intolerance , on the eyes of one of the leads. But they didn't catch on until the Sixties. Lately they've been building in popularity -- even soccer moms at my recent personal appearance at an Ulta store in Burbank made requests for falsies. Gals on both coasts are donning theatrical lashes for a night out, and I applaud them. They're undeniably fun and are an instant way to enhance the eyes. Some women are intimidated by faux lashes, but the application is not especially difficult. All it takes is a steady hand, a mirror and a little adhesive. Strip lashes are the easiest to apply. Layering individual lashes in varying lengths requires more effort, but the results can be more convincing. Here are some tips.

Going Solo: Most makeup artists use individual lashes because they creates a subtle, almost undetectable filling effect. Apply these to the base of your real lashes. Build the length from shortest to longest for a graduated result. If your natural lashes are short, use a combination of short and medium lashes. If your lashes are medium in length, use a blend of medium and long falsies to amplify.

Step one: Start by curling your lashes to ensure they blend seamlessly with the individual lashes, which have a built-in curl, and then apply one coat of mascara.
Step two: Using your index finger and thumb, or lash tweezers, pick up a lash. Apply glue to the back of your hand and dip the end into the glue. Give it a second to air dry partially before applying.
Step three: Apply two to four longer lashes on the outer corners of the eye, close to where your natural lash finishes. Use the smaller ones to fill in gaps between your natural lashes, making sure to apply them at the same angle of your existing lashes.
Step four: Finish with three to four shorter lashes positioned at the center of the eye for fluttery glamour.

Remember to hold each lash in place until it dries and sets. Mascara is optional. Or apply a gel or liquid liner on the inside of the eye to blend the faux lashes with your natural lashes.

Strip Tease: Strip lashes are applied to the eyelid just above your natural lash line. When removing, don't use the band-aid approach. Use a cotton ball soaked in makeup remover to slide the falsies off.

Step one: As before, start by curling the natural lashes to prevent faux lashes from drooping, and apply a coat of mascara. This lets the natural lash blend seamlessly into the faux lash.
Step two: Before removing the lash from its case, apply liquid liner to the strip of the faux lash to remove any white spots. Allow to dry. You may need to trim the length.
Step three: Measure the strip lash up against your upper lash line. False lashes have a shorter and longer end. The end of the lash with the shorter hair should always be placed on the inner corner of the eye.
Step four: Hold both ends of the faux lash in your hands and roll the strip back and forth to relax the wire. This gives more flexibility and prevents any lifting once the glue dries.
Step five: Using a Q-tip or the back end of a brush, apply a pea-size amount of glue to the length of the strip--I prefer a latex-based glue because it's painless to remove--and allow to dry momentarily.
Step six: Look into the mirror with your head tilted back slightly. This will help you place the strip accurately. Start by applying to the center of the lash line, then secure both ends. Push the faux lash onto your natural lashes with an eye brush.
Step seven: Apply liquid eye liner to the inside upper lash line to blend both the faux and natural lashes together. Finish with a coat of mascara for a more dramatic look.