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The Best Shortcut For Looking Fabulous

We're obsessed.

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animation of lady putting on magnetic lashes
Sunny Gu
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I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with eyelashes. Long lashes are the best shortcut I know to looking fab, no matter what else you have going on with your face. You can be unshowered, wearing sweats and having a category-five hair emergency, and all is not lost with a smile on your face and beautiful, long lashes batting about your eyes.

I’ve always been a fan of amazing mascara and those lash fortifiers and growth serums like Revitalash and Rimmel Lash Accelerator. But when my daughter had her bat mitzvah and I knew I’d be crying, I took preemptive action against any possible raccoon-eye disasters and got eyelash extensions glued on. Everyone told me I’d become an addict, and they were right. Every two weeks I go in for an expensive refill, and while the nap I get to take during the hour-long application process is absolutely delicious, the price tag is hard to justify — not to mention the fact that my real lashes are starting to take a beating from all that glue! I decided to try out magnetic lashes — a nonpermanent lash solution that doesn’t require glue or expensive trips to the lash lady, while providing you with gorgeous, long lashes … and no raccoon eyes, no matter how much you cry.

The concept is simple: You sandwich your real lashes between two false lash strips that adhere together with magnets. The fake lashes are the bread and your real lashes are the filling in your fab-lash sandwich. Once you get the hang of applying them, it’s relatively easy. The magnets, once aligned correctly, snap right into place. To remove, simply slide them apart … NEVER PULL. (Pulling could potentially take out a few of your real eyelashes, and we do NOT want any eyelash casualties!)

There are many brands to choose from, and it’s super easy to purchase magnetic lashes online. So how do you know which one is right for you?

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all eyes are the same size. This means that you might be purchasing a magnetic lash that is too long for your eyes. With old-fashioned, glued-on fake eyelashes, it’s easy to trim them to fit the length of your lids with a pair of haircutting scissors. This is not necessarily so with magnetic lashes. Some brands feature magnets that dot the entire width of the lash, allowing you to strategically snip off a bit of length in between magnets. But other brands feature magnets only on the ends, making trimming impossible. If you’re going for one of these brands, try to check them out in person rather than purchasing online. You might be getting something that doesn’t fit and can’t be altered.

The other thing to keep in mind is whether you want to use an applicator or your fingers. Some women know better than to go sticking their fingers in their eyes. But if you’re like me, you have a hard enough time just SEEING the darn things, let alone trying to put them on with the curved, cosmetic tweezers that come with many magnetic lash sets.

And speaking of seeing, let’s read the fine print. Or maybe let’s not, because once I passed 45 I became a slave to my reading glasses. A key piece of equipment for those of us who can’t see tiny things with the naked eye is a good magnifying mirror. I bought one on Amazon that literally has saved my face many times!

I feel I must say this, although I hope everyone already knows: Wash your hands before you touch anything that is going to come in contact with your eye. Wash twice if you have children. Our homes are like petri dishes full of germs.

The most important thing is to read the instructions and try your lashes out a few times before you plan to wear them in public. It took me about 20 minutes to really nail the application process. The demonstration videos make it look simple, but it really does take a few tries. If I had planned on wearing them out and waited until the last minute to apply them for the first time, I would have ended up in public with naked eyelids. And we can’t have that!