Mascara Vs False Eyelashes: The Pros and Cons

If eyes are the window to the soul, then surely eyelashes are the fluttery, flirty curtains to those windows. We all want lush, luxurious lashes to frame our eyes and draw attention to the most important feature of our face. There is just something ultra feminine and attractive about long, thick eyelashes, and many of us go to a lot of trouble on a daily basis to accentuate them. But what is the best way to go? Mascara, or false eyelashes? They both have their pretty pros and downsides that are a drag, so how do you choose?

False Eyelash Facts

There are three main types of false eyelashes. Full false eyelashes are a full strip that add volume and length and draw attention to the eyes. They are perfect for those who have short or sparse eyelashes and are easily applied. First, hold the lashes up to your eyes to check the fit. Cut off any extra length. Then apply a thin line of the best eyelash glue to the strip and let it partially dry to a sticky texture. Apply to your eyelids as close to the natural lash line as possible. Top with mascara if desired.

Half strips are only partial lines of false eyelashes, used to enhance the eyelashes on the outer edges of the eyelids. These don’t need to be trimmed. Apply them like the full strip lashes but only from the middle of the lid to the outer edge to add drama.

Individual lashes are dipped in eyelash glue and applied to parts of your lash line where your own eyelashes are sparse. Many people use these for the outer edge of the top lash line to create a cat-eye look. Apply mascara to blend the individual false eyelashes together with your natural lashes. Add a line of eyeliner to your top lid and flick upwards at the ends to enhance the cat eye or winged-eyeliner look.

Remember to apply your eyeshadow before your eyelashes and not after.

If any eyelash glue is visible on your lash line, you can quickly disguise this by covering it with any good drugstore liquid eyeliner.

Favorite Features of Falsies

False eyelashes offer many benefits. There are many different styles, lengths, colors, thicknesses, and application types available. You can go natural-looking, dramatic, or even theatrical. You can easily choose your favorite look and stick with it, or you can mix it up and use whichever ones suit you for any given day or occasion. In only minutes, you can go from drab to dramatic, and you don’t necessarily even have to bother with eyeliner. False eyelashes typically curl upward to instantly open and enlarge your eyes.

False eyelashes are also great to make your eyes pop, and can be used on a day that you don’t want to wear makeup but need your lashes to provide a finished look. A fresh-faced look with lush lashes is beautiful.

False eyelashes have one critical advantage over mascara. Mascara can only work it’s magic if you have some eyelashes to begin with. On the other hand, false eyelashes can give long, lush lashes to someone whose natural eyelashes are super skinny, or who has lost their lashes due to illness or injury.

Falsie Pitfalls

While you can use waterproof mascara at the pool, false eyelashes are not waterproof. Water will unseal the glue and make the eyelashes fall off.

They also come off fairly easily if you touch or rub your eyes, so once they are applied you have to resist the urge to touch them at all.

Eyelash glue contains latex, so allergic reactions are possible. If you don’t know if you have a latex allergy, be sure to perform a patch test before applying your eyelashes.

Beauty Benefits of Mascara

Mascara is the tried and true method of quickly and easily adding length and volume to your eyelashes, as well as adding color to pale lashes. It’s available in many shades of black and brown, and can also be found in blue. Different mascaras offer different effects and can be chosen according to your personal needs. The most common choices are lengthening mascara for those with short eyelashes or volumizing mascara for those with thin or sparse eyelashes. You can also choose waterproof mascara for a day at the beach, or in the event that you might cry at a wedding or a sad movie. There are also mascaras available with nourishing ingredients to improve the health of your eyelashes.

Mascara can be subtly applied for a natural look, or applied in layers for a more dramatic look. It is easy to apply and lasts all day. It’s easily removed at night with little or no risk to your eyelashes.

Mascara Minuses

Mascara can occasionally smudge either during application, or later in the day if you rub your eyes. Although smudge-resistant formulas are available, smudging is still possible, especially if you sweat or it’s humid.

Mascara expires within three months of opening, though many people use it well beyond that point. Using outdated mascara can result in infections such as styes or bacterial infections. Old mascara doesn’t apply as well, and may flake off during the day, leaving black specks below your eyes.

While applying two or more coats can create a dramatic effect—especially when eyelashes are curled first—it’s difficult to get a really theatrical effect out of mascara. Too many layers of mascara will result in clumping or the “spider lash” look.

Magic of the Marriage of Mascara and False Eyelashes

If you can’t choose between one or the other, you can always use both. Adding a coat of mascara to your false eyelashes can add drama. It also makes them look more realistic by blending your real eyelashes with your false ones for a seamless look.

You can also decide to keep both mascara and false eyelashes on hand and choose which you want for different occasions. It’s common to use mascara on a daily basis but then pull out your favorite falsies for a special occasion or a date night. And of course, you can really go big and bold on occasions like Halloween, costume parties, Mardi Gras, or any other occasion that you’d like a theatrical look by using ultra-long and lush false eyelashes, coated with a layer of volumizing or lash lengthening mascara.

So, whichever you choose, go out and bat your beautiful eyelashes!