Tag Archives: Lashes

false lashes

In My Makeup Kit: False Lashes

Lately I’ve been getting into lashes. Not a single shoot I’ve been on recently has been lash–free. Whether it’s Ellen Von Unwerth show girl lashes (courtesy of Shu Uemura), or flirty demi-lashes to elongate a smoky eye (thank you Ardell), I’ve been pulling out my lash bag time and time again. And it made me start thinking – I’ve never posted about lashes before. Time to start!

I have a few brands I like to look at when I buy false lashes, and Lord knows I seem to do that on a regular basis. You never know when you might need some Swarowski trimmed lashes, some Viktor and Rolf bottle-green marabou numbers or my latest acquisition, neon green handpainted and woven ones from the latest, incredible Shu Uemura collection called Ethnacolor Scope. You’d be amazed how often the opportunity presents itself!

Over the years I have been collecting lashes from all over the world and thankfully they’re now a lot easier to find than they used to be. Before you’d have to go to theatrical shops like Screenface or Charles Fox in London, Paris Berlin in Paris or ACMUSE in Sydney to find interesting lashes. Don’t get me wrong! These theatrical shops still are a veritable treasure trove for false lash fiends and should not be neglected in the quest for the perfect lash. But now you can also get great lashes at your local drugstore or chemist, and at every price point which is important when you’re experimenting.

Shu Uemura have a fabulous service called the Tokyo Lash Bar where you can choose a set of lashes and they will fit them for you, and explain how to do it which is a wonderful way to get started.

Choosing a pair of lashes can be daunting at first as they all look the same, but different – and understanding how they will make your eyes look at first can seem an impossible task. This is why I recommend trying a few cheaper options from the chemist until you find a style that you like. Generally the thicker and denser the lash, the more “fake” it will look. Wispy, feathery lashes tend to look more like a lush set of real lashes, so it depends what your makeup style is. Strip or half lashes are great for a night out, and for undetectable day time lush lashes, cluster lashes are my favourite (I like Ardell and MAC cluster lashes). As always, Pixiwoos and Lisa Eldridge on YouTube are a good place to look on the web if you’re curious to see a few pairs in actions first. Pixiwoos in particular use lashes A LOT.

A good eyelash glue is a must – my favourite (which I’ve posted about before) is Duo Lash Adhesive, available from theatrical shops or MAC. Another good option for those who are allergic to latex is Illamasqua’s non-latex glue, which has a free mini-bottle of glue with every pair of lashes.

Brands to try:

DrugstoreArdell are the world leaders in lashes. Pamela Anderson has been wearing them (since birth probably), and if anyone knows a good fake lash it’s Pammy Anderson! Speaking to her makeup artist awhile ago she told me Pam doesn’t go anywhere without at least two full sets – that’s a lot of lash action.

High-End – Lots to choose from. MAC do a lovely selection of false lashes, and I have yet to meet one of their lashes that I don’t like. Illamasqua also do beautiful lashes and some very interesting, dramatic styles you can’t find anywhere else. Their Creative Director Alex Box is a Lash Queen, and many’s the time I’ve helped her create a bespoke lash out of her special bag of tricks!

Shu Uemura make the most phenomenal and spectacular fantasy lashes with a special collection every year. This year I love their Tutu Laceflare lashes, but they also do beautiful more basic lashes as well. They aren’t cheap but with lashes this gorgeous who needs new clothes? In fact if your lashes look amazeballs, you don’t need any other adornment at all. Just a wink and a smile.


Shu Uemura eyelash curler

(Not So) Secret Weapon – Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers

I almost feel stupid for writing this as a Secret Weapon, and I’ve had it on my list to write about ever since I started blogging really. How can something so blindingly obvious be a Secret Weapon?

Then I realized about 70% of my private clients had either never used an eyelash curler, or hadn’t done so for years, and I thought what’s obvious to a makeup artist is not always so obvious to everyone else. (Although if I had 50 cents for every time a makeup artist called it their Number 1 beautifying tip, I’d have, well, more money than I do now. But sometimes the reason things are cliché is because they are true!)

Eyelash curlers make your lashes, and by extension, your eyes, look awesome. They open the eye and make them look bigger since you don’t have all that droopy eye fringe hanging in the way. They make your lashes look longer and give them a beautiful, flirty shape, ready to be mascara-ed. If you look tired they wake you up, and if you’re on the older side of the equation – well let’s face it we can use all the help we can get, and anything that lifts your features has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

There are lots of eyelash curlers on the market, but I just can’t go past Shu Uemura’s. I have used it for my whole career, and I carry back-ups since they always seem to go “missing” (aka STOLEN by some light-fingered, stick-lashed nasty person). The Shu curlers are the best as they are designed for Asian eyes, so they can get into the smallest corners of the lashes. They are the perfect shape, never tugging or pulling, and as Asian lashes tend to be quite straight they deliver serious curling action without weird crimping or bends.

And they are workhorses! My own personal pair – which miraculously never seems to go “missing”, I have had for about 8 years now. It curls like a dream every time, and never breaks, despite being dumped unceremoniously in my makeup bag every day without fail.

Every makeup artist I know carries lash curlers, and there is a reason for this people – they make you prettier. You can’t go past the Shu original – it’s the best.


Video – Pat McGrath Does Major Lashes!

So it appears that uber-makeup artist Pat McGrath is an avid Makeup Mole reader! Not really (or if she is I don’t know about it), but great minds do think alike – look who posted a How-to Video on Maximal Lashes! Watch Pat recreate her now infamous major lashes, called “Spider Lashes” which I really like the sound of. What this lady doesn’t know about makeup, isn’t worth knowing. Watch, and learn.

Trend – Maximal Lashes


Eyelashes Valentino Gucci

One of the best looks from the recent Autumn/Winter 2011 catwalks was courtesy of the ever-inventive supremo head honcho patron saint of makeup artists, Pat McGrath. I call it Maximal Lashes.

Big doe-eyed dolly lashes like Twiggy on acid with her eyes hairsprayed. It’s the opposite of what we’re told lashes should look like – neat, ladylike, elegant and flirtatious – these new dudes are downright trash mama Valley of the Dolls lashes, completely 70’s and subversive, and that’s why we love ‘em.

Seen at major shows like Gucci and again at Valentino, this felt totally new and unexpected.  Trust Pat to pull a new (old!) trick out of the bag.

For this look you just need a heavy-duty mascara and the patience to put on about 50 coats. And the clumpier the better!

I like to prep first with an undercoat – either Lancôme Cils Booster XL or MAC Prep and Prime are two good choices. Then go hell for leather, piling on multiple coats both top and bottom until you have the desired spidery effect.

The best mascaras for this look are ones you can build without it getting too crunchy straight away. Favourites of mine for this look include Diorshow, Lancome Hypnose, CoverGirl Lashblast (which I’ve seen supermodel Lily Donaldson use to great effect on a shoot before), and Becca The Ultimate Mascara. This is brilliant as it has a tubing formula allowing you to get serious length AND heft, so you can clump at will.

False lashes are optional, although I prefer the look with just your real lashes – it looks cooler that way, not trying too hard. And with lashes this gorgeous, all you need is great skin, a juicy mouth and a smile.

So get clumping!


Bag It: NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara

NARS Larger than Life Volumizing MascaraWay back in the mists of time I wrote one of my first posts for MM, and it was telling the world how crap I thought NARS’ old mascara was. (There was also something about Huey Lewis and the News in there, but Lord knows what that has to do with mascara, crap or otherwise).

However I am thrilled to report that after extensive testing, NARS new Larger than Life Volumizing mascara is proving itself to be a winner. The brush is a bit bigger than normal but not jumbo oversized like Diorshow mascara or Benefit’s Bad Girl Lash, and the main thing I like about it is that it doesn’t get goopy or overload the lash. Thus you can build a few coats with it still looking lovely and fluffy, and it really is quite volumizing.

One thing I would say is that sucker is staying on once it’s on! Make sure you have a good remover because it has the staying properties of a waterproof mazzie, without the crunchiness – which if you live in a hot climate or like a badass, long last mascara, this is for you.

In the mascara stakes Monsieur NARS, you have well and truly redeemed yourself.


In My Makeup Kit: YSL Faux Cils mascara Noir Radical

Faux Cils mascara Noir Radical  I’m breaking some rules by posting this now, but I just couldn’t wait any longer… Usually I wait at least a month when testing mascara, to make sure that it keeps performing as expected. If it’s a crappy mascara, I check that it’s still flaky/smudgy/giving me tranny lash, and if it’s a good one I like to make sure it’s not a high performer for two weeks and then a dud (which has happened before, you know).

But this guy – well it’s got me so excited I’m only halfway through the testing period and I love it more every day, so I had to tell you all. It’s the new YSL Faux Cils mascara. I’ve used Faux Cils before and liked it as the product is quite slick and allows you to build without clumpiness. But this new dude, well it’s in a league of it’s own! Whatever they’ve been doing at YSL Beaute they just need to continue right on doing it. I love everything about it.

It’s really black, so it falls into the Carbon Black mascara category, but without a hint of blue in it, which can make us fairer types look punched out. It has a lovely big brush but with lots of surface area on it, so you get to every lash. Also, unlike Diorshow (another large brushed mascara), it doesn’t get gelatinous in the tube. Honestly I have bought brand new Diorshow before and the first time out of the wand it looked like I had nuggets (yes, nuggets, it’s the only way to describe it) of road tar on them. I may as well have given my money to a homeless person for all the good it did my lashes – and then at least my karma would be shiny – so I’m no longer a Diorshow shopper.

Best of all? it’s really hard to get clumpy. The result? You get thick AND long lashes, which is super rare in one product. You can go back in and add more at the base without it getting on your lid, it stays all day, no flaking OR smudging, and the smell makes me swoon. It’s like wearing little bursts of French perfume on your lashes. What better way to start your day?

So this is my new weapon in my mascara arsenal. A word of caution though – it is beautifully easy to remove but because it’s a slippy mascara there is a lot of product on those lashes (even if it doesn’t look that way). A nice gentle makeup remover – currently I’m loving Chantecaille’s Camomile Eye Makeup Remover – and LOTS of cotton balls is the way forward. But it’s a small price to pay for dream lashes.

YSL Faux Cils in Noir Radical is available now in the UK, US and Australia.
Visit www.yslbeautyus.com for further info.

Bin It – Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof (but keep the brush)

Maybelline Lash Discovery WaterproofIn my ongoing quest to discover the ultimate waterproof mascara I did a raid on Walmart yesterday. It was a smash and grab affair of L’Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon, (and it has to be confessed, two li-los for the pool WITH cup dispensers, God Bless America!). But yesterday’s poolside experiment was less than successful.

Maybelline Lash Discovery has one of the ace-est brushes ever – it’s a shrunken wand that allows you to get to every single little lash, including the bottom lashes that can be fiddly with a regular brush (and if you can do that with the outsized monster brush of Diorshow mascara, more power to you because you’re more woman than I am!)

And for the bottom lashes it’s great to have waterproof mascara as this is where you tend to get smudging, from oils and eye blinking. However, if this is the mascara you’re wearing underwater you are in big trouble as it smudges. Not massively, but enough to look like an under-eye shadow that on me looks like a giant puffy eye bag, not dissimilar to a Krispy Kreme donut (something else I have been enjoying whilst in America. Mmm, donuts). However, not something I want on my face. So for me I’m going to keep the brush, but for the mascara it’s Bin It!

Best. Waterproof. Mascara. Ever. (at least for this week)

Cover Girl Waterproof MascaraCover Girl Volume Exact in Black

The fact that I’ve been kicking back and tanning, swimming in the pool and sipping frozen margaritas, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m on holidays. But I assure you that it’s a cover (a deep cover) for my real purpose, which is bringing you the best of American beauty – including finding the world’s best waterproof mascara.

I’ve been relentlessly testing, through sunscreen applications, evening cook-outs and trips to Austin’s Barton Springs in 45 degree heat, and this is the one that’s held up – Cover Girl’s Maximum Volume Waterproof Mascara.

It’s got a pliable rubber brush that gets to the base of every lash, and so far even with multiple coats it doesn’t create the dreaded Stick Lash.

And let’s be clear – this is no lightweight testing process. We’re talking underwater breastroke, twice-daily dips and margarita fuelled poolside frolics, and always, always I have smudge proof, splash-proof, sweet and fluffy lashes. Meaning I don’t have to look like an egg (my natural state without mascara), even though I’m poolside.

I’ll be continuing my stringent testing methods all this week and next, and there are a quite a few more things on my list, so I’ll keep you posted on what other little makeup gems I find. Sadly for my UK readers they will probably be mainly US products, since I plan to take full advantage of what’s on offer in the nirvana of the American drugstore. But if you do find something you really like, you can always buy it on www.drusgtore.com as they now ship overseas. Which is dangerous. Not as dangerous as my mascara testing, but someone’s gotta do it!

Secret Weapon: Duo Eyelash Adhesive

Duo Eyelash AdhesiveAt Makeup Mole HQ we’re always looking for the best of everything – let’s face it, life is too short to deal with poor pigmentation, nasty and outdated color selections and downright inferior glamorization products.

So when faced with the challenge of false lashes, what does every makeup artist I know reach for? Duo Surgical Adhesive. It’s a tiny tube of lash attaching goodness that comes in black or white (although the white dries clear). The latex is gentle enough to hold the most diva of lashes but sturdy enough to hold even the most cantilevered of lash canopies all day (or night). As an added bonus it can also affix rhinestones, crystals or whatever makeup madness takes your fancy to the face or body.

If you’ve been batting 1000 and finding yourself with two spiders mating on your cheeks, it’s time to get out of the drugstore and go to the hardcore – MAC, or a theatrical supply shop like Screenface or Charles Fox in London both stock it.

It’s quite simply the best lash glue on the market. Because repeat after me: the lashes can be any old cheap-ass tranny affair, but the glue must be DUO!

Even if you’re wearing diamond encrusted, fox fur numbers (don’t laugh, it’s been done before – ahem, Madonna), if they’re hanging off your eyelid it’s a lot less luxe and a lot more crazy homeless person. Simply apply to the lash (or lash cluster), and wave it around for about ten seconds whilst the glue gets tacky, then cuddle the lash into your lash line. Provided you’ve done it right they will stay until you peel ‘em off.

If you’ve been battling with those nasty little tubes of no-name eyelash adhesive and wondering why you’re so rubbish at false eyelashes, try some Duo, and come back to me. It’s not you, it’s the glue!