If you’re not on the false lash bandwagon, then you need to know that traditionally they come adhered to a thin plastic band and are accompanied by a dinky tube of glue. Using a small brush, you apply the glue to the band, then flap it around for a while, like you are teaching a handful of tiny spiders interpretative dance. This is to ensure the glue dries just enough that the band won’t slide all over your eye lid, but not too much that it’s, you know, dry. Then The Process begins, capitalised as such because if you’re not exactly deft of hand (why hello there, me neither) it may be a process that lasts umpteen tries before the lash is finally both where you want it to be, and actually secured to your skin. I’m really selling it, aren’t I?
Ok, so, it’s… magnets. These days, not exactly groundbreaking in and of itself, although I’d argue that magnets to dress up your eyelids are, and when Cali Lash sent me their Faux Mink magnetic lashes, I was desperate to try them out.
While the idea of putting a magnetic liquid near your delicate eyeballs might not initially sound like a viable alternative to glue, hear me out. Instead of faffing about with the sticky stuff, you apply a thin line of what looks and feels like liquid black liner where, funnily enough, you would normally apply eye liner. No drying time required. Grab your lashes, which in this case have a set of tiny black magnets attached to the band, line it up where you need, et voila. Need to reposition? No problem: just gently tug the lashes away from the magnetic liner, and go in again. No muss, no fuss.
The magnetic liner really lasts, too. Concerned about its longevity, the first time I tested these was out to dinner with my loving family, where I knew I could count on anyone present to interrupt me immediately if I found myself with half a lash suddenly looking as if it had had a few too many and was hanging out where it was not meant to be (I mean, who among us?) My top tip, as it is with glue, is to throw the tiny tube of magnetic liner in your bag along with a mirror, so that if anything does go awry, you can dab on a little more and reaffix.
For all but the most dexterous among us, it’s just easier. Because the polar forces (excuse me while I go and get my white coat) in the liner and on the lash band literally attract each other, then, as long as you get the magnetic liner close enough to the lash line, it’s genuinely impossible to stick the lashes anywhere else than just above the lash line. This is in stark contrast to the possibilities with glue, where you could, with a dash of bad luck and overzealous finger muscles, be adding tiny fringes to your eyebrows.
For anyone concerned about how glue fares against magnetic liner on the sensitivity scale, I do have quite wildly sensitive peepers and have not had issues using either. The magnetic liner is harder to remove than glue, so I would caution any fellow Sensitive Sallys to be patient during removal; soak a soft reusable cotton pad in my beloved Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution, and let that sit on the liner for five to ten seconds before gently wiping off, repeating if needed, rather than aggressively scrubbing back and forth.
If you’re after an exceedingly natural or utterly perfect look, and have either the skills or patience (preferably both) to support that desire, then I do think you’ll want to stick with glue. As the traditional method is slightly slippery, as opposed to the dry magnetic liner, it is easier to get right up into the lash line to make tiny adjustments, without having to move the whole band as you do with the magnetic liner. The flip side is that with glue, it’s also easier to accidentally make one slip that is much bigger than just an ‘adjustment,’ meaning you have to start from scratch. Whereas when I was getting very obsessive with positioning the magnetic version, I was able to shift the entire band multiple times without needing to reapply any of the magnetic liner.
If you aren’t one of the glamorous professional listed above, and didn’t set yourself the excellent must-be-productive-in-lockdown goal of becoming a lash application expert, then I do suggest you treat yourself to a set of magnetic lashes and give them a whirl. It really is worlds apart in difficulty from using glue if you’ve never tried to, or have tried and failed. And frankly, even if you are a bit of a whiz with traditional false lashes, I’d still give these a go. No one should miss out on the highly entertaining sense of a fluttery lash mysteriously clicking into place, and stepping out the door feeling very The Future Is Now.