The Life-Changing Magic Of Magnetic Eyelashes
In the quest to emphasize our eyelashes, the nontoxic world doesn't offer many options. Extensions are out of the question—they typically use animal hairs (e.g., they're not cruelty-free) and the long-term adhesive is definitely not natural. Lash tints and lifts are a solid choice if you want to forgo eyelash curling and mascara while creating less plastic planetary waste, but it's an expensive commitment from both a time and resource standpoint. Falsies are fun, but again, the adhesive used to make the eyelashes stick to your face for hours at a time is chock-full of ingredients that probably shouldn't be anywhere near the delicate mucus membrane of the eyes.
Enter: magnetic eyelashes, the adhesive-free alternative to mascara, lash extensions, and lash lifts that purport to help eyelashes look just as large, thick, and strong. Could they be the unicorn of lash treatments? I investigated.
Yes, magnetic eyelashes.
Magnetic lashes just might be the answer to your lash extension-ial questions (sorry, couldn't resist). Like regular falsies, they arrive in a box with two sets of lashes, one for each eye. The main difference is that they come with an additional underlayer of lashes (not to be mistaken for bottom lashes) that attach magnetically to the top layer. Essentially, one long layer of eyelashes sits atop the lash line while two or three smaller batches of lashes sandwich it from underneath, using tiny magnets, to give the illusion of fuller lashes.
That being said, it's worth noting that magnetic lashes use your actual lashes to function. I have long lashes, but even so, finding the points of attachment was difficult especially when it came to the inner corner of my eyes. If you're missing lashes on the outside or inside of your eyes, magnetic lashes may not work as well for you.
I tried two different brands from Amazon.
Lash'd Up was the most subtle kit I could find. The lashes are made of silk and cost $15 for the set, which includes two top lash strands, one for each eye, and four under-lash sets, two for each eye. For variety's sake, I also ordered lashes by Suzie Bumble—a decidedly bolder-looking option that comes with thicker lashes, also made of silk. While they're pricier at $26, the kit includes more: a small but substantial carrying case for your lashes with a mirror and three sets of under lashes (compared to just a double).
Wearing magnetic lashes was both strange and satisfying.
Getting them on was definitely the most difficult part of the process. Once they were well-placed and secure, I was pleasantly surprised that both brands stayed put and didn't move. Each took some getting used to—if you've ever worn false eyelashes, you understand how they can alter your field of vision and add a feeling of heaviness to the eyelid. The same goes for magnetic eyelashes, and they're heavier than falsies. As such I felt absolutely ridiculous leaving the house with them on. I might as well have been walking around with lipstick on my teeth or an enormous knot in my hair, because the lashes felt so wrong, like they were on sideways or somehow falling off. But every time I checked my camera, the situation was fine. In fact, it was barely noticeable. I sent my husband a selfie, and he didn't remark, which meant they passed for normal.
Lash'd Up provided the more natural look of the two but was harder to apply. Suzie Bumble's lashes are thicker and denser, which reads with more drama and didn't quite match my "au naturel" look that day. If you're going for a day-to-day look, Lash'd Up is your best bet. For occasions and events, I'd recommend Suzie Bumble.
TBH, learning to apply them was difficult. Learn from my mistakes.
- It helps to apply them sitting down at a desk or table because dropping them on the floor may spell the end for your lashes.
- Grab a pair of tweezers and keep them handy.
- To apply, I started with bare eyes—my first mistake. After a coat of mascara and some eyeliner, the lashes tend to adhere better and blend into your lash line more naturally. So if you wear makeup, do it first before you apply the lashes. If you don't, apply a single coat of mascara. If you're choosing Suzie Bumble or thicker-looking lashes, apply a thin-line eyeliner too, which will help the magnetic lashes look more natural.
- Then, take one of the top lashes out of the box and make sure it's curved enough to hug your lash line. If it's not, shape it around the magnets to achieve a little bend.
- With your tweezers, pick up the outermost underlayer by the lashes so the magnet is facing toward the ceiling. Make sure the lashes are curling away from you. This will help you place them well.
- Lay the top lash strand onto your top eyelashes and hold the outside edge close your lash line. Bring the tweezer up underneath your top lash line to meet it and release when the magnets catch.
- Repeat the last step for the inner corner of your eye. For me personally, this corner is more challenging because there are fewer lashes to "grab," so it took a few attempts to find the right spot. Have patience!
- If your kit has a middle under-lash (like Suzie Bumble), then repeat once more for the center set.
- To remove the lashes, I took my index finger over the top of the lashes and used my thumb to slide the under-lashes off. Again, this is best done over a desk or tabletop of some kind because you don't want to drop them.
While I had a lot of fun wearing my magnetic eyelashes and blinking my way through for outings and events, I'd have to become a pro applicator before I decided to commit to daily wear. It simply takes too much time to apply them in the morning, so I'll stick with my natural mascara. But I'll be wearing them on the regular, for sure. I love how they're reusable and don't need adhesive to stick—a green, nontoxic replacement for falsies.
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