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Are magnetic eyelashes worth the hype?

20191213090334

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Are magnetic eyelashes worth the hype?

False lashes can leave you in a sticky situation … literally!

If you find yourself ripping out your own lashes or tugging at leftover goo two days later, then allow me to introduce you to the concept of magnetic lashes.

What makes magnetic lashes so appealing is that they’re reusable, they don’t require messy glue and they’re less likely to rip off your natural lashes. Basically, they seem like a cool, low-maintenance version of the original, glue-on version.

While there are some luxe varieties on the market (around $70), Ardell just launched a drugstore version that’s a lot more affordable (at $11).

Instead of two magnets (like the first-generation versions), Ardell touts that these have anywhere from three to eight smaller, virtually invisible magnets embedded end to end so it will lay down seamlessly on the lashline and won’t bulge out in the middle.

The company launched both full strips as well as accents, which are placed on the outer corners of the eyes. At TODAY Style, we had to give them all a try!

The brand recommends applying a layer of mascara prior to application. This gives the lashes some grip and also helps natural lashes blend in.

Lashes are marked as upper and lower in each package. I don’t know exactly what would happen if you mixed them up (the thought gives me shivers), so let’s assume we’ll all delicately and mindfully place them back in their proper home after every use.

It seemed simple enough: With the top strip, you line up the outside of the lash with the outer edge of your lashline. Next, you bring the bottom lashes to meet the top and when they are close enough — click — the magnets snap together and you’re golden.

I won’t lie, there’s definitely a learning curve. That top lash will inevitably fall on the ground, the bottom one won’t snap into place, but after a few attempts, I started to get the hang of positioning both. The most satisfying part is hearing it actually click into place. Success!

If you do need to realign or start over, just grab the magnets at the base of your lashline and roll your thumb and index finger in opposite directions to unlock them. Then, gently slide them off your lashes.

Things seemed to be going well until … well, until I looked in the mirror. Yikes. They are a bit too bold for me! The lashes didn’t blend well with my own and I could distinctly see the magnet on the underside of the lash. If I blinked slowly enough I could feel the cold magnet on my eyeball.

It’s a feeling that’s tough to describe, but certainly not ideal.

IF YOU CONSIDER a quick swipe of mascara sufficient lash enhancement, this news may confound you, but among a growing segment of America’s female population, false lashes are a daily staple. Touted by influencers like “Shahs of Sunset” star and Lilly Lashes founder Lilly Ghalichi, fake fringes are no longer fringe, with U.S. sales reaching nearly $270 million in 2018, up 31% from 2017, according to polling firm Nielsen. Fans of fake lashes value their exaggerated, eye-opening drama, but, with their messy, irritating glue, applying them has always been a pain.

The even bigger news for lash lovers: Reusable magnetic fake lashes—which attach via a thin strip of magnets at the base instead of glue—have recently come on the scene. Intriguingly, I received a kit as a gift, but after one frustrating session trying to master the tweezer-like applicator, I understood why “how to apply magnetic lashes” was Google’s top trending beauty search in 2018. The struggle to get them on has spawned a subgenre of YouTube videos offering either clever hacks or brokenhearted reviews.

These polarized (and polarizing) temporary lashes consist of a set of two lash strips studded with tiny magnets that adhere to each other, sandwiching the wearer’s own upper lashes. They’re typically made of synthetic or human hair, and for a luxe option Uptown Lashes sells a mink set ($30, uptownlashes.com). Some kits, such as the one from One Two Cosmetics, are sold with a tweezer-like applicator included ($69, onetwocosmetics.com). Ardell’s popular lashes are more of a deal starting at $14 a kit, with an applicator sold separately for $4 (ardellshop.com). Some women use tweezers or their fingers to apply the lashes. Though simple in concept, the process is difficult in practice due to the magnets’ minute size and the exacting placement required.

New York-based makeup artist Mary Irwin said that a magnifying mirror could help, and recommends looking down into the mirror so you can see the underside of the lash. Then, dexterous users can “gently drop the top part of the magnetic lash above the natural lash,” which is the step that requires extensive practice. However, Ms. Irwin conceded that “for everyday wear, I don’t think they’re the most practical.” Having studied online tutorials carefully and still

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