Fake lashes vs lash extensions

Here’s What You Should Know About False Lashes and Lash Extensions

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. We’ve *all* been there. You’re attending an event (me, it was a New Year’s Eve party) and you’re standing in Macy’s Sephora wondering: to wear false lashes or not to…. There’s always the option of lash extensions, glue-on lashes (but who wants to deal with all that eyelash glue?!), and the somewhat newcomer magnetic eyelashes. ICYMI: Magnetic lashes can adhere with magnetic liquid eyeliner… wtf… I know… just sayin’ though, it’s a thing. Buttt we’re not talking about that (today). Instead, we’re here to discuss the difference between false lashes and lash extensions. Now, sometimes I often feel I should talk with a licensed ophthalmologist before making a decision like this, but also a makeup artist since they’re sort of experts in the field of applying them and know what they’re talking about when it comes to the nitty gritty (eye health aside, of course). So, maybe call your ophthalmologist, but in the meantime, we’ve got with Beauty Artist and Owner of Blossom Beauty, Maggie Mae.

False Lashes

Calling all commitment phobs. False lashes AKA fake lashes… though, no need to give away all your secrets. Just say thank you, like when you buy frozen lasagna, unbox it, heat it, put it on dishes and your friends and family think you made it from scratch (come on, I know it’s not just me who does that). If you’re looking for a non-committal solution, then false lashes are the answer for you. “They are only meant to be worn for the day,” Mae tells us. So, if you’ve never had lash extensions or worn false lashes, Mae recommends false lashes. She says, “they are more affordable and less of a commitment.”

But you have a choice to make if you choose to go the false lashes route — individuals or strips. So how the heck do you know which to go with? That’s totally up to you, but JSYK individual lashes are single (obvs) and are applied to each individual natural lash to make that select one look longer. On the other hand, when you purchase lash strips, they come as a complete set to fill in the length for your entire set of eyelashes and because of the filling effect it brings the D.R.A.M.A.

So, what about mascara? Do you even need it if you’re wearing false lashes? It is *not* in lieu of mascara, lovies. That being said, “mascara is generally applied before false lashes and sometimes afterward to blend them further. But less mascara is required,” Mae says.

Applying False Lashes

“False lashes are applied using a false lash adhesive that is removed with makeup remover or facial cleanser and water. Most adhesives are latex and formaldehyde free, but you should confirm if you have any sensitivities,” Mae explains.

Sensitive Eyes

Hello, I wouldn’t do anything without contacting your ophthalmologist first, but if you aren’t me and are someone who has sensitive eyes, eyes that get irritated easily, then Mae has some thoughts. “The bride will always know her skin and eyes best. . . . I would recommend a trial for those with very sensitive eyes. If there is irritation the false lash and adhesive can be removed very easily.”

Natural Look

If you’re worried about them not looking natural, don’t. Mae says, “Both [false lashes and lash extensions] can look extremely natural. It really depends on the style that is selected.” Don’t worry about the length of the lash, either, because “a knowledgeable makeup artist will always trim the width of false lashes to fit perfectly. So, this really shouldn’t be an issue.”


Good news is that Mae tells us, “False [lashes] are included with [most] all makeup applications.” Which reminds us of that pesky thing… cost. She explains, “False lashes are definitely more affordable and can range from $5 to $50 a set if you purchase them on your own. Your artist will likely charge an application fee of $10 to $30 if you bring your own. Or you can use the artist’s lashes for their application fee of usually $25 to $50.”

Pros and Cons

Ah, the dreaded ping-pong game of pros and cons. Right this way for what Mae says are the pros and cons for false lashes.


  • Inexpensive
  • Great for special occasions
  • Easy for your makeup artist to apply
  • Comes in a wide range of styles (fullness and length)
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to remove with little to no damage to your natural lashes


  • Challenging to apply yourself without practice
  • Most adhesives are latex and formaldehyde free but your should always check (!!)

Lash Extensions

Unlike false lashes, lash extensions are “semi-permanent individual lashes that are glued onto your natural lashes and last about 6 to 8 weeks. They require fill appointments about every two weeks to stay full as your natural lashes shed.” Talk about commitment! If you’ve heard the dreadful stories from your friends of lashes falling off randomly (like Monica’s fake nail in the quiche on that episode of Friends), then get ‘em off before that happens! The way to remove them is by visiting a professional who can use a solvent, Mae advises.

Now let’s talk mascara again. “Mascara should not be applied to lash extensions as it can damage the adhesive and cause the extensions to fall off when removing the mascara.”

PRO TIP: “Lash extensions should only ever be done by a professional. It takes knowledge and training to properly apply lash extensions so that no damage is caused to the lashes or, worse, the eye,” Mae tells us.

Sensitive Eyes

One option is to contact (!!) your ophthalmologist. But as far as Mae’s suggestion: do a patch test for before a full application because it is semi-permanent and more difficult to remove.


“Lash extensions range from $100 to $400 for the initial application and require a fill about every two to three weeks which ranges about $50 to $175,” Mae estimates.

Pros and Cons

Mae tells us, like with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to going the route of lash extensions.


  • Offers fuller, longer lashes on a daily basis
  • Gives a natural look
  • Makes your daily routine simpler
  • Has a wide range of fullness and length options


  • More costly and requires regular maintenance
  • Requires a professional to apply and remove
  • Requires oil-free cleansers and products
  • Requires daily brushing and care
  • Can cause natural lashes to shed more quickly due to the extra weight
  • Wearing lashes that are too long or too thick for your lashes can actually cause damage in the long run, so you need to make sure your extensions aren’t too much longer or thicker than your natural lashes


Photo by The Montoya Collective (btw, that’s false lashes the bride’s wearing)

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