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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!
How to apply magnetic eyelashes
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.
Let's go bold!
I started with the Magnetic Accents 002, the bolder of the two accents.
Ardell Professional Magnetic Accents #002, $11, Amazon
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.
I, for one, was grateful that removal was quick and easy. There's no way I'd be going anywhere with these on.
Next up ...
The wispier version, Magnetic Accents 001, looked a bit more natural right out of the box. I felt like this was going in a better direction.
Ardell Magnetic Lash Accent #001, $14, Ulta
It was a bit easier to snap them on after the practice session from the first set. The hairs blended more naturally to my lashline and the final look was a vast improvement. In fact, I'd wear these all day, everyday!
Now for the full magnetic eyelash strip!
Magnet placement is really important for the full-strip version. It can go really wrong without the proper reinforcement along the entire length. Ardell didn't skimp on the Double 110 so I had high hopes for the full-strip lashes.
Ardell Double 110 Lashes, $12, Amazon
Surprise setback! I thought I was a magnetic-lash-applying pro, but these were actually a huge challenge. I nearly threw them away after my 23rd attempt to line them up and snap them together close enough to my lashline.
It is possible, but the issue I found is that the falsies didn't follow the natural curve of my lashline. Both the inner and outer portion of my lashes went naked, giving it an unflattering, unrealistic finish.
Nothing a little lash glue couldn't solve, but doesn't that defeat the purpose?
I truly love this innovation!
I would, however, opt for the wispier versions and forgo the full strips altogether. It can look really unnatural if it doesn’t blend with your natural lashes. I did like how easy they are to remove with just a simple swipe of your fingers.
Ardell Magnetic Lash Accent #001, $14, Ulta
Speaking of magnets, always use your fingers to apply! Tweezers and lash tools are metal and the lashes will cling to them instead of each other. (Yes, I've learned this by trial and error.)
Also, if you have any allergies to iron or nickel, you may want to sit this one out.
"If you have a history of allergies to costume jewelry or the button of your jeans, I do not recommend using magnetic lashes," Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, told TODAY. Nickel is a common cause of skin allergies and is found in magnetic lashes. Those with a history of eczema should also be cautious because they are more likely to develop skin allergies around the eyes as well.
All in all, the accent wispies have become part of my makeup rotation and I have yet to sacrifice any of my natural lashes with repeated wear. Whichever brand you choose to try, make sure the lashes have as many magnets as possible to avoid flare outs and bulges.
Now snap to it! I recommend taking advantage of the "fringe" benefits of this new beauty technology.
For more lashes, we turned to some of our favorite beauty shops. Below are two best-sellers that are worth a mention.
Dual Magnetic Eyelashes from Vassoul, $18, Amazon
Magnetic Eyelashes from Luv & Lashes, $15, Amazon