Several years ago, I read an interview with a makeup artist who worked on a commercial shoot for Maybelline Full N’ Soft mascara. Sarah Michelle Gellar was the model.

It supposedly took an hour in order to get Gellar’s eyelashes to look perfect for the shoot. With her lying down, the makeup artist applied a coat of product, then carefully combed her lashes with a tiny metal comb and separated any that were clumping together with a pin. This was repeated with several coats -– for some reason, I remember it was three, though some websites report it was as many as five!

If you remember the commercial at all (and it can be found on YouTube if you don’t), Gellar’s lashes do look amazing. But how many of us have that much time to devote to getting perfect lashes?

It certainly doesn’t seem that L’Oréal and their spokesperson Eva Longoria Parker are willing to go to the lengths that Maybelline does. The television commercials for L’Oréal Voluminous mascara featuring Longoria Parker briefly flash a disclaimer stating that “lash inserts” were used on her for “consistency." Lash inserts are better known as false eyelashes.

Now Eva’s secret can be yours too. False eyelashes today come in a huge variety of styles, from traditional strips to tiny clumps called “flare," to singles, to those designed to be used on the lower eyelid. And that’s leaving out the wilder styles made of feathers and mylar or decorated with tiny rhinestones and pearls.

False eyelashes

I no longer buy my false eyelashes from MAC or at the drugstore. The website is the site of a manufacturer that supplies many of the makeup companies with their lashes. Almost all their natural styles come in brown and black and they have short, medium and long in dozens of different configurations.

Wearing false eyelashes is a practice-makes-perfect makeup technique –- especially for full-strip lashes. The individual ones and clumps are so much simpler to apply.

Use “permanent” lash glue for individual and flare lashes. While not really permanent, it can last up to a week, depending on your makeup removal technique. I generally find that some lashes will last three or four days.

To apply, take a lash with a pair of tweezers and dip it into the adhesive. Then start at the outside corner of your eye and nestle the single or flare in between your natural lashes. That’s it. Wait about 10 minutes for the glue to dry completely before putting on any more eye makeup. Most lash makers tell you to apply strip lashes to clean, dry eye lids. However, it can take a LOT of practice to perfect the art of getting them close to your natural lashes. Even now, I still apply a line of black eye liner along the lash line so that I won’t have a gap showing between natural and fake.

Don’t use eyelash glue; duo surgical glue has better hold. Squeeze out a drop of glue and use the edge of a toothpick or pin to apply a thin line of glue along the edge of the lash strip. Bend the lashes to fit the shape of your lash line and wait about 30 seconds until the glue gets tacky. Start at the middle and then push down as close to the base of your natural lashes as possible, going first to the outside corner and then the inside corner.

I find it helps to use the handle of a thin lining brush instead of my fingers for going to the outside, rolling the brush down along the lash line. If visuals help more, you can find detailed instructions from many posters at or any number of videos at YouTube. After drying for 10 minutes, apply a coat of mascara to blend them with your natural lashes.

To remove at the end of the day, gently tug them off from the outside corner and reshape them on to the plastic holder. You can get two or three uses if you remove old glue and clean carefully with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol.

False eyelashes – one more way to have consistently beautiful eyes!