False eyelashes: officially a trend

It wasn’t so long ago that false eyelashes were considered tacky/OTT/ suitable for fancy dress parties only.

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Oh, how times change… The fashion for falsies has been percolating for the last six months or so and I now have scientific proof that it’s boiled over into a fully-fledged trend.

Exhibit A: When eyelash extensions arrived on the UK market about four years ago, people in the business barely batted an eyelid but at the autumn/winter shows earlier this month, ‘everyone’ was wearing them, according to my spies on the front row.

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Exhibit B: During awards season last month, standard issue falsies were spotted everywhere from the BAFTAs to the ELLE Style Awards, looking natural but amplified.

Exhibit C: Although I’m loath to concede them that much influence, Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham have also been fanning the trend with their sophisticated fakes.

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And as if that wasn’t evidence enough, last week came the announcement that recent sales of false eyelashes in Boots were up by a whopping 25 per cent compared to the same period last year.

But the really exciting part is, thanks to all the great, modern versions now available, false eyelashes can look really, really good. Get them right and they open up and brighten your face so effectively, you almost don’t need any other make-up.

The key to pulling off fakes in 2009 is to keep the look as natural as possible. Try Ardell Fashion Lashes Starter Kit, £5.45 – I wore these to an event recently because someone in the team had scrawled ‘budget but brilliant’ on the packet – and they were. Or buy Ruby & Millie iLash Kit, £13 – they’ve sold more than 18,000 sets of their natural-looking lashes over the past year, so they must be good.

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If strips still feel like too much, go for individual clusters, such as Shu Uemura Flare Eyelashes Set, £11.74.

Apply mascara first as this gives you a thick, long base to work with, then, for each eye, use anywhere between five and 15 lashes on the top lash line. Place the longest lashes in the centre, directly above your pupil as that’s where lashes are naturally longest, saving the shorter ones for the outer and inner corners. Go in with a liquid eyeliner at the end to fill in any gaps between the natural line and the new lashes.

A word of warning: start experimenting soon – it’s a trend so one blink and you’ll miss it.

Read more tried and tested eyelash extensions in ELLE's a-z beauty guide 

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