False eyelashes, as most accounts suggest, were invented in America by D.W. Griffith, a prominent film director of the early 20th century. In one film, Intolerance made in 1916, he wanted his actress to have especially long lashes, and suggested using cuttings of hair from a wig and gluing them to the actress' eyelids. Thus the first false eyelashes were born, but they didn’t become an overnight success for the average women.
Wearing these lashes became most popular in the 1960s, and in the late 2000s, women have again begun to wear false eyelashes more regularly to fill in or give the look of fuller lashes. Models have often worn them, though, especially for photo shoots, to uphold certain standards of femininity that appeal to the fashion industry. Not everyone has thick, luscious lashes, but by adding false ones with exceptional care, everyone can look like they do. People who have lost hair due to illness may also use false eyelashes.
Today’s false eyelashes come in several forms; full sets and single lashes are most common. Single lashes may be great if you want to fill in a few spotty areas on the lash line, and they tend to create a more natural look. Full sets are placed just above the lash line to make the lashes look thicker and longer. Lengths of these lashes can vary too, with exceptionally long ones for dramatic statements and shorter ones meant to look more natural. Moreover, you can trim longer ones if you like.
A few false eyelash styles are meant to look very false. They can be colored bright pink or blue, have glitter, or be so long they simply can’t be real. These might be appropriate for costume makeup.
Eyelashes can be made out of real human hair or they can be made from various synthetic materials or from silk. Generally, synthetic lashes are less expensive. If an eyelash set doesn’t come with the necessary glue, you’ll need to buy glue to attach the lashes. Most cosmetics experts recommend you purchase the same brand glue and lashes, since they are usually formulated to work together best.
Applying false eyelashes is something of a learning process. It is easiest if you don’t apply the glue directly to your eyes but instead to the attachment point of the lashes. Using a toothpick or needle to apply glue helps so you can place a fine line of glue without making the lashes too sticky. Once you’ve added the glue, place the lashes, usually above the natural lash, and adjust as needed. The lashes won’t immediately adhere, so you have a few seconds to make an adjustment or to remove the lashes if you don’t like the look.
Some people recommend placing mascara on your natural eyelashes before applying false eyelashes. This can help the false eyelashes adhere to the natural lash. If you don’t want the drama of extra thick eyelashes, consider using single lashes to give a more natural look. Whether adding a set or a lash, once adhered to the skin, don’t pull them off. Most companies sell remover that will help you remove the false pieces when you wish, without pulling out some of your own lashes in the process.