Ever since my high school's production of "Grease," I've been something of a faux eyelash aficionado. I may not have had a speaking role, but I did have my cast-mates lining up backstage for me to apply their false lashes every night before the show.
In the 15 years that have followed, I've gotten the fake eyelash thing down to an art, and spread my acquired wisdom to anyone willing to listen: Choose black glue over white when it's available, dip the lash strip into said glue rather than applying it directly, always keep a set of tweezers on hand and don't even bother with eyeliner 'til everything's set.
Even so, there's no denying that it's a process — and one that can get messy real fast. Not to mention all the real lashes that so often get uprooted during removal, and the fact that, typically, each pair of falsies only lasts through one wearing.
So last month, when I started noticing posts popping up on Instagram advertising "magnetic" false eyelashes that claimed to stay on all day without causing damage, I was intrigued. But I found the concept initially confusing: Was I supposed to believe that these eyelashes were somehow just attracted to my natural anatomy? So I reached out to One Two Cosmetics, the company that makes them, to ask for some magnetic lashes to test out for this post. Success!
Here's how magnetic lashes work IRL: Each lash strip is actually comprised of two strips layered together, labeled "top" and "bottom." There are tiny magnets along the bases of them, which hold the pair of lashes together to sandwich around the wearer's natural lashes.
Each One Two Cosmetics lash kit (there are three versions: Original, Bold, and Accent — I tried Original) comes with two complete pairs of lashes and an applicator, which is sort of a flexible plastic tweezer with weaker magnets on the ends. (See photo, below.) Also worth noting: The packaging looks like a luxury cosmetics compact, and has magnetic qualities, itself, in order to store the lashes with ease.
I found the applicator somewhat difficult to use. If you don't line up the false lashes perfectly with where you want to position them on your real lashes — ideally as close to the root as possible — the magnets attract anyway, and you've got to remove them and start over completely. I noticed that most photos and videos of the lash application don't include the applicator, and I assume this is why. An alternative application method is resting the "top" last on your lid and then joining it to the "bottom" lash using your fingers.
After several tries, I was fairly satisfied with the placement of my lashes. They initially felt heavier than the glued-on variety I've become used to, but over the course of a half hour, I stopped noticing them. For this experiment, I chose to wear them without mascara to see the real impact they had on my natural lashes. You can view my results, below.
I'll be honest: Based on my prior experiences with gimmicky beauty and hair products (hello, Sleep Styler and upside-down mascara!), I was so, so ready to hate magnetic eyelashes. But overall, I was impressed. They really did stay put throughout the entire day, and I never felt like I needed to check whether they needed adjusting. Not dealing with any messy glue was great — and when I was ready to remove them, the process was pain-free and took only seconds — just as was promised.
But there are a few downsides. I didn't love the fact that the magnetic lashes only sit on the outer corner of my eyes, instead of extending all or most of my lashes. This would probably be less noticeable if I were wearing mascara and had curled my natural lashes before applying the magnetic ones. It might also be worth trimming the lashes slightly to make the shape a little more tapered. It's also really difficult to get them to attach right at the base of the natural lashes, even once you've gotten good at connecting the magnets. (This is most obvious on closed eyes — see above photo.)
And while I was lucky enough to try out One Two Cosmetics's magnetic lashes free of charge, others who are interested in giving them a go may not be so pleased with the price: Depending on which variety of lashes you choose, each two-pack will set you back $59 to $69 (comparatively, drugstore lashes typically cost around $4 per pair, though higher-end versions certainly run into the double digits).
But for those who are sick of spending forever in front of the mirror trying to line up their falsies on sticky eyelids with sticky fingers, or tearing out their natural lashes at the end of the night (or the next morning — let's be honest, here)... these magnetic lashes could actually be a very worthwhile investment. They're convenient, innovative, and just plain neat. The force is strong with these ones, literally — and I may just be a convert, myself.