When assessing the best false lashes, consider the spectrum: There are more-is-more falsies, and there are barely detectable, maybe-she’s-born-with-it strips. My experience is with the latter. Before reality television stars and YouTube tutorials informed our modern makeup techniques, I wore false eyelashes all day, every day. Going for a French New Wave look, gluing drugstore Ardell Natural 110 strips onto my lids became a pre-work, pre-party ritual with instant gratification; I felt more glamorous and adorable with my round face’s features emphasized like a cute cartoon. Eventually, though, the heavy caterpillar versions blinking back at me while watching The Bachelor coupled with a rise of extreme extensions caused me to reevaluate my relationship. Plus, carelessly peeling them off before bed was making my natural set shed to an ultrafine fringe (preventable by first pressing a reusable round soaked in makeup remover onto faux lashes, a pro tip I learned too late).
Years passed, and suddenly my too-cool-for-fake-eyelashes attitude softened. And as if the fashion powers were feeling this same shift, faux sets started popping up on runways in iterations that seemed fresh, elegant. At Moschino’s Spring 2022 New York Fashion Week show, makeup artist Kabuki chose MAC’s 81 Charmer lashes to “up the doe-eyed effect” for the season’s debutante theme. Markarian designer Alexandra O’Neill sent models in Kiss “My Lash But Better” no-filter falsies down her first runway, reflected by the many mirrors within its glamorous Rainbow Room venue. Then, the same brand showed up on Naomi Osaka’s red Met Gala lids, where makeup artist Jessica Smalls had applied coats of Glossier Lash Slick mascara “to support the false lashes.” The effect was ethereal, not overdone.
With my interest renewed, two questions surfaced: What are the best false eyelashes for at-home application? Are they worth the effort? I gathered options from every beauty corner—Sweet Street’s So Fly strips, Winky Lux’s XXO Tinsley (yes, as in Mortimer of The Real Housewives of New York) collab, Lashify’s Control Kit—all in the name of research. After test-driving them across America, from Friday night drinks in Chicago to a holiday party in Hollywood, I narrowed down the most natural sets.
Taking into account futuristic innovations, grab-and-go accessibility, and a breadth of styles, below are the best false eyelashes for a supernatural gaze.
The Drugstore Hero: Ardell Naked Lashes
Founded in the ’70s, Ardell became a best-seller for “everyday lashes.” Today, their Naked Lash line makes it hard to tell where yours end and these begin—the true testament to a good pair of fakes. And in the scope of party prep, availability (Target, Amazon, even Bed Bath & Beyond?!) is a perk—after all, sometimes the urge for an upgraded gaze strikes at the last minute.
The At-Home Extensions: Kiss Falscara Complete DIY Eyelash Extension Kit
Runway-favorite lash brand Kiss launched an attainable version of the at-home extension method made popular by luxury lines like Lashify. Rather than applying these on top of the lashline, short strips are applied to the underside of lashes (for invisibility) and crimped into place with its ergonomic tool. Different adhesives mean these can last for a week, one night, or instantly disappear with the included remover.
The Faux-Fur Favorite: Lilly Lashes Lite Faux Mink Lashes
The feathery fur lash look that JLo popularized on Y2K red carpets can now be accomplished via completely vegan materials. With over a thousand Sephora reviews like “natural without being over the top” and “perfect for every day,” plus a near-five-star rating, Lilly Lashes takes the lead for ultra-light, wearable naturals.
The User-Friendly Glue: Lilly Lashes Power Liner Eyeliner and Lash Adhesive Hybrid
An undetectable line of glue can create the most believable results. Lilly Lashes created a user-friendly hybrid pen that swipes on like a liquid liner, then grips lashes with a waterproof, all-day adhesive. In clear, there’s room for mistakes, while liner experts can upgrade to black.
The Beginner’s Kit: Velour Lashes The Effortless Kit
With no pro-level measuring or trimming required, Velour’s Effortless line is designed for beginners to “glue and go.” This year, the brand went 100% mink-free and continuing the conscious evolution, founder Mabel Lee took it a step further and debuted 100% recyclable packaging like paperboard lash boxes and soy-based inks.
The Magnetic Starter Pack: Doe Lashes Dream Lash Duo
Doe Lashes created a starter kit for anyone hoping to try the TikTok-favorite magnetic lash look. Once Neo-Liner is drawn onto the base of the lid, it needs just ten seconds to dry for a 24-hour hold. Next, handcrafted vegan silk strips snap-on thanks to small magnets in the center, larger ones on the edges (to prevent lifting). As they say, “line, apply, and go!”
The Best-in-Brown: LoveSeen The Starter Kit
“I have three eyelashes on this eye and about seven reluctant ones on this eye,” says founder Jenna Lyons in a short film created for her new LoveSeen line. After years of trying and trimming falsies, the J Crew graduate created a supernatural collection of faux lashes in hard-to-find shades of brown that look like the real deal. Of course, inky black is also on the menu.
The Indie Stars: Prados Beauty Shawdy Lashes
Prados Beauty, the Xicana/Indigenous-owned brand, sends the message to “give back while achieving full glam!” Founder Cece Meadows hopes to grow the Prados Life Foundation and “bring new life and hope to Native American reservations.” Sustainably minded and vegan, Shawdy pairs are designed for everyday wear, while Honor The Treaties sets dial-up definition.
The Power Collab: House of Lashes x Sephora Collection False Lash in Marigold
Sephora tapped House of Lashes (the “original cruelty-free lash brand” launched almost a decade ago by founder Jenn Chiba) for an impressive collab of various styles. To sculpt a cat eye, Iris starts soft at the inner corners and builds volume and length on the outer edges. For a “natural” finish, the limited-edition Valentina has believable floofiness. Ultimately, the prices are fair, the quality is competitive, and the range is plentiful enough to suit occasions from dramatic photo ops to chill date nights.
The Cult Spinoff: The Too Faced Natural Flirt Better Than Sex False Lashes
To pair with their cult-favorite (and blush-inducing) Better Than Sex mascara, Too Faced created 3-D faux mink lashes. Connected to a thin-flex band, each pair shapes easily to your unique lid and feels weightless. The Natural Flirt fans out gently for a demi-wisp shape (where lashes go from short to long) that can be trimmed and worn on the outer edge of eyes for a subtle wing.
The Barely-There Boost: MAC 33 Ingenue Lash
Designed for “an endearingly innocent look,” MAC’s 33 ingenue lash is supposed to blend in with a mix of tiny black and brown lashes. On top lids, they can add fullness without bulk, especially for those with sparse lashes. On bottom lashes, though, they can create a ’60s-inspired mod moment. A final pro tip? After use, wrap cleaned lashes around a curved object on hand like a nail polish top or chubby marker to revive their arc, then store them in their original packaging.