I will start this review with a disclaimer: I am decidedly not an expert in applying false lashes. I went through an extremely brief phase in college where I tried to keep up with my falsie-enthusiast roommate but ultimately decided penny beer nights at a dive bar on the side of a highway weren’t worth the effort. Now in my thirties, I wear glasses and work from home most days — two more reasons to never really bother with false lashes. I say all of this so when I tell you that Lilac St.’s at-home lash extension kits are so easy to apply even a total beginner could do it, you know I mean it.
To create each clump of lashes, the individual vegan lashes are attached to a black cotton thread “with minuscule amounts of glue,” according to founder Alicia Zeng. This, she claims, is what makes the lashes extremely light and flexible — two qualities I can personally attest to. The Simple Starter Kit is $25 and includes two lash sets, glue, and the applicator tool. If you don’t want to splurge on the full $65 Deluxe Starter Kit, I’d recommend also at least buying the Crystal Coat ($12) and Ciao for Now Lash Remover ($15) as part of your first purchase. Especially if you’re a beginner like me, I’d actually suggest upgrading to the Pro Glue ($15, and comes in the Deluxe Starter Kit but not the Simple), too. It has an applicator like a mascara wand, which I think is easier to control than the mini brush applicator that comes on the regular glue.
After all that, lash sets are just $7 each and all come in a range of lengths from 10 to 16 millimeters. The sets are available in many levels of va-va-voominess, from the ultra-wispy Dawn (the one I tested for this story) to the “maximum intensity” Icon.
Application is relatively simple; if you’ve tried any other brands of at-home lash extensions, you’ll find it’s a similar process. You apply the glue to your natural lashes using a wand that basically looks like a tiny mascara brush, then you use the applicator tool to place the segments one at a time underneath your natural lashes just above your lashline. (Zeng recommends overlapping each segment just a bit, to build a stronger base and fill in gaps.) Once you’re happy with the placements of all the segments, you use the applicator tool to fuse them to your natural lashes with a pinching motion. Finally, you apply the clear Crystal Coat to seal everything together. (This is why I recommend buying the Crystal Coat, and wish the starter kit just came with it!)
Lilac St.’s website claims the application only takes 10 minutes, which is probably true once you get even better at it than I am. Before wearing them again to write this review, I’d only done one test run of the Lilac St. extensions, so it’s still taking me closer to 20 to successfully apply them. Since I’m right-handed, I find the right eye to be a piece of cake. Doing my left eye is more of a struggle — my hand is awkwardly crossed across my face, my nose gets in the way, my eyesight is worse in my right eye which has to guide me when I’m applying to my left — but just like I can now successfully apply liquid liner to both eyes after a lot of practice, I assume adding lashes to both eyes will soon be a breeze.