If you know what's good for you . . .


What's the real secret to looking like a million bucks? Fake it. With lashes, of course.

Long, dark lashes are blinking out from all the beauty pages this season. And it's time you got in on this eye-opening experience. Even if you were born with a great natural set, lash enhancement can take you from 'pretty' to pretty amazing.

In fact, lengthening your lashes is the single best way to dramatically change your look. As a makeup artist who has transformed countless celebrities, TV personalities, and blushing brides, I would give up any of the eye makeup to use fake lashes . . .  it makes that much of a difference.

So where to start? If the idea of putting on fake lashes makes you quake in your Prada boots, you can spring for eyelash extensions. In this process, which is performed at salons, an aesthetician applies long individual synthetic lashes to your own lashes with a special adhesive. It takes 1-2 hours and the results are dramatic, lasting up to two months. Price: $150-450.

But for a lot less time and money, I recommend trying false lashes. Today's versions have come a long way from the artificial-looking falsies of the past. They're crafted to blend in with a woman's natural lashes, and come in a variety of colors and lengths (so you can customize your look without ending up like Tammy Faye Baker).

False lashes can be purchased anywhere from your local drugstore to the finest department stores and online catalogues. They run from $5 for one set (both eyes) to $5,000 and up. (If you must have mink, like J-Lo or Madonna, with the real diamonds, they too are available for an astounding $10,000.)

Applying false lashes is usually the last step in making up the eyes. This is, as I like to call it "the Eve Pearl Method". (Your own lashes should be naked - no mascara, no curl, just clean). Using tweezers, grab the faux lash from the outer edge of the base to remove it from the container. Measure the faux lash to your own lashes, keeping in mind that it's better to have them too short than too long. (Very few people have eyes that will need the whole strip.) Cut off the excess from the outside of the lash (cutting the inside part off will take away from the natural shorter curve of the lashes).

Turn the adhesive upside down and allow a bit of the glue to come out of the opening. Move the fake lash across the glue back and forth several times, getting a tacky thick coating without overdoing it. While the adhesive is still wet (you have about 10-15 seconds) and while holding the lash with your tweezers, place the fake lash right in the middle of your eyelid, directly above your lash line (but not on your lashes). With your fingers, press down the outer ends of the fake lash to secure it. Note: As they are drying, try to gently press with your fingers the top of the lashes and push them towards the eyelid, as though they have been curled up and away from your natural lashes. The lashes will look strange, but have faith!

To get the lashes to meet, use the mascara wand and 'weave' the fake and the real lashes together in a back-and-forth motion, while simultaneously applying and lifting the lash upward. (This raises up your natural lash while connecting to the faux lash and looks as though you've curled them.) If you put them on wrong, you'll know it, so you might want to practice a couple of times before the big event (incorrect application can close your eyes, create shadows or look like you have caterpillars on your lids). Master this trick and your eyes will sparkle with intensity and a natural-looking allure.

Remember, the eyes have it, but they need a little help to be dazzling. So don't give up on fake lashes. It takes a little practice and some patience, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be 'batting a thousand' (long, luxurious lashes, that is). Wink. Wink.