For the first 30 years of my existence I thought the raccoon look was a mandated part of my going out look. I had no choice. Inevitably at the end of every dinner party I would look around and see my girlfriends with rosy cheeks and slightly mused hair caused by a few glasses of wine and the best kind of laughs that turn to tears. The undone, causal look of a night well had made them look even better. I would smile at their beauty as I pitter pattered to the powder room where I would catch my reflection while washing my hands AND OH MY GOD WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME I LOOK LIKE THAT?!?! Why had my mascara decided to shun my eyelashes and pool under my eyes, giving me the oh-so-rough-aesthetic of a girl who was just dumped on prom night. But more importantly, again, WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?! THESE ARE NOT MY FRIENDS! THEY ARE THE ENEMY WHO SLEPT WITH MY BOYFRIEND ON PROM NIGHT!
I quickly got into the habit of habitually wiping under my eyes to guard from raccoons. Maybe everyone else was also doing this just much more covertly than me? Is that how they were attaining this ethereal beauty with perfectly primped lashes? No. That’s insane. This must be a Me problem. Finally I confided in a girlfriend — why am I in my thirties but can’t properly apply mascara?
With a shrug of her shoulders she gave me the answer, “maybe your eyes are just sensitive.” Huh. My eyes did also turn a brilliant red after about hour two of wearing any type of mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow or concealer alike. They basically burned like hell at the end of every day (because I continue to insist on wearing concealer) but I thought a slightly burning was normal? The price of beauty?
Said friend assured me (with a slightly horrified look) that a burning sensation from your eye make up was indeed not normal — and just like that I learned a huge life lesson just shy of my thirtieth spin around the sun.
I have sensitive eyes!
Great. Now what? Well first, this magic thing called tube mascara. I talked about that here and I have never looked back since. But want about them va-va-voom lashes? You know the ones. The kind of dolled-up-going-out-eyes when you decide three martinis is totally acceptable (never drink more martinis than you have boobs — trust me) and flirting with everyone who has a pulse seems totally appropriate (again — trust me — it never is).
I had all but given up on the Bardot life until a few months ago after a forty-five minute mind numbing scroll on Instagram at the end of which I stumbled upon something that probably just fueled my Instagram addiction further but that’s okay because now I know the answer to everything.
The are faux eyelashes but instead of glue (as glue also turns my weak baby doe eyes into a red mess of Satan) there are two strips of faux eyelashes with magnetic dots that magnetize together, around your existing lash and stay in place ALL. NIGHT. LONG. No mater the activity. They don’t budge, or flop in the wind, or give you twitchy eye, or make your eyelashes as heavy as cowbells by the end of the night.
Admittedly it took me a few applications attempts and another deep dive, this time on Reddit forms, till I had nailed the technique. Sure, some people could probably get them on with their first try, but I am not one of those people. Instead I followed these steps:
1. Cut them into three different sections with a single magnet in each section. Not only is the application much easier this way, but it also lets them sit more naturally around the curve of your eyelid.
2. Put some mascara on your natural eyelashes before applying them, it gives you a little more texture so it doesn’t look like you have Daddy Long Legs Spider legs glued to your eyeballs. And the magnetic lashes have a bit more to grip to.
3. This one is annoying, but don’t buy the five dollar versions. They have a couple of uses in them before they burn out so splurge a bit more on your first pair till you get the hang of them. (If you splurge on the really nice ones, you wont have to cut them into smaller pieces)
4. If you don’t already have a faux eyelash applicator, think about investing in one for a whole three dollars on Amazon. Tweezers can also work but honestly that faux eyelash applicator is worth the three dollars and can be used with regular faux lashes as well and works ten times better than tweezers (at least for me, but maybe that’s also because watching a tweezer headed for my wide-open-eyeball induces hand tremors causing said eyelash application to be, well, subpar).
If all else fails — watch YouTube tutorials. There’s a reason everyone and your mother can contour like Kim — YouTube tutorials. You can learn anything from YouTube videos except intimacy. Just last night YouTube taught me how to install a tension rod shower curtain. There’s an answer for everything on this Internet of ours. Except, again, intimacy. You gotta put down the phone and do the hard work of listening to people to master that elusive skill.
In the quest of that magic elixir of intimacy, I went out with my girlfriends — sans phone but with magnetic lashes clamped on for the ride. And while it was difficult to not flirt with everything that had a pulse, it was a dream to laugh till I cried and not need scamper to the bathroom to check for raccoons.