Introducing Get Into It, assistant editor Nadia Ebrahim’s monthly beauty column where she guides us through the sometimes-overwhelming-but-always-exciting maze of hair, skin-care, and makeup launches. This week, she reviews cluster and magnetic lashes.
What we’re getting into: Emboss Beauty CL01 Natural Cluster Lashes, $18 and Ardell Magnetic Demi Wispies Liquid Liner & Lash Kit, $19.99
Why we’re getting into it: I’ll admit it. I’m afraid of falsies. I’ve worn them a grand total of twice in my life. The first at prom and the second this past summer while on a girls trip — both times applied by friends. I’ve always admired how glamorous they look on other people, but no matter how many YouTube tutorials I watch, I’ve never trusted myself to put them on. So, with the holidays coming up, I figured why not give faux lashes a try. My choices? Toronto-based lash brand Emboss Beauty Cluster Lashes and Ardell’s Magnetic Lashes.
When it comes to makeup, I lean more towards the natural side (think TikTok’s latest viral beauty trend, ‘Clean Look’) so clusters, which are individual lashes, seemed like the obvious choice — especially for lash newbies because we can apply mascara and then use the individual lashes to accentuate and build length and volume where we’d like. “Cluster lashes are completely customizable. You can decide if you want to build an entire lash or just add a few to the ends to create an everyday look,” says Julia Vuong, founder of Emboss Beauty. Plus, these clusters are made with synthetic fibres so they’re lightweight and more comfortable than a full strip lash because the lash band (the part that sits along your lash line) is thinner.
For my first try, I wanted to add a touch of drama to the outer corner of my eyelashes. Emboss Beauty has two types of cluster lashes; the CL01 Natural Cluster Lashes, which are the more-natural option, come in three different lengths ranging from small (10mm) to medium (12mm) to long (14mm). I used two medium-length clusters and one long cluster to create my own shape. Armed with tweezers (for accuracy), a mirror, DUO Brush On Clear Adhesive, and all of Vuong’s tips, I started with one medium cluster in the centre of my lash line after applying a coat of MOB Beauty Volumizing Mascara.
Here’s a hack that’ll really change the game for those just starting out: “Angle your mirror lower than your eye and look above it,” suggests Vuong, who’s also a professional makeup artist. When you apply your lashes in front of the mirror you risk your lashes looking droopy instead of lifted (check out Vuong's TikTok for a visual explainer). I applied the glue on the lash band and waited 30 seconds for it to get tacky before applying. (Waiting for the glue to get tacky makes the application process easier because it’s harder to stick on lashes while glue is wet. This also minimizes the number of attempts and the amount of glue used.) Vuong also recommends opting for a brush-on glue like the one I used instead of a squeeze tube for easier application. Those with sensitive eyes should opt for a latex-free formula.
With my mirror laying flat, and my elbows secured on the table, I applied the first cluster above my real lashes in the middle of my eye using a tweezer. Once I got it on, I used my fingers to sandwich the clusters and my real lashes together. I repeated this process with the second medium-length cluster and followed up with the long-length cluster at the ends of my eyes.
Reading this sounds easy, but for full transparency, as someone with zero lash skills, this process took me a solid 30 minutes and multiple attempts to complete both eyes. The results were definitely worth it though. I got the extra length and lift I was looking for while still maintaining a natural look.
Now that I had a confidence boost, I was ready to give Ardell’s Magnetic Liquid Liner & Lash Kit a try. Magnetic lashes are different from regular strip lashes because there are magnets aka iron oxides along the band and in the eyeliner formula that fuse together. “With magnetic lashes, the adhesive is in the eyeliner so it replaces glue,” says Jadene Munson, Ardell Global Brand Ambassador. Don’t worry though, it’s safe to use around the eye because the electromagnetic frequency emitted from the magnets is extremely low.
Hear me out, putting on magnetic lashes is easier than traditional strip lashes… in theory. There’s no need to wait for glue to get tacky; it’s as simple as lining your eyes and popping on the lashes. But that’s if you’re someone who’s used to wearing liquid eyeliner.
That someone is certainly not me.
“Practise, definitely practise. Just like with any lash application, no one gets it perfect on the first try,” says Munson. She was right. I hadn’t worn liquid eyeliner since my high school cat eye Tumblr days. To apply the magnetic lashes, I propped the mirror upright to draw on the liner as evenly as I could. When it came time to actually stick the strip lash on, I used my fingers and immediately felt the magnets working to bring the lashes and liner together. I repeated the same steps on the other eye and this process took around 30 minutes to complete, too.
If you’re like me and need all the tips you can get, Munson suggests cutting the lashes in half or into smaller parts (be careful to not cut the magnets) so you have more time to apply them before the liner dries. She also recommends pre-curling the lash strip with an eyelash curler to give you an eye-opening lifted look.
Despite the few hiccups I had wiping off and redrawing the liner, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I chose the Demi Wispies, which is a natural style but paired with a thick dark liner, the overall look was more dramatic and something I would wear for a night out.
Bottom Line: For under $20, I’d easily recommend both. The Emboss Beauty CL01 Natural Clusters come with 36 individual lashes and can be used up to 15 times when stored in the packaging box. The Ardell Magnetic Lashes can also be reused. Plus, they both come off the eyes quite easily with micellar water and a cotton swab.
I can see myself using these products to glam up any look. The clusters can also be used to even out lash extensions between refills and if you’re as devoted as Ariana Grande to your liquid liner, the magnetic lashes are made for you.
Looking for a more voluminous lash look? Check out these options:
Tools to help with application and removal:
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