The 10 Best At-Home DIY Eyelash Extension Alternatives
True confession time: I really love long, voluminous eyelashes. In the past, I have spent hundreds of dollars getting professional eyelash extensions, and damaged my natural lashes in the process. After about two years (and a couple of botched jobs and allergic reactions to glue), I finally decided that professional extensions weren’t worth it. So, I went on a quest to find DIY eyelash extensions that would give me similar results without draining my bank account.
I’ve tried literally every single method on the market to remedy my short, blonde eyelashes. I’m here to share with you all what works, what doesn’t, and how to maximize these methods to get the long, thick and dark lashes of your dreams. Better yet, you can do this without even leaving the house!
From magnetic lashes and lash lift kits to natural oils to condition your lashes, here is a list of the 10 best, most affordable alternatives to professional eyelash extension and enhancements at home.
Be sure to carefully read the application information for each product, and always ask your dermatologist or doctor about any safety concerns before trying a new product or method.
Eyelash Curler and Mascara
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but after years of eyelash extension trial and error, I have to confess that the good old curler and mascara combo may be one of the best methods for long, curly lashes. Eyelash curlers and mascaras are so advanced now that you are practically guaranteed to find one that you love. I recommend experimenting with different mascara wand shapes, and different formulas to find your favorite.
Safety tip: Always be super gentle when using an eyelash curler and mascara. Clean both the curler and your mascara wand regularly, since bacteria can cause irritation to your eyes. Replace your mascara every few months to avoid bacteria buildup and to avoid damaging your eyelashes with dry, clumpy mascara.
Heated Eyelash Curler
As I mentioned above, eyelashes curlers have come a long way, and are now high-tech! That’s right, heated eyelash curlers are now a thing. Just like curling your hair, heated eyelash curlers use gentle heat to hold that epic eyelash curl even longer.
Safety tip: Do some research before purchasing a heated eyelash curler. Read reviews, and be sure you’re purchasing one that is highly recommended. Be warned that you are applying heat very close to your eyes, and damage is possible.
Glue-On Lash Strips
Another decades-old false lash option that is still going strong today is glued false lash strips. This is a great option for those who want a quick, simple solution. The glue is much less strong than the individual lash glue, and will likely only last for a day or two, with minimal damage when removed.
Safety tip: You may be tempted to rip these off at the end of the day before bed, but I recommend using a removing solution to avoid damage to your natural lashes.
Glue-On Individual Lashes
Be warned, this is by far the most difficult, time-consuming at-home alternative to eyelash extensions, and poses the most risks of damage and irritation. I’ve mastered this method after many tries with a practiced, steady hand — but proceed with caution, my friends. With glued individual false eyelashes, you are gluing individual lashes to your natural eyelashes. But the results are pretty epic. Lashes for days, and for a fraction of the price of salon extensions.
Safety tip: Do some research and watch several videos before attempting this method yourself, as there is a risk of damaging your eyes and lashes. The glue is very strong, and will pull out your natural eyelashes if done incorrectly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully on how to apply individual eyelash extensions at home.
Lash Lift Kit
Another popular salon procedure that tends to break the bank a little is a lash lift. Luckily, lash lift kits are now available for you to try at home. Think of it as a perm for your eyelashes, using a chemical solution and a lash curling brush. It is somewhat of a lengthy process (and takes some practice to master) but is a great alternative to an expensive eyelash lift.
Safety tip: Do some research and watch a tutorial (or three) before attempting this at home. It can be a bit difficult to do on yourself, so be sure to understand the process before beginning.
Lash Tint Kit
Similar to a lash lift, lash tinting has also become very popular these days. For those with light lashes like me, this is a great way to get darker and more defined eyelashes. At-home lash tint kits are very affordable, and a quick and easy solution.
Safety tip: As with most other methods, applying any liquid such as dye so close to your eye can cause skin and eye irritation, so be very careful during application.
One of the trendiest, most innovative alternatives to eyelash extensions? Magnetic eyelashes. These lashes have small magnetic strips and adhere to a magnetic liquid eyeliner. Crazy, right?! I can personally attest that there are some awesome magnetic lashes on the market. These are a great alternative to eyelash extensions or glued strips, and can be applied and removed as often as needed without damaging your natural lashes.
Safety tip: Because the liquid eyeliner these magnetic lashes come with is also magnetic, be as precise as possible when applying it. Getting the eyeliner in your eyes could cause irritation.
Eyelash Growth Serums
My absolute favorite way to get long, dark, luscious eyelashes is with eyelash growth serum. I’ve tried a few of these serums, and they seriously work. After applying a serum for a few weeks, my blonde eyelashes were much darker, and twice as long. I couldn’t believe these results, and definitely recommend this method for anyone wanting to enhance their natural lashes.
Natural Eyelash Enhancing Solutions
Castor oil has been a versatile beauty and skin care solution for decades. While it may not be an instant solution for glam eyelashes, it can certainly help you grow your eyelashes out. I would suggest this method for anyone who has damaged, short lashes as a result of removing eyelash extensions (I feel your pain). Castor oil will condition and moisturize your eyelashes to encourage growth and prevent further breakage.
Safety tip: Do a patch test somewhere on your skin before applying castor oil to your eyelashes. Use a very small amount when applying, and avoid contact with your eye.
Similar to castor oil, coconut oil is another all-natural way to condition your eyelashes to set the stage for growth. Applying coconut oil to your eyelashes daily will moisturize and nourish your lashes while preventing breakage. While this method will yield slower results than others, it is a great option for those looking for a natural alternative to growth serums. Plus, there are dozens of other ways you can use coconut oil in your beauty and wellness routines.
Safety tip: Do a patch test somewhere on your skin before applying coconut oil to your eyelashes. Use a very small amount when applying and avoid contact with your eye. Remember that while it may be semi-solid, it melts to a liquid when warmed, and may drip once applied to your skin.
Whether you are just looking to enhance your natural eyelashes, or going for a full-out glam look, there is an affordable eyelash extensions alternative out there for you.