Fiber Mascara vs. Strip Lashes – Which Looks Best?
Posted on September 24 2021
One of the most common refrains of mascara marketing is a ‘false lash effect’, but can a mascara ever truly recreate that lusciously-long and feathery-full look of a good set of falsies? Well, if there’s one type that might come close it’s fiber mascara. So what is it, and just how well does it compare to glue-on strip lashes?
What is fiber mascara?
Also known as 3D fiber mascara, fiber lashes, or brush-on lash fibers, this product is mascara with an added boost. It combines the standard mascara formulation we all know and love with short, fiber ‘hairs’ (typically made from silk, nylon or rayon) which will temporarily stick to your lashes – especially the tips – to make them look longer and fuller.
What are strip lashes?Also known as false lashes, strip lashes are eyelid-length rows of lashes, held together by a narrow band, which are applied with adhesive to the eyelid just above the natural lash line. They come in many varieties, including synthetic-fiber, natural silk or mink, and even human hair! Strip lashes are also available in a choice of single-use ‘peel and stick’ versions, or the more common (and more eco-friendly) reusable versions that are applied with a skin-safe glue.
How to apply
Some fiber mascaras are an all-in-one product, and are simply applied as you would any other type of mascara. Other fiber mascaras meanwhile involve a 3-step process: first, you apply a coat of mascara to create a sticky base, then you brush on dry fibers from a separate tube, and finally you apply another coat of mascara to seal them into place. It’s important during step two to focus primarily on the tips of your eyelashes, so that lots of fibers catch there and extend the length of your natural lashes.
Strip lashes, as we’ve mentioned, are usually applied with special eyelash glue. If the lashes are brand new, first gently bend them with your fingers so that they better follow the curve of your eyelid. Apply a thin line of glue just above your eyelashes, leave it a moment to go tacky, and then press the lash strip gently into place.
Drugstore-brand fiber mascaras can be found for less than $10, while premium brands can set you back between $20 and $35. They’ll last, well, however long a tube of mascara usually lasts for you – although bear in mind that some 3-step fiber mascaras come in a dual-ended tube where the liquid mascara end is only half the size of a regular tube. And if you’d usually only apply one coat, the two-coat process will naturally use it up quicker.
Strip lashes are priced fairly similarly, ranging from $5 at the very budget end of the scale through to around $30. A lot of that cost variation depends on whether you are choosing synthetic fibers, or more realistic-looking natural fibers. Here at Mademoiselle Lash for example, our vegan-silk lashes start from $16 (less if purchased as part of a bundle) and each strip lasts up to 25 uses.
The pros and cons
Compared to standard mascara, fiber mascara offers a much more dramatic look for sure. It’s true that they add length to your natural lashes. However, due to the multiple coats that are often required, plus the way the fibers stick haphazardly to your lashes (unlike lash extensions where each fiber is precisely positioned), they often have a bit of a ‘heavy’ look, and can appear clumpy. Just google pictures – you’ll see what we mean! The fibers also tend to flake off easily, so fiber mascara is better suited to short-term than all-day wear.
While mascara only offers you one look, strip lashes allow you to switch things up. Feeling long, wispy lashes one day, and a glamorous cat’s eye flick the next? Strip lashes make it perfectly possible. Applying them can take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it should only add a couple of minutes to your morning makeup routine. One downside of strip lashes is that the ultra-cheap ones can look obviously fake, but that’s easily solved by buying a better-quality pair!
So, fiber mascara or strip lashes?
All in all, we think can fiber lash mascaras can be fun to play around with, but they’ll never truly look as good as high-quality strip lashes. Instead of adding more lashes, they increase volume by making each lash appear thicker, for an end result that’s long but also dense and heavy.
For an alternative that will leave your lashes looking beautifully defined, take a look at our premium strip lashes!