Once upon a time, the only way to stick on your temporary or permanent false eyelashes was with glue. (Actually, if you go all the way back to 1899, you also had the option to have false lashes sewn into your eyelids, but thankfully that’s a beauty trend that quickly died out!)

In 2014, magnetic eyelashes also appeared as an alternative, and more recently two new products have been gaining popularity: magnetic eyeliner, and 2-in-1 eyeliner and lash glue.

So, which one’s best? The truth is that all four of them have their benefits, and a lot of it comes down to whether or not you want to wear eyeliner – since if you don’t, magnetic liner is out – and whether you’re someone who finds using lash glue easy or messy.

But let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of each option to help you choose.

applying false lashes with lash glue

Eyelash glue

The vast majority of false eyelashes that are sold today need attaching with glue. Some come with a little tube of it, while with others you’ll need to buy glue separately.

To use the glue, you dab a thin layer onto the band of the lash strip, wait until it dries to a tacky texture (usually around 30 seconds), and then place the strip into position on your eyelid.

People who are new to wearing false lashes sometimes say they find the whole glue thing messy, but this is often because they’re using too much or not allowing it to dry to the right consistency before bringing the lash to their eyelid. Practice makes perfect!

Eyelash glue pros

  • Can be easily bought in your local drugstore
  • Glues are available that dry clear, so can be used to create natural looks
  • Provides very secure, long-lasting hold

Eyelash glue cons

  • Occasionally, irritation or allergic reactions may occur, typically when using a glue that contains latex (not all of them do)
  • Leaves a gunky residue on the lash strip that needs cleaning off (and the more you handle false eyelashes, the faster they’ll wear out)

magnetic lashes in case

Magnetic eyelashes

Here, we’re talking about the traditional ‘sandwich style’ magnetic lashes that come with two strips per eye, both with tiny magnets dotted along the band.

They’re applied by placing one strip above your natural lashes and one below it, so that they grip onto your lashes in between.

Some people say magnetic eyelashes are much easier to use than glue, while others say magnetic lashes are much more finicky!

Sometimes the magnets can get stuck together before you’ve got them properly positioned, although in that case you can simply pull them apart and start over. Using a pair of special magnetic eyelash applicator tweezers can help.

Magnetic eyelashes pros

  • No risk of irritation or allergic reactions
  • Super quick and easy to remove

Magnetic eyelashes cons

  • Put the weight of the false eyelashes onto your delicate real lashes instead of your eyelid, so if worn regularly can lead to your eyelashes falling out
  • Some cheaper styles only have magnets at the center, meaning they’ll lift up at the corners

magnetic lashes and eyeliner to apply

Magnetic eyeliner

Magnetic eyelashes’ modern new sister, magnetic eyeliner offers all the benefits of magnetic application without the risk of balding eyelids!

It glides on exactly like regular liquid eyeliner, and looks like it too. The difference is that magnetic lash liner contains magnet-attracting iron oxides, an FDA-approved ingredient that’s commonly used in cosmetics.

In fact, iron oxides are typically included in standard black or brown eyeliner for color, just in a much lower concentration that isn’t enough to hold magnetic lashes in place.

With magnetic eyeliner, you only need to wear one lash strip per eye, since it ‘sticks’ to your eyeliner rather than to a second lash strip.

Magnetic eyeliner pros

  • Saves time in your beauty routine by combining liner and lash application into one step
  • As easy to use as regular liquid liner

Magnetic eyeliner cons

  • Small risk of irritation or allergic reaction, particularly if you have a history of eczema or contact dermatitis
  • Not available in a clear version due to the inclusion of dark-colored iron oxide

woman applies 2 in 1 lash adhesive glue eyeliner

2-in-1 eyeliner & lash glue

Have you ever looked at your little bottle of lash glue and wondered if you could apply it directly onto your eyelid rather than the eyelash strip? You can’t.

That’s because it’s too runny when it first comes out (which is why you need to wait for it to go tacky on the lash band) and could easily drip into your eye, which is definitely not a place you want to have glue!

However, 2-in-1 lash glue and eyeliner offers a solution. It has the same consistency as regular liquid eyeliner, but your false lashes will stick to it – so long as you press them on while the liner is still wet.

2-in-1 eyeliner & lash glue pros

  • Saves time in your beauty routine by combining liner and lash application into one step
  • Also available in a clear version if you want all the ease of a liner-like application, but without visible eyeliner when you’re done

2-in-1 eyeliner & lash glue cons

  • Small risk of irritation or allergic reactions, as with any liquid eyeliner

So in summary, to find the perfect eyelash adhesive you first need to ask yourself “glue or magnetic?” and then “will I be wearing eyeliner?”.

If the answer to that second one is yes, choosing a 2-in-1 liner and adhesive product is a fab, simple way to save yourself some time in the mornings!

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