Maybe you've seen ads for them, maybe a friend has let you in on her lash hack: Odds are, you've seen and heard about magnetic lashes. But are they good for you? And are they good, period? We're going to unpack all that in a second, but first, let's rewind. Long, lush, Bambi-like eyelashes are something a lot of us have to fake, whether it’s with multiple coats of mascara, lash extensions, or a good, dependable pair of false eyelashes. But if you’ve ever had to deal with pulling those little balls of lash glue from your eyes days after you wore your falsies (even after doing allll of the double cleansing), you’ve probably wished for a better solution. Enter: magnetic lashes.
When magnetic eyelashes first came on the beauty scene, they were no doubt an industry innovation, but not very easy to use. These early iterations were awkward to put on, didn’t look natural, and/or were hard to remove. Thankfully, improvements were made, and magnetic lash technology has evolved immensely. Now, you can find a great pair of magnetic lashes as easily at Target, Ulta, or Amazon.
What exactly are magnetic lashes?
Traditional fake eyelashes are usually applied by adding lash glue to the inner rim of the band, waiting a few seconds and gently adhering it to the top of your natural lashes. However, magnetic lashes, as makeup artist Renny Vasquez explains, are “strip lashes with magnets on the lash band” which are usually applied with magnetic eyeliner (though there are some styles that don’t use liner and just connect via multiple magnets). The eyeliner contains a key element: iron oxide, which is an FDA-approved ingredient that’s commonly found in eyeshadow, lipstick, powders, and skincare. “The magnets attached to these lashes have a magnetic attraction to the iron oxide mineral in the magnetic eyeliner,” says Vasquez.
The best magnetic lashes
Ready to get those movie-star lashes you’ve always dreamed of without sticky, messy glue? Shop the best magnetic lashes for all sorts of budgets and styles, below.
Best magnetic lashes on Amazon
You certainly get more bang for your buck with this deluxe eyelash kit. A whopping 10 pairs of magnetic lashes in varying lengths and densities come in this set.
If you want a classic full lash look (and don’t need a variety pack of lashes), this Luxillia kit is a great choice. It comes with everything you need: liner, brush, and tweezers, for seamless application.
This lash kit comes with five pairs in two different styles: a more natural-looking pair to wear every day, or a more dramatic lash for special occasions. Plus, they come in a cute pink tin that will look pretty on your vanity.
If it’s variety you’re after (not to mention an amazing price point) add this to your cart immediately. Boasting over 10,000 five-star reviews, this kit comes with eight pairs of different reusable lash styles, along with two shades of liner (great news for those who prefer brown liner over black!).
Best magnetic lashes and liner
Come for the adorable Hello Kitty packaging, stay for these bomb lashes that come with a mini felt tip magnetic liner. These subtle yet striking natural-looking lashes can be used up to 60 times and are waterproof (in case you want to look fabulous in the pool or…shower).
A little on the higher end, this set (which is apparently Paris Hilton’s favorite) comes with three different lashes, starting from an accent style leading up to more drama, as well as a black magnetic liquid liner and applicator. You can get up to 50 wears out of these, too. Gotta say it…that’s hot!
Natural yet luxurious, this chic bundle comes with Siberian mink lashes, magnetic liner, an applicator, and a protective case. With the proper care, the lashes last about 45 wears, and the liner is compatible with other Opulence MD products.
Top-rated magnetic eyelashes
These lashes are not only gorg, but they’re vegan, cruelty free, waterproof, and windproof. They also come with more than the average lash kit—in addition to the magnetic lashes and liner, you get cleansing oil, so you have everything you need for easy application and easier removal.
Best drugstore magnetic lashes
These lashes are made with five super-strong magnets on each lash, so once you apply the liner and let them dry, you won’t have to worry about them budging all day. Plus, they’re dermatologist-tested and free from prostaglandin, parabens, petrochemicals, formaldehyde and other icky stuff.
There are times when you don’t necessarily need a full lash look, and just a little something extra, like a half-lash will do. These accent lashes don’t require magnetic liner—though you could use it if you want to. Instead, they are applied by locking the teeny-tiny magnetics on the upper and lower lashes together onto your lash line.
There’s a bit of a learning curve with these, as you have to apply three coats of liner and let each layer dry completely before putting on the lashes. Once you do, their staying power is impressive.
How safe are magnetic lashes?
“Most lash enhancement products can be harmful to the eye, whether it's by directly damaging the lashes with harsh adhesives or irritating the skin and ocular surface with hazardous ingredients or fumes,” says Diane Hilal-Campo, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist based in Oakland, New Jersey and founder of Twenty/Twenty Beauty. However, magnetic lashes do have an advantage. As Hilal-Campo explains, “they adhere more gently, with less risk of pulling on the delicate skin or lashes (or worse, pulling out lashes!).”
She also points out that while the ingredients in the majority of magnetic lash adhesives aren't particularly clean, they're a lot better than the ones used in regular ones. “Traditional lash adhesives contain formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors, which are linked to cancer, can cause allergic skin reactions, and destroy the meibomian gland structures around the eyes and lead to death of the eyelash follicles. Magnetic liners do not contain formaldehyde so are safer,” says Campo. “Some magnetic liners do contain PEG [polyethylene glycol]; I avoid this ingredient in my formulas because it can be contaminated with known carcinogen ethylene oxide, exposure to which can be hazardous over time.” Otherwise, she says that aside from reactions that can happen to those who are allergic, magnetic liner ingredients aren't particularly unsafe.
What to know before trying magnetic lashes
Before trying magnetic eyeliner and lashes, Hilal-Campo says it’s important to establish that you don't have any allergies to the liner. “Performing a patch test on your inner arm is always a good idea,” she says. “If you don't react, go ahead and give it a shot, just be sure to thoroughly remove your lashes and liner at the end of the night to keep the area clean and healthy (you can use Twenty/Twenty Beauty’s Daily Hygiene Spray to safely kill bacteria on your natural lashes and on the fake lashes).
Once you’re good to go, apply your lashes by following the directions on the package. Keep in mind that some magnetic liners may require more than one coat. However, you’ll want to make sure it dries completely before applying the lashes, otherwise, they probably won’t stick. When you are ready to take them off, they should come off easily. “The liner removal process is just like for regular eyeliner—simply wet a cotton swab with an oil-based makeup remover and gently wipe the liner away,” says Vasquez.
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