We all know there’s nothing dreamier than long, full, gorgeous lashes framing your peepers. Some of us are more blessed than others in this department, so enhancing them is par for the course…especially on your wedding day, when you want your eyes to really stand out. Long beautiful eyelashes will make your eyes look twice as big, and can actually change the shape of your eyes, when done correctly. There are a few different courses of action, so let’s take a look at your options.

Level 1 – Mascara

Mascara is often touted as the #1 “must have” cosmetic in a girl’s beauty arsenal, or her “desert island” item. I’m inclined to agree. Mascara completely changes how your eye is framed and therefore the overall appearance of your whole face. A good mascara will run you anywhere from $6 to $40, depending on brand. And this is where it gets complicated. To answer a question that I’m asked quite a lot, there is no “best” mascara. Different products will work differently on different people. For example, people seem to love the ones from Lancome but those have always flaked off on me. Not pretty. Also, people swear up and down about the brilliance of the “pink tube” mascara – Maybelline’s Great Lash. I’ve never cared for that one either! Conversely, I love both Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash and Dior Show – they work great on me – but I’ve heard complaints about those as well. So, it’s definitely a trial and error process, and you’ll have to find what works for you.

– Side note: Half of the effectiveness of a good mascara is a good wand. Unfortunately, a makeup artist can’t use the mascara’s wand directly on your eyelashes – we have to use disposable mascara wands (or “spoolies”) for hygiene purposes. So, honestly, the brand of mascara doesn’t so much matter to a make-up artist, as we don’t have the luxury of using the fancy brush it comes with. So, feel free to bring your own mascara if you absolutely love it. Also, if a make-up artist applies mascara directly from the tube, that’s a big hygiene no-no!

Level 2 – False lashes

I use the individual lash clusters, which are made up of four or five hairs per piece. They look a lot more natural than the traditional “strip” lashes, and best of all – if you lose one, it’s no big deal. With the strip lashes, if you lose the whole thing, it’s a disaster! So I strongly recommend the individuals for a more natural (and secure) look. They’re absolutely beautiful and I put them on nearly everyone. For high drama, full lash strips are great – just make sure they’re really secure.

Level 3 – Lash Extensions

This is a salon service in which individual eyelashes are bonded to your lashes, one at a time. The glue is permanent, and the lashes will last about three to five weeks. This is the span of time your eyelashes will naturally grow out, fall out, and regenerate. So at the end of the lash cycle, you’ll have a bunch of longer and shorter lashes until they’re eventually all natural again. This service used to be very pricey ($500+) but in recent years the price has come down quite a bit. A lot of places give you the option to “pay per lash” so you can go as full as you like, depending on your budget.

And that’s my two cents on lovely lashes!