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Magnetic eyelashes: What they are and how to use them safely

Every once in a while it’s nice to add a little oomph to your makeup look by wearing false eyelashes. For those who’ve had to deal with the pain of using tacky glue to get the lash look they want, deal no more.

Magnetic eyelashes are a safe, simple way to apply and wear false eyelashes without the sticky and painful situation caused by lash glue.

What are magnetic eyelashes?

Magnetic eyelashes are a less fussy alternative to the traditional glue-adhesive eyelashes. Until recently, false eyelashes were kept in place by applying glue to them, waiting for the glue to dry to the “right” consistency, then placing the false lashes near your natural lash line.

While eyelash glue gets the job done, it can be messy, sticky and shortens the lifespan for reusing the lashes. Magnetic false eyelashes provide two application methods that are simple and effective without the mess: magnetic eyeliner and “sandwiching.”

How to put on magnetic eyelashes 

Magnetic eyelashes are made with teeny magnetic bars installed along the lash line. You can apply the magnetic lashes in two ways: By attaching them to magnetic eyeliner or by “sandwiching” your natural lashes between two sets of magnetic lashes. 

When attempting either of these application methods, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly before touching near your eyes. You should also ensure a comfortable fit line by trimming the false lashes down to match the width of your natural lashes. 

Using magnetic eyeliner 

To achieve this method, you must apply the eyeliner along the lash line before adhering the magnetic lashes. Magnetic eyeliner contains iron oxides, a pigmented mineral commonly found in cosmetics. 

By slightly increasing iron oxide levels in the eyeliner, it becomes magnetic. The minerals are tiny and FDA-approved for use around the eyes. 

Once you apply a relatively thick coat of eyeliner and allow it to dry, the little magnets on the false eyelashes should easily line up and stick to the liner. If you need to adjust the lashes, simply pull them away from the magnetic eyeliner and place them in the desired location.

“Sandwiching” magnetic eyelashes 

If eyeliner isn’t your thing, you can still get the benefit of magnetic eyelashes. This method involves an upper and lower set of lashes for each eye.

Here are the steps for sandwiching magnetic eyelashes:

  1. Before applying the false lashes, it’s best to coat your natural lashes with mascara to give them extra gripping power. 

  2. Place the “top” set of magnetic eyelashes on the top side of your natural ones, as close to the lash line as possible without touching the skin of the eyelid. 

  3. Next, take the “bottom” set of lashes and line them up beneath your natural eyelashes. 

  4. The magnets on the top and bottom set should click together, sandwiching your natural lashes in the middle.

SEE RELATED: Risks and benefits of eyelash extensions

Are magnetic eyelashes safe?

Yes. In fact, many consider magnetic lashes safer than traditional false eyelashes that use harsh, irritating glues. The easy application and removal of magnetic eyelashes makes them easier on your natural lashes. Plus, the use of magnetic eyeliner (or using the sandwich method) provides less room for error than applying glue-on lashes. 

Potential risks of magnetic eyelashes

As with most things, there are some potential risks that come with wearing magnetic eyelashes. The most common risks are:

  • Irritation 

  • Allergic reaction

  • Eyelid pinching upon lash application

  • Lash fallout

  • Ingrown eyelashes (trichiasis)

  • Eyelid fatigue 

  • Corneal abrasion 

When buying a pair of magnetic eyelashes, it’s recommended that you pay attention to what material is used to create the lashes. Manufacturers can make false eyelashes out of human hair or synthetic fibers, which may cause irritation.

If you plan to have an MRI, you should not wear magnetic eyelashes. The scan uses a magnetic field and could cause injury or complications if magnetic lashes are present.

SEE RELATED: Can fake eyelashes cause eye infections?

Is magnetic eyeliner safe?

Yes, the FDA has approved magnetic eyeliner for use on the face and around the eyes, as long as its ingredients meet the FDA’s requirements for eye cosmetics. The formula for magnetic eyeliner is essentially the same as normal eyeliner, except there is a higher level of iron oxide present. 

If you are sensitive to certain metals, it’s recommended that you first perform a “patch test” on the underside of your forearm. If you don’t have a negative reaction on this other sensitive skin, it’s probably safe to apply magnetic eyeliner on your eyelids.

Potential risks of magnetic eyeliner

While the FDA approves magnetic eyeliner, there are still potential risks involved when using it, including:

  • Eyelid irritation (dermatitis)

  • Allergic reaction

  • Eyelid infection (blepharitis)

  • Eye injury if applied while moving (in the car, on the bus, etc.)

  • Stye development

It’s important to follow safety precautions when performing any task involving the eyes, such as applying eye makeup or inserting or removing contact lenses.

SEE RELATED: Do eyelashes grow back?

How to remove magnetic eyelashes

Removing magnetic eyelashes must be done carefully, as damage to the natural eyelashes can occur. 

If you used the sandwich application method, DO NOT pull both sets of eyelashes off at once. This can cause lash loss and damage to the lash follicle. Use clean hands to gently pry the top magnets away from the bottom magnets. They should lift fairly easily once you separate the first few. 

If you applied the lashes using a magnetic eyeliner, use an oil-based eye makeup remover and carefully wipe off the magnetic eyeliner. As it dissolves, the magnetic lashes will naturally fall off.

If you plan to reuse your magnetic lashes (one of their many perks), you can use micellar water or gentle soap to wash the lashes and prolong their lifespan.

Safety tips for using magnetic eyelashes

To make sure your eyes and natural lashes stay healthy and fresh, experts suggest the following safety tips when using magnetic lashes:

  • If a product causes irritation, stop using it immediately and remove it from your eyes.

  • Do not wear false eyelashes, eyeliner or mascara if you have any kind of irritation or infection in or near the eye(s).

  • Wash your hands before applying and removing false eyelashes. Avoid touching your eyes throughout the day to adjust or secure the lashes.

  • Make sure the lashes are clean before applying them.

  • Do not share your magnetic eyelashes with anyone or borrow used lashes from someone else.

  • Follow the recommended expiration date on the magnetic eyeliner. Do not use expired eyeliner on your eyes.

  • Try using partial eyelash strips or dividing your magnetic lashes into sections and only using the sections you need. One-third of the eye’s width is recommended for the safest, most natural-looking results.

  • Avoid wearing false eyelashes every day. Take breaks between wear sessions so lashes can breathe and rest.

READ NEXT: Is Latisse eyelash serum safe for your eyes? and Eyelash serum and how it works

Your comprehensive guide to using magnetic lashes. Bustle. March 2021.

Iron oxides. Cosmetics Info. Accessed August 2021.

Eye cosmetic safety. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. August 2020.

Lashing out: Dangerous beauty trends. Review of Optometry. November 2019.

Magnetic resonance safety assessment of a new trend: Magnetic eyelashes. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. August 2020.

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