I consider myself a makeup minimalist with sporadic moments of maximalism, usually in the form of a brightly-colored lip or a dash of graphic liner. My lashes are something of an afterthought in comparison, receiving a quick curl, and then a swipe or two of mascara to lengthen and tint; nothing too crazy, and rarely any product on the bottom lid. However, BeautyTok has convinced me to give my eyelashes a bit more consideration as we head into the depths of winter, when my mouth will be wrapped in layers of scarves and glossy red lipstick would be a grave mistake (so many stray hairs stuck to your mouth). Doll lashes in particular have taken over my FYP, and given that I’m a longtime Twiggy fan — the British model known for her mod gamine style and thick, spidery lashes — I decided to attempt the trending look.
“The doll lashes trend is a nod to the mod makeup trends of the ’50s and ’60s,” explains celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon. “Think Twiggy, Shelly Duvall, and Sharon Tate.” She tells me that while false lashes can definitely help you achieve this lash style, it’s also feasible with the right mascara — and lots of it. Since I’ve never been able to apply fake lashes, despite my best effort and lots of YouTube tutorials, I decided to forgo the falsies and stick with Aharon’s assurance that mascara could turn me (or at least my lashes) into a doll for the night.
How to Prep for Doll Lashes
Obviously, copious amounts of mascara are in play with this look, so Aharon suggests avoiding applying anything too creamy on your upper or lower lid to prevent product transfer. As a regular eye cream user, I skipped this step in the morning and moved right to SPF. Once I was ready to apply makeup (I typically try to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes after finishing skin care to allow everything time to dry), I used a lightweight concealer under my eyes to soften my dark circles. Next, I carefully curled my top lashes, squeezing each side with the curler for about 10 seconds. “You want the most lift you can get prior to mascara,” Aharon says. Then I used a black gel liner to darken my upper waterline and help my lashes look even darker at the base.
How to Achieve Doll Lashes
Aharon recommends looking for a volumizing formula, like the Revlon So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Mascara, that can also help to lengthen the hairs simultaneously. “Apply your mascara holding the wand vertically to deposit as much product as possible, and then brush them up holding the wand horizontally to build length and some separation,” she says.
To help coax my lashes into stylized clumps, AKA that spidery doll look, I watched a few TikTok videos for technique tips. It seemed like using tweezers to squish together groups of hairs was the most effective method, although the thought of accidentally ripping out my lashes gave me serious pause.
Testing the Doll Lashes Trend
Starting on my right eye, I applied two thick coats of mascara, wiggling the brush vertically from root to tip before flipping it to comb through the hairs for extra length. Then I very carefully squeezed groups of three to four hairs between my tweezers, pressing firmly to keep them together. This wasn’t always successful, especially on the outer part of my upper lash line where the hairs are either very curly or extremely straight (a frustrating combo). I also had to work quickly while the mascara was still wet — if it got too dry, I’d have to reapply to help the hairs stick together. Overall it took about five minutes to clump my lashes into groups before moving onto my bottom lid, and I’ll admit, they did look pretty doll-like.
This is where things started to go haywire. Obviously these lashes are much shorter than the ones on my upper lid, so applying that much mascara meant I inevitably smeared product under my eyes. Squeezing the lashes together was also extremely time consuming as my lashes didn’t seem to want to cooperate. Getting them to stick together was much more difficult than it had been for my upper lashes, to the point that I essentially gave up after ten minutes. Once I more or less completed the right eye and moved on to the left, I could already feel all the enthusiasm for my doll lashes idea leaving my body. Using two coats of mascara and calling it a day felt like all the drama my otherwise long lashes needed.
In the name of beauty journalism, I half-heartedly completed the other eye, swiped my undereyes with one more cotton swab to remove excess product (there was plenty), and headed out the door in my best ’60s shearling coat and knee-high boots.
Did my friends comment on my doll-like resemblance? One or two told me that my lashes looked particularly luscious, but when I went to check my makeup in the bathroom mirror, the carefully defined sections had started to separate. The look was still dramatic enough to warrant a night out, but for all the effort I spent in front of the mirror, the payoff didn’t seem worth it. I’d rather learn how to apply falsies that already have that spidery lash look and save the mascara for my typical everyday makeup. Consider it my New Year’s beauty resolution.
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