The Best Eyelash Glue: Latex, Latex-Free, Clear, Dark—And FAQs You May Have
There’s a lot of information about false lashes online, but… not so much about the eyelash glues that hold them in place! As always, we’re here to help.
Below, we go in-depth about eyelash glues: our reviews and picks for the best eyelash glue, how to pick the right type (and a discussion of latex and latex-free, and what it means), and how to apply, use, and re-use lashes so you can get the look you want. Let’s start with…
A Quick List of Our Favorite Glues
Here are the glues we’ll be reviewing. We have minor critiques of them, but we’d recommend each of them, and we’ll go into more detail about why below:
Now let’s take a look at why each of these is interesting:
Kiss Strip Eyelash Adhesive
If you’re just beginning to dabble in wearing false lashes, the Kiss Strip Eyelash Adhesive can be a great eyelash glue to start with. It was formulated to be quite gentle, with a fragrance- and latex-free formula, so those with sensitive eyes might want to give it a try over latex-based glues.
This lash glue comes with a built-in brush applicator which makes for a very beginner-friendly application—you brush it lightly to coat the base of your lashes, and it requires about 30 seconds to become tacky and sticky, so that can give you a bit of playtime to adjust the lashes if you apply them incorrectly. If like to run through your beauty routine at high speed, they may not be a perfect pick, but if you’re new to false lashes/glue and you need a little time to get things right, that 30-second chunk of time can be enough to get things sorted out.
The formula does include a bit of aloe vera, but we don’t really expect skincare ingredients to have much of an impact as part of eyelash glue formulas—but it certainly doesn’t hurt! We think this is a great eyelash adhesive to start with, especially if you’re nervous about irritating the eye area or making a mess.
May be a good option if: you’re looking for a beginner-friendly, latex-free glue that gives you some time to settle your lashes before the glue dries.
DUO Strip Lash Adhesive in White-Clear
It would be a sin to list the best eyelash glues without including DUO’s Clear Strip Lash Adhesive. In our experience, Duo glues are something of an industry standard, and a lot of makeup artists use them.
The formula looks white, but once it’s set and ready to go it becomes clear, and that’s a wonderful feature, because it tells you when it’s safe to continue with your makeup. It’s worth noting that DUO can take a little bit of time to dry down and become tacky (maybe 20 or 30 seconds—it’s marketed as quick-drying, but we’ve definitely found others that dry quicker), but once it does become tacky, it holds very well.
DUO is made with latex, which is a very powerful adhesive ingredient (and we discuss that in more depth below), but… well, it doesn’t smell particularly great. Fans of latex glues usually find a way to deal with that, though, because latex-based eyelash adhesives can make false eyelashes easier to just peel off at the end of the day, and if you’ve ever wrestled with a falsie making a stand—well, easy-to-remove can be a very nice thing, and it can elongate the life of your false lashes.
The only drawback to Duo’s eyelash glue is that it comes in a tube, so you have to squeeze it and then figure out how to apply it to your false lashes (many people want to apply the glue to the lashes directly from the tube, but that’s one of the techniques you may want to stay away from. For personal use, it usually makes sense to use a brush—apply the glue to a brush, and then use the brush to apply the glue to the lashes. For professionals and makeup artists, it usually makes sense to squeeze a small amount on the tip of a makeup artist’s metal spatula and then gently run it over the base of the lashes, so you can deliver the exact amount you want to apply.
If you like Duo but you’re not a fan of latex, Duo also has a latex-free version of the clear adhesive (the DUO Brush-On Lash Adhesive) that comes with a built-in brush.
May be a good option if: you’re looking for a powerful, latex-based formula that dries fairly quickly and is easy to remove.
DUO Strip Eyelash Adhesive for Strip Lashes in Dark Tone
While Duo Clear is the original, the Duo Strip Eyelash Adhesive in Dark Tone is a very welcome addition, and we think it’s a fantastic eyelash glue to try if your makeup aesthetic is eye-focused and dark (which is very often the case for those who wear false eyelashes regularly!).
This was one of the first eyelash adhesives on the market to come out in black, which makes it much easier to pair with certain makeup looks. Whereas clear eyelash glues are fantastic and have a lot of fans, they can show up or cause gaps, whereas black eyelash glue can blend in with your eyelashes and eyeliner seamlessly.
Beyond that, the formula is nearly identical to DUO’s original one, with the same reputation for excellent hold and easy, peel-off removal. This means that it comes with the same drawbacks, as well, like the odd scent and slightly more fussy application process.
If you’d describe your makeup style as smokey, or even retro-inspired, then you may appreciate the eyeliner-like color of this glue (and we’ve recommended it to a couple of friends who have liked it a lot). Keep in mind, though, that while this formula can be fantastic, it's probably not a good match for you if you favor more natural eye makeup looks that don’t involve black eyeliner.
If you’d prefer a latex-free version of this adhesive, you’ll be happy to know that Duo offers that, too (the DUO Strip Eyelash Adhesive for Strip Lashes in Dark Tone).
May be a good option if: you love dark / smokey / retro-inspired looks—this is a unique product that we think is great for that sort of aesthetic.
DUP Eyelash Fixer EX 552 Clear Type
The DUP Eyelash Fixer is a little less well-known—it was first popularized by fans of Japanese makeup, and we’re excited we get to share it with you. DUP promotes it as being made of the same kind of adhesive as medical tape glue to suggest how strong it is, and we find that kind of entertaining.
The design features a tiny applicator brush, which we love—it makes it very convenient for personal use, and you don't need to rely on any other tools. Just remember to seal it tightly when you're done using it—as with many brush applicator eyelash glues, you may find that if you forget to close it tightly the formula in the bottle will dry out.
DUP designed this eyelash glue to be totally waterproof, to ensure that your false lashes won’t fall off after sweating, crying, a sudden downpour, that sort of thing. It does have a reputation of drying very quickly, which could be great for experienced false eyelash wearers—but can make things harder for newbies. DUP is kind of an “industry secret” and its fans say that it has great lasting power, so we’re glad to spread the word.
One quick note about DUP before we move on: we’re not sure if contains latex or not, so if you’re latex-sensitive, you may want to look for another option.
May be a good option if: you’re looking for a quick-drying, waterproof glue with an applicator brush; great if you’re someone who loves finding lesser-known products.
LashXO Eyelash Adhesive
The LashXO Eyelash Adhesive is another one of our favorite latex-free eyelash glues. LashXO has designed this eyelash glue to offer all-day hold in a formula free of latex, formaldehyde, parabens, and many other frequently complained-about chemicals, and that’s a wonderful thing—we don’t actually make cosmetics, we just review them, but we imagine it’s difficult to create an eyelash glue without all those ingredients. So that’s a nice touch, and we honestly don’t know of too many other glues that don’t have those ingredients.
They have packaged this glue in a super-convenient tube with a brush, which we also appreciate, and because this eyelash glue requires 30 seconds to set, we consider it to be pretty beginner-friendly. We ALSO like that LashXO offers this eyelash adhesive in sets of two, for the sheer convenience of having one at home for that initial application, and another one that you can carry with you in case you need to make any touchups or small fixes.
The one potential drawback we did find for this formula is that it contains a floral fragrance. While the scent itself might be pleasant, those with sensitive eyes or noses may find it irritating. That’s the case for all cosmetics—people with sensitive skin tend to have reactions to makeups with fragrances added, because those fragrances tend to be made from irritating chemicals—so if you’ve got sensitive skin, keep that in mind (regardless of what type of makeup you’re looking for!).
All in all, we think this could be a great eyelash adhesive choice for beginners and experienced false eyelash wearers alike, thanks to its strong hold and easy-to-use format.
May be a good option if: you’re looking for an all-day formula that does NOT have a lot of the harsher chemicals often included in eyelash glues, that’s good for newbies and experienced lash-wearers.
Tarteist PRO Lash Adhesive
This is our high-end pick for the best eyelash glue. Like most other lash glues on this list, Tarteist PRO Lash Adhesive is latex-free, and of all of the eyelash glues we’ve reviewed, this one may be the most long-wearing—so if you find it difficult to keep eyelashes in place, this glue may be worth checking out.
Compared to the other glues we’ve recommended so far, we find it takes longer to dry than the incredibly speedy DUP, but it’s faster than DUO and the others, which we think is perfect—just enough time to put the lashes down and make adjustments, but not so long that you’re sitting there waiting and blowing on your lashes.
We also have to give Tarte credit for how pretty we find the packaging to be. The gold font matches the gold color of the lid, and while this may sound inconsequential, we’re obsessed with that sort of thing. Eyelash glues tend to come in packaging that’s a little… utilitarian, let’s say, and that’s just unnecessary. Most of us—and certainly, we here at MUAE—love makeup packaging, and want it to be gorgeous. Gorgeous cosmetics on your vanity, or in your kit, or wherever, is just more pleasant than makeup that looks industrial and unadorned. So, while that may be a small consideration, it’s something we really appreciate.
May be a good option if: you’re looking for a long-wearing glue that’s both high-end and packaged beautifully. Our pick for best eyelash glue overall.
Now that we've gone over our picks, let's talk about some common issues when it comes to false lashes and glues...
How to Choose the Right Eyelash Glue
Not all eyelash glues were created equal, so here are some tips on how to choose the right eyelash glue for you. You’ll need to consider the following:
Drying Time: How Much You’ll Need
Some glues quicker than others, and the speed at which it dries is actually a really important factor in the product you choose. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re a beginner, you’ll want a glue that takes longer to dry, and if you’re a seasoned pro/makeup artist, a quicker-drying glue is probably the right selection. Here’s why:
As long as glue is moist, it’s not sticky—just runny. Once it dries down it becomes tacky or sticky, and that’s when it will actually adhere to your lash line. If you can apply false lashes to your lash line just before the glue has completely dried, it will give you a bit of time to adjust how the lashes sit on your eyes, and you can move them over if you’ve made a placement mistake. That’s why we advise a slower-drying glue if you’re a beginner, and a faster-drying glue if you’re well-practiced at applying your lashes—so you can correct any mistakes you make before the glue sets.
We find that most eyelash glues dry within 30 to 60 seconds, so you have to let them sit on the band of the false eyelashes for some time before you actually apply them to your lash line. Other eyelash glues (especially Japanese ones) dry very quickly—as quickly as 5 to 10 seconds, even!
So, be sure to take a look at “dry time” and select the right option for your skill level.
Color: You’ve Got Plenty of Options… as Long as You Choose Clear or Black
Most cosmetics come in a dizzying array of colors, and that can make the selection process a little overwhelming. So here’s the great news about eyelash glue: you won’t have that problem! Eyelash glues come in two colors—white/clear and black—so you’ve got an easy “either/or” situation on your hands.
Believe it or not, many people will swear by one color over the other, but the truth is that your preference will totally depend on how you do your makeup.
The benefit of black eyelash glue is that it blends in easily with darker eye makeup looks or any look that involves black liquid eyeliner. You don’t need to worry about covering it up or blending it in since it already looks just like your blackest eyeliner. That can be very reassuring.
However, some people like to wear false eyelashes instead of eye makeup (or along with softer looks), in which case clear or white-to-clear eyelash glue is usually the better choice.
So… up to you! Figure out what you need, and go from there.
There’s one thing we should mention about clear glue, though, before we go on: if you apply a little too much clear glue, it can be visible over the band of the lashes, in which case you will still have to figure out how to camouflage it with a gel or liquid eyeliner. So either be sure to use the right amount, or figure out a way to camouflage it if you use too much.
Ingredients / With Latex or Without
There are two main eyelash adhesive formulas, latex-based and latex-free, and each one has its fans and detractors. Here’s how it shakes out:
Before we discuss latex-based glues, we should start with the obvious: if you have an allergy to latex, you should not use any type of latex-based eyelash glue. To determine for sure whether you have a latex allergy, contact your doctor or dermatologist.
Latex has a lot going for it, and if you’re a makeup artist who’s done a bit of special effects work then you’re probably already familiar with rubber latex, which is used both as an adhesive as well as to make prosthetics. Latex-based eyelash glues like the industry-favorite DUO (which we mentioned above) tend to stay in place very, very well—and this is the really great part about them—once it’s time to remove them, they can be very gentle on the eyes, coming off in a single strip without pulling too much on the skin.
The only down side to them is that because latex-based adhesives are so much thicker in texture, they usually come in squeeze tubes rather than with the more user-friendly brush applicators. That’s a bummer, but it is what it is.
The other detail that’s important to mention is that most latex-based eyelash glues contain formaldehyde—sometimes listed as “formalin”—which 1) helps preserve it, and 2) allows the latex to mix with the other ingredients in the formula. The amounts are well within what is legally allowed in cosmetic products, but many people still worry since formaldehyde in high amounts is a known carcinogen. Over time, the eyelash adhesive formula will release more formaldehyde as it degrades, so it’s important not to use eyelash glue past its expiry date.
Latex-free eyelash glues are almost always made with film-forming polymers, with acrylates/ethylhexyl acrylate copolymer being what you’ll usually see on the ingredient list. Film-forming ingredients are pretty common in cosmetics, and you may find them used in tubing mascaras, liquid eyeliners, and setting sprays.
As adhesives, latex-free glues are quite gentle (though that doesn’t guarantee they won’t irritate your eyes, so be careful using them). They have a thinner, and more liquidy, texture, which is why they can be packaged in tubes with brush applicators latex-based ones cannot—and that makes them a little easier to use than latex glues.
Once latex-free lash glues become tacky and set, they are surprisingly difficult to remove, especially when compared to latex-based eyelash glues. They can’t be peeled off as easily, and instead should be removed with an oil-free makeup remover.
Applicator Type: Squeeze Tube vs. Tube with Brush
The last little detail to consider is what kind of applicator you prefer. Latex-based eyelash glues usually come in a squeeze tube, while latex-free ones are runnier, so they come in a tube with a brush attached to the lid. And, as with everything related to cosmetics, each has its pros and cons. Here’s how it usually works:
The brush applicators are generally easier to use, because the tiny brush is designed to glide over the false eyelash band smoothly. If you’re a beginner and looking for ease-of-use, that’s usually the better option.
Squeeze tubes, however, can be a better fit for some people, especially those with experience using false lashes and glues. They offer a lot of control over how you apply the glue, and you can use an eyeliner brush, or a q-tip, to administer it. You can apply more or less based on your needs, while with a built-in brush you are pretty restricted to a very small amount, and because you can use squeeze tubes to release larger amounts of glue, they can be used for multiple purposes—you can rely on them to get glitter or jewels to adhere to the face, for example.
And… there you have it! Those are the main things to keep in mind, if you’re looking for the best eyelash glue for your next look.
How to Use Eyelash Glue Without Gluing Your Eyes Shut Forever
OK, so maybe we’re hyperbolizing a bit—eyelash glue probably won’t glue your eyes shut forever—but it can get uncomfortable if you use it incorrectly, so here are some tips on how to use it safely and effectively:
First, make sure that your false eyelashes fit over your eyes, or you can end up with glue in your eyes because of the lash band’s overhang. We have some tips on how to do that in the last section of this article.
When your lashes are ready to go, hold them by the center of the hairs, just above the middle of the band. You can use your fingers, a pair of tweezers, or specialized false eyelash tweezers.
Using a built-in brush or a small tool dipped in the lash glue, run the lash glue along the base of your false lashes, making sure that they get covered with a thin (but even) application. If the glue application is too thick, a bit of it might drip down over your natural lashes or down to the lower lash line, causing problems. Make sure to really follow the bottom part of the band, and avoid getting any glue on the false lash hairs themselves.
Build up the lash glue just a little bit on each end of the lash band.
Wait for the glue to become mostly dry and tacky, but not completely dry and tacky. If you’re using white glue, you’ll know it’s ready when it turns a cloudy clear color. With other glues, you can lightly touch it to check that it’s not runny anymore.
Looking downwards into a mirror, position the false eyelashes above your lash line over the center of your eye, so that the band is just slightly above the base of your lashes.
It’s important that you keep your eyes open during this process, or else you can accidentally get a bit of glue on the lower lash line, which will cause your eyes to stick together.
Make sure the lashes are angled upwards rather than straight out, or they will cloud your eyesight and you will lose out on their dramatic effect.
Position the inner end of the band over the inner corner of your eye, and then press down on it gently so it adheres. Make sure it feels comfortable, and doesn’t poke you, while still providing the look you want.
Do the same with the outer corner, though here you can also feel free to angle it up a little away from the lash line, which will give you a bit of a cat-eye effect.
Give the lashes a final, gentle press into the lash line and then, if necessary, wait for the lash glue to set completely.
To check that the lashes are totally secure, pull on them very, very gently. If the corners lift at all, reinforce them with a bit more eyelash glue.
Comb your lashes to blend them into your false lashes, and voila, you’re done!
Keep reading to learn some more tips on how to combine the rest of your makeup with falsies, and remember—practice makes perfect! Your first application might not turn out all that great, but the more often you apply false eyelashes, chances are strong that you’ll get the hang of it and the better they’ll look.
Tips for Removing False Eyelash Glue Safely
Keeping the integrity of both your eyelashes and falsies has to do with removal just as much as it does with the application, so be sure to keep the following in mind:
Latex eyelash glue tends to be more forgiving, so if you used a very small amount and were very careful to not let it come in contact with your actual lashes, you can actually just peel the lashes off. Make sure to grab the band from the inner corner of the eye, and then pull outwards.
If you used a latex-free glue or are just having a hard time peeling off your false lashes, use an oil-free makeup remover to loosen up the glue. Avoid oil-based makeup removers if you’d like to reuse your false lashes since they leave a residue that is very difficult to get rid of.
Saturate a cotton bud with the makeup remover, and then gently rub it over the top of the false eyelash band. Go back and forth a few times, and the band should become unglued all on its own. Try working the cotton bud a little under the band to dislodge it gently. As a last resort, gently pull on the inner corner of the band, and this time it should come off pretty easily.
Once the lashes are off, you can use the cotton bud to also dislodge any bits of glue that may have stayed behind.
You can use a cotton pad saturated with makeup remover if you’d like to clean off both eyelash glue remnants as well as eye makeup.
If any eyelash glue got stuck in your eyelashes, use a clean mascara wand dipped in oil or makeup remover to work it out. Brush the mascara wand through the lashes and it should grab and remove any bits of glue.
Once your eyes are clean, it’s time to also clean the false lashes!
With your fingers or a pair of tweezers, pull the eyelash glue remnants off of the band of the lashes.
Once the glue is all gone, place the lashes on a tissue, and wipe them down with a cotton pad saturated with oil-free makeup remover. Be gentle, and make sure to start at the base of the lashes and work outwards.
Once they’re clean, dab them with the tissue to dry them off, and place them back in the box they originally came in.
And there you have it! Remember, everyone gets very concerned with application, but removal is just as important. Know what you’re doing, take your time, and do it right.
FAQs and Common Concerns about Eyelashes and Eyelash Glues
We tend to get the same questions again and again when it comes to eyelash glue and false lashes, so here’s a quick Q and A of the most common concerns we hear:
Will the eyelash glue take off my eyelashes?
If you apply a small amount of eyelash glue and then remove the false eyelashes gently at the end of the day, your natural eyelashes should stay intact. Accidents do happen, and people often run into issues when they apply too much eyelash glue and then put the eyelashes on before the glue is tacky enough. What ends up happening is that a bit of the glue seeps in between the natural lashes, so when it’s time to remove the fakes lashes, a bit of the glue sticks to the natural ones and pulls on them. You can avoid this by applying a very thin layer of glue, waiting until it is mostly dry to put the eyelashes on, and fitting the base of the lash over the skin rather than in contact with your natural lashes.
Can eyelash glue cause allergies?
Yes, eyelash glue can cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis to certain people. Some people can tolerate all types of eyelash glues, others do better with latex-free formulas, and others do better with latex-based formulas.
If you’re nervous starting out, we highly recommend doing a patch test with the eyelash glue you want to try. Apply it to the skin behind your ear or on your forearm to see if you have a negative reaction to it, before applying it directly near your eyes. Even if your skin doesn’t react to this patch test, it doesn’t totally guarantee that your eyes won’t react, so you might want to do a trial run with the eyelash adhesive on a day when it’s low-stakes.
If you do react to one formula, you can always try the other type of formula instead. If you react to both, then we’re sad to say that you might have to give up on false eyelashes altogether, or perhaps try magnetic lashes.
And, as we always say—in almost every single post we write, it seems—contact your doctor or dermatologist if you have any concerns about what a makeup or cosmetic will do to your skin or our health.
Can false eyelashes be reused?
Definitely! As long as you are gentle when you remove your false eyelashes and make sure to totally remove all remnants of glue and mascara off of them, you can reuse most fake eyelashes up to 20 times. Read the product label for more information, but most of the time, false eyelashes are reusable.
Beauty Tips for Using Fake Eyelashes: How to Apply the Rest of Your Cosmetics
One question we typically get is how to combine the rest of your makeup with your false eyelashes. And, to be honest, it can be fairly tricky! Here are some tips to help you get a look that works for you:
The time to put false eyelashes on comes towards the end of your makeup application, and particularly after you’ve applied all of your powder products. If you try to apply eyeshadow and setting powder after your false lashes, chances are you’ll end up getting some of that powder all over them, which defeats their purpose.
It’s good to apply at least a very thin line of dark brown or black eyeliner before putting on false lashes, so if there are any gaps between the lash line and the band of the false lashes, it won’t be visible.
Always measure and trim new pairs of fake eyelashes. To do so, put them over your lash line while they don’t have any glue on them. Line them up so that one end of the lash band sits comfortably just above the inner corner of your eye. In most cases, unless you have very large eyes, the end of the band will hang a little bit past the outer corner of your eye. Remove the lashes from your eyes, and then cut off a bit from the outer end of the lash band, making sure to place your scissors in between the clusters of lashes, instead of cutting off in the center of a cluster (which can make a mess!).
Some false eyelashes come with a very straight band, so curve the band if necessary by grabbing each end, and pulling downward so it forms a U-shape. Hold it like that for a few seconds, and once you release it should be nicely curved.
Even if your false lashes have been measured and trimmed, always double-check their placement again every time you apply them—sometimes the description of lash length can be… a little off!
If you have straight or downturned lashes, it’s extremely important to curl your natural lashes before putting on mascara and falsies that have a curve to them. Otherwise, the natural lashes will be angled downwards while the false lashes will be angled up, and the gap between the two will be very apparent.
Our preference is for applying mascara before putting on false lashes. Some sources suggest applying another coat of mascara afterward to blend things together, but we disagree, and all that seems to do is get your false lashes dirty. If you find we’re wrong, though, the more power to you!
Instead, you can just use a clean spoolie or mascara wand to blend your natural lashes into your false lashes in a way that doesn’t gunk up your falsies.
Once your fake eyelashes are in place, make sure to blend the band and eyelash glue with your eye makeup using a gel or liquid eyeliner. Apply the eyeliner over the lash-band where it connects with your eyelid to hide the band as well as any clear eyelash glue, and then add seamless lines over the inner and outer corners of the eye to finish blending in the band of your false lashes with the rest of your look.
If You’re a Little Bit Nervous About Using Lashes and Glue…
Welcome to the club! It can be a little nerve-wracking at first, but falsies can be a GREAT look, even if they take a little getting us to. Find a type and a glue you like, practice practice practice, and enjoy. Good luck, and happy makeup!