Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Look: Twilight Nymph (feat. PAPERSELF Lashes plus Mini-review)

"Small Deer & Butterfly" lash cutouts, with a smoky red and plum eye

I've been fascinated by PAPERSELF's paper cutout lashes since I heard about them about a year ago. When they finally hit the local drugstore, I caved and got myself a box in the "Small Deer & Butterfly" design. Most of the others are too humongous to fit over anyone's eye, and I couldn't bear the thought of cutting them down to size.

The Small Deer & Butterfly set comes with 2 pairs instead of 1, and you have the option of either applying 1 pair to the top lashes, or add the other pair to your bottom lashes for extra drama as well.

PAPERSELF "SMALL DEER &.LASHES" close up

I have to say these lashes are very finely machine-cut and a joy to look at. However, the material leaves something to be desired. I had hoped that they would have treated the paper to make it hardier, but this is just regular craft paper (thicker than the usual and way thinner than cardboard), and are meant to be worn just once.

You can't clean them, and if you are not careful, you will bend them and that's it. 

These aren't really bad points in themselves, but when you consider that each pair of flimsy, machine-cut concept lashes costs about £12.00 or SGD29.90 (the HORROR!) when a pair of painstakingly hand-made lashes costs only about USD2-5 from many brands, means that I will probably never repurchase another pair after this.

My verdict? There are incredibly chic, and incredibly exploitative. If you have money to spare and really want to make a statement for a special occasion, by all means go ahead. Do be warned that you are being over-charged for a concept. A rather original and neat concept, but just a concept nevertheless. 

Are these as durable as regular lashes? No.
Are they easy to apply? No.
Are these as flattering to wear as regular lashes? No. 
Are they worth getting super-excited about? No. I'd rather apply a pair of wispy, pristinely-woven Ardells or Eylures that make people stare at me rather than at my lashes.

Like me, I expect for many of you, the curiosity will win out over the practicality, especially as Halloween draws nearer. Go ahead if you really want to! These are fantastic for making peoples' eyes pop on a special occasion. But do note you will still have to wear regular mascara when you put these on.
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Now that I'm done with the long review/rant, let's get down to the actual Halloween tutorial! If you plan to go as a dark nymph or forest fairy, these curly, vine-like lashes are a fantastic way to add some pizzazz to your look without requiring great skill or a super-steady hand.

Step 1: You want the focus to be on the dramatic eyes, so if you're not blonde, lighten your brow with a shimmery liquid, such as a blonde brow mascara (or like me, a shimmering bronze face gel). Over that, just for fun, I brushed on flecks of white micro-glitter.

Step 2: Onto the lids. Apply a dark base such as a MAC paint pot, ELF Cream shadow, or a black NYX Jumbo pencil. This creamy, tacky base will REALLY intensify your eyeshadow color, which is important when you're wearing red eyeshadow, as a sheer and diffused application will just make your eye look bruised and raw.

Step 3: Pack a metallic red shadow or pigment over the inner half of your lids  (most mineral makeup brands will have one).

Step 4: In the outer half, pack on a deep smoky purple. This can be any finish (matte, satin, metallic). Jutst make sure to smoke it inward along the socket line, above the red.

Step 5: After applying a swatch of black liquid liner, and then black mascara on top and bottom lashes, it will be time to apply your PAPERSELF lashes. Remember the lashes will not be visible if they are tilting at the same angle as your natural lashes. These will need to stand upwards, away from your lashes, so the glue needs to be applied on the side that will be sticking to your skin. (For regular lashes, we apply glue on the very edge, not the top side.)
 The short half-lash design I chose is easy to apply, but the longer strips are not likely to be. Be careful to keep your hands clean as any shadow, pigment or glue on it will transfer and be impossible to clean off the porous paper.


Also, be extremely gentle. If you're clumsy or impatient, you will most likely damage the lashes while attempting to glue them to your lids, as the lash band is notsynthetic and as flexible as normal lash bands. The whole lash is a single sheet of paper, so imagine gluing a small strip of paper to your lids standing diagonally upwards, and you'll know what it's like.


You might want to bring lash glue with you when you're out, as the paper lash may start to slowly tilt downwards over time, which can look a bit ridiculous (and be very uncomfortable).

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