How to fake eyelashes during chemo

You don’t realise how much definition eyelashes give your face until you’re lash-less.

Mine were never very long, but they were thick and dark enough that I could go without mascara when I was feeling lazy. Now I have just a few strands desperately hanging in there and when I look in the mirror I feel like my face has been rubbed out.

I had always put false lashes in the too-hard basket, but there’s nothing like not recognising your face to motivate you to experiment with make-up.

I was happy to discover it’s not so hard. It’s a little fiddly and I don’t do it everyday, but on the days when I want to head out with wig, heels, a fab frock and pretend I don’t have cancer this is a great confidence boost.

And because there are no real eyelashes getting in the way, falsies were a lot easier to apply than I first thought.

My current lash situation
My current lash situation

Go for a reusable half-strip for the most natural look, you don’t need a full-on glamour set. The key to getting it right is lining the lid first, otherwise there’s too much contrast between the bare lashline and the falsies.

A half strip of lashes
A half strip of lashes without liner looks too fake as the line abruptly stops

I prefer liquid liner, but you can use gel or smudge a pencil along the lash line.

Liner along the upper lash line
Liner along the upper lash line

Go quite thick with the line, this gives you room to play with when applying the lashes. There are special tools you can use, but because there are hardly any real lashes to get in the way it’s easy enough to pick up the strip, shape it over the curve of your lid and stick it down.

Eyeliner + false lashes
Eyeliner + false lashes

The final touch is colouring in the upper inner lash line with a pencil. If you look closely at the above pic, you can see that there’s a two-tone effect, a strip of flesh between the eyeball and lash. This would normally be hidden by real lashes.

Eyeliner + lashes + upper inner waterline
Eyeliner + lashes + upper inner waterline

When you colour in the waterline, the liner, false lashes and waterline all blend together, giving you a more natural result

3 thoughts on “How to fake eyelashes during chemo

  1. I had some put on yesterday and I looked like a clown. Well that was my opinion. Everyone else said they looked great but I dont have many natural eyelashes when they havent been attacked by chemoand they are very fair. However saying that I am now tempted to give it another try as yours look great!! Ive also learnt that bright red lipgloss suits my skin now where as before all of my treatment bright colours looked daft!!


    1. Give it another go Clare, you were probably put off because you’re not used to them. Go for a natural-looking half strip rather than the in-you-face glamour set, so that they look like your lashes but better.
      Playing with make-up is a wonderful thing when you’re feeling flat. Drawing in my brows, putting on lashes and applying lipstick helps lift my mood when I’m having a bad day.
      There’s a cancer charity called Look Good, Feel Better in Australia which is all about teaching chemo patients how to care for your skin and apply make-up during treatment. I’m sure there’s something in the UK, I highly recommend it


      1. That’s who put them on for me, look good feel better. They were and the session was great. I had a stinking reaction to an Estée Lauder cleansing cream and I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life! Apart from the eyelashes I came away feeling really upbeat!


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