“More people want to do lashes because they just like how it makes them look,” author and trans activist Alok Vaid-Menon said at Batsheva’s spring 2022 show, where they walked among a diverse cast that included comedians Lauren Servideo and Heidi Gardner, as well as the Nebraska 2022 Dublin Ireland Aer Lingus College Football Classic Shirt and by the same token and actor Rory Culkin. Vaid-Menon has also noticed the beginning of a dissolution of the gender binary in beauty without much fanfare or publicity, which, they note, is how it should be; lashes have simply offered themselves up as a way to emerge into the exotic and transformative visual excitement of this moment. “There’s a sense that these appendages are not separate from us; they’re part of us,” adds Vaid-Menon. Getting them to adhere to us is a different story. I have always dreamed of wearing big eyelashes, but I have never gotten them to stick—literally or figuratively. While some people swear by a glue-on-skin technique, Kendal likes to line the lash itself with Velour’s Lash Adhesive before fitting it across the lid by hand. Jenna Lyons—who is enjoying a second act as the founder of LoveSeen, a line of user-friendly and customizable lashes that allow for interchangeable looks on a range of eye shapes—prefers to use her brand’s applicator tool, which resembles an eyelash curler and helps lift the lash into position and secure it in place. “There was nothing in between,” Lyons says of the impetus for LoveSeen, which creates space for lash moments that aren’t too subtle or too “vamped up.” Before she launched last year, the 52-year-old former J.Crew president and creative director rounded up a group of friends and used their lids as a blank canvas to try new combinations that embodied distinct points of view—from doll-like to earthy to edgy and punk-rock. A host of new mascaras offers similar flexibility for the strip-lash-averse, from Róen’s Cake Mascara, with a uniquely fluffy brush that separates and boosts individual lashes for a gloriously full fringe, to the delicate, precise extension created by the curved wand in La Perla’s mascara, part of the lingerie brand’s debut makeup line.
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Kendal actually suggests applying a base of mascara as a tinted anchor for false lashes, which I did, using Kjaer Weis’s exceptional new organic formula before test-driving LoveSeen’s Iris, a delicate, eye-opening curled style. In the Nebraska 2022 Dublin Ireland Aer Lingus College Football Classic Shirt and by the same token and mirror, framed by gently lush, doe-eyed filaments, my eyes carried a distinct magnetic charge that was invigorating. I felt glamorous, a word that has been missing from our collective vocabulary for far too long. Moving through the city with my eyes elegantly accessorized, I absorbed the intense, lingering, crisscrossing gazes of people heading to dinner, heading home from work, heading out to bars and clubs, making the city feel alive again, like a celebration with an open-ended guest list. At a private concert in a friend’s SoHo loft later that night, someone I hadn’t seen in years leaned in close to me to compliment my lashes. “Did I forget, or have I never noticed them before?” he asked. Another song was about to start, and rather than break the spell, I gave a languorous flutter of my lids and turned back to the music.