Ask Afrobella: Mama Bella on Fake Eyelashes


I got an e mail from Davina, with a question that made me laugh.

How do I put on/apply false eyelashes? I’ve always wanted to wear them but just haven’t because I didn’t know how. I am going to a Christmas party and want to do something extra to my look.

Davina, thanks for writing!

To answer your e mail, I had to consult with an in-house expert, so to speak. And I had to make sure she was cool with going on the record, for everyone at home and abroad to know her business. And she said yes!

So Davina, it’s with her blessing that I can tell you that my Mama Bella has been wearing fake lashes every day for the past twenty years. She’s my own personal Tammy Faye. (** edited at 7:48 p.m. – In light of my dad’s comment below and our later discussion, I feel compelled to add the following. Mama Bella is only like Tammy Faye in the sense that she also loves her false lashes, and is a deeply spiritual kind of lady. Is that better, Dad? OK. Love you guys!)

She started in 1987 when a friend made an appointment for her at a neighborhood aesthetician, who I know as Auntie Julie.

Auntie Julie is a hilarious, raucous, say anything that comes to mind, drops the f-bomb every two minutes kind of lady. I LOVE going to her little at-home salon. My mom gets them completely re-done every three weeks. Auntie Julie lovingly calls my mom “Batsley” because she wants the longest lashes. (** edited at 7:50p.m. – Because Auntie Julie is judicious, she uses the medium length lashes on my mother. But Mom thought they were the long ones right up until today when she called Julie to verify).

“They make you feel and look more glamorous,” is all Mama Bella offers by way of explanation. “You need to go to a professional to get them done because those strips don’t work,” she adds.

The first time my mom ever wore fake lashes, she wore the strip variety. Apparently Papa Bella didn’t like them – “He saw them on my dresser early one morning and smashed them. He said he thought it was a spider!” my mom says. As a “professional” fake eyelash wearer, she recommends that newbies pony up to get a professional put on high quality individual lashes. Otherwise she warns that you could wind up like another old family friend. Let’s call her Leslie.

Apparently Leslie wore her fabulous fake eyelash strips out to a cute couples dinner. Mid-entree, she noticed that her husband kept kicking her under the table over and over again and her friends were giving her strange looks, but she had no idea why. Finally he got up, came over to her and whispered in her ear “you need to go to the bathroom.” Well dear Leslie discovered that her fake eyelash strip had unhinged itself from her lash line and worked its way up to right under her eyebrow and nobody knew exactly how to tell her! So let that be warning to you. Many professional makeup artists don’t recommend false lashes to beginners, particularly those with sensitive eyes.

I personally have never worn fake lashes. I plan on giving them a try when I go home for Christmas. But I’ve definitely been eyeing my options at Sephora. So I can’t give you a review of the fake eyelash experience, or advice on wearing them just yet. Davina, I’d advise you to call a few local makeup artists or cosmetologists to make sure they can accomodate your needs. Otherwise, if you’re looking for alternative ways to lengthen your lashes, I definitely recommend some of the new eyelash extending mascaras.

I’m currently using Maybelline Moisture Extreme Volume + Length Microfiber Mascara, and I really like it. My previous experience with duo mascaras was gloppy and unimpressive, but the Maybelline is working great and I plan on buying another fiber lash extension mascara soon, probably Lancome L’Extreme Waterproof or Shu Uemura Fiber Xtension Mascara. I’ve heard great things about both. Hope that helps, Davina!

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  1. I really resent the Tammy Faye comparison. Your mom is i much more classy woman. One will hardly know that she is wearing extensions on her lashes. It is very subtle.

  2. WOW! Your Dad comments! Cool.

    I’ve always wanted to get em just right. I find my eyes plain. Thought of tattooing on eyeliner but chickened out. Gonna try the professional lashes soon. Tried the glue on strip last carnival.. looked GREAT in photos but I need a more everyday look..

  3. Oh my gosh! I’m cracking up about your Dad trying to kill the eyelash!!!! My husband would totally do the exact same thing! My husband tried to murder my step-daughters hair piece because he thought it moved!!!!

  4. Wow! Before I get myself into any more trouble with this post, let me add that I spoke to my mom and dad this morning to clarify. I didn’t mean any disrespect with the Tammy Faye comparison, and my mom actually thought it was hilarious. But yes, dad is right – her lashes don’t look as obvious as Tammy’s. Also, my mom even called Julie to verify her statements and Julie said “are you crazy? I put medium length lashes on you, not the long ones.” Mom and I had a good laugh about this one this morning!

  5. alwayzalady22 says:

    That Shu Uemura Fiber Xtension mascara is that fiyah!!! It’s super fab, but I myself am a sucker for every new mascara that comes out…Right now I’m foolin with Clinique High Definition Lashes mascara. It has a brush ON the comb, and makes my lashes look super long without being clumpy! But the more that I think about it, when I get more mascara next month, I may have to go back to Shu….Ladies, either way you go, you will be impressed with both!

  6. I’ve always wanted to experiment with false eyelashes. How do I go about findind someone to apply them for me in the US?

  7. Hey Bella! Thank You for the advice :) Your Mom & Dad are hilarious!

  8. Hi Bella. Right now, I am using the same mascara you are. If you apply the mascara without first applying that white stuff, I find it clumps. However, if you do it like you’re supposed to, your lashes look awesome. My lashes are normally very long and curly, so it works great. I wanna try fake lashes; I want to feel glamorous for the holidays.

    Your mom and dad are soooo funny. =)

  9. Bella I wear falsh eyelashes almost every day! My mom calls me Lambchop (Shari Lewis puppet). I usually wear strip lashes but on occassion I have individuals professionally applied. The drawback to individuals is if you rub your eyes while sleeping, you’ll lose lashes. When not wear falsies, I swear by the Maybelline Intense XXL or their standard Great Lash mascara, I’ve found that almost nothing else on the market compares to these.

  10. Bella…does your mom get eye tabbings? The individual lashes applied to her lashes?…Those look more professional and last longer…also…where does she buy her tabbings?….I heard you say that Sephora had some…

  11. Hi Bella!!

    I have a question.I’m looking for a gel for my 4a natural curls that is doesn’t dry up all crunchy. I like my curls guess “Sculpted” Thanks!!


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  1. […] Chemical straightener and dye has damaged her hair, and in the past she has had to wear extensions to mask the damage. Now that her hair is healthy again she doesn’t need the weave anymore, but that doesn’t mean she sees anything wrong with wearing one. I just called her for a quote on this. “It’s just like my lashes. Julie says, if anyone asks you where you got your lashes, just tell them “I paid for them.” And leave it at that because it’s none of their effing business.” […]

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