Move Over, Beauty Filter: These At-Home Lash Extensions Boosted My Confidence (and Could Save You Hundreds)

Credit: Lilac St.

In partnership with Lilac St. 

I’ve always gone through phases with false lashes. I was a long time dancer, used to recitals bolstered by hair spray and smokey eyes. My senior year of college, I rediscovered makeup in a sense, gluing meticulously and hovering over my bathroom mirror for minutes before every doll-up formal. Once I committed to looking like I was “wearing makeup,” and not shying away from having clearly tried, I started to enjoy the artistry of lashes. The way they looked in photos. The way they emphasized my eye color (hazel) and made me feel more attractive.

As evidenced by every beauty filter ever, lush lashes frame the face and soften it. Whether you opt for seductive come hither lashes or prefer a more muted look to elevate your natural features.

Still, the hassle of lashes has always been time-consuming and, well, sticky. I’ve never been good at gluing, and even started opting for magnetic lashes with special eyeliner for an easier application. Still, those had their own headaches; I couldn’t use my own eyeliner—I had to go with a harsh black shade. I often required multiple attempts because it’d dry too quickly or stick incorrectly, meaning that I’d end up with raccoon eyes before I was even out for the night. 

With (seemingly) every influencer having lash extensions, Botox, lip filler, professional-grade skincare, my 20-something-on-a-budget beauty maintenance routine started to feel a little lackluster. What could I do that was relatively low-cost, a DIY solution?

Enter Lilac St., my new favorite lashes brand with a revolutionary application system. After trying their Deluxe Starter Kit, I loved having transformation at my fingertips (literally), with salon-quality lashes starting at only $11 a set. Considering that’s less than my favorite tube of mascara, well—I was eager to see if it would eradicate the need for mascara entirely too.

We like

  • Takes less than 10 minutes to apply, and can last for up to 10 days of wear (expect to change out about once a week)
  • Waterproof and possible to sleep in
  • Designed with beginners in mind
  • Multiple style options and profiles

We don't like

  • The under-lash application can be intimidating at the beginning of use.

An easy application to eradicate high-maintenance appointments

Although I long to have them, there’s currently no room in my budget for consistent salon appointments. And yet with many DIY at-home beauty solutions, there’s not much of a middle ground. It’s either high-effort, involved, and practically artisanal — for the makeup gurus, the girls who can pinpoint the exact chemical difference of two foundation shades from different brands in a blind test — or low-lift and low-quality enough that the product’s lack of efficacy is actively frustrating. Why would I waste forty-five minutes on a routine that lasts for less than an evening? Lashes were always the prime example of this for me. Despite my extensive practice, I could never quite get them down to a few-minutes-only application that actually lasted all night—much less for multiple wears.

Lilac St. seems to meet the sweet spot, appealing to both the trend-setting experts and the “makeup wipe and pray” type shoppers, including myself who sort of drifts between both categories depending on my season of life. 

My mind immediately goes to the “high-maintenance to be low-maintenance” category—sock curls, lip stains, self-tanners, and other mechanisms that makeup users can use to give themselves the most desirable blank slate possible in their beauty prep.

While I used to wear lashes on special occasions, I was new to the concept of daily wear. While I used a lash serum, I wasn’t consistent enough about it to get the full results I wanted: fluffy, gorgeous lashes that framed my eyes. So Lilac St.’s promise—ten-minute application for up to ten days of wear—promised to revitalize my routine and become an absolute must-have.

What each lash cluster looks like.

Starting out with at-home lash extensions

The main draw of Lilac St. for me was that the brand wasn’t actually offering at-home lashes. It was offering at-home lash extensions. As in, once I struggled with the headache of application (proven wrong when I tried Lilac St. versus other brands), my lashes would last for days. Better yet, while I’d heard absolute horror stories about the ways lash extensions could wreak havoc on your natural lashes, Lilac St. promised no lash damage or adverse effects. Oh, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free for good measure. 

Prefer natural? Voluminous? Spiky? There’s a lash set for you. I started with the Deluxe Starter Kit, which arrives with 3 sets of lashes (30 wisps total), your choice of lash bond, a lash conditioning primer, a crystal-clear coat for effect, lash remover, lash applicator, and travel case—adorably shaped like a suitcase. At $75, the value felt enormously fair considering how long each lash set lasted, and how much it elevated my daily look and confidence.

On-site, you can select your preferred style, length, bundle size, and more. You can mix and match with your application products—but having tried it, I definitely prefer Lilac St.’s lash bond and accessories that came in my bundle.

Admittedly, I was intimidated by the thought of actually applying them, and procrastinated my first attempt. Lilac St. promises an easy application, but I’d never applied lashes to my water line rather than above my lash line. And my experience was in line lashes rather than wisps, and I assumed the process would be tricky—burned one too many times by beauty brands’ false promises to beginners.

Once I sat down and took a breath, however, I found that the brand’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. I still wrestled with the application during my first attempt, but it actually did not take long and felt easier than the methods I was used to. Most importantly, this time my lashes actually stayed put.

Lilac St.

Deluxe Starter/Travel Kit

$75
$75
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Originals

$11
$11
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Beginner Application Bundle

$48
$48
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Intro Starter Kit

$45
$45
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I was actually shocked by how well these lashes held up over time.

Another reason I generally avoided lash extensions and falsies? In my post-grad life, I’m much more active—nearly always in the ocean—and a restless sleeper. So usual upkeep instructions to not get lashes wet, to be careful how you slept, simply would not work for me. I’m happy to clean lashes and follow best practices, but just knew I’d inevitably mess it up and waste my money if I opted for a high-maintenance option.

But Lilac St. lashes promise to be waterproof and possible to sleep in—without losing the soft, fluffy qualities that make them so appealing. Their endurance IRL? Unreal. I tossed and turned in my REM cycles and went to the pool with no stress. These lashes are pragmatic, made for people who are actually moving around too. I did have to be careful about washing my face, as I tend to do everything they tell you not to do to your lashes while cleansing, but I found the new habit easier to stick to because I was actually motivated to keep these lashes on for their entire lifespan.

Whenever I wore lashes in the past, I was used to blinking uncomfortably and just sucking it up when I’d eventually get little black spots in my vision where lashes had come undone. But Lilac St.’s spines were so thin and comfortable that I forgot that I was wearing them, which had the dual effect of making me excited to wear them and making me more confident in how I looked without feeling like I was “trying too hard.” And if I did want to go more dramatic, emphasizing the boldness of my style (I’m a fashion writer after all), I could opt for a more exaggerated lash set too.

Starting at just $11 a set, Lilac St. lashes frankly feel like a steal for their longevity and efficacy. At this point, I’m kind of used to beauty products not living up to the hype, so deeply enjoyed being proven wrong. I also love that I can remove the lashes and clean them if I wish and then reuse them later on—so you can get multiple wears out of most pairs.

Lilac St. combines aesthetics and pragmatism for a beauty win I’ll swear by.

As a professional shopping writer, I consider most of my purchases in terms of cost-per-use. How does this elevate my daily ritual—or a special occasion—and is it then worth what I paid in terms of quality, longevity, impact, etc,.? I was historically on the fence about lash extensions, which could cost me hundreds of dollars a month.

Lilac St. is a winner in that category thanks to a myriad of factors. Their lashes are easy to use once you get the hang of them, last for days at a time (and through a range of varied activity levels), and frankly stunning. These feel like a hidden secret, the same way I felt when I discovered my favorite mascara I’ve used for seven years and counting. Admittedly, I am so tempted to gatekeep this option, but part of the beauty of Lilac St. is that it’s a welcoming introduction to a maintenance process that’s previously felt intimidating and inaccessible. Lash extensions without the cost? Sign me up.

The sheer omnipresence of the beauty filter has admittedly chipped my confidence in the past few years, making me want just that little something extra in my beauty routine to keep up with the aesthetics, and Lilac St. might hold the key to feeling pixel-perfect. Lashes instantly make me feel more attractive and confident, but were always too high-maintenance and frustrating for me to commit to—until Lilac St.

Use code TQE15 for 15% off.

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