What Can You Use Instead Of Eyelash Glue?

Eyelash glue is essential for applying false eyelashes and making them stay in place all day. The strong adhesive bond it creates keeps lashes securely adhered to your natural lash line with no slipping or lifting throughout wear.

But what do you do when you find yourself without eyelash glue right when you need it? Are there any suitable household substitutes for eyelash glue you can use in a pinch?

A handful of common household items can work reasonably well as temporary DIY eyelash glues.

While they may not hold as long or strongly as commercial glues designed specifically for lashes, these handy substitutes can bind your false lashes when needed.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best eyelash glue alternatives you probably have sitting around your home right now.

We’ll also review application tips to use these improvised solutions properly and get the most hold out of them. Read on to find out what you can use instead of eyelash glue!

Why Do You Need Eyelash Glue Anyway?

Before we get into the various substitutes, let’s quickly go over why eyelash glue is so important for applying false lashes in the first place.

Eyelash glue is formulated to provide strong adhesion and bonding power to keep lashes in place all day long through wear and tear.

The main reasons you need a good eyelash glue include:

Adhesion – The glue creates a tacky, adhesive surface to stick the lash band to your natural lash line. Without glue, lashes won’t stay in place.
Long wear – Quality glues maintain their sticking power for 8-12 hours. This prevents lashes from lifting or peeling off.
Invisible hold – Glue dries transparent, so it isn’t obvious you are wearing glued-on lashes.
Easy application – Most glues have a smooth, clump-free formula and brush for quick, hassle-free application along the lash band.

When you don’t have eyelash glue with these properties, getting lashes to stay on reliably is tough. Luckily, some common household products can provide decent temporary adhesive power.

Helpful Eyelash Glue Substitutes Around the Home

When you’re in a pinch without real eyelash glue, what are some handy substitutes you can use instead? Here are some of the most popular household items people turn to for DIY lash glue adhesive:

Clear Nail Polish

Clear nail polish is one of the most commonly used substitutes for commercial eyelash glue. Many nail polishes contain ingredients like nitrocellulose and acetone that provide adhesion. These are the same compounds used in lash glues.

To use clear nail polish as eyelash glue:

  • Apply a very thin layer of polish along the lash band with the applicator brush.
  • Let polish dry and get tacky for 30 seconds before applying lashes. Don’t wait too long, or it will be too dry.
  • Press the lashes down along the lash line firmly for 10 seconds to secure the bond.

The advantages of clear nail polish is that it dries transparent and provides decent adhesive power in a pinch. However, it may not hold as long as commercial glue – usually 4-6 hours of wear rather than 8-12. Reapply as needed.

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

Good old petroleum jelly, otherwise known as Vaseline, can substitute as a temporary eyelash glue thanks to its thick, sticky texture. Here’s how to use it:

  • Scoop a small amount of petroleum jelly onto a cotton swab or clean fingertip.
  • Apply a thin layer along the lash band.
  • Wait 30-60 seconds for it to become tacky before applying to eyelids.
  • Press down firmly for several seconds to adhere.

The benefit of petroleum jelly is that it’s readily available in most households. But similar to nail polish, it won’t have quite as strong adhesive power or long wear as commercial glue. Plan to reapply every 4 hours or so.

Egg Whites

It may sound odd, but egg whites are actually an effective emergency eyelash glue substitute thanks to their natural tacky texture that dries clear.

To use:

  • Separate an egg and collect the egg white in a small bowl.
  • Use a small brush or cotton swab to paint a thin layer of egg white precisely along the lash band.
  • Allow 30-60 seconds to get sticky before applying to eyelids.
  • Press down for 10 seconds.

Egg white dries transparent on lashes and creates decent adhesion. Just be careful to apply thinly and cleanly, as dried egg white can become crusty if too much is used.


Like egg whites, honey has an adhesive, tacky texture when it starts to dry that makes it useful for sticking on false eyelashes in a glue emergency.

Follow these steps to use honey:

  • Use a clean cotton swab or small brush to sweep a thin layer of honey precisely across the lash band.
  • Wait 30-45 seconds for honey to become sticky.
  • Adhere lashes to lash line and press down firmly for 10 seconds or more.

Honey works well because it dries clear and has naturally sticky properties. Just beware that it can be thick, so apply as little amount as possible along the lash band to avoid clumps.

Aloe Vera Gel

The thick, mucilaginous texture of aloe vera gel allows it to act as a temporary eyelash glue substitute in a pinch. It dries clear and has light adhesive qualities.

  • Use a cotton swab to coat a thin layer of aloe vera gel along the lash band.
  • Allow to sit for 1 minute until tacky.
  • Press lashes down along lash line and hold for 15 seconds.

Aloe vera gel may not be the strongest DIY lash glue, but it works decently well when you have nothing else on hand. It also helps condition natural lashes.

Lip Balm or Chapstick

In a true bind, you can use lip balm or Chapstick as an eyelash glue stand-in. It provides light stickiness to hold for temporary wear.

  • Spread a thin layer along the lash band with a cotton swab or fingertip.
  • Let sit for 30 seconds to get tacky.
  • Press lashes down and hold for 10+ seconds.

While not very strong, lip balm can work in a true pinch as an eyelash glue substitute. Reapply frequently as it does not have lasting power.

Application Tips for Improvised Eyelash Glue

When using homemade solutions in place of commercial eyelash glue, you’ll get the best results by following careful application techniques:

  • Only use a very thin layer of the adhesive substitute, as most household products are thicker than commercial glues. Too much can cause clumping and mess.
  • Apply as precisely as possible just along the lash band. Limit contact with your skin to avoid stickiness.
  • Let the makeshift glue sit for 30-60 seconds until it gets tacky and sticky before adhering lashes. This allows it to bond better.
  • Use a pair of tweezers to handle and apply lashes gently so you don’t displace the glue.
  • Once lashes are in place, press down along the full lash line firmly for 10-15 seconds minimum to secure the bond with your improvised glue.
  • Be extremely careful and tidy applying glue substitutes to avoid dripping and residue that can be difficult to clean up after drying.
  • Check edges for any lifting or gaps and press down again as needed to keep bonded.

Using household eyelash glue alternatives takes more care and patience getting the application right compared to commercial glues designed for lashes. But with practice, you can achieve decent temporary adhesion for events or times when you need lashes but are out of glue.

Are Eyelash Glue Substitutes Safe?

When using any product near your eyes, it’s understandable to have safety concerns. Be mindful of these precautions with homemade lash glue alternatives:

  • Avoid DIY glues if you have sensitive eyes or allergies. Stick to tested products made for use on eyes.
  • Never use household glues or superglues which can severely damage eyes! Only use cleansing products listed above.
  • Carefully check ingredients if using a new food-based glue like honey to ensure you’re not allergic.
  • Stop use if you experience any irritation, redness or pain and switch products.
  • Avoid getting homemade glues into your eye itself. Follow directions carefully.
  • Don’t overuse any oil-based products like petroleum jelly as this can cause styes or blocked glands.

As long as you take care applying glue sparingly just along the lash line and choose cleansing ingredients you know you can tolerate, using DIY eyelash glue substitutes should be reasonably safe for temporary adhesion in a pinch.

Eyelash Glue Alternatives Recap

To quickly recap, here are some of the most handy household items you can use as eyelash glue substitutes when you’re out of the real thing:

  • Clear nail polish – Provides decent adhesive power when applied thinly and dried tacky.
  • Petroleum jelly – Thick and sticky for temporary adhesion.
  • Egg whites – Dry clear with natural stickiness. Apply thinly.
  • Honey – Sticky and tacky when dried.
  • Aloe vera gel – Light adhesive properties.
  • Lip balm or Chapstick – In a true emergency, can provide light hold.


While commercial eyelash glue offers the best, longest-lasting hold for false lashes, you have options when in a pinch! Several household items like clear nail polish, petroleum jelly, egg whites and honey can all temporarily take the place of proper eyelash glue when needed in an emergency. Just be sure to apply sparingly and allow time to get tacky before adhering lashes.

With these DIY eyelash glue substitutes on hand, you can quickly fix your lashes and get on with your day even when your regular lash glue runs out! Using household products, you can achieve presentable lashes any time.

Leave a Comment