I Tried It: Eyelid Beauty Tape That Promises An Instant Lift
Let me start by saying that I’m no stranger to eyelid tape. The idea may be shiny and new this side of the Pacific but it’s been popular in Korea and Japan for years. I’ve personally been experimenting with it since my early high school days, which is about the time I discovered my—dun dun dunnnnnnn—uneven eyelid creases (more on this later).
For those unfamiliar with eyelid tape, it’s a thin, clear strip, which you place on your eye to create a temporary crease. These products are super popular in Korea where having “double eyelids” is ridiculously desirable—most Koreans are born without naturally creased lids (sometimes referred to as monolids). These products are essentially a temporary alternative to blepharoplasty, a.k.a. “double eyelid surgery,” a.k.a. the most popular cosmetic procedure in Korea.
So, wtf is so great about eyelid creases, anyway? In theory, they make your eyes look bigger and more open. (Note: they do not make you look more “Western” as some people assume—Koreans are not trying to look less Asian, full stop, never bring it up again.)
Which leads me to Magicstripes, the first Western brand of eyelid tape I’ve ever encountered. In my experience, these kind of products have always targeted teenagers because, duh, that’s about the age you start to care about things like monolids (hi). But if the goal is to have bigger, more open eyes, it’s totally reasonable that they could be used by mature women to achieve a more youthful, eye-lifted appearance—which is exactly how Magicstripes are being marketed. The package describes them as “beauty tape for optical correction of droopy eyelids” and promises “invisible, surgery-free eyelid lifting.” The before/after photo features, notably, a caucasian woman. Clearly this company is looking to change the eyelid tape game and introduce these v niche products to a whole new demo.
I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with eyelid tape all my life because of my annoyingly unique eyelid situation: I don’t have monolids and I don’t have double eyelids. I have one of each. (I’ll save you the dramatic saga of how this has affected my eye makeup application process.) Most of the time, I don’t care (and literally no one notices, even when I point it out—see below) but every once in a while—usually after a liquid eyeliner fail—I indulge the urge to put stickers on my right eyelid.
So, when these Magicstripes landed on our beauty editor’s desk she (knowing my intimate knowledge of the topic) asked me to compare, contrast and investigate the “magical” claims.
Magicstripes Invisible Eyelid Lifting Patch, $18, sephora.com
Applying eyelid tape is tricky. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. First of all, you’re dealing with tape. Obviously, for it to be effective and less noticeable, you want to avoid un-sticking and re-sticking as much as possible. My regular eyelid tape is whisper-thin and double-sided so I prefer to use tweezers to handle it but Magicstripes is wider, stiffer and single-sided so it was relatively easy to apply by hand without totally mangling the strips.
First, my non-creased right eye. I applied the tape just under where I wanted my crease to be so that when I open my eye, the tape will cause my lid to crease in that spot. I almost never get it positioned correctly on the first try—nbd, one adjustment isn’t the end of the world. Once it’s on, you can definitely feel the tape, but it’s not painful or annoying, and you get used to it after a while.
I don’t usually do both eyes because obvi, but for the sake of reviewing, I got my left lid involved. I applied the tape just under my natural crease, which way easier thanks to my genetic guide. If you want a more dramatic lifting effect, place the tape a little bit higher. Then cross your fingers and hope both eyes are even!
According to the instructions you can apply makeup as per usual, but tbh, if you’re an eyeliner or eye shadow girl, I wouldn’t recommend it. This will only draw attention to the fact that you have stickers on your eyelids. Lash curlers and mascara though—go for it!
- I was, at first, pretty taken aback by the fact that Magicstripes are wider, stiffer and single-sided—all things I thought would scream “look at me, I have stickers on my eyelids!!” but it turns out, these factors actually resulted in a more defined crease with surprisingly little notice-ability. I, of course, was very aware that they were there, but I walked around the office, went to meetings, had drinks with girlfriends and no one blinked an eye. (And no, they weren’t just being polite. Halfway through each encounter, I revealed what I was doing and asked for honest opinions.)
- The Magicstripes did give my eyes a more defined, bright-eyed appearance compared to my usual no-sticker eyes or to the results I get with traditional double-sided eyelid tape. The thing is, as I said above, no one noticed a difference one way or the other. They couldn’t see the tape on my eyes (yay!) but they also didn’t say I was looking particularly fresh or youthful (hmm).
- In order to better assess the eyelift factor, I asked my mom, who is in her 60s and has natural eyelid creases, to test drive Magicstripes one day when we met for lunch. I spent the entire meal staring at her lids to the point of annoyance (hers) and found pretty much the same thing: the tape wasn’t very noticeable (although if I really looked for it I could see it) and while my mom’s eyes did look ever-so-slightly brighter and more defined, the truth is a couple of stickers aren’t going to give you surgery-level results. That said, I’m keeping my Magicstripes. (And so is my mom.)