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Eyelash extensions vs. eyelash lift (& tint)

We get this question a lot! Typical questions for first-time eyelash clients are below. I bet you had at least one of these before your first appointment.

  • Which one should I choose between eyelash extensions and eyelash lift?

  • I want to get eyelash lift and tint instead of eyelash extensions because it may damage my natural eyelashes.

  • Is eyelash lift better than eyelash extensions because of the natural components used during the process?

Real example of eyelash extensions
Real example of eyelash extensions

Real example of eyelash lift and tint
Real example of eyelash lift and tint

There is a basic difference between eyelash extensions and eyelash lift in techniques and styling. While eyelash extensions is a service when artificial (often longer) eyelashes are attached to your natural eyelashes using a specially formulated glue, eyelash lift does not have any gluing applied. To simplify explaining the process of eyelash lift, it is similar to hair perm in concept curling up your eyelashes. It has very similar effect when you use an eyelash curler, which may last one night whereas eyelash lift may last 2 - 4 weeks. How long the effect last totally depends on how strong your natural eyelashes are.

Eyelash lift is not for everyone. Ideally it is best presented when you have thin and long natural eyelashes in great abundance. If I may borrow the case of eyelash curler, you should have thin, longer, and plenty of natural eyelashes to enjoy the curling effect. If you have scarce natural eyelashes, which are thick and short, the perming effect by eyelash lift will be gone shortly. Remember that eyelash lift does not add any additional eyelashes, so the presentation in fullness totally depends on how many natural eyelashes you have.

Eyelash extensions can create styling to your taste. You can have desired look by asking your eyelash technician to style up your eyelashes. There are a wide range of extension products with various curls, lengths, materials, and even colors, so if you want a specific look for your special day, simply use Google to find the best example look and give that picture to your eyelash technician and she will give you that look. Quantity of extensions can also be controlled for various styling patterns, so scarcity of your natural eyelashes hardly becomes an issue.

Eyelash extensions use a specially formulated adhesive to attach extensions to your natural eyelashes, which may contain a chemical component causing eye irritation. This is often referred to as "I had a bad allergic reaction when I first tried eyelash extensions." It is true that some people may have sensitivity to the chemical components in the adhesive. For example, cyanoacrylate is one of the components in most adhesives, which determines how fast-dry the adhesive can be, and it may cause some immune reaction typically tearing, light swelling, itching, etc. Hypoallergenic adhesive can be used to lessen the immune reaction, but it may not be fast-drying, so the process may take longer and the retention effect may be less than usual. More than 95% of the time, you won't have an allergic reaction if the service is performed correctly based on our 10+ years of experience just to share some insight. Reuse of the same adhesive container over and over again may accumulate formaldehyde and frequent disposal of unused adhesive unit is important in not-so-often-seen salon hygiene practice.

Eyelash extensions will need a maintenance if you want to keep the constant look, which is often called as a "fill". Extensions may need to be a fill every 2 - 3 weeks since extensions will eventually fall out with your natural eyelash growth cycle and/or by your daily habit. For example, if you rub your eyes often, more extensions will fall out. On the other hand, eyelash lift does not have something equivalent to a fill. It just needs to be done again if you want the curled up look. Clients with thin and long natural eyelashes may enjoy the curled up astonishing look for 4 weeks while clients with thick and short natural eyelashes will lose the curling effect in as short as one day, so we don't provide eyelash lift for clients with short and thick natural eyelashes.

To answer the question in short, eyelash lift does not add any extended length nor styling, but it curls up your natural lashes and ideal for the people with thin and long natural eyelashes in abundance. Eyelash extensions can be styled as you wish for any occasions. You may or may not have an allergic reaction, so try it first time and see if you need hypoallergenic adhesive. If an allergic reaction is seen, ask for a complete removal as soon as possible and rest your eyes and return for hypoallergenic adhesive.

Or to be a smarter customer, ask the salon if they have hypoallergenic adhesive for sensitive skins/eyes and how often they open up the fresh new adhesives in general. Normal practice would be a week at maximum for any size adhesive and disposal of the rest regardless of how much left in the container, so the newer adhesives can be used frequently preventing degrading of the adhesive, which may produce formaldehyde and/or other unwanted chemicals.

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