A tube of mascara just doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s lash-obsessed women with visions of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe or, more recently, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry, know that when it comes to achieving thick, luscious lashes worthy of a runway or fashion editorial, there’s simply no substitute for faking it.
If you want to take your beauty career to the next level and earn yourself a reputation for being the answer to women’s thin, scrawny lash woes, then you must become an expert in the art of lash extensions.
Here’s what you’ll want to know:
Creating the Perfect Lashes: What You Need to Know About False Eyelashes and Eyelash Extensions
When it comes to faking it in the lash department, you have two options:
- False Eyelashes
- Eyelash Extensions
False eyelashes are strip or cluster eyelashes that are glued to the top lid, over the natural eyelashes. Depending on the eyelash adhesive, false eyelashes can last anywhere from a day to a week or more. They can also be removed and worn again. False eyelashes can be synthetic, silk, or mink.
Some false eyelashes are applied in segments, thereby allowing you to apply just one or two segments to add volume, or an entire strip to create a full strip lash look.
False eyelashes are generally inexpensive and easy to apply, making them a convenient option for photo shoots and special events.
Eyelash extensions are glued to the natural lashes, one by one. They are often called semi-permanent eyelashes, because they last between two and three months, shedding only when the natural eyelash falls out. Refilling eyelash extensions every two to three weeks allows clients to maintain their natural look.
There are three types of eyelash extensions and a number of pros and cons associated with each:
Synthetic Eyelash Extensions:
Synthetic eyelash extensions are made from a polished acrylic material. They are more durable than natural eyelash extensions and tend to be shinier and glossier. The firm structure of synthetic eyelashes allows them to hold their curl.
Synthetic eyelash extensions come in a variety of widths, curls, and lengths. Synthetic eyelash extensions are ideal for clients with healthy, dense lashes. However, because they are heavier than natural lash extensions, they tend to fall out sooner.
One of the most popular eyelash extensions are faux mink eyelash extensions. These extensions are made from a poly-fiber, and they come in a variety of lengths, diameters, and curls. They are very flexible and offer a glossy, bold look.
Silk Eyelash Extensions:
Silk eyelash extensions are considered mid-weight extensions—not as heavy as synthetic lashes but not as light as mink lashes. The fine texture of silk eyelash extensions makes them softer and more flexible than synthetic eyelash extensions, thereby allowing them to last longer. They also tend to look more natural than synthetic extensions.
Because silk eyelashes are lightweight, they are an ideal option for clients with weak or fine lashes. Similar to synthetic lashes, silk eyelash extensions come in a variety of curls and lengths.
Mink Eyelash Extensions
Real mink eyelash extensions come from the tail of the Siberian mink or the Chinese mink. These lashes provide an incredibly soft, natural look.
Mink lashes are the lightest of all lash extensions, which means they also last the longest. However, they are also the most expensive, ranging anywhere from $300 to $500 per set.
How to Apply Eyelash Extensions
Eyelash extensions are applied using a special, semi-permanent glue that is formulated for use near the eyes. Although eyelash glue does not generally irritate the eyes, allergic reactions are possible. Applying a full set of eyelashes takes about two hours.
To apply eyelash extensions, first recline the client in the makeup chair until comfortable. Place an eye patch under each of the client’s closed eyes. Eye patches are lint-free gel pads that adhere to the skin with a gentle adhesive to ensure they stay in place. They protect the skin from any extension adhesive and provide a clean area on which to place the extensions as you work.
Holding the single lash extension with a pair of eyelash extension tweezers, dip the end of the lash into the eyelash adhesive, allowing a small amount of adhesive to adhere to the lash. With a steady hand, affix the extension to one natural lash. Repeat until the desired look is achieved.
Eyelash extensions are not ideal for all clients. Those with sensitive skin and those who rub their eyes frequently are not good candidates for lash extensions. Clients with medical illnesses, including colds and sinus infections, may have eye secretions that can cause inadequate bonding of the adhesive and the premature loss of lashes.
Eyelash extensions can be removed using a specially formulated adhesive remover. It is important to only apply lash extensions to clean lashes, free of makeup.
Training and Licensing Requirements for Applying Eyelash Extensions
Before you begin a training program in lash extensions, it is important to check with your state board of cosmetology to ensure you are practicing within the scope of the law. In most states, including Washington State, California, Arizona, and Colorado, this includes holding an esthetician or cosmetologist license.
Texas also recently created a specialty license in eyelash extension application that requires the completion of an eyelash training program. The eyelash extension application training program must include at least 320 hours of classroom instruction and practical experience, as well as at least 8 hours of theoretical instruction.
If you live in a state that allows you to perform eyelash extension applications under your cosmetologist or esthetician license, or even if you live in a state where requirements do not exist, it is important to complete an eyelash extension course to ensure you are properly trained in this unique procedure.
Most eyelash extension training programs require applicants to provide proof of a current cosmetologist or esthetician license when applying to the program. Many programs also accept licensed medical and dental professionals. You can expect to complete these programs in 1-3 days.
Lash extension companies, such as NovaLash, Sugarlash, Xtreme Lashes, and Glad Lash, provide training programs that result in a specialty certification. In addition to a course of classroom and practical training, these eyelash extension training programs often provide eyelash extension kits that come with all of the tools and supplies needed to begin performing this service.
Some of the areas of study in an eyelash extension training program include:
- Infectious and contagious diseases of the eye
- Allergic reactions
- Proper sanitation practices
- Client preparation
- Lash bonding and effective bonding tips
- Occupational health and safety practices
- Eyelash extension application procedures
- Eyelash extension isolation and separation procedures