Lash Lift or Lash Extensions: Which Should You Choose?

by The First Refresh

Women wanting to enhance their natural lashes may be spoilt for choice when choosing a product and service. Lash extensions have been around for a while, but lash lifts are a relative newcomer to the beauty scene. If you’ve been thinking about trying them out, or are curious about the differences (both pros and cons) between a lash lift and lash extensions, then read on.

What is a lash lift?

A lash lift is, essentially, a perm for your eyelashes. The process creates a semi-permanent curl in your lashes without the need for mascara, curlers or other daily maintenance. The process takes between 60 to 75 minutes, and lasts anywhere from 4-8 weeks, depending on your lash growth cycle. The beauty therapist uses a rod to curl the lash, and makes the curl semi-permanent by applying a solution. If you’re the fidgety sort - keep in mind that you will have to keep your eyes shut throughout the entire process so you don’t risk damaging your eyes with the solution - keep a good podcast, audio book or some soothing music at hand!

Pros and cons of lash lifts

Many people who get lash lifts love:

  • The curl and visual volumization of your natural lashes
  • That they can put their eyelash curler away
  • Beautiful lashes that last up to eight weeks
  • That they’re low maintenance (you can rub your eyes without fear of extensions falling out)

On the other hand, some drawbacks are:

  • Lash lifts look great on individuals with longer and thicker lashes, but not on those with thin and sparse lashes
  • It is ideal to wait 4-8 weeks between services to avoid damaging your lashes.

What are eyelash extensions?

Eyelash extensions are essentially false eyelashes that are glued on top of your real lashes to add texture, colour, and volume. They are glued on individually, not in one long strip (as you might recall from childhood dance recitals!), so they do look natural and can be customised to you. How long the process takes depends on how many lashes you would like affixed. They last for up to 5 weeks, and fall out along with your natural lashes.

Pros and con of lash extensions

What people love about lash extensions:

  • The extra colour, texture, and dimension - they’re dramatic!
  • They can be maintained as they fall out by returning to your beauty therapist and having new ones added
  • They look surprisingly natural for false lashes

However, some drawbacks of lash extensions are:

  • Not everyone wants the added volume for daily wear
  • They can be pricey
  • They require maintenance
  • They can leave your lashes underneath broken or brittle

Should I choose a lash lift or lash extensions?

When deciding which eyelash treatment is best for you, consider factors like price, the look and feel you want to create. Do you prefer a natural look that’s professional for work? Do you want to be able to dress your look up or down for different occasions? Do you have very fair or fine lashes that you want to plump up? Do you have plenty of time for maintenance or are you always on-the-go? Do you want to apply more makeup to your eyes for special occasions?

In short, if you would prefer a subtler, low-maintenance treatment, a lash lift might be good for you. If you’re after a more dramatic look and are committed to maintaining the look, then lash extensions may be the way to go.

Having said that, lash lifts can offer the best of both worlds. If you want to apply more eye makeup after having a lash lift, you can. Unless you rub too vigorously when removing makeup and cause the lashes to fall out, applying makeup won’t damage your lashes after a lash lift (as long as you wait at least 24 hours after the procedure). While you can apply some eye makeup with lash extensions, it is better to exercise caution. Avoid waterproof mascara or eye makeup removers containing oil, as these could damage your extensions.

If you have very short eyelashes (less than 4 millimetres), lash lifts likely won’t work on you - if you are keen to try, we recommend regular use of a lash serum at least 4-8 weeks before the service to stimulate lash growth. If you have sensitive eyes or skin, the solutions and chemicals used in a lash lift process could cause a reaction - in such situations, inform .

Where can I get a lash lift and lash extensions near me?

When seeking a salon for lash lift or lash extension procedures, always make sure to go to a properly certified salon with a good reputation. As both processes require the use of chemicals near your eye, there’s always the risk of eye infections if either process is conducted with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Especially during a pandemic, ensure your beauty therapist sanitizes their hands and all tools prior to commencing a service - and don’t be afraid to ask questions.