Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Lash LiftDecember 15, 2022
The journey to getting longer, more voluminous-looking lashes is one that requires commitment. Between curling them with a lash curler, prepping them with mascara primer, applying multiple coats of mascaras, and if you’re really looking for extra oomph, applying falsies, it can be a lot of work.
That’s where lash lifts come in. This low-maintenance lash service offers semi-permanent, curled and lifted lashes that can last for up to eight weeks. Before committing to a lash lift, though, it’s important to do your research. That’s why we tapped two lash experts — Andrea Starr, founder of Starr Beauty, and Debbie Law, international lash trainer at Nouveau Lashes — to break down everything you need to know about lash lifts before booking your appointment.
What Is a Lash Lift?Lash lifts (also called lash perms) replace the need for an eyelash curler altogether by shaping and curling your lashes to offer semi-permanent hold. It’s a four-step process, explains Law, to define your natural eyelashes and create the illusion of extra length. Lashes are lifted and permed using a silicone mold, bonding gel and lifting balm.
According to Starr, this procedure works best for “someone who uses a lash curler daily and/or has straight natural lashes.” It’s ideal for someone whose lashes already have a little bit of length, so if your lashes are naturally short, she recommends growing them out with the help of a lash conditioner or serum before attempting the service.
How Long Does a Lash Lift Last?
You may be surprised to learn how long lash lifts can last when properly cared for. “With the right aftercare, lash lifts can last up to 8-12 weeks and will grow out with your natural lash cycle,” says Law. “It’s important to use the right cleansing and conditioning products to protect your lashes and help your lash lift last as long as possible.”
Law recommends investing in a foaming cleanser for your eye area, like this Nouveau Lashes Lash & Lid Cleanser Set, as well as a conditioning serum, to keep your lashes clean and healthy and get the most out of your treatment.
How Much Does a Lash Lift Cost?
Though the cost may vary depending on where you live, lash lifts will typically set you back about $75 to $100.
Lash Lift vs. Lash Extensions: What's The Difference?
“If you are new to lash treatments, it can be confusing to understand lash terminology,” says Law. “Lash extensions give you the appearance of fuller, thicker-looking lashes with added volume compared to a lash lift. The lash extension treatment involves adding a single extension to every natural lash.”
Lash lifts tend to be more cost effective than eyelash extensions. Compared to $75-$100 for a lift, extensions go for usually a minimum of $150 for a new set. However, as mentioned above, the cost may vary depending on location and the type of extensions you choose.
Lash lifts also require less maintenance. “Extensions replace eye makeup, but a lift replaces the need of a lash curler and heavy mascara,” says Starr. Plus, lash extensions need to be refilled more frequently and only last around six weeks.
Last Lift vs. Lash Tint: What's the Difference?
While a lash lift is about curling your lashes to create the appearance of added length, a lash tint involves temporarily dying your lashes darker. “A lash tint will typically take place after the lashes are lifted, or you can opt for a tint on its own if you do have lighter lashes,” explains Law. “Whilst a lash lift creates volume in the lashes, the tint will then darken the lashes, giving them even more definition and stand out more.”
Do Lash Lifts Damage Your Eyelashes?
Although repeated use of a curler can add wear and tear to natural lashes, lash lifts, says Starr, will not.
However, it is possible to experience some irritation or lash loss if the procedure is done incorrectly, warns Law. Like with all beauty treatments and services, it’s important to make sure you go to a licensed and trained professional with experience to ensure a safe, positive experience.
The Pros of Getting a Lash Lift
It’s a (Relatively) Easy Procedure
Lash lifts generally take 45 minutes to an hour from start to finish and are painless. One look doesn’t fit all, though, so prior to application your technician should customize your lash look based on your natural lash length, how you like to style them and your curl preference. Then, your tech will choose a specific silicone pad (which comes in multiple sizes) to achieve the look.
As for what happens during a lash lift, according to Starr: “The technician will clean your lashes, glue down a silicone shield onto your upper lid, apply adhesive to that shield, lift your lashes up onto the silicone shield, and then apply the odorless, non-damaging lash lift product to your lashes.” This is a chemical product that works to curl your lashes — just like a perm.
Often, says Law, the lash perming process is followed by a lash tint to darken your lashes and add depth to your new look. Then, to nourish your lashes and safely remove them from the silicone shield, a moisturizing serum may be used.
There Is Minimal After-Care
According to Starr, you should avoid wearing eye makeup, getting your lashes wet or using oil-based products for 24 hours after the procedure. But beyond that, there’s not much you need to do to take care of your newly lifted lashes. As Law explained, you can use a cleanser and serum to care for your lifted lashes, but otherwise, just plan on coming back for another treatment about six to eight weeks later, when your lashes will start to revert to their natural curl. To prevent lash fallout, avoid aggressively rubbing your lashes when removing your eye makeup or mascara.
Lash Lifts Pair Well With Lash Tints
Lash tinting consists of using a special dye to darken your lashes, offering weeks of ultra-black lashes without the help of mascara. This goes particularly well with a lash lift and gives lashes a natural, full look. Many places can perform the treatments in tandem.
Lash Lifts Enhance Your Natural Lashes
If you tend to prefer a natural beauty look over dramatic volumizing mascaras and false lashes, this may be the lash lengthening solution for you. “Lash lifts are a great alternative to lash extensions and the perfect way to enhance what you already have, whether your lashes are long, short, thick or stubborn,” says Law. Basically, lash lifts are all about flaunting what you’ve already got.
Things to Keep in Mind With Lash Lifts
Research Your Lash Technician
When looking for a lash technician, make sure you choose someone who specializes in lash services and is certified to provide the treatment. Starr recommends researching your tech before your visit and looking at customer photos and reviews. It’s also a good idea to get a consultation prior to booking an appointment as well.
Avoid Waterproof Mascara
While skincare and eye products are fine to use with a lash lift, Starr says, “waterproof or smudge-proof mascara strips the treatment and will affect its longevity.” That means you’ll have to avoid waterproof mascara formulas if you’re looking for your curl to last the full six to eight weeks.
Lash Lifts Aren’t for Everyone
“Those who have naturally curly lashes or lashes with a natural ‘criss cross’ pattern won’t benefit from a lash lift,” says Starr. This also applies to anyone with “really coarse lashes [because] the solution might not take.”
Whatever You Do, Don’t DIY
Although the lash lift procedure looks fairly simple on Instagram, Starr insists that they should only be done by a professional due to the amount of chemicals being applied so close to the eye area.
Still not sold on the idea of getting a lash lift? Of course, you can always curl and define your eyelashes using an eyelash curler, like the Le Curler from Lancôme, and a mascara, like the YSL Beauty Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara. You can also opt for mascaras that offer a lifting effect in addition to volumizing and lengthening, like the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara, which delivers up to five extra millimeters in length.