If you are looking for bold eyelashes without the mascara hassle, try expanding your lash horizons with a lash lift or extensions. When it comes to choosing between lash extensions vs lash lift, many beauty enthusiasts swear by lash lifts and their ability to take natural eyelashes from so-so to WHOA!
A year ago, I realized my mascara routine wasn’t cutting it anymore. The mascara that I once used to make my eyes pop was suddenly weighing my lashes down and making them appear short and stubby. Not a good look.
I needed to try something new to increase the length and volume of my eyelashes, so I began to explore two popular procedures for lengthening and thickening lashes: lash lifts and extensions.
Here’s what I discovered about them and what you can do to improve your own lash game!
What is a lash lift?
A lash lifts use perm salts like the one’s beauticians and salons use in hair styling processes.
These chemicals are used on your eyelashes to get them to curl just as they would if you were to get a permanent wave in your hair. They make your natural lashes appear thicker, fuller, and longer.
What are eyelash extensions?
Eyelash extensions work like hair extensions. Made from synthetic or animal-derived materials, extensions are artificial lashes attached to your natural lashes with glue.
Available in various colors, styles, and textures, eyelash extensions are designed to give your lashes a fuller appearance. This can be through adding dramatic length, thickness, or both.
For a deep dive into lash extensions check out our article on everything you need to know about getting eyelash extensions.
Lash extensions vs lash lift – the differences
Though both are designed to make your lashes look fuller and longer, eyelash lifts and lash extensions are not the same.
An eyelash lift enhances the appearance of your natural lashes, while extensions are attached to your lashes.
Aestheticians, or lash artists, attach the extensions to your lashes one by one, making this a pricey and time-consuming procedure that requires a bit of maintenance to keep up.
Both options will eliminate having to use eye makeup to get a bold lash look. Lash lifts and extensions call attention to your eyes and make them look bigger. The customizable materials, colors, and styles you can choose to create a unique look.
When you get an eyelash lift, chemicals are applied to your eyelashes. This can make your lashes dry and brittle and lead to breakage in some cases. It’s critical to do your research to find the best salons and aestheticians to ensure your lashes are protected and healthy. A lash lift lasts from six to eight weeks– that’s up to two months!
The durability of lash extensions depends on the quality of the material they are made out of, your lash artist’s skills, and your ability to care for and maintain them properly. The artificial lashes are not reusable and you need to get lash replacements every four to six weeks.
Generally speaking, eyelash extensions require more maintenance and upkeep. The glue used to attach each individual lash doesn’t last forever. Quality varies with some salons using cheaper materials with weaker adhesives than others.
You also need to be hyper-vigilant with caring for your eyelash extensions and know that certain cosmetics and makeup removers can dissolve the glue bond and wreck your look.
Professional salon-quality eyelash extensions range from $100 to $300 or more, depending on your location. The lash extension fill-ins you need to maintain a full flutter can run between $30 to over $100 every time you need a touch-up.
Lash lifts, on the other hand, can cost on average between $100 to $120 and require no monthly fill-ins.
Can I use a lash lift home kit?
There are home lift lash kits that are a fraction of the cost of a professional lift. For a full ist of our faves, check out these amazing best 10 lash lift kits you can try at home.
Attempting to DIY your lashes without experience means you can make mistakes that are hard to fix later.
What is better: lash lifts or lash extensions
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of lash lifts and extensions.
Note: If you have dermatitis around your eyes, inflamed eyelids (Blepharitis), or broken skin around your eyes, it’s not only risky but downright dangerous to get any procedures done on your eyelashes. Avoid lash lifts and extensions if you have any of these conditions.
Lash lifts pros
Lifting your eyelashes is a great way to improve your existing lashes and reduce your need for makeup. If you prefer a natural look, you’ll love how a lash lift subtly enhances your natural beauty. Here are the other ways lash lifts come out on top.
They enhance your natural beauty
When eyelashes are in their natural state, they look flat. When curled, eyelashes look darker at the bottom and bring out the color of a person’s eyes. Lifted lashes will also make your eyes look bigger and reduce the appearance of wrinkles or crow’s feet for a more fresh-faced and youthful look.
Lash lifts are easier to maintain, and unlike eyelash extensions which are easy to damage with cosmetics and skincare products, if you have a lash lift, you have the option of wearing makeup without fear of it ruining your look.
If like me, you don’t have a lot of money to throw around on makeup and beauty treatments, you’ll love how affordable lash lifts are.
Since it only takes about an hour to do, they’re easy to fit into busy a schedule. Lash lift treatments cost much less than extensions because no touch-ups are required.
Lash lifts cons
It’s worth it to get a trained technician to do a lash lift. Although the chemicals they use are relatively mild and approved by the FDA, a person who does not know what they are doing can make your lashes come out dry, brittle, or overprocessed.
Two days of downtime
You need to plan before getting a lash lift, especially if you have a big event ahead, like a wedding. This is because the first 24 hours after you get your lash lift, you cannot get them wet or wear mascara.
If you want to wear makeup with your lash lift, get it done several days ahead of time.
The chemicals may cause a reaction
The chemicals used in a lash lift may irritate a person who has sensitive eyes. Always consult your doctor or ophthalmologist before getting any procedures on your eyes.
Eyelash extension pros
Eyelash extensions come in a wide variety of colors, lengths, and textures. They have a bold, dramatic effect that looks great in person and videos and photographs.
They are a great alternative to fake eyelashes
Eyelash extensions were initially invented as an alternative to false eyelashes or strip lashes. Fake eyelashes, like the type you can buy in a drugstore beauty department, can be hard to apply.
Expertly applied eyelash extensions have more staying power. Depending on the materials you use and the technician’s skill who applies them, some eyelash extensions can be waterproof, enhanced with makeup, and customized.
You will never have to worry about smears
Lash extensions, especially dark ones, eliminate your need to use mascara or eyeliners. Goodbye smudges and smears!
Eyelash extensions cons
It’s time consuming
Because eyelash extensions are individually applied one by one, they can take anywhere from forty-five minutes to over three hours to apply. They also need to be touched up every month or month and a half, and that takes an additional half-hour to around an hour.
May cause allergies and eye irritation
The materials used in eyelash extensions and the glue used to adhere them to your lashes can cause allergies in some people. These allergies cause red eyes and puffiness.
Damage to natural lashes
It is important to go to a reputable salon with a certified lash technician to get extensions.
Inexpertly applied eyelash extensions could damage, and even entirety pull out the lashes they’re attached to. Damaged lashes may take a long time to grow back, if they grow back at all.
Even the most basic eyelash extensions cost almost twice as much as a lash lift. You will pay more for the quality of the lashes and the quality of the salon that you go to.
They have to be cleaned
You can’t simply wash your extensions when you wash your face. You must use special cleansers and brushes explicitly designed to keep them clean.
You must cleanse your extensions thoroughly enough to get the dirt and bacteria out of them but gently enough that you don’t damage them.
Micellar cleanser can clean the extensions, but you should make sure that it does not contain any oil. Only a water-based lash cleanser will do to properly clean your eyelash extensions.
All in favor of lash lifts?
Whether you prefer dramatic volume or a more natural look that subtly lengthens and fills out sparse, skimpy lashes, lash lifts are one of the best ways you can enhance your eyes.
Less labor-intensive than eyelash extensions with minimal upkeep and less rigid rules for caring for them, lash lifts are a bargain for beauty lovers on a budget.
Laura is a beauty expert with 5 years prior experience working in cosmetics and lash salons. When not writing you can find her experimenting with the trending makeup looks, or reading a good book snuggled up with her French Bulldog Max. Laura is currently a contributing writer and Beauty Editor at BeatyStack.