There’re a few ways to make your lashes stand out, from mascara to lash extensions. But another popular way relies on the natural lashes you already have – the lash lift.
There are three different kinds of lash lifts; the classic lash lift, the lash perm and a keratin lash lift.
Lash lifts need minimal effort to maintain and can last for up to 8 weeks. A tint can be added to any of these treatments to darken eyelashes and add definition.
If you’re after voluminous eyelashes or have straight lashes and want to skip the pricy lash extension appointments or battling smudges with mascara, a lash lift is perfect. It’s affordable, low maintenance and requires no glue or special aftercare like extensions.
Sounds perfect, right? Ready, set, let’s lash!
What is a lash lift?
A lash lift is a semi-permanent treatment that creates perfectly curled lashes that compliment your face shape. Having a lash lift leaves you with a set of beautifully shaped voluminous lashes without the hassle of having to apply mascara or whip out the lash curler.
In a nutshell, a lash lift is a perm for your eyelashes. While getting a lash lift a trained technician lifts your lashes from the bottom of the lashes to the top so that the natural length of your lashes are accentuated. A lash lift mimics the look of eyelash extensions but is more affordable and lasts longer, up to 2 months when properly maintained and cared for.
What is a lash lift and tint?
A lash lift and tint is a perm and color for your eyelashes. This beauty treatment reshapes your eyelashes using the same type of chemicals for a hair perm, making your straight lashes curl more noticeably upward.
Paired with a tint, a lash lift creates darker fuller, and longer lashes eliminating your need to use mascara and can completely transform the look of your lashes. This is perfect for people who have lighter color lashes.
Who should get a lash lift?
Anyone who wants to amp up their natural lash game without resorting to pricey eyelash extensions or messystrip lashes will benefit from a lash lift!
Extensions, while luxurious and customizable, come with upkeep. Extensions typically need refills every two to three weeks and depending on the type you have, can cost hundreds of dollars.
Strip lashes that require glue or magnets cost a fraction of the price of professional salon eyeash extensions, but are tricky to apply and don’t have much staying power.
The great thing about a lash lift is that it’s super low maintenance. Coupled with a tint, the lashes have the bold and dramatic appearance of mascara without the time spent toiling away in front of a mirror wielding your mascara wand or fussing with glue and magnets.
A lash lift and tint is the perfect busy girl beauty hack.
Things to keep in mind before getting a lash lift and tint
Before your scheduled lash lift, ask your technician for a patch test. This test puts a tiny amount of the lifting formula on your inner elbow or the wrist so you can make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions.
Most clients do not have an allergic reaction however it’s always better to be safe than sorry, even if you experience a subtle burning sensation, especially when it comes to the health of your eyes and eyelids!
Medical conditions and surgeries
If you have had LASIK or any other eye surgery, you should wait at least six months to one year post-surgery to get any sort of lash treatment done.
Since the chemicals used in the treatment can cause irritation, it’s best for your eyes to wait for full recovery before receiving an eye-centric beauty treatment.
Ditch extensions and go makeup free before your lift
Prep your lashes ahead of time by removing any existing eyelash extensions at least three days before your treatment.
Avoiding using waterproof mascara and dith the eyelash curler a few days before your lash lift. Arrive makeup free to your appointment, using a gentle oil-free cleanser to ensure you have no oily residue on your skin.
What to expect during a lash lift and tint
A lash lift treatment is typically a seven-step process that takes about an hour from start to finish. Here is what to expect when you arrive at your appointment.
The lash artist will gently clean your lashes and around your eyes with a cotton pad dipped in a liquid a protein remover solution. This ensures your eyes are properly clean and ready for the treatment.
2. Covering and securing top and bottom lashes
Next, the adhesive pads are secured under the eye and over the bottom lashes. The tech will then select and fit a silicone form. This form gives the lash its shape as the treatment does its magic.
3. Bonding gel
The lashes need to stick to the silicon pad so your lash tech uses bonding gel as a glue to get your lashes to lay against the form. The tech uses a special tool to gently pull the lashes up and onto the form.
4. First application
Lifting balm is applied to the lashes and it quickly breaks down the structures in the hair,softening it so it can hold the new shape. Depending on the formula, the lifting balm stays on the lashes for 4–12 minutes.
5. Second application
After removing the lifting balm, the next step is to apply the fixing lotion also called a setting solution. This rebuilds the hair structures and sets the new shape. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
6. Tint application
If you opt for a tint with your lift, the color is applied after the fixing lotion is removed. The tint will take a few minutes to take to your lashes , depending upon the shade used. This step is also where you can add a lash glaze, or plumping solution to lock in and enhance lash color.
7. Nourishing lotion
After the tint develops, it is removed and cleaned. The final step in the process is the nourishing lotion is applied, and all done! Step back and admire.
Want to see the whole process in action? Check out this video of a lift and tint since your eyes are closed the entire procedure anyway.
Lash lift aftercare
To make sure that your lifted eyelashes stay gorgeous for as long as possible here are some recommended care tips. Remember that the first two days are crucial to making sure the treatment sets properly.
For more in-depth tips, check out our 5 Simple Rules For Lash Lift Aftercare.
24–48 hours after treatment
- Avoid getting your lashes wet. You may want to wash your hair before the treatment so as to keep your lashes safe from a long, steamy shower.
- Avoid hot and humid conditions like a sauna or steam bath.
Sleep on your back with only the back of your head on your pillow if possible. Sleeping on your side or stomach and smushing your face into your pillow can also change the shape of your lashes, such as kinking them or twisting them into an odd direction.
- Be gentle with your eyelashes! Avoid putting on heavy makeup that tugs and pulls at your lashes, don’t use eyelash curlers, and don’t attempt to add magnetic or strip lashes to your existing lashes.
- Regularly use a clean mascara wand without any cosmetics on it to maintain the shape and style of your lashes and to keep them in place.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Brush your eyelashes with a rich conditioning oil like coconut oil or castor oil twice per week to keep your lashes healthy and hydrated. Without conditioning treatment your lashes can become brittle and dry.
Here are some more easy tips and tricks to get the most out of your treatment:
Keratin lash lift vs perm lash lift
Most beauty salons offer both keratin lash lifts and perm lash lifts. So what’s the difference?
Keratin lash lift
A keratin lash lift, also called a keratin lash infusion, deposits protein onto your eyelashes. This leaves them stronger and less prone to breakage. A keratin lash lift involves four steps.
- Pads are placed on your eyelids and serum is applied to the lashes which helps soften the lash proteins so they can be expertly shaped and curled.
- Next, a restorative keratin serum is applied to the lashes.
- Lash tint is applied to the eyelashes that darken the lashes and give them that “I’m wearing mascara” look.
- The last step in a lash lift is the application of a pure keratin protein treatment to soften and condition the lashes.
Perm lash lift
A perm lash, also called a lash perm, lift is exactly what it sounds like. Perming salts similar to those used in hair perming are used to create the curled lash shape. Perm lash lifts often use chemicals that have a higher pH and can damage your lashes if left to develop too long. Breakage and fragile lashes can result.
Lash lift vs lash perm
The terms lash lift and lash perm are often used interchangeably. But are these two services actually the exact same thing?
The answer is no, here’s how they differ:
Lash lifts use silicone pads with varying curvatures and have a less dramatic curl than the results you get with a lash perm.
If your eyelashes are on the shorter side, go with a lash lift and choose a medium curved silicone pad. This way you’ll avoid your lashes looking too short but will still get the effect of curled eyelashes and bigger-looking eyes.
Lash lift and tint
For a lash lift and tint you technician will add an extra step and apply dye to your eyelashes to deepen the color of your natural lashes and make them more defined.
For more information on how to do your own lash tinting check out our article on How to Tint Eyelashes.
A lash perm uses perm salts, aka a perming solution, to create the curl. The curing rods used in lash perms are cylindrical in shape and usually made out of a firm foam rod.
If you have long lashes and want a dramatic curl then get a lash perm. Keep in mind that your eyelashes will look shorter with the more extreme curve of a curling rod.
Lash lift before and after photos
Can’t wait to get your lash lift and tint? Here’s what you can expect yoru before and after photos will look like. Amazing, right! Her eyes just pop after.
How long does a lash lift last?
Results last anywhere from four to six weeks (up to 2 months!) depending on your skincare routine and the products you use.
The typical growth cycle of eyelashes is 30 to 40 days which means with each growth cycle, you’ll need to get another treatment done.
We recommend scheduling your lash lifts approx. six weeks apart. If your eyelashes grow quickly, you may need to reschedule every four weeks to maintain the curl.
It’s best to wait at least four weeks between treatments.
How long does it take for your lashes to grow back on their own?
It typically takes four to six weeks for your lashes to grow back on their own.
Growth cycles for lashes can range anywhere from 3-12 weeks and depend on factors like stress, diet, your skincare regime, if you wear eye makeup, as as well as how often you get an eyelash perm.
How much does a lash lift cost?
Last lifts can range in price from $80-150 depending on the area you live in and the salon you got to.
As always, do your homework when selecting a beauty salon to do your lash lift. If you can’t get a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted friend, check out the salons before and after images on Instagram to get an idea of the quality of lashes they do.
How long does a lash lift take?
Lash lifts take around an hour. Be sure to bring some earbuds so you can kick back and listen to your favorite tunes or catch up on that podcast because your eyes will be shut the whole time!
Some salons may require you to do a skin test 24-48 hours before your treatment to make sure you don’t have an unforeseen allergic reaction to the eyelash curling solution.
Be sure to ask your salon if you’ve never had a lash lift before.
Do lash lifts ruin your eyelashes?
When done right, lash lifts will not ruin healthy lashes. This is why it is essential to do your research and find a certified and licensed eyelash technician.
A lift uses chemicals, like a perm solution, and if handled improperly, it can cause clumping, overcurling, and weak, frizzy, or brittle eyelashes.
Signs of a bad lash lift include:
- Skin irritation
- Skin rash
- Red, watery eyes
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
Can you wear mascara with a lash lift?
Yes! You can wear mascara with a lash lift. Mascara can enhance the look of your lash lift, especuially if your only getting a lift and not a lash lift and tint.
You’lll want to use an oil-free mascara to preserve the curl of your lash perm as long as possible as any oil will relax your lash lift.
The same rule applies to make up remover, avoid any that include oils and opt for oil-free cleansers.
What can I do if my lashes are overprocessed?
Lash technicians typically avoid “lifting” the fine tips of the lashes because they are more susceptible to getting over-processed. But there are still some cases where your lashes don’t come out as you expect them to.
While a lash lift gone wrong can be frustrating and a bit embarrassing, take heart. If you are unsatisfied with the lift, be sure to let your technician know. They may be able to relax the lashes or fix the shape.
If that doesn’t work, remember that it usually only takes about a month for the lashes to go through a complete growth cycle and the bad lift will be over and done with.
Key points on what is a lash lift
Now you know everything about lash lifts, before and after. The lash lift and tint is a low-maintenance alternative to extensions and applying false lashes yourself. With proper care, a lift and tint can last up to eight weeks.
Be sure to properly care for your lashes in the first 24–48 hours after treatment: avoid getting your lashes wet (that includes steam and getting sweaty!), no mascara or eye makeup for a few days, and be gentle with your lashes. Also be careful with your sleep position so they don’t get kinked.
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.