Everything Stylists Need to Know When Offering Lash Extensions and Applications

As a cosmetologist, you can offer both temporary and permanent lash extensions to add glamour to your client’s look.

Some clients might want eyelash extensions for special events or occasions, while others incorporate extension into their everyday routine, especially women with fair skin and light colored eyelashes. Julianne Moore is a great example of a fair-skinned, light haired celebrity who incorporates fake lashes into her makeup regimen.

Eyelash extensions don’t have to be dramatic—you can also apply shorter extensions that blend more organically with natural lashes. But if your client is performing a show or trying out a modeling look, you can play with more glamorous, fun extensions.

You’ll need a cosmetologist license to be authorized to perform any type of lash extensions for your clients. With training and practice, you can easily learn to quickly and efficiently apply lashes to your client’s eyes and help them leave the salon feeling confident and beautiful.

Although a standard cosmetology program will offer courses relating to eyelash care and eyelash extension applications, you might also consider brushing up on the art with advanced courses.

Advanced courses are offered both online through training videos and in beauty schools throughout the country. Through these courses, you’ll learn about the different materials used to make eyelash extensions, how to secure the extensions with glue, what the best method of application is, and how to safely remove extensions.

Temporary Lash Extensions: How They Work

Temporary lash extensions are the perfect solution for a special event such as a performance, prom, wedding, or even just a date night. The lashes can be customized to give a more natural look or a dramatic flair, depending on whether your client is looking for a glamorous Katy Perry look or a subtler approach.

You’ll use eyelash glue to adhere the lashes to your client’s eyes. Eyelashes come in a variety of different sizes, from 6 millimeters to 17 millimeters—you’ll use the smallest ones near the outer corner of the eye, and the longest lashes in the middle of the eye, just as the lashes grow naturally. Temporary lashes are made out of a synthetic material. You can also layer the lashes on top of each other in order to create a fuller look. The eyelash glue will anchor the eyelashes to the base of your client’s eyelid. They’ll need to keep their eyes closed while you apply pressure to the lash in order to secure it to the lid.

The temporary lashes can last up to a week, but you’ll need to caution your client not to touch the eyelashes unless applying mascara, and to only apply makeup remover to the corners of the eyes, not where the eyelashes are attached.

Your client might remove the eyelashes on their own by soaking the glue in eye makeup remover, or they may come to you for easy removal.

You’ll simply apply eye makeup remover to the glue and let it soak to loosen the adhesive; when the remover has soaked into the adhesive for several minutes, the lashes will be easy to remove. When removing fake lashes, some of the real lashes may come off, too. You might reassure your client that this is normal and part of the process—their natural lashes will grow right back. Temporary lashes will also need at least 24 hours in order for the glue to dry, so your client will need to avoid water during that time, including showers and sweat.

Permanent Lash Extensions: An Instant Enhancement

Although not truly permanent, professional quality lash extensions are meant to last six-eight weeks: they’ll need to be removed as the natural lashes continue to grow. Because they’re designed to be worn for a longer period of time, permanent lash extensions are made of silk or mink rather than synthetic material and are costlier than the synthetic extensions.

Rather than attaching small sections of lashes at a time as with temporary eyelashes, permanent eyelashes are adhered one lash at a time to anchor them more securely. It usually takes about two hours to complete a full application.

You’ll need to caution your client to keep the lashes dry for 24 hours after application and avoid makeup removers or moisturizer around the eye area. Also, they’ll need to avoid using waterproof mascara on the lashes as it can damage them and make them difficult to remove. If they need to use mascara at all, it should only be applied to the tip of the extensions in order to avoid clumps.

In order to remove the lashes, you’ll apply eye makeup remover to the glue and let it break down the adhesive. Then you’ll carefully strip the fake lashes away from the real lashes underneath.

What Type of Extensions Should I Recommend?

There are several different types of lash extensions that you might offer to clients, incorporating different materials and prices. The most common types are:

  • Mink
  • Silk
  • Synthetic

Mink Lashes: a Beyoncé Staple

Mink lashes come in two varieties: authentic mink fur and synthetic mink fur. Either variety is extremely natural-looking, unlike synthetic lashes.

Authentic mink lashes are the more expensive variety, and they also require more specialized care. Beyoncé has popularized this look with her everyday wear of authentic mink lashes. Mink lashes are permed in order to hold their curl, but may have to curled manually to hold their shape as they lose their shape over time.

Synthetic mink lashes are less expensive and hold their curl better, but they don’t look quite as natural as the authentic variety.

Silk Lashes: The Most Bang for Your Buck

Silk lashes hold their shape better than mink lashes, so if your client is looking for a wake-up-and-go look that’s still natural, silk extensions might be their best option. Less expensive than mink lashes but more expensive than synthetic lashes, silk lashes are the most affordable option for clients looking for permanent extensions.

Silk lashes are permed into a naturally curled shape and require relatively little maintenance.

Synthetic Lashes: Tried and True

Synthetic lashes are made from an acrylic material. Although they’re the most affordable type of lash extensions, they also aren’t made to last longer than a few weeks, and they will start naturally breaking down after repeated exposure to sun, water, and heat. Synthetic lashes work well for temporary applications, especially if your client wants lash extensions for a one-time event.

Synthetic eyelashes are also the heaviest type of lash extensions, so your client will be able to feel the weight on their eyelids. Since they’re only meant to wear temporarily, this isn’t anything to be concerned about.

Bold Modern Looks

One of the hottest new beauty trends is an eyelash extension that incorporates fun elements like diamonds, feathers, or colors and designs.

Designed for one-time use or a short time period such as a week, these fun lash extensions are applied with glue that must be set for 24 hours. For feather lashes, you’ll also need to avoid water, including showers, swimming, and sweat.

For a glamorous night out, a photoshoot, or a modeling endeavor, lashes that incorporate playful colors and elements add a whole new dynamic to your client’s look.

Safety Considerations

While your client may wonder if it’s easier for them to apply fake eyelashes at home rather than visit you at the salon, remind them that your salon-quality products are far safer and more effective than over-the-counter lash application products.

For instance, inexpensive lash glue that’s sold in drugstores may contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, which many people can have adverse reactions to, especially since the glue is applied in the sensitive eye area.

In addition, fake lashes sold over-the-counter are often sold in a one-piece application, while you’ll apply lash extensions one at a time to achieve a much more natural look.

Offering extensions to your clients in the salon is an assurance that they’ll be treated with high quality products and leave feeling satisfied with their new look.

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