Your ultimate guide to eyelash extensions
Eyelash extensions are a great way to help you look put together with minimal effort – even if you’ve just woken up in the morning. But, if you’re new to eyelash extensions, you might be wondering which type and brand to choose.
Eyelash extensions come in different lengths, volumes, curls, and materials. Because of this, it takes a bit of time to familiarise yourself with the terminology and understand what the various options are. Each type achieves a particular effect, so a style that looks great on your friend, for example, might not suit your eye shape. Here is our guide to the different considerations for lash extensions.
Eyelash extensions are available in different lengths, ranging from 5mm to 18mm. This is important to understand, as choosing the wrong length of eyelash extension could damage your natural lashes. They may also feel uncomfortable or be too heavy. The diameter of the extensions should also be as close as possible to the diameter of your natural lashes.
For example, if your natural eyelash is 8mm and is very fine and weak, your lash artist could opt for 9-10mm long extensions that are 0.10 to 0.13 in thickness. This will give you volume and length and hold safely to your natural eyelashes without causing damage to the hair or follicle. If your natural lashes are thick and strong, your lash artist could choose a length of up to 13mm or 14mm and a thickness of 0.15 to 0.18.
Volume is achieved by applying multiple extensions to a single lash. They are defined by the number of individual lashes applied, creating a ‘fan’. Most artists use a number plus the letter D to show how many lashes are in a fan. For example, 3D means there are three individual lashes clustered together to make a fan.
If you’re going for a lightweight, natural look, your lash artist would likely use 2D to 4D. If you’d like a more voluminous and dramatic look, your lash artist would use 4D to 8D. Bear in mind that your lash artist has the training and experience to accurately decide what will work best with your natural lashes and your eye shape.
There are several types of curls for eyelash extensions and the main difference between them is the shape of the curl.
The B-curl is the most natural-looking option and is suitable for people with straight lashes that just need a bit of a lift. The C-curl is also commonly used, as it fits almost all eye shapes. The D-curl is suited to a dramatic look and for those who have naturally curly lashes, as it resembles a semi-circle. The L and L+ curls have a flat base then lift upwards. It’s suitable for people with mono-lids, hooded eyes, or lashes that are straight and point downwards.
The most commonly used extension materials are mink, faux mink, silk, and synthetic. The main difference, apart from what they’re made of, is their firmness. Graft A Lash has eyelash extensions made from many of these materials. Check them all out here.
Mink lashes are real hair from a mink animal’s tail. They have a natural quality to them and feel light and fluffy, seamlessly achieving a soft and natural look. Mink lashes tend to last longer than other materials because they are light, which makes it easier to apply several lash extensions per natural lash.
The downside to mink lashes is that they can be a bit more expensive than other options. Additionally, they aren’t curled so you’ll need to have them permed and continue to curl them at home to maintain their curled look.
Faux mink lashes are the most common type of extensions used by lash artists. They’re man-made, poly-fibre lashes that come in various lengths, diameters, and curls. They have good flexibility and can look quite natural or dramatic, depending on the length used. They’re designed to imitate mink lashes, but have a permanent curl to them, which makes them lower maintenance.
Silk lashes are a mid-weight type of lash extension and they are finer and more flexible than synthetic options. Despite their name, silk lashes aren’t actually made from silk material. Like faux mink lashes, they come in a variety of curls and lengths. They’re heavier and not as comfortable as faux mink lashes and are best used for special occasions.
Synthetic lashes are the least popular option as they are the heaviest and least natural looking on your eyes. Some people find them a bit uncomfortable as they can be quite heavy on the eyelids. They also have a sheen to them, rather than the soft lustre you would normally see on animal or faux mink lashes.
Choosing the best lashes for you
The best way to determine the ideal lash extensions for you is to consult an experienced lash artist. They have the skills and knowledge on what style, curl, thickness, and length to use for your particular eye shape. They will also consider the health of your natural lashes. They can also advise on how best to achieve the look you’re after.
Be sure to check the lash artist’s accreditation, such as our nationally accredited eyelash extension training, and their customer reviews on Google or Facebook. If lash extensions are applied incorrectly, they’ll weigh down your natural lashes, damage your hair follicles and stunt growth.