Which is Best for You?
So you’re ready to enhance your look with false eyelashes but you aren’t sure whether false eyelashes or eyelash extension is right for you. While either option is a great choice there are some things you SHOULD know before committing to either option.
Cost in CAD
$100-300 Full Set
$50-150 2-4 Week Fill
Lasts 14-28 days
Eyelash extensions are all the rage right now in North America! While the technique is certainly not new, it has become increasingly popular in part for the same reasons as strip lashes – Hollywood.
Eyelash extension is a service that is performed by a beauty professional who usually has the title of lash artist or lash technician here in Canada. The procedure involves adhering individual lashes and/or multi-piece clusters of 2-6 lashes at a time to your natural eyelashes.
The result of eyelash extension is the most natural possible look. The product is semi-permanent and typically lasts 2-4 weeks at which time you will want to return to the lash artist so that s/he can fill in the areas of the eyelashes that have lost their retention. Lash artists refer to this as fall out.
Types of Eyelash Extension
- Natural – 60-90 lashes per eye
- Volume – 120-240 lashes per eye
- Mix / Semi-Volume – Varies from salon to salon, 90-120
There are a few common options to choose from in terms of density. Keep in mind that while the average human has 90-150 individual eyelashes on the upper lid where the lash artist’s work will be done, there are many who have 90 or less.
If you aren’t blessed with a high count of eyelashes or if you are at the end of a natural growth cycle then 2D – 6D lashes can come in handy for adding more volume but may not be possible for you depending on the strength of your eyelashes. Since these volume lashes increase in weight your own lashes may fall out or the retention could be poor.
Eyelash Extension Materials
- Silk/Faux Mink (Synthetic)
Above listed are two main material types used for eyelash extension. Mink offers the lightest weight and most realistic sheen as it is made from brushed-off fur of the mink animal. Most mink hair is sourced from Siberia. It is the most comfortable wear and the de facto choice for those with eyelashes on the weaker side. It’s also the ideal choice for 2D-6D volume lashes as it greatly reduces the weight.
Silk/Faux Mink is a type of polyester synthetic material made of PBT (Polybutylene Terephtalate). It is an ultra-light weight material that offers extremely realism for this particular application. Being synthetic it is of course 100% cruelty free. Silk lashes tend to be more consistent in shape and perm (curl) but at the cost of 30% increase to weight. The wear is not quite as comfortable and for some people not a good choice. The benefit however is that they are generally cheaper and more durable.
Note: There has been some criticism in the industry for the use of mink hair as concerns have been raised surrounding animal cruelty. There are claims that it is impossible to harvest the hair without completely avoiding inhumane treatment of the animals as they tend to be territorial and cannot be allowed to roam free. While most of this is speculation we do know on a personal level what it is like to source animal furs. We can’t speak for other companies but we purchase our fur from traders who deal exclusively with cruelty-free farms. Beyond that, to truly verify the cruelty-free claims a formal international investigation that would potentially span the globe would have to be launched. At this point, it really isn’t a possibility.
Eyelash Extension Curl and Size
The individual lashes are organized by diameter, length and curl. It is the lash artists job to choose the right dimensions and curl for your desired look and your particular eyelashes and eye type.
Eyelash Extension Glue
Eyelash extensions are adhered to your own natural eyelashes using a cyanoacrylate glue. This is the same type of glue that we commonly refer to as “Super Glue”. There are a number of different types of cyanoacrylates such as methyl, butyl, octyl and ethyl for which each has a unique bond to different surfaces. Lash artists use methyl-2-cyanoacrylate for its ability to bond to smooth and shiny surfaces.
Most of the glues are made in Korea and rebranded by companies here in Canada and the US. You should always ask your lash technician which glue they are using, where it came from and the manufactured date. Stale eyelash adhesive can cause irritation and even serious infection if used beyond expiration date. Unfortunately, regulation in this industry is still catching up and has allowed many dangerous low quality and even counterfeit adhesives to enter the salon through popular online market places for which we won’t name any but I’m sure you could guess in one try 😉 When it comes to your health, cheaper is not always better.
Care and Maintenance
While eyelash extension will cut down on your make up routine every morning, caring for these delicate beauty enhancements does take some commitment. Within the first 24 hours of the service you CANNOT let them get wet. You need to clean the lashes often with a cleanser to keep oils from destroying the bond. You can’t rub your eyes or sleep on your tummy or side, you may even have to change your pillow case from cotton to satin to avoid getting your lashes snagged in the fabric while you’re sleeping. We don’t don’t tell you all this to scare you but rather to help you make an informed decision.
Eyelash Extension Summary
Advantages of Eyelash Extension
- Very natural look
- Semi-permanent lasts 2-4 weeks
- Reduce make up routine time
Disadvantages of Eyelash Extension
- Expensive ($50-150/mo)
- 2-4 weeks until you can change your look
- Premature fall out
Cost in CAD
Lasts 15-25 uses
False eyelashes as we know them today were first patented right here in Canada in 1915 by Anna Taylor. Today, they are almost exclusively fabricated in China and Indonesia while much of the research and design can either be done domestically or overseas. The false eyelash or strip lash is created by adhering individual eyelashes to cotton or synthetic twine known as the band. The quality falsies are made to hold up to multiple uses with a simple cleaning procedure making them extremely affordable.
Applying the lashes is very easy. Once you have trimmed the lashes to your desired length the application process can happen in less than 60 seconds once you get the hang of it.
Types of False Eyelashes
Mink (Generally 3D)
Silk/Faux Mink (Generally 3D)
Synthetic (Generally single-use plastic i.e. Wal-Mart lashes)
False eyelashes are available in an abundance of styles, designs and materials. The most popular styles are generally made of authentic Mink fur or Silk (a.k.a. Faux Mink) which is the same PBT polyester fabric that is used in eyelash extensions. Just like eyelash extensions, the same advantages apply to false eyelashes. Silk is cheaper, more consistent from one set to the next, a little more durable but heavier and the bands can sometimes be a little more stubborn to work with depending on the material. Mink lashes are softer, has the most natural look, tends to have an element of randomization to it that makes it look realistic, the most comfortable to wear being 30% lighter than silk.
False Eyelash Styles
There is enormous amount of styles to choose from. We will summarize for you but if you would like to know more you should check out our blog post The 2019 Ultimate Guide to False Eyelashes which is a monster blog post full of useful information.
Lash Glue and Accessories
False eyelashes are glued to your natural lashes with what is generally a latex-based glue. Don’t worry, if you have allergies, there are some options for sensitive eyes. Generally speaking the glue used for false eyelashes is not as harsh as the cyanoacrylate glue used in eyelash extension. You can remove the lashes from your eyes at any point by holding the band of the lashes and gently breaking the bond. Just make sure to never pull from the lashes as you may end up with a handful of broken lashes.
Our favourite glue is DUO Brush-on Glue as it comes with a handy little brush built into the lid similar to a nail polish lid but smaller brush size that makes it very easy to get just the right amount of glue on the band without any fuss.
We recommend you keep the following tools handy at your beauty stand and in your purse”
How to Clean your False Eyelashes
If you want to get the most possible wears out of your false eyelashes than you definitely want to make sure to clean them. We suggest cleaning them after every use. If you don’t have enough time, you can opt for cleaning them every second use and you should still get many uses out of your falsies.
How do you clean false eyelashes? Easy! You can simply pick the glue off the band carefully with tweezers. Hold the band of the false eyelash with one hand while the other works on removing the glue.
While we don’t suggest using mascara unless absolutely necessary, if you do, carefully remove the mascara by wiping with a damp cotton pad. Go easy though, you don’t want to destroy the lashes.
False Eyelash Summary
Advantages of False Eyelashes
- Easily Removable
- Low cost
- More options
- Less health risk
Disadvantage of False Eyelashes
- Less natural look than eyelash extension
- May need to be reapplied throughout the day
- A minor learning curve first time applying
Either option can take your make up game from ‘meh’ to ‘da bomb’. It really depends on what is most important to you.
Eyelash extensions can be an amazing touch offering the most natural look for special events such as weddings, socials, prom, graduation etc. Just remember that not everyone can use eyelash extension and that the cyanoacrylate glue used can present health concerns. Remember that eyelash extensions are high-maintenance.
False eyelashes are quick & easy, low-maintenance and ultra-affordable. It is a great choice for those with too few or too short lashes for eyelash extension. The health concerns are minimal because you will not have glue near your skin all day long for weeks on end and the glue used is typically less harsh.
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