Lash extensions come in all shapes and sizes. There are big, fluttery ones that make a daring statement. There are subtle, natural ones that accent a person’s existing allure. Then there are some in between that offer a dramatic yet almost believable look. What makes these types of eyelash extensions look different, which ones are best, and what type should you choose for your own extensions? The answers to these questions depend mostly on personal preference, but if you want to truly find the extensions best suited to your taste, knowledge is power. Educating yourself on the different materials, sizes, and styles of extensions is the first step.
Consider the following guide for more information on each of these elements and a complete explanation of every aspect of lash extensions. Armed with knowledge, you can choose the extensions that are best for you and flaunt your newly enhanced lashes.
Different Types of Eyelash Extensions Materials
The first thing you should understand about lash extensions is the different types of materials they can be made from. The material determines how shiny, flexible, and durable your extensions will be, and different materials create different effects. Silk, mink, and synthetic extensions are the three most common types of materials, and here you’ll find the pros and cons of each.
Silk extensions are the material of choice for many extension enthusiasts for a number of reasons. As a lightweight and airy option, they are ideal for candidates whose own lashes are fine and unable to sustain the weight of heavier extensions.
In addition to their lightweight nature, silk extensions are known for their durability. Silk itself is notoriously strong, and when crafted into extensions, it makes for a long-lasting effect. You can count on silk lash extensions to outlast many other materials.
One of the only downsides of silk lashes is their cost. They tend to more expensive than synthetic lash extensions, which puts them out of reach for some. Still, if you view your extensions as an investment, silk may be the way to go. You’ll enjoy luscious, lightweight, and long-lasting lashes until you need a fill.
Another option in addition to silk extensions is mink extensions. Real mink extensions are made from the fur of mink animals and crafted into individual artificial lashes. The result is soft, luxurious faux lashes that have a natural sheen to them. Many say that these are the most natural-looking extensions.
Because they are so lightweight — even lighter than silk — they are incredibly long-lasting, too. An extension technician can apply several mink extensions to a single natural lash, also making for a fuller appearance. The airy, feathered look that results is flattering to any face shape or style.
Many people, though, are put off by the price of mink lashes. More expensive than both silk and synthetic, they are a pricey investment. Some also object to the idea of using an animal product in their beauty routine and avoid mink lashes because they are not considered cruelty-free.
Last but not least, synthetic lashes are one of the most popular options for their price and accessibility. Many lash technicians and beginning extension enthusiasts opt for synthetic lashes because they are affordable and, at first glance, may not look all that different than more expensive options.
Typically made from acrylic, these extensions are stronger than all other types and tend to be shinier than other materials. This can make for a more dramatic appearance, but it can also look less natural than silk or mink. They are also heavier than silk or mink, which means that candidates must have strong natural lashes to sustain synthetic extensions.
Synthetic extensions are also likely to outlast both mink and silk extensions. Because they are made from strong acrylic fibers, they are incredibly durable and firm, making them the optimal choice for anybody who wants to extend the lifespan of their lashes between fills.
Diameter, Lengths, and Curls To Choose From
The material of your lash extensions is a major component of how they look and feel, and so is the diameter, length, and curl that you select. Different types of extensions have different shapes and measurements, so it’s important to research what kind of look you want and consider how it will complement your eyes and face shape.
One of the first things you think about when you think of extensions is probably length, but you may be less likely to think about diameter. Indeed, just as lashes come in different lengths, you can select different diameters, too — and paying attention to this element can get you a unique look.
Typical lash diameters may be as thin as .03mm or as thick as .15mm. It may seem counterintuitive, but the thinner the diameter of your lash is, the thicker you can make your fan. This is because a thinner diameter allows for more extensions to be applied to a single natural lash, making for a denser fill throughout your lash line.
Thicker diameter extensions are useful, too, for a more classically alluring look. Extensions that are .10mm, .12mm, or .15mm are particularly suited to candidates whose natural lashes may be thin. The thick diameter easily bonds to natural lashes and creates the illusion of natural volume.
Do you want a dramatic, touches-your-eyebrows look that catches glances? Length is the key. In fact, length may be the single most important factor in determining the final results of your extension. Whether you get a natural or dramatic look depends largely on the length you choose, and an artfully applied extension will vary lengths naturally throughout your lash line.
For dramatic, intentionally artificial-looking extensions, you will generally be looking at lengths between 11mm to 15mm. In this length range, extensions go far beyond your natural lashes and create a fan-like effect on the eyes. For an even more dramatic appearance, you can taper down to shorter lengths such as 9mm to 8mm as you reach the inner corner of your eye.
A more conservative extension will include shorter lengths, such as 8mm to 11mm. Extensions in this range will create a beautiful look that accentuates but does not overshadow your existing lashes. Though shorter, these lashes can be layered dramatically to create a volume-centric look that still appears natural.
Extension Curl Styles
One of the final considerations to take into account as you choose your lash style is the type of curl you want. For downward-facing extensions that shade the eye, a J-curl or B-curl style offers minimal lift and maximum volume. These curl styles are the least dramatic available and typically create a much more subtle look for the wearer.
You can also opt for a straight extension style, which has very little curl at all and points out almost directly from the lash line. For this style, a C-curl or CC-curl is ideal. These options provide a subtle, minimalist curl to the lashes without an overly dramatic lift that suggests the presence of extensions.
Lastly, for an upward-facing curl — the most dramatic and popular option — you can opt for a D-curl, or L-curl, both of which extend toward the brow and offer maximum accentuation of your natural lashes. These options also often look the most flattering to candidates seeking to draw attention to their eyes.
Classic, Volume, and Hybrid Types of Eyelash Extensions
Material matters, style matters…and lastly, application technique matters. The three primary techniques — the classic, the volume, and the hybrid — are all uniquely appealing, and each is right for a different kind of person. The right one for you depends on whether you’re looking for a natural or dramatic look and whether you want maximum volume or an emphasis on length.
Classic extensions are the go-to for most people who are just beginning to explore the world of luxury lashes, and with good reason — they’re simple, attractive, and the most natural-looking of the three application styles. The classic style is defined by a 1:1 ratio, meaning that a single lash extension is applied to a single natural lash. This creates a naturally voluminous look that’s neither too dramatic nor too obvious.
You can combine the classic application technique with your choice of lash lengths and curl styles to create a completely customized look for your lash extensions. Medium-length, upward-facing curls are particularly complementary to this style because they open the eye while maintaining a natural appearance.
Though this technique can add ample length, it will not add much volume to your lash line. This is because of the aforementioned 1:1 ratio — you are not adding any additional lashes but instead merely accenting the lashes that already exist. Still, this is preferable for many clients who do not want an obvious look to their extensions. Classic lashes are also the fastest to be applied, with an average application time of 90 minutes to two hours.
As the name suggests, volume lashes are the most voluminous of the three application styles, with a technique that allows multiple extension lashes to be bonded to a single natural lash. The result is a fan-like appearance above the eye that is multidimensional and dramatic. This is perfect for people who want to draw attention to their eyes and face.
Because multiple extensions are applied to a single lash with this technique, a technician will typically use lighter extensions sized at .03mm, .05mm, or .07mm in order to maintain a light weight. They may also recommend use of silk or mink extensions so that your natural lashes are not weighed down by the application of multiple extensions.
Because more extensions are applied, this style also takes longer than other styles, with an average application time of two to three hours. A technician may use pre-made fans, which will shorten the process, or they may assemble fans throughout the application process, making it take longer. Either way, you will be left with beautifully full lashes that are sure to stun.
You might guess, based on the name, that hybrid extensions are a combination of the classic and volume application techniques…and you’d be correct! Hybrid extensions are characterized by a 70/30 split between classic extensions and volume extensions, creating the perfect balance between natural and dramatic. This creates the illusion of greater texture and volume without an exaggerated look.
The application is executed strategically to mix the extensions evenly throughout your lash line and ensure that the results are balanced. You’ll end up with a look that is wispy and enchanting, making people notice your lashes without wondering if they’re real. If you can’t choose between classic or volume extensions, this offers the best of both worlds. It’s also a great option for extension newbies who aren’t sure exactly what look they’re going for and want to start out with something noticeable yet minimal.
Hybrid extensions are considerably lighter than volume extensions. Many people want the fuller look of a volume extension set but find their weight off-putting. With a hybrid set installed, you can enjoy a fuller look without sacrificing your comfort. Hybrid extensions are natural-looking, lightweight, and perfectly full — an ideal recipe for beauty.
Lash Extensions That Impress and Endure
When you’re shopping for a lash extension set, there are so many variables and types of eyelash extensions, it can be overwhelming — length, curl style, technique — where do you start? Becoming familiar with each of these elements is key to making yourself a lash extension expert, and as an expert, you’re empowered to decide exactly what you want. This guide is your license to take your look into your own hands and find the extension style that’s perfect for you and your face. Whether it’s classic, hybrid, C-curl, D-curl, mink, or synthetic, finding the best extensions can revolutionize your life.
Lash Stuff offers a full line of lash extension supplies for professional estheticians and cosmetologists. We also offer DIY faux lashes and other supplies for lash enthusiasts. Learn more about us, or call or text us at (385) 393-1616.