It’s never been a better time to be a lash artist — or a lash enthusiast!
For a few years now, lash extensions have gained a huge following — in fact, according to Business of Fashion, extensions have exploded in the last 2 years with a 15% global increase, and a 32% rise in the US according to Nielsen Retail Measurement Services. Lash extensions are so popular that they’re actually making a dent in the mascara market! Business of Fashion is predicting a 2% decline in everyone’s former fave cosmetic product.
But at the same time, lash lifts (using safe, cream-based solutions that leave natural lashes perfectly curled) have roared into the spotlight. Beauty editors, cosmetics junkies, and even makeup minimalists are all wanting to get in on the trend. In the last two years, we’ve seen lash lift requests rise by 73%, now making up 52% of all eyelash treatments!
So which one’s better? At Sugarlash PRO, we’re champions of ALL things lashes, so we truly believe both lash lifts and extensions should be part of your service menu. Both lash services are perfectly safe, maintain the health of your lashes, and ultimately help you cut down the time you need to get ready in the morning due to not needing mascara or lash curlers. But we also want you to have all the facts, so let’s dive into the pros and cons of both!
When it comes to customizing lashes for every client’s unique features, lash lifts have nothing on extensions. The sheer variety of lash types (Mink, Silk, Flat), lengths, diameters, application methods (Classic, Volume, Mega Volume, Hybrid), styles (Natural, Open, Cat Eye, Doll, Flick, Reverse), and effects (Perfect Line, Feathered, Textured, Strip Lash, Smudged Liner, Crisp Winged Liner, etc) means everyone can have a completely individualized set. Whether your client wants a more natural look, or maybe wants to mimic a celebrity (we see you, Kim K lash fans!), or wants to bring the drama, extensions help you create it all! Lash lifts, on the other hand, allow you to choose the size of the curl your lashes can handle, but they definitely can’t be styled to enhance or balance facial features the way extensions can. That doesn't mean lash lifts don't come with options, though! In July, we're launching our brand new Lash Plumper, Glaze, and Tint products to keep lash lifts looking thicker, darker, and last a lot longer!
For some lash clients, two hours is a perfectly reasonable time for a lash service. And for others, that’s an eternity. While lash extensions can take hours depending on the type of lash set, the style, and the condition of the natural lashes, one of the reasons clients love lash lifts is because they can often be in and out of the door in under an hour and still look polished. That’s what makes it ideal for busy clients with very short gaps in their schedule, restless clients, and those who are a little wary of a lengthier, more substantial lash service.
While lash extensions can be applied in ways that look ultra-natural, lash lifts rely on what nature actually gave you. This can be both a pro and a con — and it all comes down to what you got from your mama. If your lashes are naturally thick, longer, and/or more voluminous, lash lifts can appear nearly as dramatic as extensions, especially when paired with a lash tint to darken and define your lashes. It’s important to keep in mind that most successful lash lift images that come up on Instagram or Pinterest are of clients with naturally thick, long lashes. If your lashes are stubby, thin, and sparse, a lash lift won’t do much to change their appearance compared to a full, custom set of extensions.
Since extensions are placed on the natural lashes, they follow every client’s natural lash growth cycle, meaning that they fall out as the natural lash grows out. To maintain lash extensions, clients should be coming back for fill appointments every 2-4 weeks. Lash lift clients may be able to push their next appointments later, to up to 6-8 weeks. Plus, unlike the early versions of both services, we’ve developed our products to allow clients to get their lashes wet even immediately after their appointments — that means no more waiting 24-48 hours before taking a shower, hitting the gym, going to the beach, or getting some pool time!
It’s no secret that lash lifts tend to cost less than a set of lash extensions. Lash lifts are typically priced between $75-135, while lash extensions will normally range between $180-400 — but keep in mind the price variability for lash extensions is easier to understand depending on the level of customization that’s involved. When a client only takes into account the price of extensions and the cost of fill appointments, they can often lose sight of the benefits of curated lash styling.
While allergic reactions can occur even after having the same lash service multiple times, Sugarlash PRO’s CurlPerfect Lash Lift solutions tend to be easier for clients to handle if they’ve reacted to any adhesives used when receiving lash extensions. If this happens, it’s important to talk to clients about their allergy’s limitations, and if they’re adamant on still getting their lashes done, have them try lash lifts.
Ultimately, which service you choose should depend entirely on your client’s lashes, their style expectations, the time they have, their willingness to maintain their lashes, and the price point they’re comfortable with. Once your clients find the right lash treatment for them, trust us, they’ll be hooked!