Do you find yourself applying clumps and clumps of mascara in the morning for a Beyonce-level I-woke-up-like-this finish? Do you then spend time curling and re-curling your lashes until they look perfect? Although it’s a pretty straight-forward process, these two steps could be adding unnecessary time to your morning routine once you realize there are semi-permanent alternatives for full lashes. While lash extensions and falsies are fantastic at giving your lashes new found life, they tend to leave your real lashes rather thin and brittle post-treatment. Luckily there is another option called a lash lift.
Also known as a lash perm, a lash lift is “a process where different solutions are applied directly to the lashes themselves to help redirect the hair to curl upwards,” says Alisandra Tobia, licensed esthetician at Beauty Mood. This eyelash perm will curl and lift lashes for weeks, leaving you with beautiful and effortless lashes.
Scared of chemicals touching your eyes? Wondering about the costs? The extra benefits and what the process actually involves? To find out more, TZR spoke to top estheticians and eyelash experts who perform these treatments daily for the full 411. Ahead, they are sharing answers to all your burning questions before you finally book your appointment.
What Exactly Is A Lash Lift?
Similar to semi-permanent hair treatments, lash lifts are essentially perms for eyelashes. Done with a perming solution (most popular being thioglycolic acid) that will break down the bonds of your lashes to reform their shape. “The results are lifted, fuller, longer-looking lashes, making every client look like their well-rested, most beautiful self for six to eight weeks,” Elizabeth Taylor, esthetician and co-owner of True Beauty Brooklyn tells TZR.
And while applying anything to your eyes, let alone a chemical solution, can be concerning, rest assured that lash lifts are totally safe as long as you’re going to a reputable esthetician and salon.
How Much Does A Lash Lift Cost?
Ranging from $60 to $150 per treatment, depending on where you are located and what salon you go to, plus touch-ups if you decide you like the effect — lash lifts can be somewhat pricey in terms of beauty treatments. Fortunately, they come with enough benefits that make them worthwhile. Plus, if you add on a lash tint, think about all the money you’ll save on using mascara and a curler every single day.
What Are The Benefits Of A Lash Lift?
According to Tobia, a lash lift will enhance the eyes by making them look more awake, with as little effort as possible, meaning they will significantly decrease the time it takes to get ready in the morning. “Lash lifts are a huge convenience factor,” she shares. “Rather than applying mascara every day as part of your makeup routine, a lash lift can last around four to eight weeks, so you can streamline and reduce your daily makeup for weeks.” Plus, if you’re going on vacation and don’t want to worry about hauling your full makeup bag (or dealing with runny mascara on the beach), a lash lift and tint combo can free you from that step in your routine — without sacrificing your preferred look. All in all, Tobia recommends them for people with hectic schedules or someone wanting a more minimalist beauty routine.
What Happens During A Lash Lift Appointment?
To make sure you are on the same page with your esthetician, the first step in every service starts with a consultation. Here you will discuss the level of curl you desire, the maintenance routine (more on that later), how you like to style your lashes, any allergies you might have, your lifestyle habits as it pertains to sweating, and care tips to extend the life of the lift.
Once you’ve finished the consultation, the real work will begin. Arrive at your appointment au natural with a clean face and no eye makeup. “Oils break down the solutions that we are using, resulting in a less than stellar service,” Taylor tells TZR. The technician will make sure all residual makeup and mascara is off your eyes as residue could potentially prevent lashes from adhering to the adhesives.
The first step is to isolate the lower lashes. “I ask my client to look to the far corner of the right wall, while I slide a small foam pad onto their lower lashes from their left side,” Taylor continues. Then, the professional will place a silicone pad on your upper lid (as close to the lash line as possible) to keep your eyes shut with a gentle adhesive solution, and then with the same adhesive they will comb your lashes on top of the pad to keep them in place (which will give you that lifted effect at the end). This first step typically takes five to nine minutes according to Marisa Franco, lash expert from Laurel Cosmetic Tattoo.
Next up is a series of solutions: the perming solution and a neutralizing solution. The perming solution is applied upwards from the root of your lashes to start the reshaping process — this can take about 30 to 40 minutes (and yes, you will need to keep your eyes closed the entire time, so bring some music or a podcast).
Following the perming process is a neutralizing solution to stop the action of the perming chemicals. To finish, a conditioning agent is added to soften and strengthen the hairs. The entire appointment takes about 45 to 60 minutes, and the lifted effect lasts for six to eight weeks, at which point the natural shedding and regrowth of your lashes over time will bring them back to their usual state.
How Do You Maintain A Lash Lift?
Franco stresses the importance of keeping lashes totally dry, forgoing sweat-induced workout sessions, and skipping eye makeup the first 24 to 48 hours after your treatment. Essentially, water and humidity could alter your perm lift faster than normal (and mess up your results), so be mindful. In addition, keeping your lashes strong and moisturized in between appointments will be paramount to the health of your lashes and your aftercare routine. The experts recommend using a lash serum or oil once or twice a day to add hydration and strength to the lashes. You can also use a mascara spoolie to brush them in the morning.
Are There Any Risks With Lash Lifts?
Because chemicals are applied to your eye area, it’s a common belief that the service will be painful. However, since your eyes are shut the entire duration, most people find it quite relaxing and end up falling asleep, says Franco.
Lash lifts however, will damage your eyes if your technician over-processes them (applies too much solution, leaves it on for too long, or conducts back-to-back treatment.) “We don't recommend coming in sooner than eight weeks so we don’t over-process your lashes, and to maintain their health,” Taylor tells TZR. It’s also advised to wait four weeks at minimum between treatments to avoid damage. Apart from that, as long as you don’t have any allergies or eye sensitivities, lash lifts are a great service for getting longer-lasting, fluttery eyelashes.