Eyelash extensions have been around for quite some time now but I still get a lot of questions from potential and even existing clients about what they are, what’s the difference between them and what’s the point of them in the first place. I love doing extensions. One of the best things about it is the reactions of clients after their lashes have been applied. It has such a dramatic effect on the eye and a transformative effect on a person’s look.
Don’t get me wrong, I love mascara too and there’s definitely a time and place for it. But for that slap in the face, “oh my God” reaction, you can’t beat a fresh set of lashes. That’s why if you haven’t ever tried them, you really should give it a go. You might be surprised how much you love them. And if you’re a longtime lash extension addict, keep up the good work!
In this blog, I am going to discuss the major differences between different types of eyelash extensions. They range from mink to silk to synthetic but they all have their advantages and I will look at each in turn below.
Mink and Faux Mink Eyelash Extensions
Mink Eyelash Extensions
Often when people think of eyelash extensions, they will think of mink hair and given the celebrity interest in this type of eyelash extensions, it’s not surprising that’s the case. Mink lashes are real hair from mink fur and provide the most natural look and feel lightweight on the lash. It’s important to note that while the lash is made from actual animal fur, the animal is not harmed when the hairs are harvested. Nevertheless, some people are understandably uncomfortable about using animal products for these purposes and in that case, there are other lash options available, which I mention below.
The fact that they are natural and look natural is often what attracts clients to mink eyelash extensions. With other types of lashes there can sometimes be a slightly artificial look to them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as often the purpose of applying lash extensions is to enhance what’s naturally there and really emphasize the fuller, glam lash look. But mink lashes offer a subtler, softer finish, while at the same time providing the lash enhancement that clients want.
The lightness of the mink lash is it’s greatest asset, as it does not overburden the natural lash, so in effect it is the least hard-wearing. Obviously, our own natural lashes go through natural cycles of growth, falling out and re-growing every couple of months. Adding additional weights to the lash can, in some cases, slightly accelerate that process. However, this tends to be less of an issue with mink lashes, given how lightweight they are and the minimal impact they have on the natural lash.
That said, because they are so thin, it is common for clients to request that several mink lashes be added to each of their own lashes to increase the volume and provide that fuller lash effect. Clearly, in that case, the weight on the natural lash is increased, but really this is rarely a major concern, whether for mink or other lash types, and most clients will not notice a significant difference one way or another in this area.
So, yes, there are benefits with mink lashes and some women just prefer to keep their look as subtle and as natural as possible. But there are some issues that go along with that and often extra care and effort is required in order to rock a set of mink lashes.
The main issue in this case is the failure of mink lashes to keep their curl. A major part of getting a pair of eyelash extensions is to have the big, fluttering eyelash effect and this is achieved by adding a curl to the lash. Just like our own natural lashes, after a shower or even just as the day wears on, mink lashes tend to lose their mojo a bit and the curl falls out of them, which means that it is usually necessary to reapply on a daily basis.
Often, that’s not the end of the world for clients but one of the great joys about eyelash extensions is being able to go about your daily life for days and weeks on end without having to give your lashes too much thought. So for some, this extra work might not be exactly what they are after.
Faux Mink Eyelash Extensions
While made of synthetic material, faux mink lashes are incredibly similar to the real thing and are thin, soft and very natural looking and often it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. For those who want the more natural look but prefer to avoid animal products, this is a great option.
The great benefit of the faux mink lash is that it is much more hard wearing than mink lashes and so the amount of work required to maintain the lash is much less. Clients can go about their daily routine without worrying about the lashes and without the need to reapply the lash curl after showers, etc.
Silk Eyelash Extensions
Even though they are often referred to as silk lashes in the industry, in reality this type of lash is almost always made from synthetic material However, the reason for dealing with this type of lash separately from other synthetic lashes is that it has quite a different finish and look.
Some ladies love the more natural look and for others, they can’t get big and bold enough but then there is another cohort, perhaps the majority really, who like something in between. For these clients, silk lash extensions are usually the way to go as they sit in between, providing a look that’s quite natural but that’s slightly thicker and voluminous.
For many clients, the object of eyelash extensions is to create that volume look without the lash looking too obviously enhanced and silk lashes serve exactly that purpose. While silk lashes have a natural look, they’re thicker than mink or faux mink and have a glossy shine to them that grabs people’s attention. Your lashes will stand out and attract all the right attention, but it may not be obviously clear that you are wearing extensions and that’s why so many women prefer this look above others.
On the maintenance side of things, the good news is that silk lashes require really very little work, which is a major plus for most people. Once the lashes are applied, you can go about your daily life as normal without worry that you will do something that will damage or remove the lash. No special precautions are required for showering, swimming or playing sports and what’s more, there is no requirement to recurl the lash every day, as would be case with mink lashes.
Synthetic Eyelash Extensions
By far the most common lash type in the market are synthetic eyelash extensions, which in reality includes silk lashes and faux mink lashes. However, when I mention synthetic lashes here, I am talking more about the look rather than the material itself. Usually when people talk about synthetic lashes they mean that max volume look – basically, forget about the word natural! So, when I talk about synthetic lashes, that’s what I mean, the full on, big lash treatment.
“Synthetic” certainly sounds less glamorous, but really the finish and quality of this product is very high if the right materials are used and a good technician is applying the lashes. Also, there are some real advantages to using synthetic lashes so they should not be counted out when you are thinking about what might be right for you.
The main attraction with synthetics is that they jump out and grab people’s attention, saying, “hey, check out these bad boys!”. Even the dogs on the street will be doing a double take! But sometimes that’s exactly what you want, right? And if it’s obvious that you’re wearing extensions, well, who cares. If applied properly, the lashes will look super glamorous and super cool, so there’s nothing to worry about.
This look really works really well if there’s a special occasion coming up or even for a season, especially around Christmas or summer. In December it’s often one party after another and clients are happy that they can get eyelash extensions early on and then just rock up to the events and not have to worry about how their lashes look. The same applies for the summer season, where if it’s not weekend parties in Ireland (yes, usually indoors!) then it’s beach parties somewhere in the Med. These are the times when it makes perfect sense to get a pair of max volume synthetics early and then go through the season focusing on what’s most important – having a good time!
On the downside, because they are larger and fuller, synthetics can be slightly less comfortable to wear than a more natural set of mink eyelashes. Also, the extra weight tends to increase the rate of turnover in the natural lash, so that synthetics may not last quite as long as lighter, thinner lash extensions. But the difference is usually very minor and so my advice to clients is that this shouldn’t be a major cause for concern.
Choosing the right lashes for you
Eyelash extensions make a real impact to a person’s look, whichever set you go for and so I don’t think anyone will be disappointed, whichever eyelash extensions they opt for.
However, when considering the right option for you, I often say that one of the things to bear in mind is whether you are the type of person who is used to wearing a lot of make-up. Some clients do and others prefer the bare minimum, it’s really just a matter of personal choice. But I would say, if you like to keep your look fairly minimal, then a more natural look may be most appropriate for you, which usually means mink or faux mink eyelash extensions.
On the other end of the scale, some women just can’t do without that max volume lash look, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. In fact, there are times when it is really the best option. This look will often work best for some event or function, and especially for those working in the media and entertainment industry, there will be times when the fullest lash look will be the most appropriate.
So, choosing the look to go for is really a choice for each individual client and actually it fluctuates from one visit to another. But also, it’s not a choice you ever need to make on your own. A good lash technician will chat through the options with you and help you make a decision that’s right for you.
There are many other things that I feel I could and should say about eyelash extensions for the women of Dublin and Ireland but this blog post is already longer than I expected it would be! So, I will keep going and post more information over the coming weeks and months to try to answer some further questions I get asked from time to time. Future topics may look at issues such as after care, how long eyelash extensions last, eyelash extensions before and after, the pros and cons of eyelash extensions and maybe also to think about are eyelash extensions worth it – obviously I think they absolutely are but they may not be for everyone. I will also mention more about the eyelash extensions courses that we run for those wishing to train as a technician.
In the meantime, do please leave any questions or comments you have in the space below and we will get back to you as soon as we can. And of course, if you’re in Dublin and you fancy getting your own set of eyelash extensions then do get in touch to book an appointment. You won’t regret it!