What Is An Eyelash Lift? The Secret To Lush Lashes + How To Do It Naturally
If you wish and hope for longer lashes, you're not alone. That's why professional treatments like eyelash lifts are growing in popularity—and rather quickly. There's something about long, luscious lashes that make the eyes pop and just makes you look, well, more put together. And if you've tried everything under the sun, including hoarding dozens of mascara formulas to no avail of longer lashes, you may want to consider the pain-free process of a lash lift.
We tapped a lash expert to get the ins and outs of an eyelash lift including what it is, how it's done, and who it's best for. Plus, a few tips on how to lift your lashes naturally, if you choose to do so. Keep reading to learn more.
What is an eyelash lift?
According to London-based lash expert Anastasia Nikulina, a lash lift is basically a boost for your lashes. "Lash lift treatments give natural lashes a lift and curl, which visually adds length to the lashes." She continues that the purpose of the treatment is to even out the direction of the lashes and make them easier to manage in day-to-day life. Not to mention, it gives that flawless mascara look but no makeup is needed.
Imagine if you took a curling iron to your lashes (ouch, I know, but stay with me): That perfect rounded lift is exactly the look you'd get with this treatment. But hey, don't try this at home, stick to the professionals for this one.
What is the process?
Now that you know the results, let's brief you on the process. Nikulina says the process, prep included, takes about an hour, but she says it's actually quite relaxing.
Isolate the bottom lashes.
Nikulina says the first step is getting those bottom lashes out of the way. "We isolate the bottom lashes using gel eye patches to make sure they won't stick to the shields once we start working with solutions."
Prep the top lashes.
Next up, it's time to get the lashes prepped. Nikulina says to prepare the natural lashes with saline water or other cleansers found within the expert lash kit. Also, this is a good time to say it's best to skip sporting any type of makeup to your lash appointment. Any type of residue or film may affect your treatment.
Grab the silicone shields.
Once the lashes are cleaned, it's time to start the process. Before applying the silicone shields or rods, it's important to choose the right size and shape for your lashes. The shorter your lashes, the smaller the rod or shield. If you have naturally longer lashes, you'll want a larger shield. "The technician will select the right one for you during the consultation, and it's based on the length of your natural lashes, your eye shape, and the direction of the natural lash growth," Nikulina says.
Start the chemical process
To complete the chemical process, there are two solutions. "The first solution breaks down the disulfide bonds inside the hair, which allows us to form a new shape or curl to the lashes," Nikulina says. "The second solution is in charge of rejoining the disulfide bonds back together, and natural lashes will take the new shape based on how they are applied on the silicone shield."
Tint the lashes.
Once the solution applications are completed, most lash experts will follow the process with a lash tint. "Most commonly, clients ask for black, sometimes brown, but this step can be skipped if the client doesn't want to tint their lashes or in case of sensitivity to the product," Nikulina says.
Nikulina says the last step of the process may vary and can include lash Botox, filler, (which actually aren't injectables at all but rather various types of masks that can include peptides, antioxidants, and proteins), or other treatments. "I personally use lash filler to protect and coat the natural lashes," she says.
Once your treatment is complete, clients are required to keep their eyelashes away from water for the first 24 hours and given a professional lash conditioner to keep lashes moisturized, Nikulina says. And depending on how well you take care of your lashes, this lift can last from six to eight weeks.
Who should get a lash lift?
The truth is, anyone can get a lash lift. From the gal who can't leave the house without mascara to the one who wants the no-makeup makeup look without applying any makeup at all. The choice is truly yours.
If you are someone who wears falsies regularly—or just complains about how short your natural lashes are—you might be a particularly good candidate. "We might think that our natural lashes are short, but in reality they are much longer," Nikulina warns. "Once lifted, we see the length of our lashes right from the root, and you'll be surprised how long your lashes actually are."
How can you lift your lashes naturally?
If you're looking for a lash boost sans chemical processing or you're just not wanting to make the investment ($100-plus), there are a few options for you. But it is important to note, your lashes likely won't be as lifted and lengthened as they are by a professional lash lift. These are just some tips to help keep your lashes looking long and healthy, naturally.
Use a lash curler.
Eyelash curlers are pretty much foolproof, though they're a bit intimidating at first sight. You simply insert your lashes into the curler, squeeze, and voilà! Your eyelashes will have a little more oomph to them. Just be sure to apply the curler before the mascara.
Double up on mascara.
There are hundreds of mascara formulas out there that promise to lengthen, volumize, and curl the lashes. Experiment with lengthening and curling formulas and, add multiple layers of your favorites for a customizable lash look in minutes.
Find a lash serum.
You can also invest in a lash serum, if you so choose. Many clean options (like this lash and brow enhancer) include nourishing ingredients, such as castor oil, honey, and vitamin E to protect and promote the growth of those fine hairs. Board-certified dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., even uses one herself: "It makes my lashes grow out longer, thicker, and fuller," she notes. Just be sure to chat with your derm about all the options out there before slathering on a new serum.
Andrea Jordan is a beauty and lifestyle freelance writer covering topics from hair and skincare to family and home. She received her bachelor's in Magazine Journalism from Temple University and you can find her work at top publications like InStyle, PopSugar, StyleCaster, Business Insider, PureWow and OprahMag. When she's not writing, you can find Andrea tackling new recipes in the kitchen or babysitting one of her many nieces and nephews. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and cat, Silas.