straight lashes

Picking the correct curl for dead straight natural eyelashes

For straight natural eyelashes, I would recommend using a curl very similar to the client's natural lash. The J curl is normally the best match for straight lashes and needed when applying eyelash extensions to dead straight lashes as more of the natural lash will be in contact with the false extension.

If you have been using an extension with a strong curl it's very tempting to use more glue. However, in my opinion, this never works. Less is always more when it comes to glue!

It's important to pick a fake lash which resembles the natural straight lash as much as possible, so they last longer. Having said this the modern glues are very good, so still get OK retention. I have laid out the three most popular curls below and hand drawn on a straight lash to show you the retention. The yellow highlight on the drawing is how much natural lash is in contact with the fake extension. It's near impossible to get all of C curl to attach all the way up the natural lash meaning it's only attached at the base.

straight lashes
The three most popular curls are C, B and J.

 

An alternative to eyelash extensions is having a lash lift. This is great if you are allergic to the glue or simply just find you don't get on with eyelash extensions. A lash lift doesn't add thickness, so most clients still prefer wearing mascara with it. A tint can be done alongside a lash lift to darken the natural lashes. Ideal for holidays where you are in the water a lot.

Any additional comments or tips please tell free to add them to the bottom of this blog post. I welcome all comments.

Straight eyelashes


volume lashes

How to do Russian volume lashes

The idea of volume lashes is to use four to six 0.07 thickness lashes and get them to hug the natural lash. This leaves them looking even fuller, as each natural lash holds multiple extensions. Please don't use a heavier weight or more than six lashes with these type of eyelash extensions, or it can lead to damage to the natural lash.

volume lashes

Ideally place the hand made fan on top of the natural lash with the natural lash in the middle. Please don't buy pre-made fans. In my opinion they are too heavy as they already have glue on them, and you need to add additional glue to stick them to the lash. If you are making your own fans, you can use the same spot of glue to both stick the fan together, and to the natural lash. Once you have mastered the art of creating hand made fans you will truly understand why it's a form of art and why you need to charge more for them.

volume fan lash
My clip art skills aren't great, but you can see from this image of a volume fan that the brown natural eyelash is in the middle with the six 0.07mm fake extensions evenly spaced on top around it.

It's extremely difficult to pick up four to six really fine lashes when you start out! I personally pull/ lift the four to six lashes slightly apart keeping the base together on the sticky strip before releasing them completely from the strip. As demonstrated on the image below. This does take time, don't rush. I use Noir volume tweezers available from Amazon.

creating volume eyelash fan

Once you have started to master picking them up without dropping them it's time to concentrate on getting the perfect fan.

Here are some tips:

  • Gentle grip. If you press tweezers together too tight the fine lashes will fly everywhere!
  • Even gaps between the six 0.07 eyelash extensions and keep the gaps the same for all the fans you make. Consistency will make the final look perfect.
  • Deep V shape between each false lash
  • Hug the natural lash. I place mine on top of natural lash, but some people do under.
  • Symmetric - three 0.07 on each side of natural lash.
  • Tiny amount of glue, if not too much glue is drawn up the fan and closes it!
  • Thin base hugging the natural lash.

 

5d volume lash
Thin base hugging the natural lash.

Please feel free to comment on this blog post with your own suggestions and recommendations.

Tips for doing volume eyelash extensions


glass bead steriliser

How to sterilise beauty tools at home

Glass bead sterilisers are perfect for eyelash extensions and manicures. They reach temperature in 12 minutes and only take another 3 minutes to sterilise. As you can see from the photos it's only one third of the tweezers, which is getting sterilised, so personally my tweezers go into barbicide first for disinfecting. Please don't get sterilising and disinfecting in a muddle, they are very different things. You need to sterilise tools to destroy bacteria and viruses. Disinfecting isn't enough on it's own.

This machine has it's limitations though. I personally use the temperature probe to check before using. The machine is filled with glass beads. The temperature is lower at the top of the machine, so don't over fill and make sure tweezers go all the way to the bottom of the chamber. These table top sterilisers are very affordable at around £25 on Amazon. They are a must for hair dressers and beauty salons.

As a client it's really important to ask how your eyelash technician cleans their tools. Lot's of infections such as pink eye AKA conjunctivitis can very easily be passed from client to client. Sadly beauty salons aren't regulated, so you need to trust your beautician knows and has a cross-infection policy in place.

Other forms of sterilising are autoclaves. These heat up to 120 'c under pressure. These are the best form of sterilising tools for beauty salon and foot clinics. Ideal for foot files as the machines are much larger. However they are priced at around £2000. These machines are typically used in hospitals and dentists.

After your beauty tools are clean please remember to store them in a dry sealed container. No point in cleaning your tools and then leaving them laying about.

glass bead steriliser

 

glass bead steriliser

Sterilise beauty tools


box of fake lashes

What are eyelash extensions made of?

The fake/false eyelash extensions I use in my beauty salon are made of Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) which is a type of synthetic polyester. It's properties include that it is a very stable material and unlikely to shrink. Also it's strong and very mould-able. They are heated and moulded into a tapered natural looking lash with different thicknesses and curls available to create individual looks to suit the client. It's also a very stable product, low water absorbent and holds colour pigment well.

So even though many eyelash extensions are referred to as "mink" it's the shape of the tapered lash not the material they are referencing to.

box of fake lashes

Can you get real mink eyelash extensions?

Yes you can. I personally don't use them and never have. The mink are kept in small cages and I worry about animal cruelty. Also people are more likely to have allergic reactions to the fur. Even if the company/mink farm promises that the animals are kept well and looked after it's very hard to know for sure, so I personally wouldn't recommend them. They are available at some beauty salons though.

Is the eyelash extension glue safe?

It's the same ingredients as they use in medical grade hospital glue to stick wounds together - Read more on eyelash glue on this blog post - eyelash extensions glue. People can have allergic reactions to this glue, so you should always have a test patch if you are going to have eyelash extensions professionally applied, if you are not offered one, demand one. Beauty insurance companies often don't cover you for carrying out the treatment if you haven't performed a test patch prior to applying fake lashes.

Over the last few years I have noticed more and more people are becoming conscious of what things are made of and asking more questions. This is great we should question things more and demand higher standards.

If you have anything to add on this subject or questions please feel free to comment below. I love getting feed back.


saddle chair for bad back

How do I prevent back pain while doing eyelash extensions?

Having a bad back while applying eyelash extensions is awful. Not only is it bad for your health, but it can also heavily affect the client's treatment, the last thing you want is to keep stopping and stretching. And I would say most of the people I know who apply eyelash extensions as a living suffer with a bad back on occasion.

About 5 years ago I purchased this saddle chair off ebay for around £30 and it improved things no end for me while applying lashes or any other beauty treatment. When I asked on eyelash forums there were basically two types recommend, the saddle type chair, and the Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs. With the ergonomic kneeling chair people often said it improved their back, but if used for long periods of time it actually caused their knees to hurt. So therefore I picked the saddle seat for when I apply eyelash extensions. The saddle chair has been amazing and I have noticed that I rarely notice my back getting sore mid treatment now.

 

saddle chair for bad back

 

Another thing I do is I wear a support belt around my waist, which keeps me sitting upright. It's really easy to slouch after a while and this belt reminds me to keep my posture while applying eyelash extensions.

Other tips:

  • To prevent RSI I make sure my lower arms are horizontal with the beauty couch.
  • See an osteopath or have massages regularly.
  • Standing and using a support mat.
  • Yoga and keeping your back muscles strong is also a must. Carrying extra weight puts a lot of strain on our bodies.
  • Stretching in between appointments. I personally work back to back with clients, but I make sure I see each client out to the door to give my back a quick stretch! I book 60 minute appointments with 50 mins hands on of eyelash application.

Please feel free to comment on this blog with your own suggestions on prevents back pain while doing lashes.

Back pain while doing eyelash extensions


Glamcor eyelash extensions

Which lighting to use during eyelash extension application?

There are loads of different brands of lighting available for applying eyelash extensions. Most of them are just variations of LED lighting. The most well known one is the Glamour light, it's a massive investment though at over £300! It's got a great reputation and people speak very highly of it. If money was no object I would definitely get one! I have listed a few different options on this blog for suit everyone's budget.

Glamcor eyelash extensions
Glamcor Light, Classic Elite

Personally I use a ring light with a magnifier in the middle very similar to the one I have linked to below. I use my reading glasses and look through this 5 x magnifier, so I am able to isolate the natural lash completely without any worry of missing any faint baby lashes hiding behind the natural lash before applying an eyelash extension.

If you struggle to apply eyelash extensions through a magnifier you can purchase an LED video light, which is what the Glamour light is. Personally I would recommend persevering with a magnifier, but if you really can't get on with one then LED video lights are great! Mains powered ones are the best. LED video lights have a dial on them for increasing and decreasing the brightness. It's best to go with daylight balanced ones, so there is less strain on your eye sight.

eyelash extension lightening.
My beauty salon with light above my couch. I also have a Velux window directly above my beauty couch.

You can get magnifier glasses which clip onto the front of your normal glasses or just magnifier glasses if you don't wear prescription glasses yet. These can be used along side an LED video light.

Dental surgeons and medical trained people tend to use loupes. If you get loupes from medical companies they are normally around £500 and made for your eyesight. Their loupes have an LED light attached to the middle of the glasses and a battery pack, which clips onto your trouser belt.

 

Eyelash extension lighting


Sore wrist while applying eyelash extensions

Wrist pain is a very common problem with any career where there is a repetitive moment. So it's no surprise that beauticians who are applying eyelashes for a long length of time suffer with wrist pain. I personally try to never work more than 3 hours without a break, especially if it's all the same treatment. Sitting still in the same position puts a lot of strain on your body. Here are a few of my tips to avoid pain as well as pins and needles while applying eyelash extensions. Please do comment on this blog with your own advice.

    1. Always use a seat which makes you sit upright. Sit with your elbows in line with the beauty couch. Take your time to get this correct.

2 Wear a stomach band to encourage you to sit up completely straight.

3. Use an exercise ball to increase the muscle strength in your wrist. Which is also great for anyone who has carpal tunnel syndrome. I honestly can't recommend these exercise balls enough they really do strengthen your muscles. Great for arthritis, rehab etc. It's great to use in front of the telly and 10 minutes in each hand is all you need.

4. Foot stool - helps with posture.

5. Stretch in between and at the end of your appointments.

6. Exercise. Keeping your back muscles and your core strong helps your posture, therefore preventing pain.

7. Angled tweezers - helps with the position of your hand to client's eyelash extensions.

It's really important as an eyelash technician to take care of your body, so you can continue to work. If you have any tips on caring for your posture, wrist, health please do comment on this blog post.

Pain in wrist from applying eyelash extensions


mascara for eyelash extensions

Can I apply mascara to Eyelash Extensions?

Mascara can be worn on eyelash extensions, not that's it's really needed. I always tell my clients to avoid using it as removing it can be tricky. To remove it use oil-free make-up remover. If any mascara is left on your lashes at your infills appointment this will effect how long the eyelash technician has to apply new lashes, as every last bit of it needs to be removed before starting. Any mascara left on lashes will cause a barrier between the extension and natural lashes so the new lashes simply won't stick! If the extensions come off in 3 days after application there has been a problem with application.

However if you feel you need to use mascara on your eyelash extensions for a special occasion where you want your lashes extra bold! Always make sure it's designed to go on eyelash extensions. It needs to be oil-free. Oily mascaras will simply break down the eyelash extension glue and the lashes won't last as long. There are loads of different brands available online. Remember to dispose of any mascara after 6 months of opening. Never share with friends as they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Also avoid applying it to the base of the lashes. Always remove at nighttime. Removing make-up should always be a gentle process you don't want to risk damaging your eyelash extensions.

Mascara design for eyelash extensions:

Oil- free make-up remover

I personally wash my clients eyes with a disinfected make-up brush with baby shampoo mixed with cooled boiled water in a foaming bottle. To disinfect your brushes first soak them in Babicide (Barbidice is the blue solution you often see on the hair dressing stations) for 15 mins and the clean with alcohol. After allowing them to dry store in a sealed container.

Mascara for eyelash extensions


eyelash extensions holder

Tips for applying individual eyelash extensions faster

Both the client and the eyelash technician want this! We all want to know how to apply eyelash extensions faster, so I have done a blog post on a few of my tips for other eyelash technicians. Also on how to get the most from their appointment. Please feel free to comment on this blog post with ideas of your own.

  • Ring holder for glue - this way you don't have to look away from the magnifier during treatment. I also line the ring holder with tin foil, which I just refresh when glue needs replacing.
  • Faster setting glue. Eyelash extension glues do have different setting times. I use Lashbase extreme glue, which has 1-2 seconds setting time when doing a classic set. However this is only when you use a  minimal amount. Over use of glue means it doesn't set! It's really important not to use too much glue. Glue doesn't 'dry' it 'cures' with the moisture in the air. If it's too thick it won't cure.
  • I have made an eyelash extension holder for the back of my hand. Again you don't want to look away from the magnifier to pick up lashes as this wastes time. Also make sure the eyelash extension strips are taped down well and don't lift when you are removing the individual lashes.
  • Practice practice practice! It's important to practice your technique without a client present to increase your speed. Especially with volume lashes. Multiple lashes applied to one natural eyelash.
  • Good lighting! I use an LED ring magnifier when applying eyelash extensions. You can buy the 'glamour' light also. It's an LED video light.
  • Have an eye test!
  • Good tweezers that have a good grip. Check the contact point.
  • Cutting two slits into the under eye pad makes applying them faster as it gives them more movement.
  • Ask the client to give their lashes a really good clean prior to their appointment. In the past I have spent up to 20 mins of a client's appointment washing off mascara that is a lot of wasted eyelash application time. I also give the lashes a good clean and brush before I start the treatment.
  • Be organised. Have everything you need for the appointment ready and tidy up as you go!
  • Talk the client through aftercare while you are doing the treatment instead of 5 minutes at the end of their appointment. I personally go through aftercare at their consultation appointment. I also kindly ask my clients to pay by BACS and make appointments via email. This saves a good 10 minutes. I don't have the luxury of a receptionist. My eyelash extensions are booked back to back 60 minute appointments with 50 minutes of lash time.
  • If the client is struggling to keep their eyes closed this can really slow things up, so I gently place 5p coins on their eyelids to keep them closed.
  • Eyelash extensions on strips and not in pots loose.

 

eyelash extensions holder

 

Tips on how to apply eyelash extensions faster

 


Mapping eyelash extensions

Every client I see has a different design for their eyelash extensions, so it's important to map them. Mapping eyelash extensions makes it a lot easier for the eyelash technical when doing more complex designs. For example 5 different lengths for just one person. See my previous post on different styles available .

I personally normally split eyelashes up into 3 selections. So before applying eyelash extensions pads I write the clients requirements on the pad. I also put two cuts into the pad, so it gives it more freedom to be individual. The under eye pads sadly only come in one design, so by cutting two slits in them gives them slightly more flexibility. Therefore it's more comfortable for the client and fit better.

By mapping eyelash extensions out on the pads it prevents you from forgetting their design or having to keep looking at your notes. I also them have the eyelash extensions strips on the back of my hand in length order. Smallest at the top.

 

20160406_100846lashes_wm

eyelash extensions holder
Set-up of eyelash extensions on the back of my hand for speed when applying individual eyelash extensions,.

Mapping individual eyelash extensions