The global eyelash extensions market is huge — probably way bigger than most people realize, estimated to be worth over $1,8 billion by the year 2024.

In today’s day and age, it’s more obvious than ever that women (and men alike) are willing to spend more on beauty products. As a result, enhancing the way you look has become an absolutely massive industry. But that, most of us already know.

If you’re interested in getting in on the trend and trying out eyelash extensions for yourself, this guide is here to help.

Eyelash Extensions: What Exactly Are They?

If you’re looking for a simple way to lengthen and add volume to your eyelashes, without lashings of mascara, extensions are your answer. Today, eyelash extensions originate from a number of different materials, each with its own set of pros and cons.

You can DIY your own eyelash extensions if you have a steady hand as a temporary option. Otherwise, there are entire beauty salons dedicated to extension applications for a more semi-permanent option. You’ll find that the best beauty salons offer experienced lash technicians to ensure your lashes look as natural as possible, according to your preference.

Typically, lash extensions sit on the top lash line, and you can choose from clusters of lashes, fans, or individual lashes. Most of the time, lashes are applied with a non-allergic and non-toxic eyelash extension adhesive or tiny magnets.

6 Common Types of Lash Extensions

Before you order your lashes online, head off to the store or your local beauty salon, you want to get to grips with the different types of lash extensions on the market today. The more you know, the better informed your decision.

At a very basic level, you’ll find lash extensions made from man-made, synthetic material. In other cases (and you’ll generally pay for more it) they’re made from animal fur:

1. Mink Extensions

If you have ethical concerns around animal products, then steer clear of mink lashes. This material comes from the tail fur of Chinese and Siberian minks. For a more premium product, you want to opt for Siberian mink.

Due to the nature of this material, mink lashes are probably the most natural-looking on the market today. They are the closest you’ll get to your real lashes in terms of how they sit on the lash line. Mink lashes also feel the most comfortable because they are lightweight.

However, if you have allergies, you might want to steer clear of mink. It’s also pretty pricey, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for!

2. Sable Extensions

This is another type of animal fur that originates from the carnivorous sable animal, which is native to regions of Siberia and Russia. If you have especially thin lashes, this type of extension is great for you because it’s the lightest material on the market today.

However, sable is also expensive and it’s not as readily available as mink or many other animal fur lashes. Also, if you struggle with allergies, you might want to avoid these types of lashes.

3. Fox Extensions

You guessed it, these lash extensions originate from the fox and are often a soft reddish color. However, the tips are often dyed black or feature an ombre-style coloring.

The upside is that these lashes are extremely soft and plush, but they’re not always available and they’re also quite expensive. Bear in mind that most types of animal fur lashes are permed in order to give them a signature curl.

While this gives them a beautiful, natural look, it also means a little more maintenance for you as you’ll have to perm them yourself to maintain the curl.

4. Faux-Fur Extensions

Nowadays, nothing can top the popularity of faux-fur extensions. This is due to the more affordable price range, and the fact that it’s the more ethical choice.

Lash extension manufacturing has come a long way in recent years and you can find plenty of faux-mink and faux-fox lash options that almost look and feel like the real deal.

The added bonus is that they are hypoallergenic and suitable for people who suffer from allergies.

5. Silk Extensions

Then there’s also the option of silk lashes. Although they’re not made from authentic silk that you’d use to make a scarf or a luxurious sheet set. It’s more like a faux-silk material, but with all the benefits.

Silk lashes are a great option if you’re a little more experienced with extensions. They’re mid-weight, so they do feel heavier on the lash line, but still super comfortable. But keep in mind that silk lashes are best for once-off occasional wear, not everyday wear.

6. Synthetic Extensions

Finally, you have synthetic extensions. These are the heaviest types of lashes on the market, but also some of the most affordable. Depending on the make and brand of synthetic lashes, they can look quite natural, however, some brands tend to have a more ”fake” look.

Due to their weight, they are best for special occasion wear and not long-term wear.

What To Consider When Choosing Lash Material

When it comes down to it, the type of lash extension material you go for determines the entire look and feel of your lashes. You’ll find that most salons today carry a number of different material options. So what should you consider when making your choice?

1. First and foremost, think about your own eye shape — round, almond, protruding, upturned, or downturned?

2. How big or open are your eyes?

3. What type of eyelids do you have? Do you have mono-lids, hooded lids, or large, open lids?

4. How do your eyes sit on your face — are they wide-set, deep-set, or close?

If you’re not too sure about these types of eye qualities, you can always ask a technician for their advice. You also want to think about the overall point of lash extensions, i.e. what do you want them to achieve for your overall look?

Consider the length, volume, color, and curl of the lashes in terms of what you want them to achieve. How subtle or dramatic do you want them to look? Do you have any allergies and how much time do you have to spare on lash maintenance?

And lastly, don’t forget about comfort and how they’ll feel on the lash line if you’re opting for a semi-permanent option.

Lash Length Considerations

Just like lash extensions come in a range of different materials, they also vary in length. Today, you’ll find that most salons carry lengths of 9-15mm. When it comes to choosing your preferred length, this will often depend on the natural length and thickness of your own lashes.

Ideally, you want your lash extensions to match your natural eyelashes. If you have shorter lashes, you’ll opt for a short extension, if you have longer lashes, the longer the extension. This part is pretty simple!

However, if you want to add a bit of extra length, volume, and drama, you want to go for lash extensions that are slightly longer than your natural lashes.

Lash Curl Considerations

Just like size and material, lash extensions also feature a range of different curl options. Once you’ve chosen your ideal length, you’ll need to move onto the choice of lash curl. Here’s what to consider:

1. Opt for the ”J” curl if you’re looking for the most natural extension look

2. If you’re looking for drama, the ”C” curl is your go-to

3. There’s also the option to combine both the ”J” and “C” curls for a subtle touch of drama and volume

If you’re looking for a little extra length at the out edges of your eyes, which is great for those with smaller eyes, then you want to choose the ”J” and “C” combination.

Lash Volume Considerations

Then there’s volume, of course. You want to achieve the look of mascara that generally adds both length and volume, so you’ll have to think about adding multiple lash extensions to your lash line to achieve this look.

This may sound uncomfortable, but your technician will apply lighter and thinner lashes on a single lash to create volume, without weighing your eyelid down.

The result is a softer, darker look, without damaging your natural lashes, too. The volume of lash extensions falls into different category ranges. Each range is defined by how many individual lashes are in a lash fan.

For example, a 3D lash fan would include three individual lashes clustered together to comprise one fan. If you’re looking for a lighter, more natural type of volume, go for 2D-4D clusters. For more dramatic looks, go for the 4D-8D range.

A Word on Eyelash Maintenance

While lash extensions are a fun way to transform your natural looks, it’s important to take regular breaks from using lash extensions. The long-term use of extensions can actually have an impact on your natural eyelash hair follicles and cause some damage if you don’t take breaks in between extension use.

The application also involves a measure of tension and tugging which can also damage your natural lashes. Make sure to take regular breaks for a couple of weeks at a time before you get a new set!

Beauty, Lifestyle, and DIY Hacks To Feed Your Curiosity

Eyelash extensions are a great way to forgo the everyday use of eye makeup. They’re also a brilliant way to transform your face and highlight the beauty of your eyes. But remember that beauty is only skin deep, and it’s what’s on the inside that really counts!

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