Eye Shapes & Our Eyelash Extension Recommendations for Them
Although we have recommendations listed below, in no way are artists limited to what they can do with extensions. Something that needs to be taken into consideration is personal preferences along with lifestyle, bone structure, eye shape and the length and density of one’s natural lashes.
Although we can give our clients any look they want, we will provide alternate recommendations when we believe what they are requesting could harm their natural lashes. For example, if someone wants to have 15mm long super thick cat eyelashes, but their lashes are too thin to support a standard thickness (.15mm) and too short to support 15mm, we may suggest using a thinner lash (.10mm) on the outer corners or going shorter at the outer corners. First, the client must decide, is it more important to them to have longer or thicker extensions, because the hard truth is sometimes you just cannot have both.
There are no hard and fast rules or definite styles, but our recommendations below compliment most of the eye shapes described. The other things that need to be taken into consideration are how close set the eyes are, how wide or narrow the face is and if the face is long or short. All these factors determine what the outcome will be. So, although you may love your BFF’s lashes and want the same exact look, that may not be possible depending upon (1) your natural lashes thickness, length, density; (2) your face shape; (3) eye shape and how close set they are; (4) how much makeup you wear; (4) whether you wear eyeglasses/sunglasses or not; and (5) whether you cry a lot or have allergies and many other factors.
Most people do not have a symmetrical face. By adjusting the lengths of the extensions on each eye differently, one can achieve more symmetry for persons that have noticeably different sized eyes. Sometimes it is not noticeable until you get extensions applied because there is so much more emphasis on the eyes. It is good to know which eye is your smaller eye and position it towards a camera when having photos taken for more facial balance (Sylvia learned that trick from a photographer).
The cat eye, kitten, natural, squirrel or longer lashes in the center looks great.
This shape looks best with the longer extensions placed at the outer eye for a cat eye effect.
Natural is better, a shorter 8-10mm, softer curl “J” will result in a more natural look. The style (emphasis on center or outer) would depend on the how close set the eyes are, whether they have a heavy eyelid or not.
Downturned eyes look best with the longest lashes in the center to ¾ of the way on the outer (open eye and natural). If you put the longest lashes in the outer corners the eyes will look heavy and appear tired.
Wide-set eyes look great with baby doll effect. Too much length emphasized at outer would make the eyes appear even further apart.
Looks best with longer lashes in the center (open eye, baby doll, kim-k, feathered) and if they are close-set, then extend the length to the outer.
Length at the outer with softer J curl – kitten or cat-eye.
Typically look best with the longer extensions placed at the outer eye for a cat eye effect. Placing the longest in the center will make them appear to protrude.
Cat eye with length J curl at the outer and curlier lash CC or D in the center will balance them.
Eyelash Extension Curls, Thickness & Lengths
The image shows the differences between the curls, thicknesses, and lengths, although they are not to scale, it will give you an idea of some of your choices. The curl, as well as the length, will dramatically change the overall look of your eyes. It is important to note that not all curls or thicknesses will have the same retention or longevity. Please take that into consideration if longevity is more important to you than the length or thickness of the lash. The curlier the lash or the thicker the lash, the less retention it offers because there is less of the natural lash for the base of the extension to attach to.
Eyelash Extensions Curls
Are the softest natural curl, can appear longer because it does not curl much but offers the best retention.
Are a soft curl, standard for a natural enhanced lash appearance with good retention.
C / CC
This appears to be the most popular curl, it is glamorous and opens the eye. CC is between a C and a D for an added lift, and is considered super glamorous, and offers good retention, but not as good as compared with J or B.
One of the curlier curls, retention may not be as good as with J or B or C/CC, but adds drama and opens the eye more, making it great for heavy eyelids.
L / L+
Is just what it says “L” shaped extensions similar to using an eyelash curler a little too much, where the lashes are bent upwards. It offers a super dramatic effect. L+ is slightly curlier.
Eyelash Extension Thicknesses range from .03mm to .30mm
.03mm, .05mm and .07mm
Extremely thin and extremely lightweight and used mostly for Volume 2D-6D lashes, or to fill in gaps, and used on very thin/very fine natural lashes.
This thickness can also be used for Volume 2D (depending on the natural lash thickness and length) or as Classic 1D on thinner very fine natural lashes.
Used on thinner lashes (Classic 1D) or for a softer wispier look and feel.
This is the average lash thickness, creates a natural thicker look (Classic 1D).
This lash extension thickness creates a natural mascara look.
Creates a more striking glamorous look, this lash may be too heavy for most people’s lashes.
For healthy, strong, thick natural lashes. Creates an extreme look – again, may be too heavy for most people’s lashes.
Eyelash Extension Lengths
Most lashes come in lengths from 5mm-17mm. The majority of clients want their longest extension length to be around 12mm or 13mm. Of course, everyone wants the longest lashes, but it is important to keep in mind that the length of your natural lash, the density of your natural lash, your lifestyle and how you care for your extensions all play a major role in the safety of your natural lashes and longevity of the eyelash extensions. It is recommended that you start with the least amount of length to get the best results as far and longevity for your extensions and to preserve the integrity your natural lashes.
Understanding Your Lash Growth Cycle
Each person typically has about 150 to 200 natural hair lashes per eye on the upper eyelids and between 75 to 100 on the lower eyelids with the average natural eyelash length being around 8-10 mm long (about 3/8 of an inch or less). Your natural lashes go through a shedding process on a regular basis. Although it is unsettling to wake up in the morning and notice an eyelash or two that has fallen out, your eyelashes are like every other hair on your body, replacing themselves as they perpetually move through a natural growth cycle.
This hair growth cycle is broken down into three phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen.
Typically, the whole cycle averages about 60 days. When your natural lash falls out there is one waiting to take its place. Consider the following if you feel you may be losing too many lashes. Depending on your lash growth cycle, you can lose anywhere from 1 to 5 natural lashes per day. Let us average the loss of natural lashes to 3 per day on one eye. If you lose 3 lashes per day, you will lose 21 per week, 42 in 2 weeks and up to 63 lashes in a 3-week period on one eye alone. Again, this is (more or less) lash loss based on your natural lash cycle.
Sometimes the higher your metabolism, the faster you will shed. Drugs, alopecia, hormones, playing with, pulling or constantly touching your lashes and your general overall eating and health can all play a part in your shedding cycle as well. So, try not to freak out when you see a lash extension or two or your cheek or your pillow when you wake in the morning. Instead, understand that it is part of the natural growth process and seize the opportunity to make a wish with your fallen lash!
Anagen (Active Growth Phase)
The Anagen phase is where the hair is still attached to the dermal papilla/blood supply. In this phase, the lashes are in active growth and it lasts between 30-45 days. About 35%-40% of the upper lashes and about 15% of the lower lashes are in the anagen phase at any one time. Each lash will grow to a specific length and then stop.
Catagen (Transition) Phase
The second phase is the catagen (transitional phase) where the eyelash stops growing and the follicle shrinks (lasts about 2-3 weeks). If a lash falls out or is plucked out during this phase the lash will not grow back immediately because the follicle needs to complete the catagen phase before it can move on to the next phase.
Telogen (Resting) Phase
The third phase is the telogen (which is the resting phase). This phase can last up to 90 days before the eyelashes fall out, and a new lash begins to grow.
Make-up artist extraordinaire, Stacey Bourne, talks about all things Eyelashes and shows some love for our book.
We hate this topic, but we feel it is important to bring up because not everyone knows that there are tiny mites called Demodex that live in or near the hair follicles of your eyelashes. They are also found on facial skin especially the forehead, cheeks, sides of the nose, eyelashes and external ear canals. There are two species that live on almost every human: Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, both are referred to as eyelash mites. These Demodex are not something you get, you already have them on your face and lashes (at least 2 per eyelash). They are believed to be there to help clean your lashes and follicles and remove dead skin cells and bacteria. An infestation of Demodex can cause blepharitis. That is why it is vital that you take care of your eyelashes and eyelash extensions, cleanse your eyes daily and never sleep with your eye makeup on. For more information regarding Demodex see:
This depends on the condition of your lashes, and your lash artist’s recommendations. If your lash artist sees that the health of your lashes is being compromised, then you should take a break. However, if you are following protocol and have a good lash artist, you should not have to.
Your lash artist should at least give you the option to purchase a cleanser and brush. The aftercare kit should have everything you need to protect your investment. It is crucial to your lashes to cleanse them daily, even if you do not wear eye makeup. Cleansing and using a protective coating/sealant twice a week will make your extensions wear better, last longer and keep debris from breaking down the adhesive. More importantly, cleansing your eyelashes and eyelash extensions will keep your natural lash follicles from getting clogged with debris and keep them healthy. Not cleansing makes your lashes finer, weaker and shorter and can lead to blepharitis.
Your aftercare kit should include:
Cleanser/eye makeup remover. You may consider trying our eye makeup remover intended to be used with most extension adhesives. It is own oil-free, gentle, free from harsh preservatives, and instead contains a natural preservative.
Latex-free Sponges (do not use cotton balls, cotton pads or gauze)
Lint Free Applicators (do not use cotton-tipped swabs)
Eyeliner (optional), but you can use a liquid or cake liner that is specifically formulated to use with eyelash extensions. You can also use eyeshadow smudged along the lash line. Never use a waterproof liner.
Mascara (optional), we strongly advise against mascara because your lashes are already volumized, lengthened and curled, but if you choose to wear it, it must be water-based (not waterproof) and you may only apply it to the very tips of the lashes, do not stroke it through the entire lash. Using mascara will compromise the longevity of your eyelash extensions.
Handheld fan to dry your lashes (optional)
Eyelash Eye Mask (optional), but a firm eye mask will help protect your lashes while you are sleeping.
Lash extensions should only be applied by a professional. Because the lash industry is so poorly regulated you will need to do research to help you decide. You most likely would not just walk in, sit down and have your hair cut or colored without first consulting with the hair stylist, so why would you do that with your lash stylist? You also would not go to someone who was not licensed to do hair or someone who trained themselves to color or cut. So again, why would you do that with your eyelash extensions?
When choosing a salon or lash artist, you might also do it in the same way that you select a hair salon or hair stylist or colorist. You research the salon, check out their website, see photos of their work, get a consultation, make sure they are licensed and properly trained, find out how long they have been in the business and find out what products they use. You might also go by word of mouth or get a referral from a friend or family member. Look at before and after photos, read reviews on Yelp and Google and ask questions.
Again, you get what you pay for, so make sure you are not basing your decision solely on the price because it is inexpensive. Never take chances when it comes to the work that is being done around your eyes. Be certain that you have chosen someone who is certified, qualified, experienced and licensed in your state if you are in a state that requires it. You can get an easy to follow checklist and contact info to find out if your lash person is qualified to do extensions from our book. Get it NOW by taking our fun quiz here.
Lash artists are just that… artists. Just like hairstylists, some are good in the industry and others are, well, not so good. Research their reputation, their style, and technique. It takes time to get good at anything… practice makes perfect and lashes are no exception. It takes a solid 2 years to become a skilled lash artist and even longer to master it. This profession requires extreme precision, an artistic eye, a steady hand, someone who is meticulous… this is not a business that a lash artist can build overnight. It takes about a year or longer to build a lash business and have a client base that will allow the lash artist to at least break even.
Finally, cleanliness is a virtue. Ask yourself these questions after visiting your lash artist.
First, you need to be specific as to where the reaction was. Was it all over your eye? Was it both eyes? What kind of reaction was it? Was there both edema and erythema present? You must first determine if the reaction was caused by the adhesive or if it was caused by the eye pads or cleanser used during your procedure. You could try a patch test, have the artist apply 10 lashes to one or both eyes and see if you react. Some clients can tolerate Xtreme Lashes Flex Fusion adhesive, which is formulated specifically for sensitive and reactive eyes with no reaction. Some clients will still have a reaction to Flex Fusion and the only way to find out is by doing a patch test.
You can also try a few of these suggestions:
Prior to your appointment take an antihistamine, continue that for 3 days after your application. You can also use allergy eye drops to alleviate itching, but be careful when applying the drops so that they do not get on the eyelash extensions. Doing so can cause the extensions to fall off prematurely.
For a day or two before and a few days after your appointment use Claritin and Pepcid AC. Claratin blocks histamine receptor site H1 and Pepcid AC block receptor H2. See if that makes a difference for you in how your eyes react. This information is in no way meant to take the place of advice or recommendation from your physician.
Ask your lash artist to avoid using eye makeup remover, cleanser, primer or anything other than eyewash around your eye area and lashes. You may consider trying our own eye makeup remover intended to be used with most extension adhesives, it is oil-free, gentle, free from harsh preservatives, and instead contains a natural preservative).
We recommend using mineral powder eyeshadow or a mineral powder that matches your skin tone on your eyelids to absorb excess oil. Also, some lash companies offer a protective coating that also helps to prolong lash life, the coating is intended to fill in any little crevices in the adhesive, seals the bond between the adhesive, the extension and your natural lash and keeps the adhesive from breaking down.
Your lash artist should go through care and maintenance with you at the end of your service. Do not be afraid to cleanse your lashes, after your initial 48-hour cure period. It is extremely important to keep the eye area free of debris, excess oils and makeup while wearing extensions.
Yes. Be sure to tell your lash artist at the time of your appointment that you wear glasses so that the extensions that are to be applied are not so long that they interfere with your glasses, typically anything longer than 11mm will probably touch the glasses. Persons who wear contacts would be more comfortable taking the contacts out prior to their lash appointment. Sometimes people who wear contacts use eye drops for dry eyes or to keep their eyes hydrated. Keep in mind, that if you use eye drops, they will compromise the longevity of the eyelash extensions, especially following an application and before the 48-hour period needed for the adhesive to cure, which is why we recommend that you not wear contacts during the application. If you must wear your contacts and you must apply the drops, do the following to try to not compromise your eyelash extensions: form a pouch in the lower lid and place 1 or 2 drops in the pouch, roll your head back and forth rather than clenching your eye shut. Clenching your eye shut will allow the eye drop to get all over your extensions, and cause them to fall off prematurely.
The answer is no if …
You are allergic to cyanoacrylate (an ingredient found in adhesives). Reactions can be very superficial to severe. If you are allergic to tape, latex, silicone, anything related or if your eyes are hypersensitive, then probably not, consult with your lash stylist if you are not sure. If you pick at or play with your lashes, or have seasonal allergies then you should not get extensions. It is best to wait until your allergies have cleared up before getting them applied. Seasonal allergies can cause your extensions to fall off prematurely and eyelash extensions can collect the allergens and hold on to them causing you more irritation.
You have any back problems or any medical conditions that might interfere with lying flat on your back for 2 hours. There is no way for the artist to apply lashes in any other position other than for you to be flat on your back.
You have any eye problems, eye infections, recent surgeries of any kind, then you must wait until you are fully healed prior to having extensions applied. For any other medical conditions, or if you are pregnant or nursing, then you will need to get your physician’s consent prior to getting eyelash extensions. Most physicians are fine with having eyelash extensions applied during your pregnancy, however, it is important that you consult with your physician first.
You have had eyelash extensions in the past and had any reactions to the adhesive, eye pads, tape or any other products, then you would need to have a thorough consultation with your lash artist prior to making an appointment. In some cases, what may have seemed to be a reaction to the adhesive could have been caused by the cleanser or eye pads and your lash artist can help you determine the exact cause and can adjust the procedure to determine if it was something else or use a different adhesive. Sylvia has found that clients that have been sensitive to adhesive in the past have had good results with using over-the-counter Claritin and Pepcid AC before and after having their lashes done. Both medications target histamine receptors H1 and H2.
You have seasonal allergies, cry a lot, have oily eyelids, participate in hot yoga, play with your lashes, wear excessive eye makeup, not consistent about removing eye makeup, swim a lot, use eye drops or have watery eyes, sleep on your face, etc.
You are not able to commit to a bi-monthly fill.
Otherwise, you are a candidate. 🙂