Think before you lash out
I can't tell you how many people have been left disappointed, when I tell them there's a chance I can't apply false lashes because they've had a lash lift.
So, let's talk about lashes.
There are so many treatments and products out there, all for those little tiny hairs growing out of our eyes, and it can be confusing knowing which treatments and products are best for you.
Since I mainly deal with wedding and event makeup, I'm going to talk about the pros and cons of lash treatments in relation to a makeup application.
I'm going to cover the 4 main lash treatments: natural eyelashes, lash lifts, false lashes, and lash extensions.
We've all seen some scary lash lifts, falsies and extensions, so I totally get it, when people tell me they want to stay right the hell away from falsies and simply embrace their natural eyelashes with a bit of mascara.
In all honesty, there are only two occasions where I support this:
1. When you have super dense, long eyelashes in the first place. In this case, your lashes don't need any help to look lush, and falsies (or really any lash treatment) can end up looking a bit ridiculous.
2. If you're going for a no-makeup makeup look - this is not to be confused with a natural makeup look. A no-makeup makeup look is one step up from no makeup whatsoever, and is designed to literally look like you're not wearing any makeup. No-makeup makeup is fab for editorial looks and photo shoots, but not what I'd recommend for a wedding or event.
This may come as a surprise, because I offer lash lifts as a service, but any makeup artist will tell you, we HATE lash lifts when we're doing your makeup.
A lash lift is just as the name suggests - it lifts, or curls, your natural lashes in an upward direction. If you've got long lashes but they're straight or they point downwards, a lash lift is heaven for you, and is an amazing low-maintenance beauty treatment for everyday.
But these upward-pointing lashes are quite an obstacle when it comes to applying makeup.
In this pic below (which is not my work, just FYI) you can see that before a lash lift, there is plenty of space around the eyelid area to get in and apply eyeshadow, eyeliner and false lashes.
After the lash lift, you can see that the lashes have now been lifted up and have blocked all of that free space that was available before. So the lashes need to be pushed down out of the way. A lash lift does dry the lashes out, so the lashes are drier and more stubborn, and are much harder to push out of the way.
So, although a lash lift is amazing for low-maintenance, everyday lashes, I 100% recommend steering clear of a lash lift for at least 8 weeks leading up to a makeup application.
False lashes are my absolute favourite, but of course they have a terrible reputation - we've all seen lashes half falling off, lashes that look like big black umbrellas on the face, etc. etc.
Most of the time, these horror falsies you've seen are strip lashes. Strip lashes aren't all bad - and they don't all make you look like a drag queen or a camel - but there's a time and a place for them.
The main problem people have with strip lashes is the discomfort. The discomfort is caused not by having something attached to your eye, but having a strip attached to your eye - the strip goes on as one whole piece, and it basically puckers the skin of your eyelid together. So as soon as you look to your left or your right, or move your eye at all, you can feel the lash pulling against your skin.
The main downfall with a strip lash, is that once one end of the lash comes unstuck, you've either got to try and re-apply it yourself, or you've got to take the whole lash off. Obviously having one lash left on the other eye is not a vibe (you do you, but it's not my vibe), so you then have to pull the other one off too. Leaving no lashes, minimal mascara, and a big strip where the glue has removed your eye makeup. Cute!
Another downfall of the strip lash is that although there are 70-bajillion styles of strip lash, none of them are really tailored to you. You'll likely have to chop some of the lash off (hello, wasteage), or if you've got a longer lash bed, you may never find a strip that's long enough for your eye. The list goes on.
So as far as strip lashes go as a low-maintenance, and easy, option - it's a no from me.
Individual false lashes
My favourite! I actually only got on the individual lash bandwagon about 2 or 3 years ago now. Before that, all I'd seen were those really 90s/00s makeup looks where there were 3 or 4 individual lashes on the outside of the eye, and nothing else, and it all just looked a bit cheap and unfinished to me.
Turns out, you can apply wayyyyy more than or 4 to the eye, and in doing so, create a perfectly tailored look.
Individual lashes come in many different lengths and thicknesses, so you can apply as few or as many as you like to achieve your desired look. And there's zero waste with these, because you only apply the lashes you need.
My favourite thing, is that they are applied with the teeny tiniest little pin-prick amount of glue, and even with 30 of these on one eye, they still won't pucker the skin of your eyelid because they're not connected to each other, which means you've got a one-way ticket to comfort city.
If one of these tiny little things falls off your eye, you've still got plenty of lashes left on your eye, and you don't need to sacrifice them all, just because you've lost one.
I could go on all day about all the things I love about individuals, so just one more for the road: because they're applied with a tiny pin-prick of glue (and as you can see, the point of the lash is soooo tiny), they are un.de.tectable. I absolutely love it when I apply a really dramatic lash, using only individuals, and people will ask my client if they're wearing false lashes or if they're natural. They blend so well with your natural lash, and you don't need a big strip of eyeliner to blend them in, so that's a big tick from me.
Spoiler alert: of all the different lash treatments, individual falsies are hands-down my fave.
Aaand now we finish up on one of my not-so-fave treatments: the lash extension.
Lash extensions are different to false lashes, as false lashes are temporary - they're like a part of your makeup that you remove at the end of the night; whereas lash extensions are semi permanent.
I've done about 500+ weddings in my time (so what's that, like 3,000 faces?) and I can honestly, hand-on-heart, count on one hand the times I've seen lash extensions that I genuinely like.
Beauty is of course a personal preference, but for the style of makeup I do, and the type of beauty standards I like to uphold, the majority of lash extensions are not for me.
From a general beauty perspective, I find them coarse, high-maintenance (no sleeping on your face, no oils around your eyes, no mascara, don't rub your eyes when you wake up, brush them daily...etc etc) and super-damaging. I've not met many people who have claimed that their lashes were in better health after having lash extensions.
From a makeup perspective, there are 2 main reasons lash extensions bother me:
1. Lash techs generally apply lash extensions all the way to the end of the lash line, because that's what they're seeing while your eyes are close. On most people, this drags their eye down, and instead of opening the eye up, it closes it.
The trick to opening and lifting the eye is shown in the diagram below - anything past the dotted line is going to drag the eye down, so all lashes should stay to the nose-side of the dotted line (where the arrow is).
So no matter how much work your makeup artist puts in to give you a stunning makeup look, your eyes are going to be pulled down and drag your makeup look down with them!
2. Lashes act like a bib (I can't think of a better comparison right now!) - when eye products are being applied on the eyelid, all the fallout normally ends up on your cheeks and can be easily wiped away. But instead, lash extensions catch all the fallout of all your eye products, and it's reeeeally hard to return your lashes back to their clean, crisp black state once a stack of eye makeup has landed on them. In the end, the lash extensions look a bit grey.
I also find that, more often than not, when I'm cleaning eyeshadow off the lashes (or trying to), lashes end up coming out, and can sometimes leave big gaps. I'll always throw a few individual false lashes in to fill the gaps, but any lash tech will tell you it's not ideal to apply false lashes or eyeliner around lash extensions, so you can be limited with your makeup look, if you want to maintain the integrirtry of the lashes themselves.
There are a lot of different lash options available, and at the end of the day, beauty is totally subjective - it's about whatever makes you happy and whatever makes you feel most beautiful.
The most important thing to take away, is that if you would like false lashes on the day of your makeup application, a lash lift or lash extensions will limit this.