The Ultimate Eyelash Extension Guide for Beginners

Would you like to have fuller, longer eyelashes that curl beautifully? Unless you are blessed with the perfect lashes, you just have to deal with what you came with, or do you?

For those that want to enhance their lashes, there is eyelash extension. These are put on in clusters or on each lash with a semi-permanent adhesive and will last 2-3 weeks before they need to be filled but will last up to 8 weeks with the cycle of your natural hair growth.

Sound interesting? Let’s look at the types of eyelash extensions you can get in this eyelash extension guide.

Eyelash Extension Material

Eyelash extensions are made of 3 materials: mink, silk and synthetic. There are other materials like sable, ferret or weasel, but these are not as common.

Mink Lashes

A mink is a semi-aquatic animal that is part of the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels, ferrets and otters. Their fur is shaved for lashes because it looks natural and has a dark, semi-matte finish. Mink lashes also come in a colour range from light to dark brown.

Silk Lashes

Silk eyelashes come from silkworms, and they are produced through the boiling of the cocoons with the worm inside so the threads are soft and easily separated. They are rare because they tend not to hold their shape or curl very well. Although you may see silk lash extensions marketed at different places, many of them are PBT synthetic fibres.

Synthetic Lashes

These are produced using a polished, PBT fibre, heated and moulded into a lash shape. This thermoplastic is heavier than natural extensions, so it works well for people with thick eyelashes and bends perfectly. They also resemble the bold appearance of multiple coats of mascara and stand up as well as the animal-derived lashes. Many people prefer these faux eyelash extensions, which are marketed as vegan and are considered cruelty-free.

Eyelash Extension Length

The next thing to consider is length. This is a personal choice, and you can get different length extensions depending on the look you want or the event you are attending. They mainly range from 5mm to 16mm, but you can get up to 20mm as well, and they are categorized as:

  • Short 5-8mm
  • Medium 9-12mm
  • Long 13-16mm
  • Extra Long over 16mm

The longer the lashes, the more potential for damage to them, so using eyelash extensions that are 2-3mm longer than your lashes is recommended. You can buy a set that comes in various lengths and shapes to fit your eyes, and your lash technician will put shorter ones in the inner corners and long ones in the middle and outer portion of the eye to match the existing length variation.

Eyelash Extension Size

Size refers to the diameter of the lash extension, and there is a common range from:

  • 0.03mm
  • 0.05mm
  • 0.07mm
  • 0.10mm
  • 0.12mm
  • 0.15mm

Thicker, less common sizes include:

  • 0.18mm
  • 0.20mm
  • 0.23mm
  • 0.25mm
  • 0.30mm

Along with the size will come added weight, and it can become stressful for your eyelashes.

Eyelash Extension Curl

How about curl? You don’t want your lashes sticking straight out, so there is a letter to represent the lash extension curve.

  • I – This is flat and used to gain volume. It is typically used for men.
  • J – More of a soft curl and used for people with a natural upward lash
  • B – Best used on straight lashes. They help open the eyes a bit more than J
  • B+ – This is more curl than B but less than C
  • C – C is used to lift natural eyelashes that go down and open straight.
  • C+ – More than C but not as curly as D
  • D – Downward lashes get a good lift with D
  • D+ – even more lift than D
  • CC – It fits between the curls range of C and D
  • U – U gives you a great curl and opens up a person’s upward lashes
  • L – It’s perfect for drooping eyes as it dramatically lifts natural lashes for a wide-eyed appearance
  • L+ – Combines lift and curl to combat a person with eyes that are deeper set
  • M – A more standard curl to lift straight lashes and upward eyes

When you visit your lash boutique, they may ask you your preference or suggest what would work best for your type of eyes and natural lashes.

Eyelash Extension Colour

You can match your natural lash colour or go wild with artistic flair. Colours enhance your eye colour and build drama to your look, so try some shades that intrigue you or go for a rainbow effect across the eyelash.

Other options include:

  • Fans: these are eyelash extensions bunched together and attached to one or more of your lashes.
  • Bedazzled: You can glam up your lashes with glitter, crystals or even coloured stones.

There is enough variation in eyelash extensions to let you create different looks that show off your style, so experiment and get the advice of a great eyelash tech to start your eyelash extension journey.