Lash Extensions Vs. Lash Lift: Which Should You Get?

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Are you tired of applying several coats of mascara daily to achieve luscious lashes? If so, you may have considered lash treatments.

A professional is combing the long lashes of a woman with pink spoolie

But have you been stumped when deciding between lash extensions vs. lash lifts? Which one is better for you?

In today’s beauty industry, lash lifts and extensions have become popular options for enhancing the appearance of your lashes.

Both treatments offer the illusion of longer and fuller lashes but with different techniques and results. Because of that, it can be difficult to choose between the two.

This article will explore the differences between a lash lift vs. lash extensions, including the techniques used for each, maintenance, and results.

Understanding each option’s pros and cons enables you to make an informed decision and achieve the lashes you’ve always wanted!

What are Eyelash Extensions?

To decide which lash treatment is your best bet, we first have to understand each one individually. Let’s start with eyelash extensions.

Eyelash extensions are a cosmetic enhancement for natural lashes in the form of individual synthetic fibers applied to the natural lashes one by one with an adhesive.

The extensions can be made from synthetic materials such as nylon or silk, and they come in different lengths, thicknesses, and curves to create a customized look.

The purpose of eyelash extensions is to give the appearance of longer, fuller lashes without the need for mascara or other cosmetics and tools.

Getting eyelash extensions typically takes between 1-2 hours and can last for several weeks, depending on the aftercare and maintenance.

Touch-up appointments may be necessary to maintain the desired look and replace any lashes that have fallen out naturally.

Eyelash extensions come in different styles. Get to know each lash style better by clicking each one of them below:

Each type of eyelash extension has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the style that best meets your individual needs and preferences is essential.

A professional lash artist can advise you on the best extensions for your specific needs and help you achieve your desired look.

Process of Lash Extensions

Here is a general step-by-step process for eyelash extension application at a trusted salon or with a lash technician:

  1. The process starts by preparing the area by laying out all the necessary tools, such as eyelash extensions, adhesives, tweezers, and eye pads.
  2. The lash tech will thoroughly clean the lashes to ensure no makeup or oil residue.
  3. Eye pads are placed under the lower lashes to protect the skin and keep the lower lashes out of the way.
  4. Tape is often placed to keep the eyelid in place and ensure you don’t open your eyes accidentally in the middle of the procedure.
  5. Then when the prep work is done, the lash tech will take a single eyelash extension and dip it into the adhesive.
  6. Using tweezers, the eyelash extension is picked up and placed onto the natural lash, as close to the root as possible.
  7. The process is repeated. Extensions are attached to each individual natural lash until the desired fullness is achieved.
  8. Once all the lash extensions are placed, you wait for the adhesive to dry completely, which typically takes about one to two minutes.
  9. The lash tech will then remove the eye pads and tape (if any), inspect the lashes and make any necessary adjustments.
  10. Afterward, they will apply a small amount of oil-free, water-based sealant to the base of the lashes to help secure the extensions and prolong their lifespan.
  11. The client will be given aftercare instructions and schedule a follow-up appointment to touch up and remove any fallen extensions.

It’s important to note that eyelash extensions should only be applied by a trained professional. Improper application can damage the natural lashes and cause eye discomfort or irritation. 

Additionally, low-quality adhesives or extensions can harm the eyes and natural lashes.

Here’s a video of a detailed eyelash extension tutorial so you can get the full picture:

Pros and Cons of Lash Extensions


  • Eyelash extensions can be a good alternative for people with sparse natural lashes.
  • They can be removed safely by a professional if desired.
  • They can boost confidence and self-esteem.
  • They can enhance the eyes and overall appearance.
  • They can last several weeks with proper maintenance.
  • They’re convenient for those who want to save time on their daily makeup routine.
  • They help create a fuller, longer look for natural lashes.
  • They are customizable in length, thickness, and curl to match personal preferences.
  • No need to use mascara or eyelash curler.
  • Requires minimal maintenance compared to a lash lift.


  • They can be costly to maintain, requiring regular touch-ups.
  • They can be difficult to remove without professional help.
  • They can be time-consuming to apply and remove.
  • They can cause damage to natural lashes if not applied or removed properly.
  • They can cause natural lashes to become weak or brittle with overuse.
  • They may cause irritation, itching, or redness if the adhesive or the extensions are not high-quality.
  • They may not be suitable for people with sensitive eyes or allergies to adhesives.
  • When getting extensions, you must avoid water and certain products for 24-48 hours after application.
  • Not recommended for people with very, very short or sparse natural lashes.
  • Regular touch-ups are required to maintain the desired look.

What is Lash Lift?

So now that you know more about lash extensions, let’s look at lash lifts vs. extensions.

A lash lift, on the other hand, also known as a lash perm, is a semi-permanent treatment that enhances the natural lashes and gives them a lifted and curled appearance using a chemical solution and silicone rods.

Lash perming is a low-maintenance treatment that requires no daily upkeep. It’s a good option for those who want to enhance their lashes without using eyelash extensions.

The procedure involves the application of a lifting lotion to the lashes, which breaks down the bonds in the lashes and reshapes them.

The lashes are then placed on silicone rods, and a setting solution is applied to set the new shape.

The process takes approximately 45 minutes to roughly one hour. The result is longer, fuller, and more lifted lashes.

The effects of a lash lift can last up to several weeks, depending on your natural lash growth cycle. This may not be the same for everyone.

It’s important to note that a trained and licensed professional should perform this treatment to minimize the risk of damage to the lashes.

Like lash extensions, a trained lash tech should perform lash lifts. However, lash lifts require little to no maintenance or touch-ups, unlike lash extensions.

Process of Lash Lift

The entire process of lash lift is roughly 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your lash technician, and the results can last anywhere from 6 weeks up to 8 weeks.

Here is a step-by-step process of a typical Lash Lift procedure:

  1. The lashes are thoroughly cleaned, and the lower lashes are taped down to protect the skin and separate the lashes.
  2. A silicone rod is selected based on the length and natural curl of the lashes. This rod is placed on top of the upper lashes.
  3. The lashes are then molded onto the silicone rod and secured using water-based lash glue.
  4. The lash tech applies a perming solution to the lashes, which will break down the bonds in the strands and make them more pliable for shaping.
  5. A setting solution is applied to the lashes to help them hold their new shape. This solution helps to reshape the lashes and set them.
  6. After that, a neutralizing solution is applied to the lashes to help restore their bonds and protect them from damage.
  7. The final step is to apply a lash tint to the lashes to enhance their color and make them look even fuller.
  8. Once done, the rod and tape are removed, and the lashes are combed to separate them properly and ensure a natural look.

Check out this tutorial video of the lash lift process:

Pros and Cons of Lash Lift


  • Lifts and curls natural lashes, giving a more open-eyed appearance.
  • Minimal maintenance is required.
  • Chemical-free alternative to eyelash extensions.
  • Natural-looking results.
  • Lifted lashes can be combined with a lash tint for even more definition.
  • Safe and gentle on natural lashes.
  • More cost-effective compared to eyelash extensions.
  • Minimal aftercare is required.
  • Ideal for people with naturally straight or downward-facing lashes, as well as naturally long and thicker, fuller lashes.
  • Semi-permanent treatment that lasts 4-6 weeks.


  • Lifting isn’t as long-lasting as eyelash extensions.
  • Results may vary depending on the health and length of natural lashes.
  • You must wait for natural lashes to grow back before receiving another treatment.
  • Lash lifts can cause damage to natural lashes if not performed correctly.
  • Results may not be as dramatic as those achieved with eyelash extensions.
  • Not suitable for people with very, very short or sparse natural lashes.
  • Lifts can cause irritation or redness if the product used is high quality.
  • May not be ideal for people with very curly or kinky lashes.
  • Professional treatment is recommended to achieve the best results.

Difference Between Lash Lift and Lash Extension

Lash extensions and lash lifts are cosmetic treatments for eyelashes, but they work differently to enhance your lash appearance.

The main differences between eyelash extension vs. lash lift are:


Lash extensions are done by applying individual synthetic fibers to the natural lashes using an adhesive.

Lash lift, on the other hand, involves using a chemical solution and silicone rods to lift and curl the natural lashes.


Lash extensions create a full and dramatic look with longer and thicker lashes.

Lash lift enhances the natural lashes by lifting and curling them, enhancing your lashes by creating a more natural and subtle appearance.


Both lash extensions and lash lifts usually last for several weeks, depending on the growth cycle of your natural lash.

As your natural lashes return to normal, your lash extensions will usually begin to fall or shed following your natural hair growth cycle, typically every six to eight weeks.

The difference is that lash extensions need touch-up appointments and maintenance every two to three weeks to replace any lashes that have fallen out and to ensure your lashes still look full.


Lash treatment prices vary depending on the service you want, the lash style, the location, and the popularity of the salon.

If you’re planning to get eyelash extensions, expect the price to range from $150 to $500.

Also, you need to pay for the charges for lash in-fills that your extensions will likely need every 2 to 3 weeks. These touch-ups usually cost anywhere from $30 to $100.

On the other hand, lash lifts are typically less expensive, costing, on average, between $100 to $150. Unlike lash extensions, lash lifts do not require monthly in-fills.

Questions About Lash Treatments

Between eyelash extension vs. lash lift, which is better for short lashes?

Extensions may be better for you if you have short and sparse lashes. Lash lifts aren’t typically recommended for those with very short lashes, as the impact will be minimal.

If you want to enhance short lashes, the best option is to create fuller and longer length with extensions.

Regarding comfort, which is better eyelash lift vs. eyelash extensions?

If comfort is the priority, a lift may be your best choice. Since you aren’t gluing additional lashes to your last line, enhancing your natural lashes is much more comfortable.

Well-applied high-quality eyelash extensions won’t feel bad, but once they are glued on, you’ll feel them. If you’re not used to the feeling, it can be uncomfortable.

Lash Extensions Vs. Lash Lift: Which One Is for You?

Lash lifts and eyelash extensions are very effective methods for achieving stunning lashes. Choosing which is better for you can be challenging, so weighing the pros and cons before deciding is important.

A close up of a woman's eye with green eyes and long curled lashes

Simply put, a lash lift is a great semi-permanent solution to enhance your natural lashes with a stunning lift and curl. The upkeep is simple, but you won’t necessarily get dramatic long lashes.

On the other hand, eyelash extensions provide a more dramatic look with added length and volume. However, the upkeep can be costly, and maintenance requires more effort.

So should you get lash extensions or lash lift?

Whichever lash treatment you choose between lash lift versus lash extensions, remember that the choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference, budget, and lifestyle.

By considering all the factors and getting a professional consultation, you can find the right solution for beautiful lashes that last.

Looking for more articles about lashes? Check these out:


  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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  • Mary Lois Jhie-an Garchitorena

    A seasoned beauty expert and permanent makeup artist with a rich educational background from top international academies, including Yumi Lashes and PhiAcademy. Her career began in 2017 out of a passion for enhancing natural beauty, leading her to master various aesthetic treatments and PMU. Mary has learned from grand masters like Dovile Zilinskaite and Anastasia Gilmanova, ensuring her clients receive unparalleled service. Despite challenges, she continues to thrive as a home-based artist, committed to delivering excellence and innovation in beauty aesthetics.

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