Mascara is a gift from the gods and we're not going to lie, it's probably the one make-up item that we could never live without. Although it transforms our tired eyes, using mascara everyday (and removing it) can damage your delicate eyelashes and can even cause them to break and fall out.
So, it might be time to ditch your beloved mascara and embrace the wonder of a lash, lift and tint that is kinder to your lashes.
What is a lash lift?
Leigh Blackwell, founder of The London Brow Company, explains, "A lash lift is a treatment where your natural lashes are permed upwards and curled to give you the look of naturally curly lifted eyelashes. Our eyelashes tend to grow downward, instead of using mascara daily to lift the eyelashes back up and set them in a curled position, a lash lift will perm the eyelashes into a lifted curled position for 6 - 8 weeks."
Which is better, a lash lift or lash extension?
The jury is out when it comes to lash lift vs lash extensions, especially as both treatments are very different in the way they go about making your lashes looks fuller and thicker.
Eyelash extensions means individual artificial lashes are bonded to your natural lashes using medical grade clue.
Extensions really do depend on the skill and experience of your eyelash tech as it is very fiddly business as the lashes are applied one by one (not like your usual strip of fake eyelashes). The appointment can take up to two hours.
A lash lift (also called a LVL, length, volume, lift) involves curling or perming your lashes so that they appear fuller and longer. First up, your lashes are curled using a bonding formula around a shaped shield, then the lashes are tinted so they look darker and more intense. Lash lifts takes around one hour to complete and we're not going to lie, it's very relaxing as your eyes are shut the whole time.
We asked I Love Lash expert Teresa Smith to explain more about the difference between treatments, "It depends on your lifestyle and budget. Lash lifts are the most low maintenance, budget friendly and quick to have done, but the results are limited to the condition of your natural lashes. Whereas extensions can create more impact with a lot more styling possibilities."
There is also an option to combine both, "I offer a combo of both lash lift and extensions together called the Lash Sandwich i.e. if you wanted extensions but your lashes were very down facing and fair this would make the most of your natural lashes with a lift and tint, then a few days later sprinkling in some light fluffy volume lashes to add depth and fill any gaps along the lash line, using the Lynk-Gel Method that is compatible with the essential conditioning aftercare serums, keeping your lashes healthy and strong even with long term wear."
What is a lash tint?
A lash tint is normally done at the same appointment as a lash lift, but you can get your lashes tinted without having to have a lash lift. It's very similar to getting your roots done, where dye is applied to your natural lashes. The dye is specifically developed to be safe around the eye area.
Lash tinting is very popular with those with fair skin and dark hair, as our eyelashes and eyebrows often give away our true natural hair colour.
RAWR Lash Technician Hannah Walker adds, "A tint is an amazing addition to a lash lift. This is usually done at the end of the treatment as the solutions can slightly lighten the lashes where it is applied. Natural lashes are also usually slightly lighter towards the ends, so a tint can add length and makes the lashes look fuller and even thicker. Many clients opt for a blue/black tint to look like a coat of mascara but using a natural brown can also look amazing to just slightly enhance the lashes."
An eyelash tint alone will last around a month.
How does a lash lift work?
"The lashes are glued to a silicone mould, then the inner structure of the lash hairs called disulphide bonds, the strongest structure of the hair shaft, are broken with the lifting lotion, and then restructed and set into their new shape with the neutralizing lotion," says Teresa.
"Lash lifts years ago started out as TGA (thioglycolic acid) based, which can be quite aggressive especially for finer lashes, but now there are gentler options on the market that are TGA free - instead formulated with a highly evolved Cysteamine Hydrochloride formula that minimises the chance of over processing with a nourishing lash damage defence system. Plus the grow out phase won’t get messy as the lift will relax gradually back to the natural state after 6-8 weeks."
What are the benefits?
Thicker and fully lashes, of course. Many celebs have opted to stick to lash lifts in recent years as they embrace the more natural look. As well as gorgeous looking lashes, the experts reveal that there are many more benefits to getting a lash, lift and tint:
Cheaper and less maintenance
Quick, easy and less time investment to Eyelash Extensions
Saves you time on your morning make-up routine
Kinder on the natural eyelashes
Lasts 6-8 weeks
Perfect for holidays as you can get them wet
You'll look bright eyed and awake all the time
Great for clients with sensitive eyes, or clients with already medium or long lashes
What is the cost of a lash lift and tint?
You'll expect to pay between £30 and £60 for your lash lift.
Is there any aftercare needed?
Leigh insists that aftercare for your lashes is as important as your hair routine, "Aftercare is a must as with any hair treatment you have done, lashes are no different (we do sometimes forget this is hair!). A good moisturising lash serum to brush onto the lashes daily, or every other day will help keep the lashes nourished, lifted and hydrated.
Our popular lash serum is our Keratin Boost Serum and our Set and Go Serum. Both Natural, Vegan and Cruelty free designed to be used specifically for permed eyelashes and eyebrows."
Teresa also explains that it's important to not let your lashes get wet for at least four hours after your appointment and it's best to use a condition or serum in the days and weeks after, "After the lash lift, your lashes are in need of hydration, nourishment and protection as it will take four hours for your lashes to start creating sebum again, which is why its important not to get them wet within that time. After those four hours, its absolutely fine to get them wet or exposed to heat because the disulphide bonds have already been restructured and water or heat won't change that - contrary to popular belief from information that’s been around for years.
"Professional aftercare serums are 'penetrating' with small molecules, which will absorb into and nourish the lashes from the inside out. Whereas castor oil and similar are ‘sealing’ the hair due to the big molecules in their structure, so castor oil is best avoided in favour of something like Nouveau Lashes Lash & Brow Conditioning Serum’ or Elleeplex Advanced Aftercare Formula."
Do you have to go to the salon to get a lash lift?
If you want to improve the length of your lashes before booking a lash lift, incredible products like RevitaLash are available to buy. You can start growing and growing with the iconic lash conditioner which tackles brittle, damaged eyelashes and gives them a much needed boost to be able to grow. It is both a hair conditioner and growth serum all-in-one.
The product is priced at £89 (for 2ml which will last you three months) but many of the reviews have hailed it a wonder product, with one reviewer admitting that 'it gave me long eyelashes I've always dreamed of'. Even Meghan Markle has credited RevitaLash for her long lashes and if it's good enough for Meg, it's good enough for you.
Plus, you can use RevitaLash products on a lash lift for extra oooomph.
XLash also have a best-selling Eyelash Serum (£45 for 3 ml) that is 100% vegan, oil and hormone free and formulated with sensitive ingredients. Apply to your lashes using the brush at night and you should notice a difference to your lashes over a few weeks.
We all want our lashes to stay healthy, and moisturising your lashes is an important step to keeping them healthy. You can use vaseline, jojoba oil and coconut oil to help improve the quality of your lashes.
What do your lashes look before and after a lash tint?
They look fabulous, babes. Check out these lashes before and after pictures after a lash tint:
Are lash lifts damaging to your eyelashes?
Not if you go to a licensed and certified professional and wait at least six weeks between appointments. You can, however, hurt your lashes if the technician isn't skilled or you try and do it yourself at home.