Ever find yourself daydreaming about having luscious, long eyelashes without having to layer on the mascara?
If so, you certainly aren’t alone. According to a 2018 article in the Business of Fashion, lash lifts have officially overtaken mascara in popularity.
A lash lift is an all-natural, semi-permanent procedure that gives you the appearance of fuller, thicker eyelashes without the use of any leave-on chemicals or extensions. The natural lashes are boosted from the root, giving them a lifted, lengthened appearance.
With a lash lift, you won’t have to deal with clumpy mascara or annoying falsies. Plus, you’ll wake up every morning with naturally long, thick lashes.
Many people choose to get their lashes tinted a darker color to increase the effect. You can think of it as a perm for your lashes.
Ideally, the procedure should be quick and painless, leaving you with eyelashes you can bat glamorously to your heart’s content.
According to Lucy Roberts, aesthetician at False Eyelashes, “It will be just like you’ve woken up with your favorite mascara already applied.”
A lash lift isn’t permanent. The effects fade with time, and after a few weeks, you may find yourself once again reaching for the mascara.
In general, a lash lift lasts for around 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary depending on your lashes and the type of lash lift you choose. With proper care, you may be able to extend the life of your lash lift to 6 weeks.
But not all lash lifts are the same.
“How long your lash lift lasts is completely dependent on how well you prepare and complete aftercare and your natural lash growth cycle,” says Roberts.
Wondering how long your lash lift will last? There are a few variables that contribute to the longevity of your newly lifted lashes.
- immediate aftercare
- long-term lash care
- how fast your lashes grow naturally
- the type of lash lift you get
You may find that your lash lift doesn’t last as long as others who have undergone the same treatment, even though you take care of your lashes. This may simply be because of how quickly your lashes grow naturally.
What you do immediately after getting a lash lift can have a big impact on how long the treatment lasts. It can take up to 48 hours for the treatment to set, so it’s important to follow the aesthetician’s care instructions.
“It’s important to hold off on cleansing around the eyes or applying makeup for 48 hours in order to allow the lift to set,” says Alexis Parcells, plastic surgeon and founder of SUNNIE. “Additionally, ask for a cleansing brush to keep the area free of irritants and dust.”
Long-term lash care
After the initial 48 hours have passed, there are still things you can do to ensure that your lash lift lasts as long as possible.
The aesthetician should provide clear instructions on how to take care for your lash lift in the weeks ahead, but here are a few general guidelines:
- Avoid waterproof mascara. Parcells adds that regular mascara is OK in small quantities.
- Avoid using oils and multiple skin care products around the eye.
- Avoid eye masks and eyelash curlers.
- Be aware of how often you rub your eyes, and try to avoid doing so if possible.
There are several different kinds of lash lifts available. With each one, you can expect a slightly different shelf life.
With a keratin lash lift, you may notice that your lashes last for 6 weeks or more. With a length-volume-lift (LVL) treatment, your lashes may return to normal after just 6 weeks.
Yumi or keratin lash lift
A Yumi lash lift uses a keratin treatment. Keratin is a protein that naturally occurs in the hair and the nails, giving them strength and smoothness.
“Keratin lash lifts require the application of a semi-permanent curling solution to lift the lash from base to tip,” says Parcells. “However, instead of using a wand, a silicone rod covered in keratin is used to achieve the desired effect.”
Usually, this rod is left in place for around 8 minutes. Then, a serum is used to set the keratin in place.
This procedure can take around 45 to 60 minutes from start to finish.
Length-volume-lift (LVL) lash lift
“An LVL, or length-volume-lift, works to curl and volumize lashes from hair follicle root to tip,” says Parcells.
With this treatment, no keratin is used. Instead, a wand is used to apply a lifting balm, a volumizer, and then a tint. This procedure generally takes about 45 minutes to complete.
Parcells adds that some people choose to combine a keratin treatment with an LVL lash lift.
“Oftentimes, these procedures may be combined for a natural, wispy lash look,” Parcells says.
At-home lash lift
Some companies sell at-home lash lift kits, but most professionals recommend that you visit a salon.
After all, to perform a lash lift properly, your eyes should be closed throughout the procedure, so it can be pretty tricky to perform the treatment on yourself.
Plus, if you leave your treatment on for too long, you may risk damaging your eyelashes.
Lash lifts are quick and painless procedures, so you won’t have to do too much to prepare.
Some pro tips include:
- Find a reputable salon and aesthetician.
- Do a patch test prior to the procedure.
- Don’t wear makeup on treatment day.
- Remove contact lenses for comfort prior to the procedure, if you wish.
- Avoid curling lashes 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Avoid waterproof mascara for 48 hours prior to your appointment.
The first step is to find a reputable and experienced aesthetician to perform the lash lift. Look for a salon via internet search that’s certified and has good reviews, or ask friends and family members for referrals.
Parcells also recommends looking for an aesthetician who will perform a patch test: “It’s important to have a patch test done prior to the procedure to rule out any allergies or adverse effects.”
A lash lift should be entirely painless with minimal discomfort.
During the procedure:
- The aesthetician will stick down your lower lashes, separating them from the upper lashes.
- They’ll apply serum or treatment, essentially painting the lashes upward from the root onto a silicone rod to give them a lifted, lengthened look.
- They may also apply a volumizer and a tint.
- At the end, the aesthetician will clean and brush your lashes.
Altogether, the procedure should take around 45 minutes. All you have to do is close your eyes.
At the end of your procedure, you can expect results like these lash lift before and after photos from Jovita Lashes in London.
The lashes should appear fuller, thicker, and longer.
To ensure that your lash lift lasts and sets properly, you’ll need to avoid getting your lashes wet for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
You should also avoid using too many products on your eyes after your lash lift, as this can reduce the effects of the procedure.
An aesthetician may also provide you with serums and conditioners to keep your lashes moisturized and healthy before your next lash lift.
While lash lifts are typically safe procedures, they should always be performed by a professional.
If the treatment is left on too long or applied incorrectly, you may end up with a lash lift gone wrong. In other words, you may be stuck with uneven, frazzled lashes.
Reddit user datcomplex had a lash lift done and ended up with bent, messy lashes after the aesthetician applied the solution to the eyelashes twice in a row, overprocessing them.
Reddit user rowdybeanjuice ended up with lashes that were “over curled, going in different directions” after the aesthetician apparently used the wrong size of rod and left the solution on for too long.
In other words, it’s vital to visit a professional, experienced aesthetician, as the effects of your lash lift will last for at least a month.
Want to learn more? Browse the FAQs below.
Do lash lifts ruin your eyelashes?
No, lash lifts should not damage your lashes. Even if you end up with a lash lift that goes a little wrong, the effects of the procedure are only semi-permanent.
Eyelashes naturally fall out and regrow every 4 to 6 weeks, so you won’t have to worry about damaging your lashes long term.
How long does a lash lift and tint last?
Depending on the type of lash lift you choose and your aftercare, a lash lift should last from 4 to 6 weeks. In some cases, you may find that the effects last for just over 6 weeks.
How much is a lash lift?
Lash lift prices can vary depending on where you live and what type of salon you choose. At the time of writing, a lash lift will cost on average between $75 and $200.
What’s the best type of lash lift?
It all depends on what kind of procedure and look you want.
With a keratin lift, you’ll get a more natural, lifted look, while an LVL lash lift will usually result in a thicker, more dramatic look.
Lash lifts are a simple way to give your lashes a semi-permanent boost.
If you’re sick of applying mascara day after day, this procedure can give you a break of up to 6 weeks.
Just be sure to find an experienced, reputable professional to perform the procedure to avoid any undesirable results.
Meg is a freelance journalist and features writer who covers culture, entertainment, lifestyle and health. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Shondaland, Healthline, HelloGiggles, Reader’s Digest, Apartment Therapy, and more. T: @wordsbyMeg W: megwalters.co.uk