Everything You Should Know About Eyelash Lifts Before You Get One

Experts break down the process, cost, and care of eyelash lifts so you can decide if this beauty treatment is right for you.

Lash extensions are certainly all the rage, but there's another lash service that's more ~natural~ and less of a hassle: Meet the eyelash lift (also called a lash lift). Essentially a perm for your eyelashes, the service (temporarily) lifts and curls your lashes for a seriously eye-opening effect. Unlike with lash extensions, a lash lift is all you; only your real lashes are involved.

Ahead, experts weigh in on exactly how eyelash lifts work, what the experience is like, how long a lash lift lasts, and everything else you'll probably want to know if you're interested in trying this technique.

How Eyelash Lifts Work

"A lash lift curls your lashes from base to tip so you can see their full length," explains Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes in New York City. The treatment enhances your natural lashes — though, admittedly, not quite as dramatically as the extra length you'd get from lash extensions or false eyelashes, she adds. (That said, the lash lift before-and-after photos can be pretty impressive.)

At the start of the lash lift service, silicone pads are placed on top of your eyes to keep your lids shut. A special serum is then used to break down the keratin protein in your lashes, allowing your technician to shape, sculpt, and lift them around a special silicone mold, explains lash expert Jas Imani, a licensed esthetician based in New York City. The keratin is then added back into the lashes with another serum — and voilà! — lifted, curled lashes.

FYI, some lash lift services include a lash tint — a semi-permanent dye that darkens and intensifies the natural color of the eyelash hairs. If you're looking at a lash lift service that doesn't come with a tint, consider adding one to maximize the impact you get from the lift, suggests Richardson.

eyelash lift before and after photo
Courtesy of Jas Imani

How Long Eyelash Lifts Last

The service itself takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour — and while you might feel a bit strange about someone fussing with your lashes, you'll likely be able to relax and chill out during that time. After all, when else are you forced to lie down with your eyes closed for an hour?

Sadly, eyelash lifts aren't permanent, and if you love the results, you'll have to get regular lifts. Generally, lash lifts last anywhere from four to eight weeks, with the results gradually fading over time.

How Much Eyelash Lifts Cost

As with pretty much all beauty services, the price varies based on where you live and the salon you visit. Generally speaking, plan to shell out $125 to $175 for a lash lift. While that's not cheap, it's less pricey than eyelash extensions, and you don't have to pay for additional services such as touch-ups.

Who Should Consider Getting a Lash Lift

"Just about anyone is a candidate for a lift as long as they have lashes, though you'll always get the best results when starting with healthy lashes," notes Imani. That's why, if you're planning on continuing to get lash lifts, your technician will probably suggest you use a conditioning lash serum in between visits, she adds. (Try one of these conditioning eyelash growth serums with stellar customer reviews.)

Consider your lifestyle, too. While extensions may yield a more dramatic end result, eyelash lifts are great if you want a more natural effect, says Richardson. The other upshot? There's no need to come back in for touch-ups like there is with eyelash extensions.

Courtesy of Jas Imani

What to Do Immediately After a Lash Lift

The first 48 hours post-lash lift are super important. During this time, it's essential to keep lashes completely bare. That means no mascara, serum, or eye creams, says Imani. Getting them wet can also undo the results: "Avoid steam, any exercise that will make you super sweaty, washing your hair in the shower, and use oil-free makeup wipes to cleanse your face," she adds.

After those 48 hours are up, you'll want to be gentle with your lashes moving forward. Avoid rubbing your eyes and don't use a curler, cautions Richardson. (You won't need to anyway, TBH.) While you can use mascara, try avoiding it if possible, she suggests.

Can You DIY a Lash Lift?

Sure, you could — there are at-home lash lift kits out there, as well as plenty of viral videos of successful attempts. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

"Lash lifts, and any kind of lash service in general, are a lot easier to mess up than they are to get right," warns Richardson. That's why seeing a vetted, experienced pro is so important. Using any type of chemical around the eye can be super dangerous (you risk everything from infections to even blindness), not to mention it's very easy to damage delicate lash hairs. The bottom line: This isn't the best time for a DIY beauty moment.

How to Find a Reputable Technician

"Safety should be your number-one concern, so do your homework and make sure to find someone who is certified," says Richardson. Some states also require that the technician be licensed, she notes. Asking for recommendations is also helpful, points out Imani. And it's wise to ask to see examples of any tech's before-and-after photos, she suggests.

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