What Eyelash Treatments Are Right For You

Eyelash Treatments

As a makeup artest, I’ve always been fascinated by the various eyelash treatments available to magnify and transform our lashes. From classic mascara to high-tech lash lifts, the options can seem overwhelming. The purpose of this content is that, I’ll walk you through the different types of eyelash treatments, their benefits and drawbacks and help you determine which ones might be right for you.

Introduction to Eyelash Treatments

Eyelash treatments have become increasingly popular in recent years as people seek ways to increase their natural lashes. These treatments can range from simple mascara applications to more intricate procedures like eyelash extensions and lifts.

Why Invest in Eyelash Treatments?

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s discuss why you might want to consider investing in eyelash treatments in the first place. Our eyelashes serve several important functions:

  • They protect our eyes from dust, debris, and bright light
  • They create a barrier to prevent things from getting into our eyes
  • They help convey emotion and enhance our facial expressions
  • They frame our eyes and can make them appear larger and more attractive

For many of us, having long, lush, dark lashes is a highly desirable beauty goal. Eyelash treatments can help us achieve this look, boosting our confidence and allowing us to feel our best.

Some specific benefits of eyelash treatments include:

  • Saving time on daily makeup application
  • Achieving a more dramatic, eye-catching look
  • Defining and opening up the eye area
  • Creating a more youthful, energized appearance
  • Enhancing overall facial symmetry and proportions

With that context in mind, let’s explore some of the most popular eyelash treatment options.


Mascara is the most common and accessible eyelash treatment, with a huge variety of formulas and applicators available at every price point. Mascaras coat the lashes with pigment to make them appear darker, thicker and more defined.

Pros of Mascara

  • Affordable and widely available
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Huge range of options for different looks (lengthening, volumizing, etc.)
  • Can be combined with other eye makeup for a full look
  • Washes off at the end of the day

Cons of Mascara

  • Must be reapplied daily
  • Can smudge, flake or run, especially if you have oily skin, watery eyes or live in a humid climate
  • Requires removal with makeup remover or cleanser at the end of the day
  • Applying multiple coats for a dramatic look takes time
  • Not ideal for swimming, sweating, sleeping or wearing for extended periods
  • Some people are allergic or sensitive to mascara ingredients

Best For: Mascara is an ideal everyday option for most people who want a quick, customizable way to enhance their lashes. If you’re happy with the length and curl of your natural lashes and just want more definition and volume, mascara is a great choice.

False Lashes

False lashes, which come as strip lashes or individual lash clusters, are adhered along the lash line to create the appearance of longer, fuller lashes. They come in a variety of materials (synthetic, silk, mink) and styles.

Pros of False Lashes

  • Create a very dramatic look
  • Huge variety of styles for different effects and occasions
  • Can be removed and reused if you’re careful during application/removal
  • Allow you to change your look without commitment – take them off at the end of the day/night
  • Work well for special events like weddings, galas, photoshoots

Cons of False Lashes

  • Require precise application that takes practice to master
  • Some people find them uncomfortable or irritating to wear
  • The lash bands can be visible, especially up close or in bright light
  • Not practical for everyday wear for most people
  • Must be carefully removed to avoid damaging natural lashes
  • Cheaper, low-quality lashes may not look natural
  • Adhesives contain irritating ingredients for some

Best For: False lashes are best reserved for special occasions where you want a very glamorous, dramatic lash look. They’re great for event makeup but usually too bold for everyday wear.

Lash Extensions

Eyelash extensions are semi-permanent synthetic, faux mink or silk lashes that are individually adhered to your natural lashes by a certified lash technician. The result is longer, fuller, darker lashes that last for several weeks.

Pros of Lash Extensions

  • Create long-lasting fuller, longer lashes that still look natural
  • Customizable in terms of length, curl pattern, and volume
  • Can choose a more natural or dramatic look
  • Last through workouts, swimming, sleeping, etc.
  • Cuts down on need for mascara and other eye makeup
  • Great for a special occasion or vacation

Cons of Lash Extensions

  • Expensive, ranging from $100-$500 for a full initial set
  • Require regular touch-ups every 2-4 weeks to maintain
  • Time-consuming, with initial application taking 1-2 hours
  • Can cause breakage and damage to natural lashes
  • Risk of allergic reaction to adhesives
  • Require special care – no rubbing eyes, oil-based products, etc.
  • Difficult to remove on your own without damaging lashes

Best For: Lash extensions are ideal if you’re willing to invest significant time and money into maintaining a long-lasting, mascara-free lash look. They’re especially great for a special event or trip. However, they do require regular upkeep and delicate handling.

Lash Lifts

Lash lifts are a semi-permanent curling/perming treatment for natural lashes. A technician uses a silicone rod and special adhesive to boost and lift the lashes from the base, then applies a perming solution to help them hold the curled shape. Lash lifts create the illusion of length and open up the eyes.

Pros of Lash Lifts

  • Enhance your natural lashes without adhesives or extensions
  • Low-maintenance compared to extensions – no special care and lasts 4-6 weeks
  • Creates natural-looking lift and definition
  • Great for those with straight lashes that don’t hold curl well
  • Can be combined with a lash tint for extra definition

Cons of Lash Lifts

  • Requires an experienced, skilled technician for best results
  • Some risk of overprocessing/damage to natural lashes
  • Doesn’t add volume, only curl and lift
  • Limits use of mechanical curlers, which can break the permed lashes
  • Results not as dramatic as extensions
  • Not great for short, very sparse lashes

Best For: Lash lifts are a great option if you like a natural makeup look and just want to boost what you’ve already got. They accentuate and open up your eyes while still looking like you. Ideal for low-maintenance types who want to wake up with great lashes.

Lash Growth Serums

Lash growth serums are products designed to extend the anagen (growth) phase of your eyelashes to help them grow longer and thicker over time. They contain ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid and botanicals. While many serums make lofty claims, Latisse is the only FDA-approved treatment for lash growth.

Pros of Lash Growth Serums

  • Help lashes reach their full growth potential
  • Can produce noticeable improvement in length/fullness after several weeks
  • Work well in conjunction with other lash treatments
  • Generally safe with minimal side effects
  • More affordable than lash extensions over time

Cons of Lash Growth Serums

  • Results are subtle and gradual – not an instant transformation
  • Requires consistent daily application
  • Only works as long as you use the serum
  • Prescription-strength versions like Latisse have potential side effects like darkening of eyelid skin and iris color change
  • No guarantee of results – efficacy varies from person to person

Best For: Lash serums are best for those who are patient and want to invest in the long-term health and appearance of their natural lashes. While they won’t create overnight results, they can help you achieve your lash goals over time with consistency. I recommend them to my clients as a complementary treatment to any of the other options.

How to Choose the Right Eyelash Treatment

With all these options, how do you determine which eyelash treatment – or combination of treatments – is right for you? Here are some things I recommend considering:

Your Lash Goals

What kind of look are you trying to achieve? Natural definition, dramatic glamour, or something in between? Different treatments support different aesthetic goals.

Your Timeline

Are you prepping for a special event or do you want an everyday lash boost? Treatments like lash extensions have significant upfront time requirements, while growth serums are more of a slow-and-steady approach.

Your Budget

What’s your budget for both time and money? Treatments range from a few dollars for drugstore mascara to hundreds for extensions. Also consider the ongoing costs – extensions and lifts require regular maintenance, while mascara is a one-and-done expense.

Your Natural Lashes

What do you have to work with? If your natural lashes are short, straight and sparse, a lift may not give you the results you want. If your lashes are already long and dense, a growth serum may not make much difference. Be realistic about your starting point.

Your Lifestyle

Do you want something that can withstand a sweaty yoga class, or a treatment you can remove at the end of the night? The best option will fit your daily life and typical activities.

Allergies and Sensitivities

If you have sensitive eyes or skin, or known allergies to cosmetic ingredients, you may need to steer clear of treatments with irritating adhesives and opt for more natural solutions. Always check the ingredient list and do a patch test.

Here’s a quick comparison table of the different eyelash treatments I’ve covered:

TreatmentProsConsBest For
MascaraAffordable, customizable, easy to useSmudges/flakes, short wear timeEveryday, natural looks
False LashesDramatic effect, temporary, reusableCan be uncomfortable, tricky to applySpecial occasions, costumes
Lash ExtensionsLong-lasting, can look natural, customizableExpensive, high-maintenance, potential damageVacations, long-term enhancement
Lash LiftsEnhance natural lashes, low-maintenanceLimited results, risk of damageNatural look, lashes that don’t hold curl
Growth SerumsImprove lash health and growth over timeResults are subtle and gradualLong-term lash goals, complementary treatment

Ultimately, the right eyelash treatment for you is the one that helps you feel confident and beautifully frames your unique eyes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different options until you find a lash look you love!

My Eyelash Treatment Routine

As a lash lover, I like to customize my approach depending on the occasion. Here’s a peek into my personal lash strategy:

For everyday looks, I stick to my trusty volumizing and lengthening mascara. I prefer a waterproof formula to hold up through long days. When I’m feeling a little extra, I’ll add individual false lashes to the outer corner for a flirty, feline effect.

For a special night out or big event, I go all out with lash extensions. I get a combination of lengths and curl patterns for a high-impact, fluttery look. I plan these appointments strategically a few days before the event so the lashes have a chance to soften and look more natural.

In between extension sessions, I use a lash growth serum to keep my natural lashes healthy and encourage the maximum length and fullness. I’ve found this helps extend the life of my professional treatments.

When I’m headed out of town, I opt for a lash lift and tint. The lift gives me pretty, wide-awake eyes without extensions, and it holds up through beach days and hotel pillow sleep.

The key is knowing how to combine treatments and tailor your lash look to your lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but with a little experimentation you can find the perfect lash cocktail for you!

Lash Extensions vs. Lash Lifts

Lash extensions and lash lifts are two pro treatments that tend to get confused, so I want to do a deep dive comparison. Both create semi-permanent lash enhancement, but they work very differently.

The Process

Lash extensions are individually applied synthetic lashes that get adhered one by one to your natural lashes. A lift, on the other hand, is like a perm for your lashes – it’s a chemical treatment that sets the shape of your existing lashes into a curled position.

The Results

Lash extensions add length, volume and darkness to your lash fringe – how much depends on the number and size of extensions applied. Lifts enhance your natural lashes by giving them a longer-looking, lifted effect, but don’t add any volume.

The Upkeep

Extensions shed as your natural lashes do, so they require infills every 2-4 weeks to maintain a full look. You also have to be careful about not getting them wet, not using oil-based products, not rubbing your eyes, etc. Lifts are lower maintenance – you can basically treat them like your natural lashes once the first 24 hours are up. They last 6-8 weeks until your lashes grow out and straighten.

The Best Candidates

Extensions are great for most lash types and can really make a dramatic difference in sparse, short, or light-colored lashes. You just need a few millimeters of natural lash to attach the extensions to. Lifts work better on healthier, thicker lashes that have some natural length to work with – very stubby or thin lashes may not take a good curl.

Here’s a table comparing lash extensions and lash lifts head to head:

FactorLash ExtensionsLash Lift
ProcessIndividual false lashes adhered to natural lashesChemical treatment to curl natural lashes
ResultsLonger, darker, thicker lash appearanceLifted, curled effect; enhanced definition
UpkeepInfills every 2-4 weeks; careful cleansingLasts 6-8 weeks; minimal aftercare
Best CandidatesMost lash types; adds drama to sparse/short lashesHealthy lashes with some natural length
Cost$100-$500 initial set; $50-$100 infills$50-$150 per treatment
RisksAllergic reaction; irritation; lash damageIrritation; over-processing; poor curling

Both treatments have their pros and cons and different patients will have different preferences. I always assess a client’s lashes, goals and lifestyle before making a recommendation. Many of my lash-obsessed ladies like to alternate between the two for the best of both worlds!

Lash Care Tips and Tricks

No matter what eyelash treatment you choose, proper lash care is essential. Here are my top lash care tips for keeping your eye framers looking full and fluttery:

  1. Always remove your eye makeup gently with a oil-free, low-suds cleanser. Avoid harsh rubbing or tugging at the lash line. I like to use a cotton pad saturated with micellar water.
  2. Brush through your lashes daily with a clean spoolie brush. This helps remove dust and debris, detangles any clumping, and distributes your natural oils for conditioning.
  3. Condition your lashes with a nourishing lash serum or pure oils like castor, coconut or almond. Avoid heavy, greasy formulas that can weigh lashes down and cause breakage.
  4. Replace your mascara every 2-3 months to prevent bacteria growth and clumping. Never share mascara with others or apply it with a dirty wand.
  5. If you have extensions or a lift, avoid oil-based products around the eyes as they can break down the adhesive. Stick to gentle, extension-safe cleansers and makeup removers.
  6. Avoid waterproof eye makeup, which requires more rubbing and product to remove. The less friction and tugging on your lashes, the better.
  7. Give your lashes a break every now and then. If you’re an extension addict, schedule a week off every couple of months to let your natural lashes breathe.
  8. Never attempt to remove extensions or a lift at home – you can seriously damage your lashes! Let them shed naturally or go to a professional for removal.
  9. Protect your lashes from heat damage by using a heat protectant before curling, and only use a curler on clean, mascara-free lashes. Go easy on the curling – no more than 10 seconds per lash section.
  10. Eat a diet rich in protein,biotin, and vitamins C and E to nourish lashes from the inside out. Drink plenty of water to keep your body and lashes hydrated.

Treat your lashes with TLC and they’ll reward you with healthy, beautiful fringe that amplifies your eyes and improve your entire look!


Choosing the right eyelash treatment involves careful consideration of various factors, including your desired look, budget, and maintenance preferences. By understanding the pros and cons of each treatment option and consulting with a professional, you can achieve the lashes of your dreams.

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