Lash Lift: The Ultimate Guide
The lash lift and tint is one of the most popular lash enhancement methods. Here’s everything you need to know about the eyelash perm: results, technique, cost, side effects, and more.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019. Updated in August 2021.
Thick, dark and lush lashes will never go out of style. They can emphasize the eyes better than any makeup, but unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with fabulous fluttery lashes.
Through the years, cosmeticians have discovered new ways of making lashes longer and more prominent. One of the most popular methods of lash enhancement is the lash lift (or perm) – an advanced, semi-permanent procedure that makes the best of your natural lashes.
PMUHub brings you the ultimate guide to the eyelash lift – how it’s done, how long it lasts, what it can do for your eyes, how much it costs, and if it’s safe.
Click on the link to go directly to a specific step:
ABOUT THE LASH LIFT
What Is a Lash Lift?
The lash lift is a treatment that makes your natural lashes look longer, fuller and denser by applying a mix of chemicals that curls them upwards. Some technicians call it an eyelash perm because a perming solution is used to lift and curl the lashes. No extensions are involved here – just your natural lashes which are given a new shape.
The most popular version of the treatment involves both a lash lift and tint, so the hairs are also colored into a darker shade.
It’s a relatively long-lasting solution – it can last up to 8 weeks.
Want to find out more about lash lift? Follow the links:
Who Is an Eyelash Lift For?
Anyone who wants a lash enhancement!
Many people opt for this treatment because they want a more natural, yet enhanced look. The eyelash lift is a perfect solution for shortening your morning routine, because your lashes will look so good you won’t need any extra eye makeup.
It’s a more practical solution than lash extensions, because it requires no maintenance, just a few simple rules on the first day, and a slight adjustment to your skincare routine.
It works on anyone’s lashes, no matter their length or color, but the best results are achieved on clients with long straight lashes. By curling the lashes upwards, the eye is opened up and refreshed, while adding lash tint makes use of even the thinnest lashes in the lash line, densifying it and giving it natural volume.
Image source: Instagram @bijoubeautyla
How Long Does a Lash Lift Last?
The results on an eyelash lift last as long as your lash growth cycle – 6-8 weeks.
The curl on your lashes will hold until they fall out. Not all of the lashes will be in the same phase of the growth cycle when they are curled, so some of them will fall out sooner than others. As more and more hairs fall out, the curl will gradually relax.
Your lashes will regain their natural shape after 6-8 weeks, at which point you can get a fresh eyelash perm.
ABOUT THE LASH LIFT TREATMENT
How Long Does an Eyelash Perm Treatment Last?
The eyelash lift treatment usually lasts for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you want to add tint to your lashes, that will take an additional 15 minutes.
What Is a Lash Tint?
Lash tint is an addition to the eyelash perm and it is optional.
Tinting is adding special dye to your eyelashes to make them permanently darker. It’s a short, painless procedure. However, eyes are a sensitive area, so it is important to choose a certified professional to do this.
If you have sensitive eyes or are prone to allergies, insist on doing a patch test beforehand.
Image source: Instagram @anastasiabeautyart_
How Is a Lash Lift and Tint Treatment Performed?
The eyelash perm treatment is a simple procedure and involves the following steps:
Step 1 – Consults and Cleaning
First, you’ll have a talk with your tech. They’ll ask you whether you’re prone to allergies, and you decide between a softer curl, and a more dramatic look.
The technician carefully cleans the eye area.
Your lashes need to be completely free of any makeup, skincare products, and sebum, so even if you show up for the appointment without eye makeup, the tech will still clean your lashes. If there are residues of any product on your lashes before the eyelash lift starts, the chemicals won’t work evenly.
Step 2 – Placing Pads onto Eyelids
Silicon pads are placed on your lower eyelids, in order to protect them.
You will close your eyes, and you’ll have to keep them closed until the procedure is over.
A rod-shaped silicone pad is glued onto the upper eyelids above the lash line. The size of the rod determines the intensity of the final curl.
Step 3 – Lashes Glued onto the Rod
Your lashes are brushed upwards and glued onto the silicone rod.
Step 4 – Perming
The 1st chemical is applied – the perming solution. It softens the lashes, straightens them, and makes them more elastic so that they can be molded into the desired shape.
The tech will use a brush to cover the lash hairs with a coat of the perming solution. Your eyes may be covered with a cotton pad or a cloth.
The solution is left on for about 10 minutes.
Step 5 – Setting
The perming solution is removed, and the 2nd chemical is applied – the neutralizing solution. It sets the lashes into the desired shape.
The tech will use a brush to cover the lash hairs with a coat of the neutralizing solution. Your eyes may be covered with a cotton pad or a cloth.
The solution is left on for about 10 minutes.
Step 6 – Cleaning Off the Chemicals
The neutralizing solution is cleaned off and the silicone pad removed.
If tinting is not part of the treatment, your treatment is over, you can finally open your eyes!
But if you’re getting a lash lift and tint, keep reading.
Step 7 – Tinting (Optional)
Your lashes are covered with a lash tint in a shade somewhat darker than your natural lashes. It stays on for the prescribed amount of time (depending on the type and brand – no longer than 20 minutes usually).
The area is cleaned and you can open your eyes.
NOTE: In most salons, you can also get a strengthening keratin treatment that will nourish your lashes. That’s why some techs call the treatment keratin lash lift.
Image source: Instagram @katslashlab
Is an Eyelash Perm Painful?
Lash lift is a completely painless procedure. The only discomfort you can experience is that you must lie still with your eyes closed for up to an hour.
Which Chemicals Are Used During a Lash Lift Treatment?
There are 2-3 types of chemicals used in an eyelash lift:
It softens your lashes and allows the tech to shape them into a curl. It is usually based on thioglycolic acid, with a number of added ingredients: polyacrylamide, propylene glycol, methylparaben, purified water, monoethanolamine, etc.
It contains some of the ingredients used for perming hair – after all, it is an eyelash perm.
Neutralizing, or setting solution
It hardens curled lashes, and fixes them into a permanent curl. Usually contains sodium bromate, polyacrylamide, polysorbate, purified water, propylene glycol, methylparaben.
A specially formulated dye used for making eyelashes darker. It must be hypoallergenic, formaldehyde- and paraben-free.
LASH LIFT PREPARATION
How Do I Prepare for a Lash Lift Treatment?
It is very important to do the research and find a good esthetician. Make sure they work in a sterile environment, have a lot of satisfied customers, and have completed proper, certified training. That way, you will avoid any risks and ensure great results.
Even though the eyelash lift treatment does not require any special preparation, there are several don’ts you should pay attention to:
- Don’t wear makeup to the appointment
- Try not to wear waterproof mascara for a week before the treatment, because your eyes need to be perfectly clean and without any traces of mascara
- Shower beforehand – you shouldn’t get your lashes wet for 24 hours after the procedure, so showering might be impractical
- If you wear contact lenses, take them off and wear glasses instead
Image source: Instagram @vavvyartistry
LASH LIFT AFTERCARE
What Does the Lash Lift Aftercare Entail?
One of the perks of the treatment is that the lash lift aftercare is not complicated at all. You need to be careful for just 24 hours after the treatment and after that, you can continue with your normal daily routine.
These are the tips you need to follow:
- Don’t wear mascara for 24 hours after the treatment
- Don’t get your lashes wet. Don’t shower for 24 hours (or if you really have to, make it quick).
- Avoid steamy rooms, such as saunas.
- Don’t apply any products on your lashes during that period
- Don’t touch your lashes
- Brush through your lashes from time to time
How Do I Maintain a Lash Lift?
Luckily, a lash perm is very easy to maintain after the initial aftercare period – the first 24 hours. You shouldn’t get them soaking wet, or wear eye makeup, especially mascara.
After the first 24 hours have passed, you don’t have to pay any special attention to your eyelash lift. You can sleep on your face, wear makeup, wear contact lenses, wash your face, rub your eyes.
The only thing to avoid in the first 20ish days are oil-based products. Your tech might recommend an oil-free nourishing serum. After about 3 weeks, you can use oils, too.
Can I Wear Makeup After the Lash Lift Treatment?
Makeup is forbidden for 24 hours after the treatment. After that, you can apply makeup as you usually do, with the exception of lash curler – that you should avoid.
If you get both lash lift and tint, you won’t need mascara. But you can wear it if you want to, just make sure not to use waterproof formulas, because you’ll probably need to rub harder to remove it, and this can pull out some of your curled lashes.
Can I Use an Eyelash Curler After a Lash Lift?
Using a lash curler is not advisable after the eyelash perm. Your lashes are hardened with the setting solution and a lash curler might damage them. After all, an eyelash curler is completely unnecessary since the same effect is already achieved with the treatment itself.
Image source: Instagram @lashliftbyemily
LASH LIFT TOUCH UP
Do I Need a Lash Lift Touch Up?
An eyelash lift does not require any touch-ups.
As your natural lashes grow, they take their natural shape. You can repeat the treatment after two months. The shortest period after which it can be redone is 6 weeks.
LASH LIFT SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS
Is the Eyelash Perm Safe?
The eyelash lift procedure is quite safe if you choose a certified and experienced tech. You need to make sure your aesthetician works in a sterile environment and use quality products.
What Are the Potential Lash Lift Side Effects?
Possible eyelash perm side-effects and risks are not common, but they include:
- Allergies. Manifested by redness and blistering. Can be avoided if you do a patch test beforehand. It will determine whether the substances used are safe for your skin.
- Skin irritations. Eyelid skin is very thin and sensitive, and it can be irritated by the chemicals.
- Damage to your lash hairs. Your natural lashes might get damaged or become brittle if the chemicals are left on for too long.
- Damage to the cornea. The chemicals used during a lash lift are quite harsh, so if they get into your eyes, they could potentially hurt your cornea. The extent of potential damage has not been determined, since this hardly ever happens. Just make sure you keep your eyes closed throughout the lash lift.
LASH LIFT GONE WRONG
What if I’m Not Satisfied With How My Lash Lift Turned Out?
There are 2 possible scenarios which might leave you unsatisfied with the eyelash perm treatment:
This is nothing serious. However, you might feel like you wasted your money and didn’t get what you wanted.
If you’re willing to wait, within 4 weeks enough of your lashes will fall out to make them look more relaxed. After about 6 weeks, they should regain their natural shape.
If you’re not willing to wait, contact your tech – they may be able to relax your lashes a bit with the perming solution. Or, you can relax them a bit at home by brushing them downwards with a spoolie dipped in an oil of your choice.
This means either that you didn’t follow the aftercare routine, or that your tech messed up – they probably cleaned off the chemicals too soon, or used a rod too big. You can ask for a refund and go somewhere else next time.
You can learn more about the risks of a lash lift in this guide.
LASH LIFT VS LASH EXTENSION
The table below shows the main differences between the two most popular lash enhancement options: lash lift vs lash extensions.
REGULAR LASH LIFT VS KERATIN LASH LIFT
What’s a Keratin Lash Lift?
An alternative to the regular, chemical lash lift is a Keratin lash lift, which gives virtually the same results, but uses a different lifting solution.
A Keratin lash lift uses a Keratin-infused solution which is said to be gentler on the lashes and give a somewhat longer hold. It requires slightly less aftercare and many lash techs are switching to this version.
Learn all about the Keratin eyelash lift here.
LASH LIFT COST
How Much Does a Lash Lift Cost?
The average lash lift cost is $105, according to PMUHub’s research across 22 US cities, but it can vary based on:
- Exclusivity of the salon
- The brand of products they use
- Whether tinting is included or charged separately.
Naturally, there are famous salons that charge more, so the prices can go up to $250.
Of course, you can get the treatment for as cheap as $50, but beware of cheap services. Sometimes newbies and inexperienced beauticians try to attract clients with low prices – which doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad! Look through their reviews and choose a salon wisely!
An eyelash perm does not require any touch ups, so there aren’t any additional costs.
Image source: Instagram @xara_beauty
LASH LIFT – MAIN TAKEAWAYS
The eyelash lift is a very popular treatment for eyelash enhancement at the moment.
It’s affordable and simple, yet it gives great long-lasting results – about 6 weeks. It’s done by applying two types of solutions that shape the lashes into an attractive, upwards curl. If you go for both a lash lift and tint, they’re also darkened for an extra effect.
It requires almost no aftercare and maintenance, so it’s definitely a more practical solution than lash extensions.
If you’re looking for a time-saving treatment that takes little time and money, the eyelash perm is just the thing for you!