Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions: The Simple Reason Why Lifts Are Better

Men and women are equally likely to have long eyelashes, yet longer eyelashes are strongly associated with female beauty. Female cartoon characters have long lashes, drag queens use oversized lashes… there are many theories for why this is.

For one reason or another, longer lashes make your eyes look wider and more sexually appealing whatever your gender is. But what if you hate wearing tons of makeup?

Well, you have 2 main options — eyelash extensions and lash lifts.

What Is A Lash Lift?

Lash Lift of a Client in Sunday Beauty Boutique
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A lash lift is a semi-permanent eyelash curling service that evolved from the lash perm.

Lash lifts add curl to your natural straight lashes using a chemical solution and a curved silicone shield which are used for around 10 minutes. Lash lift treatments last 8-12 weeks on average.

What eyelashes do is like what lipstick does, and eyelashes may actually even do it more: They draw a contrast between the eye itself and the eyelid.

Marianne LaFrance, Professor of Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies

Lash Lift Pros and Cons


  • First off, lifts just look a lot more natural. They’re using your natural lashes and are just maximizing their potential — it looks like you’re just using a really good eyelash curler all the time.
  • Lash lifts perfect the positioning of your lashes, making them look neater and easier to apply mascara to.
  • There can be less irritation with lifts, as you’re only treating your natural eyelash hairs rather than gluing stuff to your lashes.
  • Maintenance is roughly every 8-12 weeks with lash lifts, so they’re a lot easier to keep on top of.
  • As your eyelash lift treatment wears off, it’s not very obvious, and it’s easy to wear mascara in the interim! Your lashes will just naturally look less curled over time.


  • You need lashes that are quite naturally long to begin with. If your lashes are already short, there’s only so much you can do — you’d probably be better off with lash extensions. A lash lift for short lashes is going to be limited.
  • You can’t get lash extensions once you’ve got a lash lift. If you’re going for a glamorous dramatic look, you’re stuck with regular old mascara.
  • There can be damage to your natural lashes — this is why your appointment should always be booked with a professional beauty technician.

What Are Lash Extensions?

Lash Extensions of a Client in Sunday Beauty Boutique
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Lash extensions are essentially synthetic individual lashes that are applied to your natural lashes with medical-grade glue. [1]

They come in various sizes and styles for a wide range of subtle and dramatic looks to customize.

However, because they’re applied to your real lashes, they usually fall out within a month due to the natural eyelash cycle.

Lash Extensions Pros and Cons


  • Eyelash extensions give you a more dramatic, glamorous look every single day that you’re wearing them. They’re great for weddings and special events where beauty is a priority.
  • You never have to apply mascara! The extensions alone give your eyes a pop of beauty.


  • You need to make sure they’re applied by a well-trained beauty technician or else they can look awful or damage your natural lashes.
  • There is always the risk that the medical-grade adhesive could be irritating to the eyes or skin.
  • You can’t ever “tone down” your makeup look — you’re 100% glam 100% of the time. Not ideal if you’ve got a job interview coming up, perhaps.
  • High maintenance — eyelash extensions need replacing every few weeks and constant touch-ups in between. It can get expensive and time-consuming.

Differences Between Lash Lifts and Lash Extensions


Lash Lift and Lash Extensions Cost
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Lifting is much more cost-effective than extensions. Lash lifts cost anywhere from $75 to $150 and can last 8-12 weeks — my salon in particular provides a lash lift and tint service for just $115.

Eyelash extension treatment, on the other hand, costs up to $250 and lasts for only 1 month, or even less.


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Process
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Image Sources: ELLE and Lash Affair

When getting a lash lift, your top and bottom lashes are separated and a silicone shield is used to curl your lashes with a lifting solution for around 8-12 minutes. Afterwards, a setting solution and a lash conditioner help to set your lashes and keep them in good condition.

Getting a lash extension, on the other hand, is a lengthy process (it usually takes a few hours) which requires individually gluing synthetic fibers to your real lashes one by one.

In general, lash lifts are a lot simpler and take much less time to do.


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Solution Kits
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Image Source: Sugarlash Pro

While both lash lifts and extensions use chemicals and glues, lash lifts only use them briefly during the appointment and then remove them.

However, lash extensions require you to wear medical-grade adhesive for weeks at a time. Wearing glue for this long can increase your chances of irritation and bad reactions.

Here at Sunday Beauty Boutique, we use Sugarlash Pro Lash Lift 360 for our lash lift appointments.The product comes complete with a nourishing solution to help condition the lashes. [2]


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Style
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Image Source: Getty Images

There’s no denying that extensions increase the range of makeup styles and eyelash shapes you can flaunt. You could choose a subtle “I’m just wearing a little mascara” look or a bold, over-the-top glamorous style.

You could look like Kim K at the Met Gala every single day if you wanted to!

On the other hand, lifts can only curl and lengthen your natural lashes, so the potential to customize dramatic styles is limited to what your momma gave you and how experienced your technician is.


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Effect
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Lash lifts tend to have a more powerful effect on your eyes because they look fuller, bigger, and more beautiful naturally — it’s easy to think that your lashes are naturally that long and curly.

Conversely, extensions tend to look more artificial and made-up (because they are!). If your goal is to look like a natural beauty, lifting is definitely the way to go for most people.


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Maintenance
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Image Sources: Gabriela Guerino and Shanney Thich

As Elle Magazine describes it, lash lifts are "gloriously low maintenance."

You might want to consider using nourishing products like EyEnvy as conditioner for your lashes, but you basically just live your life as normal, applying mascara if you want to. After 8-12 weeks, you just get it done again!

On the other hand, extensions require you to sleep carefully, clean or groom the lashes regularly, and avoid getting them in contact with any oil-based products that could break down the glue.

This really limits you in terms of makeup, moisturizers, and lotions. You’ll usually also have to get the extensions replaced in 1 month or less.


Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions Allergies
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Image Source: Ashley Van Beauty

Generally speaking, lash extension treatments are harsher on your eyes because they use incredibly strong glue which is bonded to your natural lashes.

Allergies and bad reactions are rare, but they can develop over time. Sometimes you’ll find that your eyes are a bit irritated and red after treatment, but this usually subsides in an hour or so. Like anything, you need to just be careful and take note of how your body reacts to the treatment.

The Sugarlash Pro Lash Lift 360 products that we use here at Sunday Beauty Boutique are gentle on the skin and are best for most clients. In rare cases, clients might find that the skin around their eyes are too sensitive for eyelash extensions or lifting, in which case we would stop treatment immediately.

Lash lifts add curl to your natural straight lashes using a chemical solution and a curved silicone shield which are used for around 10 minutes.

Conclusion: Are Lash Lifts For You?

I hope you enjoyed that guide to the difference between eyelash extensions vs eyelash lifts!

If you’ve got a big event or vacation coming up or you don’t mind the cost and maintenance of lash extensions, then perhaps extensions are the way to go.

However, if you’re looking for fuller lashes with more volume and you don’t want too much upkeep, then lash lifting is totally for you.

Here at Sunday Beauty Boutique, we perform the best lash lifting and tinting services for just $115.

With a lash lift and tint we’ll curl your lashes for you and we’ll also use a special dye to tint them, giving you naturally longer, darker, and more curled lashes.

Kiss your eyelash curler goodbye!




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About the Author Catherine

As a kid, I discovered the world of Japanese nail art through a magazine and since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about anything related to nails! After following a more traditional educational path and earning my Bachelor's of Science in Food and Nutrition, I decided it was time to pursue my childhood passion. In 2015, I earned my diploma from Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Technology Program. After that, I got certified with YUMI Lashes and opened Sunday Beauty Boutique in 2017. These days, I'm focused on providing a 'no rush' experience to a select clientele, teaching as a nail instructor at Blanche Macdonald, as well as providing resources on beauty related topics to clients and estheticians on my blog.

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