Lash lift 101: How long does a lash lift last, how does it work and does it damage your lashes

Lash lift 101: Everything you need to know about lash lifts from how they work to how long they last

3rd April 2023 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Lash lifts have soared in popularity in recent years, offering a natural-looking way to enhance the appearance of your eyelashes – but how do they work, and how long does a lash lift last? 


With more of us opting for more subtle makeup looks and ditching glam for minimalism and the no-makeup makeup look, the popularity of lash lifts has soared.

It’s the third most popular beauty treatment – behind microblading and dermaplaning – according to a recent study and it not only helps give you a beautiful, wide-eyed look but it can save you precious time not having to put mascara on each morning.

If you’ve been considering a lash lift and don’t know what to expect, or you’re just curious to know more, here’s our ultimate guide to lash lifts.

FURTHER READING: Diablo Lash Kit review: Is it really possible to get a professional lash lift at home?


What is a lash lift?

As the name suggests, a lash lift uses chemicals to temporarily lift and curl your natural lashes. Similar to how a perm uses chemicals to change and hold the shape of the hair on your head, lash lift chemicals temporarily reshape your eyelashes.


Lash lift vs lash extensions

Lash extensions, on the other hand, involve adding individual false lashes to make your existing lashes look longer or thicker.

“If you are new to lash treatments, it can be confusing to understand lash terminology,” said Debbie Law, International Lash Trainer at Nouveau Lashes.

“Both [lash lifts and lash extensions] can create the appearance of fuller, thicker-looking lashes with added volume but one uses a chemical process to alter the shape of your natural lashes and the other uses individual or fans of synthetic lashes that are applied to your natural lashes with adhesive.”

Lash lifts are lower maintenance than lash extensions because you don’t have to worry about them falling out or needing to get infills. They can also save you time in your morning routine. However, their impact and lift are only as good as your natural lashes. If you have short, thin lashes then the effect will be more subtle than someone who has longer, thicker lashes naturally.

Lash extensions are higher maintenance but they typically create a fuller, more glam look.


How do lash lifts work?

Before any beauty treatment that involves chemicals, you need to get a patch test. This is where a small amount of the chemical or dye used in the treatment is applied to the skin and left for up to 48 hours to check to see if it causes a reaction.

If you don’t experience any reaction, your lash lift will involve the following steps. These are largely the same, regardless of which lash lift you opt for, although some steps might be skipped or combined.

  • Cleanse: A lash technician will cleanse your lashes, to remove any makeup or oils that might interfere with the lifting process
  • Shield: Next, they’ll apply a silicone mold to the eyelid. This acts as a base for the lashes to be lifted and curled
  • Bond: A special gel, known as bonding gel, will be applied to the lashes and the lashes will be pressed against the shield to create the curl and lift
  • Lift: A lifting balm is applied which allows the structure and shape of your lashes to change and be lifted at the root
  • Fix: This is then followed by a lash fix which locks the new shape in place
  • Tint: If you’re having a lash lift and tint, the tint will be brushed over the lashes to darken them and add volume and depth.
  • Moisturise: Finally, the technician will apply a moisturising serum to nourish the lashes. This also helps ease them off the shield gently, revealing lifted lashes without causing damage.

Different types of lash lifts

Diablo Lash Lift worth itDiablo Cosmetics

There are several different types of lash lifts available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. Traditional Lash Lift: The traditional lash lift is the most common type of lash lift which uses a perming solution to create a long-lasting curl. An LVL lash lift is the same as a traditional lash lift. It stands for Length, Volume and Lift and is the name given to lash lifts performed by Nouveau Lashes – the company that invented the LVL – and only uses Nouveau Lashes.
  2. Keratin Lash Lift: A keratin lash lift uses a keratin-infused solution to not only lift and curl the lashes but also nourish and strengthen them.
  3. Y Lash Lift: A Y lash lift is a more advanced type of lash lift where the technician uses a Y-shaped mold to lift and curl the lashes.
  4. Lash Perming: Lash perming is another type of lash lift that uses a perming solution to curl the lashes.
  5. Semi-Permanent Lash Lift: Semi-permanent lash lifts use a stronger lifting solution to create a more dramatic look.

Lash lifts are often combined with lash tints. “A lash tint will typically take place after the lashes are lifted, or you can opt for a tint on its own if you do have lighter lashes,” said Law. “Whilst a lash lift creates lift and volume in the lashes, the tint will then darken the lashes, giving them even more definition and stand out.”


How long does a lash lift last?

LVL lash lift after resultNouveau Lashes

One of the most common questions people ask is how long do lash lifts last. The short answer is – it depends!

On average, lash lifts can last anywhere from four to eight weeks yet the exact length of time can depend on:

  • Your natural lash growth cycle
  • The type of lash lift used
  • How well you take care of the lashes after treatment

Everyone’s lashes grow at different rates, but on average, lashes go through a three-phase growth cycle that lasts approximately six to eight weeks. This means that if you get a lash lift at the beginning of your lash growth cycle, the lift may last longer than if you get it towards the end of the cycle. Not that it’s possible to really know where in the cycle you are.

Traditional lash lifts typically last around four to six weeks, while keratin lash lifts can last up to eight weeks. Semi-permanent lash lifts, which use a stronger lifting solution, can last up to 12 weeks.


How long after a lash lift can I shower?

It’s important to avoid getting the lashes wet for the first 24 hours after the treatment. Also, try not to rub or pull at the lashes so it’s a good idea to avoid wearing mascara or makeup certainly in the first couple of days. Using a lash conditioner or serum can help to nourish and protect the lashes, which can help the lift last longer because it makes your lashes stronger, and less likely to fall out.


Can you wear mascara with a lash lift?

What is mascara made ofiStock

Beauticians advise not wearing mascara for at least the first 24-48 hours after a lash lift as the oils in the mascara can weaken the solution, which can reduce the impact of the lash lift.

It’s not just the mascara itself that causes problems, either. When you wear mascara, you’re more likely to wash your face and pull at the lashes (even accidentally) when trying to remove the mascara. This can lessen the impact of the lash lift.

After the initial period, it’s fine to wear mascara but make sure you remove it gently and try to avoid oily eye makeup remover. It’s also worth avoiding waterproof mascara as this is notoriously difficult to get off, and usually requires oil or balm. Two enemies of the lash lift.


Does lash lift damage lashes?

Law told mamabella, “It’s very unlikely that a lash lift will damage your natural lashes if performed by a qualified lash artist using certified products that have been specifically developed for lifting eyelashes. However, if done incorrectly, this could cause some lash loss or irritation, so make sure to always visit a professional lash artist, and avoid any online uncertified DIY lash lift kits.”

If anything, not wearing as much mascara, curling your lashes, or washing and potentially pulling at your lashes as much could be beneficial. You just need to make sure you’re conditioning the lashes and looking after them.


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