Who can still remember how excited we were to be working with J-Curls? I guess I am showing my age with this post (or at least I am admitting how long I have been involved in lashes, enhancements and everything surrounding these!)
J-Curl lashes were the first available curl and they came lose in little clear plastic pots… and what is worse, is that everyone thought “the thicker the better” so 0.25 diameter was the norm back then!
How excited were we when the B-curl was introduced and it was such a novelty to have a “stronger” curl. Little did we know that the curls would advance to DD curl now.
The single lashes were supplied lose in a little clear tub and we always needed a few minutes before each appointment to sort the lashes in order to make the appointment easier and less fiddly. Just looking at the lash trays, we have come such a long way, the lash extensions are now aligned on strips for easier pickup and application, the trays are made from cardboard to ensure we stay as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible and there are even pre-made and easy fan lashes… oh… not to forget colored lashes. Who would have thought we would ever apply creative lash art?
Lashes are now available in different curls(includingJ/B/C/CC/D/DD/L/M) just to name a few and diameters from 0.03 so its a world away from where we started!
Further more, back when the J-Curl was popular we also had cluster lashes.Yes, they were very popular as they gave an instant effect and created a fuller look (Does this sound familiar to you?)
Yes, those were the beginnings of volume lashes!
With extensive research we have all learned that cluster lashes can cause damage to the natural lash if applied incorrectly or worn too long and especially the lash thickness has an impact on the lash health!
Fast forward to today and we are seeing a multitude of volume lashes and most lash artists now offer Volume sets – so how is this different to theClusters back then?
First of all the diameter is finer. Volume lashes should be 0.03 up to 0.10max depending on the volume that is applied. The more lashes you apply as a fan the thinner and thus lighter the lashes have to be.
You will see a huge array of single lashes for Russian or handmade volume (I will explain the difference in a minute) but also pre and pro-made fans and the range can vary from dainty 2D fans in 0.03 up to 10 or even 20D.
As you can imagine this is a colossal difference and just because certain fans are available on the market does not necessarily mean that it is safe or advisable to use these!
Secondly the adhesive plays an important part. Handmade fans offer the ability to control the amount of adhesive, whilst pre-made fans can be heat bonded or pre-bonded by glue.
Thirdly the application time is different between those different lashes but each type also offers pros and cons that we are going to look at next:
Let’s start at the beginning….
Cluster lashes are pre-bonded with adhesive, they tend to be heavier lashes and need to be applied with a special adhesive (strip or cluster lash adhesive) to be only worn for a couple of days, hence the reason they are also called weekend lashes.
The idea to apply these lashes with semi permanent adhesive to make them longer lasting is a huge NO!
Russian or handmade volume are single lashes that are picked up as a fan by the lash artist to then be applied as a fan to a single natural lash. This is a very intricate process and requires a lot of skill, in fact I would call it an art if someone has mastered to apply the fans neatly.
As you can imagine it does take some time and patience to learn this and it isn’t uncommon for lashers to get frustrated along the way but the outcome is beautiful and the design options are endless so you can create a truly bespoke set for your clients.
On the other hand you have pre-mades-these are lashes that have been aligned as fans on a strip so you can literally pick them up and place them. There is a choice of fans, curls and diameters and you can also get colored fans however you are more limited in the choice as you have to work with the fans that are available on the market. Whilst it can be quicker to apply these, the cost per client is also higher so you have to weigh up if the additional cost outweighs the time saving as you can o er more treatments in the same amount of time.
Other pre-made lashes can be glue bonded which means that they have a little bulb of adhesive which holds them together. This is very similar to the traditional cluster lashes and if you imagine that glue bulb is being dipped into your adhesive in order to apply them to the natural lash then you can imagine that the ” bulb ” will be quite big (and heavy ) and noticeable.
The choice of lashes is huge and the fact that you are picking up the fans allows you to mix curls for a layered look, you can mix lengths for a feathered look or you can create specialty sets a la Kim K. Furthermore you can mix in colors or create lash art with handmade volume.
Pre-made fans still vary hugely in quality so just because lashes are called pre-made fans does not always make them good fans. Firstly you have the quality of the lash itself and how well it holds the curl (no different to classic lashes) but you also have to consider the bond of the fan. The higher quality fans will be heat bonded which means they have literally no adhesive in order to create the fan on the strip. Experienced lashers will find it easy to pick these fans up but newbies can find it a bit tricky as the fans can fall apart if you are not experienced in picking up fans.
You also get pro-mades… These are fans that have been created by a lash artist and placed onto a strip or in a tub for you so that you can apply these as fans to your clients natural lashes.
Each type has its advantages and disadvantages and each type has its dedicated followers and a lot of lashers are keen to jump straight into volume but it is worth learning classic lashes first and then once you have mastered isolation and application it is time to venture into volume.
A course will help you learn the theory behind volume lashes, how to create fans and how best to apply them in order to maintain lash health and style the set to your clients wishes.
Pre-made or pro-made lashes can be mistaken for a short-cut into volume but most insurances will not cover you for the application of volume lashes (no matter if they are handmade/pre-made/pro-made)so it is worth learning this skill and spending the time to perfect this so that you can offer your clients volume sets that you can be proud of-and no doubt your clients will recommend you to friends and family. After all, word of mouth is still the strongest marketing tool and you would want your business to stand out for quality and service so it is worth putting the effort ( and sweat and tears ) into this.