The Lash Lowdown: False Lashes vs. Lash Extensions

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I am a self-confessed lash addict. I love the way long lashes make me feel, and I'm not ashamed to say I've become a bit dependent on them - my eyes just look so much bigger, brighter and better with them on. I naturally have really sparse, stumpy lashes that even the best mascara in the world struggles to beautify, so wearing lashes on a daily basis has become the norm to me.

Of course, strip lashes aren't the only option for people looking to get long lashes in their lives. Lash extensions are another option, and one which I have flirted with in the past. But how do you know which is the best option for you?

Strip Lashes vs. Lash Extensions

Strip lashes and lash extensions are, in my opinion, the best way of getting long, voluminous lashes. However, they are two very different ways of achieving long, thick lashes, with different cost implications and varying things to consider. I'm going to run through the pros and cons of both options to give you a better idea of which is right for you. 

Strip Lashes 

Strip lashes are my most commonly-used method of achieving big lashes, and they are also the most readily available - pop down to your local Boots or Superdrug, pick up a pair and you can be wearing them within minutes. They are affordable too - a pair will cost you around a fiver (or less if you love Primark lashes like me - you're talking £1 a pop!) and can be used over and over again. Yes - you read right - you can wear lashes more than once. A lot of people new to lashes seem to think it's one wear and get in the bin, but this is totally wrong. Look after your falsies and they can last you ages, so that £5 can go a long way when you think about cost per wear.

Another great thing about them is there are so many different brands offering strip lashes now, in a multitude of styles. Want thick, uber long, mink-style lashes? Perhaps you're feeling fluttery, feathery lashes today, or something more natural? Whatever your lash style, there will be a pair out there for you. My personal favourite brands for everyday wear are Eylure, Primark, Ardell, Eye Candy and Kiss. For going-out styles, I love House of Lashes and Certifeye, who offer fake mink styles.

Of course, strip lashes aren't for everyone. They can be fiddly to put on for starters - I've only just about mastered getting them on relatively quickly, but that's after years of wear them every day. Top tip: wait a few minutes until the glue goes really tacky before applying. Also, remember to trim them down to fit your eye.

As well as struggling to apply them, some people find them uncomfortable or too fake-looking, or just generally a bit of a faff to wear. So, I can see why extensions would be an option for some.

Lash Extensions

Lash extensions are another very viable option when it comes to long lashes. While they aren't as affordable as strip lashes, once they're on, they're on for the long-haul and can save so much time when it comes to doing your makeup in the morning. You'll need to book in at a salon to get them done, and I really do think it matters where you go for something like lash extensions. Check out the reviews for salons in your area - most salons share before and afters on their social media pages so you can get an idea of the kind of styles they're good at. Nouveau Lashes are pros in the world of lashes so if you choose a salon that has those, you can be pretty sure you're in good hands. 

Once you've picked your salon, application takes about an hour and a half for that first full set. In terms of pricing, it can be anything from £40-£60, depending on your area. You won't have to pay this every time though - infills (which take around 45 minutes) cost around £20-£30 and you'll need to book in for these every three weeks. 

The results you get with a good lash technician are amazing - you can choose the kind of style/volume you'd like, and walk out of the salon with full, fluttery lashes that look as natural or full-on as you'd like. I do find them on par with strip lashes in terms of comfort, if not slightly more comfortable, and it's amazing waking up in the morning with no makeup on and still having long lashes. 

There are downsides to extensions, however, which are my main reason for not wearing them all the time. Firstly, they are obviously not cheap, and upkeep is something you need to bear in mind. Also, you need to make sure you're really careful with your extensions - try not to rub your eyes, lie on them and oily skincare is an absolute no-no. Stick to oil-free makeup remover and you should be fine, but if you're a fan of lots of oils and rich skincare, extensions probably aren't for you. If you wear liquid liner a lot (like I do) they can also be a bit of a pain - I have to use a cotton bud with eye makeup remover to take mine off without damaging my extensions, and I do feel like with extensions I'm not giving my face as thorough a cleanse as I normally would. Also, whilst they look incredible when you've first had them done, over time you do lose lashes and they can start to look a bit ratty if you don't look after them (regularly brushing them is an absolute must!). 

So, which is best for you?

To be honest, I really think it depends on the individual and what kind of lifestyle you have whether or not you choose extensions or strip lashes. Strip lashes are great if you're only looking for that 'big night out' style, or if you have time in the morning to spend a little longer doing your makeup. Extensions are perfect for holidays (and I will always get them whenever I go away for this reason) but you have to be prepared for the upkeep and the potential skincare issues that wearing them long-term can bring. If you want longer lashes 24/7 though, or don't have much time to do your makeup in the morning, these are perfect. 

On the left I'm wearing strip lashes, on the right I have fresh lash extensions. 

For me personally, I've decided for now strip lashes are the best option, as I can switch them up as often as I like and, as I try out new skincare a lot through my blog, it's always better for me to be able to have a really thorough skincare routine that worrying about ruining my lashes won't get in the way of. That, and the fact I like my lashes BIG, especially for a night out, and sometimes I find extensions aren't big enough. I do always opt for Russian lashes when I get extensions though, which are as big as you can go. 

Which do you prefer? Let me know if you're a lash addict like myself!