Individual Lashes vs. Lash Extensions
There are many different kinds of lash enhancements on the market. From cheap to expensive, casual to serious, and quick to time-consuming, there’s a lash option to suit everyone’s practical needs as well as everyone’s personal style.
Ditch the mascara and read on for how to choose the lash extensions for you.
Salon Lash Extensions
When the debate between individual lashes and lash extensions comes up, the eyelash extensions in question are salon lash extensions, not DIY extensions (more on those later!). Lash extensions that you might get in a salon can be synthetic, silk, or mink.
Naturally, we don’t recommend natural mink lashes because of the animal cruelty necessary to produce them. Opt for faux mink lashes if you want the unique color and texture of mink. Silk and synthetic lashes are both great and can look quite natural; it’s just a matter of personal preference.
Applying salon lash extensions requires an appointment with a lash technician. Expect appointments for full sets to take about two to three hours and touch-up appointments to take about an hour.
While one full set of extensions may last up to eight weeks, or as long as your natural lash growth cycle, you’ll likely need one or two infill appointments to prevent obvious gaps in the extensions. You’ll need an experienced, qualified lash tech to apply your extensions, not just for aesthetics but for safety.
Lash extensions carry an inherent risk of eye infection and corneal damage, but an experienced lash tech or esthetician will minimize that risk. To protect your natural eyelashes, a lash tech can assess the maximum extension thickness and length suitable to your natural lashes; if extensions are too long or dense for the health of your natural lashes, they can cause breakage or permanent bald spots on your lash line.
Luckily, when you’re in the hands of a professional lash stylist, you can trust that someone with sharper skills can execute the lash look that you envision. Check out a new (to you) stylist’s portfolio for inspiration and reference photos. Different stylists may specialize in certain lash looks, like classic lashes or Russian volume lashes.
Don’t be afraid to shop around for a lash tech you trust with your eye health and lash style.
Even applied by a relatively new stylist, salon lash extensions will look much more natural than strip lashes or individual lashes. Salon lashes will just blend more seamlessly into your natural lashes.
A full set of salon lash extensions will last six to eight weeks, the length of your lash growth cycle. Since these extensions are attached to your natural lashes, when your lashes naturally fall out, your extensions will fall out too.
For this reason, you’ll also need a refill appointment every two or so weeks. The extensions will last as long as they’re attached to the natural lash.
There’s something a little relaxing about handing over the thinking to the professionals. Sit back, relax, and trust your stylist to do all the heavy lifting of placing and affixing the extensions.
Plus, if your stylist is particularly awesome, they’ll be able to advise you on how to style the lashes if you’re not sure what to pick. Truly, one of the things you’re paying for is their expertise.
A lash appointment may well eat your entire day. The appointment itself can be three hours long, not to mention the time commuting to and from the salon.
You’re a busy person; you can’t always take three hours away from everything else you have going on to sit in a salon chair for hours so often.
A full set of salon lash extensions can cost between $100 and $230 ($160 on average), depending on where you live and what types of lashes you’re getting. As with anything, cities are more experienced than rural towns.
Classic lashes are generally less expensive than mega-volume extensions. Then there are the overhead costs of keeping the salon in business: the space, the tool, and the technician's salary. All these costs add up to one of the most expensive false eyelashes you can get.
On top of those time-consuming appointments, you must carve out time for touch-up appointments every two weeks or so. No one really wants to make one more hour-long appointment during a busy week. Additionally, these infill appointments are at the mercy of your technician’s schedule.
Time To Find a Technician You Trust
It takes time to find the right technician for you. You need to do your research not just on style but on their cleanliness.
Check out their reviews and star ratings, ask around, and visit a salon before committing to an appointment. Don’t rush the process: you may end up with lashes you don’t love or, worse, a scratched cornea or a bacterial eye infection.
Lack of Independence
It’s strongly discouraged to remove salon lash extensions on your own. Even if they’re starting to lift, you suddenly want to change your look, or you need to reschedule your next appointment, you should allow your lash tech to remove your extensions to prevent ripping out your natural lashes.
Individual lashes are similar to strip lashes. The name is a bit misleading since it’s not really one lash but rather lash clusters of two to five lashes that all come to a single point.
These are lashes you apply at home with lash glue and tweezers. They look very similar to the extensions you might get at the salon, but you can find these lashes at almost any supply store. They usually come in a multipack, just like strip lashes, with about five pieces per set.
Applying individual lashes on your own can be tricky and takes a lot of practice. You need to be very precise with the tweezers and scant with the lash glue to avoid causing damage to your eye.
You want to apply these lashes to your upper lash line in any pattern you see fit: cat eye, doll eye, squirrel eye, or whatever arrangement suits you. Applying this type of false lash should take less than an hour.
A set of these lashes can cost between $15 and $40. They are a little pricier than strip lashes but much cheaper per set than salon extensions or DIY extensions.
But remember, you’ll need to constantly purchase new sets if you wear lashes regularly, so even if it’s cheaper upfront, it might not be the cheapest long term.
Readily Available at Beauty Supply Stores
You can walk to Ulta or Sephora right now and have your choice from many brands of individual lashes. This style of lash is super accessible, and you can apply them on your own on your schedule.
Messy, Toxic Lash Glue
A ton of lash glues on the market contain harmful ingredients like formaldehyde and cyanoacrylate. These ingredients are not only harmful to the health of your lashes but also dangerous to your eye health.
If you’re new to at-home lashes, this glue can be unwieldy since it can be tricky to determine how much glue you need per lash cluster.
Just like your real eyelashes, individual eyelashes are super fragile. Since they're not meant to be reused, these lashes will likely fall apart after a single wear. You’ll want to be careful while applying them and not touch your eyes during wear to keep them intact
Tricky To Learn
Applying individual lashes takes a lot of precision and patience. Since the glue can be super harmful to your eyes, you must take extra care to avoid getting this in your eyes. Individual lashes are really not the best choice for false lash beginners.
DIY Lash Extensions
Or, you could get the best of both worlds with practically none of the cons with DIY eyelash extensions. Sounds too good to be true, but we love lashes so much that we found a way to make it happen.
Lashify’s Gossamers are innovative at-home lash extensions that literally anyone can learn to use. You can get salon-quality false lashes without the salon price and hassle of making appointments.
Need a reference? Just ask our favorite red carpet icons how easy and gorgeous Gossamers are to wear.
To get started, grab a Control Kit, that’s our starter at-home eyelash extension kit and best seller. It comes with a cartridge of Curl Gossamers (c-curl) or Amplify Gossamers (a-curl), your choice, as well as all the tools you need to apply and remove your Gossamers.
Better for the environment and your wallet! One set of Gossamers can last nearly a year with proper care and hygiene. If you take care of your Gossamers, they’ll take care of you!
Inside the Control Kit, you’ll find a tube of Whisper Light, our lash adhesive. Unlike most lash glues, Whisper Light contains no toxic junk.
Instead, we’ve added Biotin to our no-cure formula so that your natural eyelashes stay protected in a cushion of nutrients the entire time your lash extensions are locked in place.
You can wear a set of Gossamers on a single application for 10 straight days with proper care. Then you can remove, dry, and reapply the same set!
Most Cost Effective Over Time
Since Gossamers are reusable and have such awesome longevity on a single application, these lashes will actually save you money in the long run if you wear false lashes regularly.
Gossamers take less than an hour to apply, and you can do it from your own home. No need to make and remember appointments.
No need to wait on anyone else to remove them for you. You can literally change up your look whenever you want to.
Achieve Natural Looks to Full Glam
Gossamers come in a wide variety of styles. You can achieve a natural lash look, and you can even do it in more than one way.
The Intimates Collection is perfect for color-matching natural hair colors for a barely-there look; plus, there are a number of Gossamers to help you achieve a wispy natural look.
Natural wispies not your thing? No sweat. You can also go glam with big volume and highly stylized lashes. Whatever your vibe, you can style it with pride on your own.
DIY extensions like Lashify are certainly more expensive than strip lashes or individual lashes upfront, though they’re comparable to a set of salon extensions. However, unlike any of those other false lashes, Gossamers are reusable, so it’s more of an investment.
Since the Lashify lash application system is different from that of individual lashes or strip lashes you may have applied before, there’s a bit of a learning curve to master the application. But never fear, young or old; anyone can master it with practice.
We even have a whole series of how-to tutorials to help you learn. Plus, you can always book a one-on-one video call with a Lashify stylist to help you nail your look.
The debate comes down to personal preference. If you would prefer to have an expert apply and remove your lashes, then it sounds like salon extensions are right for you. But if you’re more of a DIY kind of person, individual lashes or DIY extensions would be better for you.
Between DIY extensions and individual lashes, DIY extensions simply have more pros and fewer cons than individual lashes. If you’re asking our opinion, getting the best of both worlds with DIY extensions is the best option for most people.