Magnetic Lashes vs. Lash Extensions
Having so many lash enhancement options to choose from can feel overwhelming. From the infinite supply on Amazon to the fluorescent aisles of Sephora and Ulta, it can be super hard to choose which false eyelashes are best for you.
Let’s take a little time to help make that choice easier and more informed by comparing two popular fake lash options: magnetic lashes and lash extensions.
Magnetic eyelashes are a type of strip lash, but they’re the most modern take on the style. We’ll talk more about traditional strip lashes in a minute to give you a point of comparison. Magnetic lashes come in two basic forms: magnetic eyeliner and dual magnetic spines.
Magnetic Eyelashes With Magnetic Eyeliner
The most common type of magnetic lashes utilizes a magnetic liquid eyeliner to adhere to the lash line. At first glance, it looks just like regular liquid eyeliner and can be applied similarly.
They add pigment and definition to the lash line while they hold the strip lash in place. What makes the eyeliner magnetic? Iron oxides act as a magnet to the false lashes they’re sold with. You can’t really buy magnetic lashes without the falsies in a magnetic lash kit.
Magnetic fake eyelashes like these can be just as disposable and single-use as traditional strip lashes, or they can be slightly reusable; it depends on the brand. Even the “reusable” ones are only reusable for a handful of uses before they look beat up. Popular brands of this style of lash include Glamnetic, Moxie Lash, and Kiss Magnetic Eyeliner.
People love magnetic lashes because the application is so easy. If you know how to apply liquid eyeliner, you know how to apply magnetic lashes.
They’re even easier to remove since there’s no glue to dissolve; you can literally just peel them off. You want to be as gentle and slow as possible to avoid tugging on the natural lashes or the delicate skin around your eyes.
Start at the outer corner and peel toward the inner corner. You can then remove the eyeliner with any oil-based makeup remover.
The downside to this is that they don’t have an incredibly strong bond and can be tugged off your eyes easily, potentially causing some damage to your natural lashes. You can minimize damage by being very careful upon removal, doing a patch test of the liner before applying, and only applying the liner to the upper lash line instead of along the waterline.
Applying along the waterline increases your risk of getting the iron oxide in your eye, which would be irritating, though unlikely to cause long-term damage. But is magnetic liner harmless overall?
Well, generally, yes. One huge benefit of magnetic lashes is the lack of traditional lash glue, which we’ll talk about when we get to traditional strip lashes. Iron oxides are actually a super common ingredient in sunscreen and other skin care formulas.
Magnetic lashes are safer than strip lashes because they pose less risk of damage to your lashes and a lower risk of scratching and infection for your eyeball.
Magnetic Eyelashes With Dual Magnetic Spines
Only some people like or are great at applying eyeliner. Did you know there are also magnetic falsies that don’t need eyeliner or liquid adhesive? These magnetic lashes come in two strips of lashes per eye. Each lash strip contains tiny magnets in the spine.
This lash style is less common than magnetic liner lashes, but they still come in a few different styles, including half-lash strips. One might opt for a half-lash strip if the full strip is just too much volume or you’re focusing on a cat-eye look.
One popular drugstore brand of this kind of lash is Ardell, which offers styles ranging from obviously fake to more subtle and wispy. However, this style is slowly gaining popularity because the idea of a completely “no glue” application is very appealing, so expect to see more brands offering this style in the next few years.
You apply these lashes by sandwiching them around your natural lashes, one each above and below your upper lashes. They cling to each other instead of your lash line.
You can usually apply them with your (clean) fingers, but some brands will include a special tool that looks like an eyelash curler to help you nail the application every time. You don’t want to use tweezers or other metal application tools since the magnets will cling to metal, making it nearly impossible to get them to cling to your eye instead.
This is not a good fit for you if you have eczema or sensitivity to metals like nickel or iron. Does the button on your jeans irritate your skin? What about costume jewelry? If yes, you may have a sensitivity or slight allergy to nickel. Nickel is actually a very common skin irritant, even for people without sensitive skin. If you have eczema, these metals may contribute to flare ups around your eyes.
With a little practice, lash application for this style can take as little as one minute. They’re great for casual wear. These lashes are not intended for use on lower lashes. You can pair these with mascara, but you must apply the mascara to your natural lashes and let it dry before applying these lashes.
This style is more reusable than the magnetic eyeliner falsies and much more reusable than traditional strip lashes, but not as reusable as DIY lash extensions. They’re just not durable enough to withstand more than a handful of wears.
Removing these lashes for the day or just repositioning them is equally quick and easy. You can just use your (clean) fingers. Lightly pinch them at the spine, and gently use your thumb and pointer finger to massage the spine back and forth until the magnets unclick. Then just slide them off.
While this method is certainly easy, it’s not the safest since you’ll likely pull out some natural lashes in the process. This is perhaps the biggest downside to this style of lashes: wearing them poses no threat, but removing them could be a hazard to lashes that are not very strong. Many wearers report that these lashes feel heavy like they’re weighing down their natural lashes.
Another downside to this style of lashes is that they often have a hard time blending into your natural lashes, even in classic styles. You can often see the magnets in the spines from a few feet away, and that’s a deal breaker for some.
Some wearers even reported feeling the magnets on the lash line and found it incredibly irritating. As we mentioned, it’s a relatively new style, so manufacturers are still working to solidify a comfortable, practical, and natural design.
A lot of brands are getting poor customer reviews right now because, despite the ease of application, the results are not as high quality as other enhancements like extensions. However, if you’re sold on the concept, the best recommendation we can give is to opt for a wispy lash style to get a better blend into your natural lashes.
Other Types of False Eyelashes
Traditional Strip Lashes
Like most magnetic lashes, strip lashes are a single band of lash fibers. Traditional falsies must be glued to your lash line with lash glue and tweezers.
These lashes are generally pretty cheap; however, since strip lashes are strictly single-use, the cost increases every time you need to buy a new set (frequently). Many people think that regular strip lashes are heavy and unwieldy to apply. The glue can get messy, which presents a risk of getting glue in your eye.
Most traditional lash glue contains cyanoacrylate and formaldehyde, which are toxic to the meibomian glands responsible for producing necessary lubricating oils for your eyes. Lash glue can also scratch or scar the cornea, causing burning, itching, and redness in and around your eye.
Even the vapors of some lash glues can be enough to irritate your eyes. Negative reactions to lash glue typically have similar symptoms to eye infections, so it’s in your best interest to see a doctor promptly in the event you get lash glue in your eye. You can wipe away excess glue with a cotton swab to prevent it from getting in your eye.
Self-adhesive lashes are similar to falsies that use magnetic eyeliner, but they still use the same lash glue as traditional strip lashes. The glue comes pre-tacky on the lash band, so there’s less risk of glue dripping into your eye, and they're less messy in general.
They still need to be measured and trimmed to fit your eye shape like any strip lash. They’re fast to apply but not as fast as the dual magnetic spine lashes. However, self-adhesive lashes are strictly single-use.
Salon Lash Extensions
When you think of lash extensions, you probably think of lashes applied by a lash tech or an esthetician in a lash salon. The traditional lash extensions you can get at a salon can be synthetic, silk, or mink.
Faux mink lashes are synthetic and generally a better choice than real mink because of the ethical concerns regarding the animal cruelty inherent in the production of real mink lashes. Faux mink can still produce the same unique color if you desire it.
Salon Lash extensions are individual lashes or lash clusters adhered directly to your natural lashes. Therefore, since your lashes fall out and regrow every six to eight weeks as part of their natural growth cycle, these extensions will fall out after eight weeks.
Naturally, you’ll need an appointment to get salon lashes. A typical lash appointment for a full set of lashes lasts two to three hours and costs between $100 and $230, depending on your location and the lash style you’re having done.
You’ll need a touch-up appointment every two to three weeks and a fully new set every eight weeks. The costs add up quickly since you’ll need a fresh set after that period.
Recall that the lash salon also has to charge for their overhead costs and the technician’s salary, and it becomes clear that salon extensions are perhaps the most expensive lash enhancement option.
DIY Lash Extensions
DIY lashes, particularly Gossamers from Lashify, can get you professional-looking, salon-quality lash extensions at home. Sounds too good to be true? Nope!
The most trusted names in beauty agree that Gossamers are the where-have-you-been-all-my-life lash solution for gorgeous lashes any day of the week. The application process may take a few tries to perfect, but with a little practice, anyone can become their own lash tech!
When you get started as a beginner with Lashify, you should start with The Control Kit. The Control Kit is our starter eyelash kit that contains everything you need to apply and remove a classic lash look.
You’ll find your first set of Gossamers, Lashify’s lightweight, cruelty-free, premium Korean PBT silk eyelash extensions, in the kit. Gossamers come in a wide variety of styles, but for beginners, we recommend starting with a classic lash, so you can choose from Amplify, Bold, or Classic for your Control Kit.
Gossamers are extremely personalizable in a way that strip lashes simply aren’t. Since Gossamers come in clusters, you can mix and match lash styles in any lash map to really make your look your own.
Going for a natural look? Check out the Intimates Collection! Is full glam your vibe? Check out the Volume Collection for bold, fluttery, piecey, or dramatic looks.
We even offer bright color options in the Prismatics Collection. When we invite you to become your own lash stylist, we truly give you full creative control!
You’ll also find a tube of our unique lash bond, Whisper Light, in the Control Kit. Unlike traditional lash glue, Whisper Light contains no toxic junk. Instead, it contains biotin to keep your lashes nourished in a soft, non-hardening formula.
DIY lash extensions may seem pricey to some upfront, but the upfront cost is more of an investment since the Gossamers are reusable for months. Plus, you can get 10 days straight of wear from a single application with proper care. No need to pay for touch-up appointments.
Personal preference, but our preference is DIY lash extensions since it gets you the best of both worlds. Even the best magnetic lashes are not as long-lasting as extensions on a single application or as reusable lashes.
Traditional lash extensions are high quality and last a full lash cycle, but they’re expensive, inaccessible, and time-consuming. DIY lash extensions balance independence with professional quality, all for a very reasonable cost.