When I chat about lash extensions with people they are often really unsure where to start which is normal as there is a plethora of different styles, lengths, thickness, and amounts so it can be really confusing. Today I'm going to give you a low down on what I think is the best style for those who want to make the progression from strip lashes into extensions. Cluster lashes.
You can buy these from Boots, Supermarkets, chemists with a lash section. The most common are the Eylure cluster sets, they come with 3 sizes of cluster lashes in them, glue and remover so they're a great place to start. My trays are exactly the same only I order them in bulk and it works out cheaper to go to an online seller and buying them by size rather than the packs of 3 sizes.
So these are the clusters
I order mine in 12mm, but the Eylure come in a pack with 12mm, 10mm and 8mm so it's a one stop shop for the whole eye.
I think these lashes are the best for those starting out because they have a little nobbly bit at the bottom which makes it easier to control on the lash line you also need less of them for the whole eye because each cluster has about 6 lashes on it.
For the clusters be aware that you have to disguise those little nobbly bits in your lashes as they can give you away. We'll talk about that in a minute.
Get your tools ready, you don't need much. Tweezers, a hand mirror, your glue, a steady hand and a 'devil may care' attitude.
Any tweezers that you're dexterous with will do. It's not about the specific type (although there are special lash tweezers out there that are long, but I find them quite fiddly when it comes to lash integration but that's just me) use what you are good with.
This is my glue, I've had it so long it's lost the label, it's just a semi permanent clear lash glue from Sally's Salon Services. It comes in clear and black, if you're looking for it, it's with all the lash extensions and strip lashes.
Now there's 2 options of clear and black as I've mentioned. For me I use clear with cluster lashes because the nobbly bit is already very black and when you add black glue onto that it becomes harder to disguise them. I'll chat about the glue more when we look at individual lashes.
What I will say is that with cluster lashes I would avoid the salon glues like AD and U+ black glues as they're very tricky and also very strong and more suited to individual lashes. Please if you're a beginner don't buy them and stick your eyelids together by mistake. I'm not even joking, it's nearly happened to me on occasion. The eylure ones and my favourite from Sally's will last just as long and probably won't cause the eye reaction the professional ones can.
If you buy the Eylure packs of clusters they come with a little perfume tester size glue in it, which I find desperately fiddly so I bought my own bottle, plus it lasts for ages (as my label-less bottle shows). I have my own little technique for my glue to keep it as simple as possible. Pour it in the lid, it stops it hardening then pour the remainder back into the bottle. No mess, no fuss.
Take out your lash tray, have your glue ready. Use your tweezers to gently pick up a lash from the tray. Make sure you pick them up carefully as too tight in the metal pincers and you'll bend the lash.
Carefully dip the lash into the glue, take care not to submerge the lash over the nobbly bit. When you're done take the lash out.
If you're concerned about your hand steadiness perhaps try it at a dressing table with a mirror so you can rest your elbow on the table and move your head accordingly.
Work from the outside of your eye.
The aim is to adhere the clusters to the lashes, as close to the lash line as possible.
To get them properly integrated into the lashes so they aren't just sitting on top I find it is effective to 'wiggle' the lash so it works its way into your natural lashes and the nobbly bit is somewhat hidden in the lashes.
Hopefully as you can see in the picture you hold the cluster to just below the lash line and wiggle it in.
Work your way across the eye. You want to use the longest lashes on the outside of the eye. When you get a third of the way across you use the medium size lashes and then the shortest lashes are used on the inner eye.
A new cluster should be placed where the lashes from the previous one stop. The nobbly bases don't have to be beside each other, go by where the fan of lashes on each stop and line your new lash up with them.
1. Can't get lashes to stick
Take a minute re-dip your lash, get a good view of your lash line and remember to very gently wiggle the cluster into your lashes. Release the tweezers and don't pull as you'll take the lash with you.
2. My cluster keeps sticking to my tweezers.
You've probably over dipped your lash and got a little bit of glue on the tweezers. Clean your tweezers and start again. Be careful not to hold the lash too far down so it doesn't happen again.
3. I can't seem to control the cluster very well, it goes everywhere.
You may be holding it too high up the cluster, hold it further down near the base so that you have more control where the little nobbly bit sits in your lash line and can integrate better.
4. I have been doing this forever and I keep having to redo the same one because it's not sitting properly and I'm slowly losing my mind.
Well this is a toughie, either lower your expectations and appreciate that it will take practise to get it perfect and until then very few people will notice that there's a nobbly bit on display. Keep practising as you will easily get better. I know girls who practise with strip lash glue on their individual lashes as they can remove any that don't work easily. You can try that if you want, I say keep trying and you'll be good to go.
This is an older shot but when you build up your clusters you should get an integrated look like this. I hope it's a decent example for you.
I'll be back with a tutorial on individual lashes soon for those of you curious and wanting to advance your lash skill. Until then folks.