If you’ve just started your lash career and don’t have your dream salon yet, know that you can do a 5-star lash lift at home. All you need are the right tools, products, and skills. A successful at-home lash lift comes down to mastering 6 basic steps.
The basic steps to doing a lash lift at home are 1) selecting the right kit, 2) assessing and cleaning the lashes, 3) choosing and attaching the shields, 4) applying the lifting solution, 5) applying the setting solution, and 6) conditioning the lashes.
You use sharp objects and chemicals on the eye area during a lash lift, so you must be sure what you’re doing. Whether at a salon or at home, you don’t want to wing this beauty procedure. Looking for pointers from someone who’s been lashing for over a decade and knows the ins and outs of lash lifts? You’re at the right place!
Keep scrolling for your step-by-step guide to doing lash lifts at home, packed with pro tips and mistakes to avoid.
How to Do an At-Home Lash Lift (Step-by-Step)
Before we get stuck into how to lift and curl lashes like a pro, I need to check: are you planning to lift your lashes?
Uh-oh! I strongly advise against doing a lash lift on yourself. You must close your eyes during the procedure to protect them against irritation and injury, and it’s just impossible to do a lash lift properly with your eyes shut. I’ve done countless successful procedures on clients, but I wouldn’t risk doing one on myself.
Another thing: ensure the person is a strong candidate for a lash lift before you start working on their lashes. Check my cheat sheet to help you decide if someone is a good fit for the procedure.
Okay, that’s out of the way! Let’s start with the steps to a successful lash lift at home:
- Step #1: Select the right kit
- Step #2: Assess and clean the lashes
- Step #3: Choose and attach the shields
- Step #4: Apply the softening solution
- Step #5: Apply the setting solution
- Step #6: Condition the lashes
Must-know! At-home lash lift kits have different products and instructions, but most include the 6 basic steps I’ll go over in this post.
Now for the details…
Step #1: Select the Right Kit
You’ll find all sorts of at-home lash lift kits, from no-frills to deluxe.
Here’s what your kit must include and extras you’ll probably find helpful:
Lash Lift Kit Essentials
These are kit must-haves:
- Silicone shields in at least 3 different sizes
- Lash glue
- Softening solution (also called lifting or perm solution)
- Setting solution (sometimes called fixing solution)
- Clear instructions
Lash Lift Kit Extras
Here are useful bonus items in some kits:
- Undereye gel patches (to stick down lower lashes so they don’t get in the way)
- Y-comb (a nifty tool with fine teeth to help you work with precision)
- Spoolie brushes (clean mascara wands)
- Glue ring (a clever tool that keeps just as much glue as you need on hand. Literally!)
- Nourishing, moisturizing, or strengthening treatments
Safety tip! Do a patch test to drop the risk of a bad reaction to the procedure. Dab a little of the lash lift products on the arm and monitor the area for 48 hours for signs of irritation.
Step #2: Assess and Clean the Lashes
Most lash lift kits give a minimum and maximum time for how long the softening solution should stay on lashes (more about this in step #4).
Look at the lashes.
Are they slightly curled and fine? They’ll need the shortest processing time.
Are they thick and super straight? These stubborn lashes will need the max processing time.
Now that you know the lash type, clean them! Lash lifts only work on clean lashes, so wash off all traces of dirt, makeup, skin cells, and oil. Then dry the lashes with a mini fan, and they’re ready to be lifted.
Pro tip! Mascara can leave a residue that’s hard to remove in one go. Lash lifts are more likely to work on lashes that haven’t worn waterproof mascara for at least 48 hours and regular mascara for a day.
Step #3: Choose and Attach Shields
The shield you use can make or break your lash lift. Pick a shield that’s too small, and you risk over-lifting lashes. Choose one that’s too big, and the lashes might lack oomph.
Here’s how you can find the shield that will lift lashes just right1:
- Place the glue-free shield against the lash line and comb the lashes over the shield.
- The right size allows lashes to cover about 70% of the shield (when you apply glue to the lashes and stick them to the shield, they’ll stretch to just about the end).
- If the lashes go beyond 70% of the shield, you must go up a size. Lashes that reach halfway or less across the shield need a smaller size.
Apply glue to the back of the perfect-sized shield and position it right against the lash line without covering any part of the lashes. Then stick the lashes to the shield, section by section. As you brush the lashes against the shield, keep them straight, separated, and stuck fast.
Pro tips! Don’t slather on the glue, as using too much can stop the lifting solution from working properly. And tightly close the lid as soon as you’re done with the glue to keep it fresh for longer.
Step #4: Apply the Softening Solution
Next, apply the softening solution to the lashes and give it time to work. How long you leave on the solution depends on your kit and the lash type you’re lifting. Remember: strong, thick, straight lashes need more processing time.
This solution makes lashes soft and flexible to take on the shields’ curves, giving them gorgeous lift and a flirty curl.
Pro tips! The idea is to lift lashes from the root (to make them look longer). You can create this effect by applying the softening solution as close to the lashes’ roots as possible – keep your hand steady to avoid getting any on the skin. Plus, apply the solution evenly on all lashes and only to about a third of the lash length, from the root up (leave the tips uncovered).
Let the lashes process for the recommended time.
Step #5: Apply the Setting Solution
Give the lashes a once-over. Now is your last chance to fix any clumpy, crisscrossed, or bent lashes. Once you apply the setting solution, their fate is sealed for up to 2 months. (Though, you can fix a lash lift gone wrong.) This solution hardens the lashes, fixing their new shape.
When you’re sure the lashes are perfectly positioned, apply the setting solution from the root to about a third of the lashes’ length.
Leave the solution to work for the recommended time, then remove it.
Step #6: Condition the Lashes
Lash lift products can dry out lashes, so your final step is returning the moisture. You can help get lashes back to top condition by applying a moisturizing, nourishing treatment (if this is included in your kit) or a DIY lash serum from their roots to tips.
Next, loosen the lashes from the shields, remove the shields from the lids, brush the lashes with a spoolie (or clean mascara wand), and admire the results!
Lash Lift at Home – Key Takeaways
Working from a luxe salon levels up your professionalism, but with the right tools, products, and skills, you can create impressive lash lift results from anywhere.
You must know how to find a kit with everything you’ll need, identify different lash types, choose the right shield size and attach it, apply the softening and setting solutions, and condition the lashes. Once you’ve got these basic steps down, nothing can stop you from making lash lift magic!
- Mariola Mikolajczyk (2021). How to Choose the Perfect Silicone Shields! Retrieved from https://www.londonlashpro.com/blogs/news/how-to-choose-a-correct-size-of-silicone-shields (Accessed on 10 September 2022)
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Asako Ito is the Co-Founder of Divine Lashes and a certified eyelash stylist. She has garnered acclaim for her cutting-edge techniques in the lash industry.
Holding multiple certifications and licenses, including Luxury Eye, THE LASH SHOP, World Microblading, and The Lash Bible, she has a constant thirst for knowledge. These credentials reflect her commitment to excellence and staying at the forefront of lash and brow artistry.
With over 10 years of experience, Asako continuously increases her knowledge both as a technician and educator by collaborating with top lash artists worldwide. You can read her full bio here.