I often hear the terms “eyelash extensions” and “false lashes” used interchangeably, but in fact, these are two very different services that will give you drastically different results.
In this article, I’ll cover all the differences between falsies and lash extensions to help you decide which one you should go for.
I’ll compare them on 9 criteria:
- Application Technique
- Time to apply
Let’s get ready!
Lash Extensions vs False Lashes
False lashes are much cheaper than lash extensions, running anywhere from $15 to $50 for a more high-end brand. On the other hand, lash extensions can cost anywhere from $164 to $227 for a complete set depending on the technique you choose (classic, hybrid, or volume). Classic lashes are the least expensive option, while volume extensions are the most costly.
2. Application Technique
False eyelashes and extensions are applied very differently given their very different conceptions.
For extensions, your lash stylist will apply one extension at a time to one individual eyelash.
This method commonly referred to as a one-to-one ratio in the industry. Volume lashes will use a many-to-one ratio where several extensions are affixed to one natural lash.
False lashes are pre-made and come in a strip where all the fibers are attached. For a smooth application, you’ll apply a small amount of lash glue to the back of the strip, carefully align the strip with your lashline and gently press it down onto your eyelid. You’ll hold it a few seconds until the glue hardens.
As you can see, the technique is completely different. One is done by a professional, while the other one you can do yourself at home.
3. Time to Apply
With enough practice, you can apply your strip lashes in 10 to 15 minutes top. Lash extensions are another ball game because they must be applied one-by-one. On average, they will take 90 to 120 minutes to do a full set and 30 to 60 minutes for a refill session.
Given their conception, false lashes are not meant to last more than 24h. If you wear them longer, you risk damaging your natural lashes since their natural growth cycle will be interfered with.
On the contrary, lash extensions can last up to 6 weeks with proper care and maintenance. That’s because they’re attached with medical-grade adhesive to your natural eyelash. As such, an extension typically only falls off when the natural eyelash sheds (a totally normal process).
Because of their one-to-one application, lash extensions will blend better with your natural eyelashes. They truly are an extension of your real lashes. They can be personalized in terms of lengths, curls, size, styling, etc. Honestly, the sky is the limit in the hands of a qualified artist. Most people who try them never go back.
False lashes, will give you a more artificial or dramatic look than individual eyelash extensions. On top of that, they won’t necessarily work for you since they’re less customizable. You buy a strip and that’s it, although manufacturers now offer different types of styles you can try.
There’s no denying here that extensions require much more maintenance than falsies.
False lashes are for one-time use only, so you don’t need to do anything special. Simply remove them at the end of the day and discard them. With some brands, you can wash them to reuse them a few times.
Extensions need to be refilled every 3 to 4 weeks. If you don’t you’ll gradually lose them as your natural eyelashes shed. Moreover, you need to pay special attention to aftercare rules if you want to extend their life as long as possible. Lastly, you’ll be limited in some of the products you use on your face since anything with oils is forbidden.
You can’t reuse eyelash extensions since they are affixed directly to your natural eyelashes. Once the natural lashes shed, so do the extensions.
In contrast, you can remove your strip eyelashes with a specially formulated remover. After proper cleaning, you can store them for other use. Having said that, I wouldn’t reuse them too many times as you would increase your risk of infection from bacteria build-up.
Eyelash extensions are so comfortable you won’t even feel them. They are made from lightweight material that extensions your lashes by 2-3 mm. A good stylist will ensure that the extensions are not too heavy for your lashes and do not touch your skin.
False lashes can cause discomfort due to the entire strip being glued to the skin of your eyelids. Moreover, perfect placement and sizing are required to avoid any pulling sensation. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.
To be fair, both services share a similar risk profile, but it’s lesser with lash extensions when they are done by a professional lash artist.
Truth be told, you can even end up with chemical burns, corneal damage, or other ocular disorders from improper glue application by poorly trained technicians.
That’s why you should always get your lashes done by a certified lash tech. Most states in the U.S. require a license to perform eyelash extensions.
Who’s the Winner? (Table Summary)
|Lash Extensions vs False Lashes||Eyelash Extensions||False Lashes (Strip Lashes)|
|Price||$164 to $227 for a full set||$15 to $50|
|Application||Lash tech||Yourself (DIY)|
|Time to apply||90 to 120 minutes||10 to 15 minutes|
|Durability||Lasts up to 6 weeks||Single-day use|
|Appearance||Natural and customizable||Artificial and dramatic|
|Reusability||No||2 to 10 times (depending on the brand)|
|Risks||Allergies, reactions, chemical burn||Allergies, loss of natural lashes|
I always found that both have merits and the choice is a personal one. For me, lash extensions outweigh strip lashes because I value the natural and fully customizable look eyelash extensions give me.
I really don’t mind the daily maintenance and the refills every month.
What about you?
If you value a cheaper option and are more into the DIY style, then strip lashes are probably better for you.
But if you want to wake up with long, gorgeous lashes – no matter what – and are willing to put in the time and money, then lash extensions are your best bet.
Are eyelash extensions the same as fake eyelashes?
Lash extensions and fake lashes are used interchangeably in everyday language, but they don’t refer to the same thing.
Eyelash extensions are individual extensions applied to your own lashes one-to-one. Fake lashes are temporary strips that are applied to the lash line and last only for a few hours or until they are removed.
Are falsies or eyelash extensions better?
Both have their own merit, it truly depends on what you value more. If you prefer a quick and short-term solution to boost your lashes, then trip lashes are the way to go. But if you want a semi-permanent solution that seamlessly blends with your own eyelashes, then lash extensions are your friend.
Do eyelash extensions feel different than false eyelashes?
Yes, they do. Extensions are a lot more comfortable to wear since they are affixed to your natural eyelashes directly. On the other hand, strip lashes are glued to the skin of your eyelid.
Is it easier to put on eyelash extensions than false eyelashes
The application process for false eyelashes is a lot easier and can be done at home by yourself. Individual eyelash extensions require a certified technician to be applied properly.
Overall, wearing lash extensions versus false eyelashes is an entirely different experience.
For me, nothing beats the more natural look, comfort, and infinite styling customization I get from eyelash extensions.
But I do recognize the appeal of being able to slap a pair of strip lashes when you’re in a rush or simply don’t have the time and money to go to a lash salon.
Now it’s your turn! Which one would you like to try? Please let me know your experience in the comments below!
– Asako 🙂
- Connecticut’s Official State Website (2020). Scope of Practice for Eyelash Extension Technicians. Retrieved from https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/dph/practitioner_licensing_and_investigations/Scope-of-Practice-2020/Scope-of-Practice-for-Eyelash-Extension-Technicians.pdf (Accessed on 19 May 2022).
- Yuki Amano, Yuka Sugimoto, Minoru Sugita (2012). Ocular disorders due to eyelash extensions. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22134404/ (Accessed on 19 May 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.