It’s hard to imagine the beauty world before lash extensions existed. Thanks to them, we can roll out of bed and into the office looking wide-eyed and awake (even if we went a little too hard at happy hour the night before). They’ve democratized the full-lash club and given those of us not naturally blessed with sky-high lashes a chance to experience their joys, fluttering our eyes with the best of them. But anyone who’s had a bad lash extension experience can attest to the fact that it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of business. A good lash technician will look carefully at your unique eye shape and tailor your extensions around that, instead of choosing the same lash curl and length for all of their clients.
“Every client has unique eye characteristics that are best suited to certain types of styling, curl-types, and lash lengths,” says celebrity lash expert Courtney Buhler.
"Although there are many different styling options to choose from, the shape commonly requested is the cat-eye, which gives the look of an almond eye shaping," adds lash expert Clementina Richardson. "Another popular style is natural shaping otherwise known as the 'open eye look', which gives the client a rounder eye appearance."
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Both experts agree that when it comes to lash styling, a consultation and understanding of the client's lifestyle is key. "Everyone's perception of beauty and 'natural' are different. For example, for round eyes, a cat-eye effect is used. However, there are some clients who like to keep their eyes rounded so changing the shape would not be necessary," says Richardson. "When styled correctly, the eye shape can be changed but depends on how skilled the artist is."
Keep scrolling to learn the best lash extension style for your eye shape.
Almond eyes are the most common eye shape. They are twice as wide as they are high, making them the most proportionate eye shape that can support nearly any lash styling.
"This shape is the most ideal and most requested look," says Richardson. "When you have almond eyes, there is more versatility in terms of shaping. Clients can go round or cat-eye."
"I would recommend you ask for a more standard C curl, which is not too curly or loose. You really have creative freedom here depending on what look you want!" says Buhler, who recommends professionals use a cat-eye on clients who want to elongate their natural shape or "an open eye on those looking to brighten up their features.”
Hooded eyes—or monolids—are eyelids without a crease. A hooded lid can appear very heavy, even appearing to "swallow" the lash line underneath it. "You’ll want to open up hooded lids and break through a heavy lash line," says Buhler, who recommends L and L+ lashes. "These are specialty lashes that have a flat base and severe curl that shoots out from under the lid, lifting the lash line, making the eyes appear bright and fresh.”
Clients with hooded eyes should ask for the longest lengths of the lash to be placed to a mid-outer eye and for your technician to use the curliest lash available. "The curliest lashes available are a D/L/and L+ curl. This more dramatic curl allows for the eye to really open up!" says Buhler.
Depending on the client, Richardson notes that you can do either a cat-eye or an open eye look. She cautions that "anything too curly will make the lashes look too curled into the skin."
The two most common types of lash extensions are Classic and Volume lash extensions. Classic sets resemble a mascara look whereas Volume extensions are more of a dense and dramatic look.
“Round eyes are very open and alert, but if styled incorrectly, they can end up looking surprised," says Buhler. For clients who have this eye shape, she recommends asking for less of a curled lash, with the longest length toward the mid-outer eye, like the cat-eye style. "In lash terms, this is a B curl lash. This helps shape the eye to more of that almond shape.”
To tone down the alertness, Buhler says to ask the lash technician for shorter lengths in a looser curl (like a B curl). "This relaxes the eye shape, giving the appearance of [an] almond shape," she says.
If you have a downturned eye shape, then the outer corners of your eyes are lower than the inner corner. "For downturned eyes, a forced cat-eye or natural shaping is the best lash style," says Richardson.
An upturned eye shape also called "cat-eyes" is the opposite of downturned eyes. Here, the outer corner of the eye is higher than the inner corner. Richardson says that upturned eye shapes can benefit from the cat-eye style, as upturned eyes can also lean more almond in shape.
Richardson tells her clients not to get lashes wet for 48 hours as the adhesive needs 48 hours to cure. "Don't use mascara as that causes unnecessary manipulation to the eye area causing premature fall out of both the extensions and the client's natural lash," says Richardson. "And no rubbing the eyes because that will result in balding."
Lash health should be a top priority when getting lash extensions as the foundation of your lashes improves the hold of your lashes. Richardson recommends a lash serum because, for lashes to last, a strong base is needed so that the lashes do not damage your natural lash. "Conditioning serums are great for lash wearers to use in between appointments to keep them looking their best," says Richardson, who recommends her Luxuriating Lash Conditioner ($45), which contains a unique blend of natural and botanical ingredients to help lashes reach their full potential. "Serums help to create both density and length, and the stronger the lash foundation, the better the hold."