The lash industry, as with any, comes with its own language that must be understood to navigate the vast options within the lash world. We've collected some of the most popular terms that are easy to misinterpret. From our research, many brands are contradicting in how they define each of these words. We've researched and discovered the most common definitions for each to take the guesswork out for you!
American Volume vs. Russian Volume vs. Mega Volume
"American" Volume is a term that was made to differentiate from Russian Volume, which is the original style of volume lashes. The volume technique was devised by Olga Dobronravova and Irina Levchuck. Irina introduced volume to North America back in 2013. The traditional volume technique is when 3 or more lashes are applied to the natural lash and are only 1-2mm longer than the natural lash (usually no longer than 10mm). The method focuses on having a thick lash line whose shape arches in a straight line, rather than a textured or staggered, wispy line in the "American" method. Because the natural lashes grow at different rates, fills or touch-ups are not possible with the Russian Volume method. The lashes are removed, and a full set is applied every time. Mega Volume is the newest trend in volume lashing. Volume fans are created using 6 or more .03-.06 thickness of extensions. The look is very similar to traditional Russian volume but extensions tend to be longer than the 1-2mm previous recommendation.
Y or split tip lash extensions are lashes that have a dual tip at the end of the extension. This dual tip adds texture and fluffiness to a classic set of lashes. Not to the extent of a volume fan, but for those that aren't trained in volume and want to give their clients a soft, natural look, a Y-tip lash may be the perfect answer!
Cashmere Eyelash Extensions | Flat Eyelash Extensions | Ellipse Eyelash Extensions
Cashmere is an actual eyelash extension company, but some companies use this term in place of flat or ellipse when talking types of lashes. These lashes have an oval base that allows for more surface area to make contact with the natural lash providing a better seal of the extension to the natural lash. Because of this improved seal, this style of lashes is thought by some to increase eyelash extension retention and make the lashes stay on longer. Flat, ellipse, and cashmere lashes, due to their shape, have the appearance of being thicker without added weight. With this in mind, an artist can use a .15 flat/ellipse/cashmere lash, while giving the client the look of a .20 lash. The only downside to these lashes can be the extra shiny appearance from the lash having more surface area to reflect light. This glare can be avoided by opting for a matte finish that is offered by some companies.
A common misconception about lash extensions is that they are made from all different types of materials. All semi-permanent eyelash extensions, with the exception of real mink, are made from a synthetic PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) or polyester resin, similar to plastic. This substance is a very versatile one that companies use in many manufacturing applications, not just lashes. Cashmere lashes, silk lashes, mink lashes, and faux mink lashes are not referring to the material used for the manufacturing of the lash extensions, but they are referring to the style and specifications....mostly.
Mink Eyelash Extensions
Yes, despite organizations like PETA, real mink eyelashes are still a thing. Back in 2001, Jennifer Lopez started everyone talking about false eyelashes again when she showed up to the Academy Awards dawning a pair of fox fur strip lashes. Eyelash extensions were still experimental in the early 2000s and using real animal hair was standard practice.
The eyelash industry has evolved tremendously in recent years, and real mink lash extensions are hard to find on the market today, and for good reasons to. Real Siberian mink extensions are impossible to maintain their curl, inhumane, and the cost is unrealistic. With trays of mink lashes ranging from $100-$300, the artist has to charge big prices for full sets and fills. Real mink can also cause allergic reactions for those that have allergies to animal hair.
Some companies still use the term mink to describe their product, even going so far as to labeling the product as real mink. But, if you aren't paying an arm and a leg to buy your "mink" lashes, then chances are, it's not real mink, and that's even better. With the advancements in the manufacturing process of synthetic lash extensions, there's no need to go back to using real mink fur.
Faux Mink Eyelash Extensions
Faux mink lashes are designed to mimic the look and feel of real mink lashes. The taper is typically started lower down on the lash giving the extension a natural look and feel. Unlike their real mink inspirations, faux mink lashes maintain their curl due to the double-heated process that the durable PBT material is treated with.
Silk Eyelash Extensions
Silk lashes are made from the same PBT material. However, they are typically tapered towards the end of the extension, giving the lash a deep black color and thicker appearance than the faux mink style. They tend to be a more glossy finish unless a matte finish is specified in the description.
What this means for you
Take into consideration that any manufacturer can ask for any desired finish and taper and call it what they please. So don't exclusively go by the name or term on the label but rather how the lashes, feel, look, and their curl. Not all lashes are created equal.
Lash Affair is moving away from these buzzwords and transitioning to 2 lash collections, "Luxury Lash Collection" (formerly "Luxury Silk Eyelash Extensions") and "Couture Lash Collection."
The Luxury Lash Collection will remain unchanged. The Couture Lash Collection will be tapered toward the end of the lash and have a bold, dark appearance on the lash line. They are also more firm to the touch than the luxury line. Along with the new collection, we will be offering ellipse lashes in a matte finish for those clients that want a dramatic look without the added weight of a thicker extension.
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P.S. If you have not tried Lash Affair eyelashes and would like a sample of either of our collections please email email@example.com with the subject line MY BUZZ HAS WORN OFF. Please include which collection you would like to sample and whether you would like to sample classic lashes or sample volume lashes. Free samples are available to US residents only. International clients will need to pay shipping costs.