Premade Fans vs. Handmade

If you are new to the lashing industry, or have mastered the art of volume lashes, you should know that there are two different types of volume lash fans - handmade and premade. But what are the differences? And which is better?

Using the best quality lash fans is an important part of creating gorgeous volume lashes so you’ll want to get it right. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the difference between handmade and premade fans, and their pros and cons so that you can determine which one ultimately works best for you and your clients.

To begin with, take a look at our handy chart of the main differences between premade and handmade fans.

Premade Handmade
Weight Dependent on size of fan and whether heat or glue bonded Dependent on size of fan
Cost of lashes to lash artist More expensive Low
Flexibility Limited flexibility Much more flexibility
Application Similar to classic lashes although more adhesive required Difficult to master - lots of training is required
Damage to lashes Not when applied correctly Not when applied correctly
Time required 1.5-2 hours 2-4 hours
Retention Similar to classic (3-4 weeks) 2-5 weeks

What are handmade volume lashes?

Handmade volume lash fans are created from individual volume lashes by the lash artist. Also known as pro-made fans, handmade fans are much more difficult to master than premade fans, taking much longer to apply but allowing for the creation of more varied and bespoke looks.

To make handmade fans, the lash artist removes the required number of individual extensions from the strip using volume tweezers, forming them into a fan using the artist’s preferred technique, dipping them into adhesive and then placing them onto the client’s isolated natural lash.

Getting to grips with making fans takes a lot of practice, talent, dedication and hard work. But if you’re a newcomer, don’t find it daunting - keep at it! Or why not sign up for an Advanced Russian Volume lashing training course to learn the best tips and techniques for fast and effective volume lashing.

Advantages of handmade fans

  • Bespoke - this is the main benefit of handmade fans. When you make your own fans you can tailor every fan - the size, length, curl, colour and thickness to your client's eyes, and where the fan will be placed on the lash line. This enables unlimited lash artistry and the creation of the most beautiful looks.
  • Better retention - a handmade fan wraps around the natural lash, improving retention.
  • Natural-looking - real lashes are not absolutely uniform and cookie-cutter. Subtle variation in handmade fans and the way they wrap around the real lash can make handmade fans look more natural.
  • Lower cost of materials - lightweight individual lashes are relatively inexpensive
  • You can charge more - while handmade is more time consuming, discerning clients recognise that very beautiful bespoke looks are worth a bigger budget and the extra time in the lash chair.

Disadvantages of handmade fans

  • Hard to master - forming your own volume fans process is difficult and takes a lot of practice, talent, dedication and hard work. But practice makes perfect!
  • Time it takes - forming your own fans takes much longer than pulling a premade fan off a strip. This is really the only disadvantage, but as you become an expert lash artist you will get quicker and quicker. Also, you can charge more for handmade volume fans.

What are pre-made fans?

Premade fans are volume extensions formed into volume fans by a manufacturer (by hand or by machine), bonded at the base using glue or heat. Premades come sold in trays, attached in strips, ready to be applied onto clients’ natural lashes.

Pre-made fans eye

Pre-made fans are much easier and quicker to use than handmade fans. Premade fans are made in advance and sold ready to be used - simply peel a fan off the strip, dip into adhesive, and apply to the isolated natural lash. Many premade lash fans are made by machine but at Flawless they are handcrafted to ensure precision and premium quality standards every time.

You can purchase the lengths, curls, thicknesses and number of lashes per fan that you desire and have them ready to go for volume clients. There’s much less margin for error and they’re a quick and easy way to get a consistent and uniform look.

It’s a myth that pre-made fans damage natural eyelashes - as with any style of lashing it’s a matter of working within the weights that the natural lash can safely withstand, and applying them correctly. However, do make sure you buy heat-bonded pre-made fans rather than glue bonded. Glue bonded fans are glued at the base, meaning you have additional weight compared to fans that are formed using heat alone.

Advantages of pre-made fans

  • Faster - without needing to create fans as you go, you can complete a set of volume lashes in much less time, meaning you can fit more clients into your working day.
  • Easier - applying ready-made fans is much less technical, requiring much less concentration and patience.

Disadvantages of pre-made fans

  • Cost of fans - pre-made fans cost more than individual lashes
  • Less flexible - with pre-made fans, you can’t tailor them as well to the individual. You’re more limited in the number of styles you can create and they may look a little less natural.
  • Need a big variety - you’ll need to have a good range of fans in stock ready to suit different clients, styles and natural lash strengths. For example, you’ll need 2D and 3D fans, as not every natural lash can support 6D or 10D premade fans.

Are pre-made or handmade fans better?

Handmade fans allow for the creation of more beautiful bespoke looks for your clients compared to premades, so in the long run, handmade fans are better for lash artists who want to be at the top of the industry.

However, lash artists are still partial to pre-made fans… Pre-made volume lashes speed up the application process with very little compromise in quality - so why not work smarter, not harder? Less technical and a lot easier to apply, you can apply a full set in half the time - that’s why they’re so popular. Pre-mades aren’t a shortcut or a cheat way, they’re simply another option.

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