The days of false eyelashes that look like overgrown spider's legs are long gone - and we're all grateful for that! Professionally applied eyelash extensions look totally natural. If they're put on well, they'll make your eyes look bigger, brighter, and full of depth. However, even good quality extensions can look a little odd if they're not applied correctly.
If you're new to applying eyelash extensions, lash mapping is a great technique to learn. Use it wisely, and your clients will be rewarded with red-carpet-ready lashes.
What you'll need
Gel pads for eyelash mapping. These are placed over the lower lashes while you work.
A coloured pen. Red is a good choice. Avoid black if possible (though if you must, map further from the lashes) - you want a colour that will contrast with the eyelashes.
Lash extensions of different lengths.
We advise to map on the skin first with the clients eyes open, using eyeliner or pencil. This is important as when the client closes their eyes you can then only see their lashes. Styling involves much more than just drawing lines and writing numbers, you have to look at the clients eye shape, brows, face shape, natural lash growth etc.
Guide to eyelash mapping
Ensure the client is sitting straight and their eyes don’t move. This allows you to check if their eyes are symmetric and to identify their eye shape. You can then mark the dots on their skin, so later when they close their eyes you can draw the map on eye pads.
With your client's eyes open, put the gel pads gently in place. They should be covering the lower lashes, so the upper lashes are on top of the pads. Press lightly so that the pads will remain in place, but keep the pressure soft - you're working with eyes, after all. Keep eye pads at least 1-2mm from waterline.
Start drawing the lines by following the dots on the skin. There are many different designs, so follow according to the style you have chosen, ensuring it suits clients eye shape, that radiates from the inner and outer corners of the eye.
Next, you'll want to create more lines. Depending on your style and how you been thought, there could be 5, 6 sections and more.
Now that you have your sections set up, it's time to get to work. You'll be choosing the length of extension for each section, which will depend based on your chosen design, clients natural lash strength and length. There may be a difference of few mm between the longest and shortest extensions that you use to create a particular look.
Working with clients
The golden rule of working with lashes is that every client is different. Your eyelashes should be as unique as your hairstyle, so there's no point looking for a one size fits all solution.
Many eyelash artists start with the idea that they should be going from the shortest to the longest eyelashes as they move from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner. However, this only looks good on some eye shapes. For example, eyes with a slight downward eye can look droopy or tired if treated like this. Though following the natural lash length could be mistake too, making the client look sad - or funny! Depending on the style suitable for the client, lash artists sometimes choose shorter extensions then their natural lash, which is okay.
Before beginning the lash mapping process, be sure to consult with your client. See what she wants, but be prepared to offer your own opinions. Longer isn't always better and style she might want may not look best on her.
Eyelashes that are too long can look too unnatural, and the goal of eyelash extensions is to give “Face lift” or enhance her beauty, not imperfections. In particular, take care at the inner corner of the eye.
Here, extensions should be close to the natural eyelash length but don’t be afraid of short lengths as they can create an optical illusion. If styled correctly, they can look very long and eye opening. Also consider thinner diameter extensions such as 0.05, 0.04 or 0.03.
Remember that you should be considering the weight of her lashes, too. If she has fine, delicate lashes, then they won't be able to support the weight of 12mm or 13mm length extensions.
Lash mapping for different eye shapes
Although things will vary from client to client, here are some general rules to get you started:
- Close-set eyes will benefit from length at the outer corners or longest where arch of the brow, which can make the eyes look wider. But choose curl wisely, if natural lashes are growing down then it is best to use CC or D curls for example.
- Wide-set eyes look better with eyelashes that are longer in the middle.
- Almond-shaped eyes do not always go well with long eyelashes at the outer corner. The eyelashes should be at their longest about two-thirds of the way along the eye, before shortening slightly again.
- Protruding eyes can be softened with shorter and straighter length extensions. Avoid very long lashes.
Applying the lashes
Work section by section, starting at the inner or outer corner of the eye. As you move from one section to the next, it's important to graduate the lashes. That means alternating between two different lengths for the space of a few lashes. If you don't do this, then the finished look will be uneven and jarring.
It can take time to learn lash mapping. Don't be disheartened if your initial efforts aren't the best. Remember, all art takes practice to master. Keep going, and you're sure to see better and better results!