Full Volume. Talking About Lashes.
Misconceptions in the lash extension industry 

Full Volume. Talking About Lashes.

Think Your Lash Extensions are Mink?...Think Again

by Gini Dumers on 12/04/18

Everyday I’m asked by potential clients if we use mink eyelash extensions here at iCandy Lash Lounge. My answer is always, “Heck No, we use  Faux!”   

But seriously, there are so many beautiful, easy to work with, high quality synthetic lashes to choose from, there is simply no need to glue animal fur onto someone’s eyelash.   

In reality, I can sense the confusion from these potential clients when I tell them that we only use faux mink and that 99.9% of salons also exclusively apply FAUX lashes.  Typically, I find they are convinced their extensions are real mink because they feel so soft, or they have been lead to believe their lashes are real mink by sly marketing, or they have been told by their lash artist they are mink, when they in fact are not real mink at all!

Some facts on mink extensions:  Real mink lashes are outrageously expensive and run a higher risk of an allergic reaction. Moreover, I'm not sure how they get the fur from these little creatures in the first place and I don’t want to know (because I am sure it is not pleasant, as I’ve never seen a mink willingly give up it’s fur). No stylist I know would support this practice.

I can see how consumers can be misguided about lash extension materials.  In the lash industry we have names for the types of synthetic (plastic) lashes that  mimic organic materials like, mink, silk, cashmere, sable, etc. So, when choosing your lashes a good lash stylist will  pick the style or “feel” of lashes that would best suit you. For instance, I choose “silk” lashes for my client Sarah, whose skin is very fair. The silk lash style is overall a bit thinner than the “mink" style lashes and gives a softer, subtler look next to her pale skin. However, for my more olive complexion client Linda who wants her lashes as dark as possible, I choose a faux mink or sable style for her lashes because the mink (style) lashes are darker and slightly thicker and give more impact.  

So, for anyone concerned with the use of real mink in the US lash industry, do not worry.  The only animal fur we lash artists encounter in our lives is on our carpets from our beloved fury little friends.


Gini Dumers

Why is there so much variation in lash extension pricing?

by Gini Dumers on 09/12/18

Often I have calls come into the salon asking “how much are your full sets of lashes?” when I tell them, many of them they will reply, “I can go down the street and pay 69.99! What’s the  difference?” It is hard to explain to these potential clients in just a few sentences why exactly prices vary as much as they do.

First off and most importantly, lash technicians at the more reputable lash studios and salons (i.e. the places that charge more) have been through a longer and much more comprehensive training process. Often, there is also an apprenticeship required, as in my salon, where the lash artists are mentored by a master lash artist to sharpen and perfect the lash apprentice’s skills before being allowed to work on paying clients.

These apprenticeships can be as long as 6 months. A lash tech willing to do this is committed to doing the best lashes ever! Most people just don’t realize the skill involved in creating a beautiful set of individually applied lash extensions. I’ve had comments like “how hard can it be? Aren’t you just sticking on lashes with some glue?”

Nope! We are doing so much more than "sticking on lashes with some glue". Here is what a true lash artist must learn to do in order to develop the skills necessary to apply a beautiful set of lashes:

1) Use two tweezers to separate a tiny single natural eyelash from all the other lashes. Lashes which can be crazily crooked, grow in the wrong direction, grow straight down or straight up, are super curly or have a ton of “baby lashes” surrounding it making it insanely hard to isolate. Often in addition to all this, the lashes may have no color and can be difficult to see.

2) After the lash is isolated, the artist must hold that isolated lash steady with one tweezer , then use her other hand to pick up a tiny lash extension, again with fine tweezers, get it perfectly aligned on the tweezer, dip it in the adhesive for the exact amount needed, and then precisely place that extension on the curly, crooked, invisible or whatever else eyelash. And we mustn’t mess this part up! If we do, the extension will not adhere properly and fall off prematurely. Then you will have an unhappy client who paid for lashes that simply fell off after a few days.

In addition to these basic lashing skills, an artist must learn to create a design for their clients that will enhance their look perfectly. Which means deciding on the most flattering “lash map,” a guide of the 5-6 different lengths of the lashes used in the set. If chosen too short or too long you will have an unhappy client. The wrong length can also result in damage to the natural lash.

In addition to length, the stylist must consider curl. There are currently 6 different curls to choose from in the professional lash world. If the stylist makes the mistake of choosing the wrong curl, the result can be anywhere from making the client look severely hungover to looking like they just saw a ghost. Proper curl is extremely important and many of these cheap big box lash salons have only one curl option.

In addition to length and curl the right design must be chosen. So the stylist needs to consider the shape of the face. Is it long or short? Deep or far set eyes? Deep set or bulging eyes? Big eyes or small eyes? Almond, round, downward turning, upward turning, hooded, asymmetrical eyes? How to deal with sagging eyelids? Puffy under eyes? Then there are the other things that can occur on top of these considerations. Twitching eyes? Watering eyes? Dirty lashes? Sparse lashes? Gappy lashes? Are you tired yet?

Lastly, let's consider the actual lash that is being applied. Not all extensions are the same. We use a variety of lash manufacturers to insure we have what is needed for all clients. The lashes we use are durable, soft to the touch, and feel comfortable on the eye. Places that are charging less may be using extensions that are not top notch quality. They can be stiff, too "shiny" or fake looking, and can feel terribly uncomfortable because they are often only using one diameter of lash. There are currently 7 different diameter choices for lash extensions. I know this, because I correct a lot of work where good people have gotten bad extensions. So I see exactly where the corners are being cut. It's tragic!

So, when you are considering the price of lash extensions, consider this, do you want a clean safe place to get them applied (they are around the eye so cleanliness is a top priority), a place where the technicians are highly trained and practiced, a place where your extensions are customized based upon your own beautiful features....or would you rather go to a place that simply "glues on lashes", where the techs have 1 week (if you're lucky) of training before they work on paying clients?

Fake Volume Lashes vs. Real Volume Lashes

by Gini Dumers on 08/29/18

In the professional world of lash artistry there are currently two different options for lash techniques. The first is what most people are familiar with, the Classic lash style. This technique involves one eyelash extension adhered to one eyelash.

Within the last couple of years, a new technique started emerging from our friends in Russia who figured out a clever way to adhere 3-15 eyelashes made into a “fan”per one natural lash. This is referred to as Russian Volume Lashes. This technique of lashing requires a whole new skill set that is incredibly frustrating to learn and do well.

Unfortunately, in the lash world there are shortcuts being made to get around this difficult and highly skilled technique that can take years to master by doing what I call “fake” Volume lashes. So what do I mean by fake?

Volume lashes requires that an artist create a perfect fan that adheres properly to the natural lash. One must have advanced training and many many hours of practice to master this technique. The proper Volume lashes to use are of a thin diameter and very challenging to work with compared to classic lashes.

So “fake” Volume is when a technician simply grabs a chunk of lashes and places it onto one natural lash without any kind of fanning or advanced placement technique.  Often regular Classic lashes are used instead of the thin diameter lashes of a lighter weight. These heavier “lash chunks” are very bad for the natural lashes and you can be sure someone wearing these fake Volume lashes will soon not have many natural lashes to work with. They also look incredibly unnatural. Unbelievably, these technicians charge more for their “fake” volume service, when they aren't really providing actual real Volume Lashes!

So, how can you tell if you're getting the "real deal" Volume lashes. You can ask your lash artist where or who she trained with, and what diameter lash she's using. A typical diameter for volume lashes is .05 to .07. Also, the length of the appointment for Volume lashes is longer. An initial full-set can take two and a half to three hours, and fill ins take an hour and a half.

Don’t be fooled by these technicians and their “shortcuts.” Real Volume lashes should be light, fluffy and look incredibly full yet natural. Don’t pay a higher price for what is ultimately a shortcut that will only look bad and damage your lashes.

Why We Don't Touch Up Other Artstis' Work

by Gini Dumers on 08/15/18

We often have people call wishing to have their eyelash extensions touched up that were originally applied at another salon. After doing this for several years I finally decided to stop going behind artists from other salons.

Here’s why:

First, you never know what kind of lash work is coming through the door. I realized that 95% of the time these clients would go to a salon where the products were cheap and the skill level and training of the technician was sub-par. The lashes were often stuck together with too much adhesive, too long and too thick for their natural lash to sustain it, just a plain mess.

Then, I would go in and do what I could manage to do during their appointment time. I'd spend the time trying to fix the substandard lash extensions and the end result didn’t make either of us happy. I wasn't able to give them the fabulous, comfortable, customized lashes that I can give to clients starting from scratch.

So I have learned the best way to wow clients who have gone somewhere else and not gotten great extensions, is to take off the old uncomfortable and unattractive lashes at no extra charge to then and start over with a fresh new full set with me.

Their reactions to their new set are priceless. Many say, “Oh my, I didn’t know they could look this good!” and “I can’t even feel them!”

Yes, that’s the way it should be. Beautiful, custom lashes that are weightless and feel like they are your own.

So, remember, if you've gotten extensions from another artist that you don't love, they've gotta come off and a new proper set needs to be applied. You'll be so glad you started over.

Make Up Tips for Extension Wearers

by Gini Dumers on 07/27/18

Make Up Tips for Extension Wearers

I had a client come in the other day and say, “I’m just so used to my extensions now, I wish I could get just a little more drama, I feel like no one notices my lashes.”

I was surprised by this considering she was already wearing a long Volume lash look. She has very deep set eyes so I correct this with a longer length and a design to bring her eyes forward. When I finish with her touch up I always think they look great.

After checking out, she used the vanity area to apply some makeup before she went on an errand. I noticed she applied a heavy dark shadow and liner on her upper and lower lids. Her lashes literally disappeared into the darkness of the makeup. You couldn’t see them at all!  All the correction from the lash extensions were gone and her eyes looked more sunken than ever. Oh no, I thought. It was all wrong! She needs to know.

So I collaborated with Rockstar MakeUp owner, Marie Leszczak, and here are our tips for you to make the most out of your fabulous lash extensions and create a younger, brighter look for yourself.

  1. Skip heavy, thick liner and dark shadows.

As we age, we need to stay away from “hard” and “heavy” looking make up. Thick black lines and too dark shadows will make us look old and tired. If you have a great lash stylist, she will do a correction with your extension design to make your eyes appear brighter and more awake. Dark liner and shadows will erase this correction. If you choose to line your eyes, keep it very thin and close to the base of the upper lid only or skip it altogether.

  1. Create a contrast to make your lashes pop.

This can be done quickly and easily with a light cream to powder shadow applied across the entire lid. It will make the dark lashes pop and will cover discoloration and blood vessels giving you a fresh, more awake look. My favorite product to use for this is a Mac paint pot, either in the color Soft Ochre (yellow based) or Painterly (neutral).

  1. Get a great concealer.

A good concealer can do wonders for the eye area. Choose a concealer specifically made for the under eye area. Concealers that are designed to cover pimples tend to look dry and tight under the eye which make it look older. A creamier formula works best for the delicate under eye area. Opt for something in a salmon color, this neutralizes dark circles. Going too light under the eye can look unnatural or grey.

  1. Lighten up your inner corners

This is one of my favorite tricks to add a little glamour to mature eyes. Apply a little pop of white shadow in your very inner corners. Makes you look bright eyed and bushy tailed. How to: with your finger apply to the inner corner a little base of NYX shadow pencil in the color Milk. On top of this, apply with a flat brush your favorite shimmery white shadow. My favorite is Mac vanilla.

  1. Don’t skip the eyebrows!

Great eyebrows and great lashes are a marriage made in heaven. Yet many of my clients sadly ignore their eyebrows. Thin and poorly shaped eye brows are very aging. Most women who have let their eyebrows go over the years don’t realize how a full brow can take at least 10 years off. Get them waxed and tinted or better yet get microblading for a low maintenance solution.

These are just a few tips to anti-age with your makeup. For more instruction and tips on the rest of your look join us for our upcoming free class, based on the book “How to Not Look Old” by Charla Krupp.