Eyelash Perm VS Eyelash Lift


Over the past year, Instagram has been dominated by photos of lash lifts and many lash artists have added this service to their salon menus.

If you’re looking for curly lashes with less upkeep – that aren’t lash extensions – you’re left with 2 options:  a lash perm or a keratin lash lift. The most well known brand of keratin lash lifts are YUMILashes

Let’s take that side-by-side comparison and see which one has more to offer.

What is an Eyelash Perm?

A treatment that results in our lashes being semi-permanently curled for weeks through winding the hairs around a cylindrical rod. Lash perms are recommended for women with long eyelashes, as the process tends to slightly reduce their length, to gain that beautiful curl. Alternatively, they are also suggested for people with wide, open eyes.

Eyelash permanent wave, or more commonly called an eyelash perm, and may also refer to permanent relaxer that straightens the hair is a cosmetics procedure performed only by licensed Cosmetologists to flip up eyelashes using hair perming technology.

How It Is Done

Lashes are treated with a perm solution which is then followed by the neutralizer and sometimes depending on which system you use will have a nourishing oil as the last step to recondition and strengthen the lashes. Each being left on for about ten to fifteen minutes. Traditionally when lash perming was introduced a soft like sponge in the shape of a rod would be placed at the base of the lashes where the lashes would take on its new shape. Although, in recent years people have now started using a silicone pad that is placed on your eyelid. There is small, medium, or large silicone pads depending on the natural length of your lashes or how curly you would like them to be. This new form or perming lashes compared to the original sponge rod creates more of a natural shape and curve to the lashes. The original way of perming lashes which is still done oftentimes gives less of a natural curve or shape to the lash. 

lashes are coated with a special adhesive and wrapped around mini foam rollers or equally diminutive heated clips. This holds them in the curled position that you’re hoping to achieve. As you squeeze your eyes tightly shut, a perming solution or cream is applied to your eyelashes with a tiny brush. The esthetician then covers your roller-wrapped fringe in plastic wrap and lets the chemical concoction cook for about five minutes. After the perming chemicals have taken full effect, on goes a neutralizing solution. More plastic wrap is applied. You sit for another few minutes. Voila: curled lashes in a visit that takes about 45 minutes and costs anywhere from $25 to $70

the perm would last about eight weeks (longer than lash extensions, mind you), with the curl gradually drooping as the expiration date approaches.

Another way to perm lashes is done by using a plastic instrument that looks a lot like a lash curler. This plastic instrument is then placed at the base of your lashes and then the instrument pinches them up wards the way a lash curler works. It rests on your eye for support and the rest of the procedure is performed the same way you would with rods or silicone pads. 

Once your lashes have been applied (by a special glue that does not harm the lashes) to the perm rod or silicone pad the perming solution is applied to the upturned lash, and then it is left to set for ten to fifteen minutes, followed by the neutralizer which is also left on for ten to fifteen minutes. In certain systems there will be a nourishing oil as the last step, this nourishing oil also helps to break up the glue that was used to place the lashes on the silicone pad making it easier for the removal of the silicone pad. Once the silicone pad has been removed the eyelids and lashes are cleansed of any residue left over. The over all procedure takes about 30–45 minutes to perform. 

The chemical reaction breaks and reforms the bonds of the hair. This reaction, softening the lash’s inner structure between the protein chains of the hair. The hair swells, stretches and softens, then is molded around the shape of the perm rod or silicone pad to form a curl. 

Here’s what to expect

  1. Glue is brushed onto your upper eyelids. It protects your skin from the perm solution and keeps the rod in place while the solution works.
  2. Next the rod is placed against your lash line, between your upper lid and your lashes.
  3. You’re asked to squeeze your eyes shut while perm solution is applied to the entire length of your lashes with a brush.
  4. Your lashes and rollers are covered in plastic wrap for about 15 minutes. During this time, the solution breaks down the disulfide bonds in you lashes.
  5. An activating solution is applied, then your lashes are brushed around the rods to ensure you get that beautiful curl. The activating solution rebuilds the broken disulfide bonds and locks in your curl.
  6. You wait another 15 minutes with your eyes covered in plastic wrap.
  7. After both solutions have finished working, they’re carefully removed with water.
  8. Your lashes are separated with a comb and conditioner is applied.

Pros of an Eyelash Perm

How long does the perm take?  Expect your appointment to last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

How much does it cost?  The cost is around $75 – so less than eyelash extensions.

The results may lasts for two to three months. 

The procedure is performed in a salon or spa by a trained, licensed and certified individual. Every state requires individuals performing the procedure to have a valid Cosmetology license. 

The curl in your lashes will last anywhere from four weeks to three months.

promise weeks of curled lashes from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow

Putting a kink at the lashline of your fringe not only grants you fuller, longer-looking lashes; it helps you fake a wide-eyed doe look, too.

Cons of an Eyelash Perm

What about aftercare? Is there anything special I need to do right after a lash perm?  

  1. Keep your lashes dry for 24 hours afterward to protect your curl. (That means no mascara because it contains water).
  2. To keep your lashes from becoming brittle, it’s recommended you use a lash conditioner at home.
  3. Don’t use an eyelash curler.

As your lashes grow and fall out (the life cycle of lashes is about 60 to 120 days), the effects become less noticeable.

What is an Eyelash Lift?

Lash Lift

While the perm curls your lashes, the lift ‘lifts’ your lashes up from the base. Using the same chemical solution as a perm, the lash lift uses more of a speed bump shaped device, rather than a cylindrical rod. 

a Lash Lift — Which Is Basically a Perm For Your Eyelashes

How It Is Done

began by brushing my lashes up onto a silicone curling rod (there are different sizes for every lash length and curl preference). Then, she applied an eye-safe perming solution to the base of my lashes. “This helps break down the bond of your hair so it can mold to the curl,” said Richardson. Then, she followed with a setting solution to help restructure the hair into place. The last step was the tint, a blue-black dye that’s slathered on from root to tip.

lying down with your eyes shut, and a lash technician tapes your lower lashes down so they don’t get tangled up in the mess of the perming site. Then a silicone pad that acts as a sort of “curling rod” as well as a guard is fixed to your upper eyelid with a gentle adhesive so it stays put. The sloped shape of it serves to give your lashes a curved shape to form to when slathered in perming lotion. The length of your lashes is what determines what size silicone shield the technician will choose for you. Since my lashes are on the short side, I used a small one. My lashes were brushed back to lay against the curve of the shield with that gentle adhesive so they all lay flat, awaiting the curling chemicals.

chemicals: There are three of them. 

The perm lotion softens the bonds of my lashes’ natural pattern, 

the setting lotion is what makes them take on the shape of the silicone shield, 

and the nourishing lotion conditions them so they feel silky soft. 

Each lotion is applied and then left to marinate for about 10 minutes. Does it smell like a perm? Faintly. Does it sting? No. Then again, you’re supposed to keep your peepers firmly shut the entire time. That said, my lash technician assured me that I would not go blind if a tiny bit leaked into my eye (but it wouldn’t be pleasant either)

Pros of an Eyelash Lift

lash lifts and tints. They promise the look of mascara without smudging, smearing, or fallout.

This will open up your eyes, and will give the appearance of longer lashes – without the need for extensions! The lift takes the same amount of time as a perm, but should last slightly longer.

don’t have to add in a step for mascara in my morning makeup routine but I get the benefit of looking like I did. While I like the natural look, if you prefer more volume you can also add a coat of mascara. Many people I talked to who get it done simply do it for the extra lift so they don’t have to use a lash curler. They also don’t need as many swipes of mascara when they have a lift and tint done.

Cons of an Eyelash Lift

Envious Lashes in New York City, where a lash lift is $175 and a tint is $45. Founder Clementina Richardson has been a lash technician and expert since 2007 and Envious has had celebrity clients including Jenna Dewan, Naomi Campbell, and Mary J. Blige

the process doesn’t hurt. You do have to keep your eyes closed the entire time, which can be uncomfortable for some—especially if you have sensitive eyes, but my technician told me that most of her clients end up falling asleep because it’s so relaxing.

While a lash lift and tint don’t have as much upkeep as extensions (you can never get them wet and don’t sleep on them directly, for starters), you should try avoid wetting them for the first 24 hours following your appointment so that the bond has time to set—similarly to a real perm.

the duration varies depending on your skin type. If you have oily skin or use a lot of oils on your face, it can break down the keratin treatment faster.

What’s the Difference?


Beside curling the eyelashes, lash lifts also ‘lifts’ each individual lash with the help of  gently curved, silicone forms. This results in lashes that often appear dramatically longer.

The lash lift forms come in different sizes: Small, Medium or Large. The correct size will be chosen during your consultation based on the length or your natural lashes.

Lash perms on the other hand, use cylindrical rods to shape the lashes. The perming rods can produce beautiful curls, but without the ‘lifting’ component, clients often feel like their lashes look shorter.

To preserve lash health, lash lifting solution is only placed at the root of the lashes, to reduce the chance of damaging the much finer tips.

Whereas in a lash perm service, perming solution is applied over the entire lash, which increases the risk of over processing. Over processed lashes will appear frizzy or ‘fried’.

Most lash lifting processes end with a nourishing oil to add moisture to the lashes.

In addition to the nourishing oil, the YUMI Lashes lash lift service includes an application of their Aftercare Lash Serum. This clear mascara can be used daily to keep your lashes conditioned and help your lash lift last longer.


With lash perms, the curled eyelashes are produced by winding them around a cylindrical rod so that they curl more tightly and open up the appearance of the whole eye. On the other hand, ‘lifting’ involves the natural lashes up from the base, using a gently-curved, silicone rod. So it gives the appearance of dramatically longer lashes.

Lash Types

The technique used for a lash perm works better on those with longer lashes as the curling shortens them rather than elongating them. Lash lifts are suitable for all lash lengths due to the ability to ‘lift’ the natural lashes from the root. This makes them more inclusive for women with shorter lashes who have always turned to extensions.

Safety Factors

Due to the chemicals involved, like any procedure, there is some risk. Side effects of the procedure have been known to include stinging around the eyes. There is also the possibility that they may damage the eyelashes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while approving of hair treatment, has not yet approved the procedure for use around the eyes.

Anytime you’re using chemicals near your eyes, there is a risk of allergic reaction, says Jacqueline R. Carrasco, MD, an oculoplastic surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. You could also be at risk for dermatitis, a skin condition that causes redness, swelling, and even blisters, especially if the lifting solution gets in your eye or on the surrounding skin.

To make sure you’re in good hands, look for a technician who also specializes in treatments around the eyes (like lash extensions, tinting, or brow shaping). And if you’re prone to allergic reactions from beauty products or have a sensitivity to certain ingredients, it’s always a good idea to ask for a patch test.

Eyelash perming, like many other lash-enhancing beauty treatments, is not FDA-approved. If you were around in the ‘80s and were unfortunate enough to experience the hair perm first-hand, you already know that perming solution can burn. Eyes and the skin around them are extremely delicate, and can incur damage, including irritation, burning or even blindness. If the solution is left on too long, it can fry your lashes, making them break or fall out.

An extra word of caution: Be sure to seek out a qualified professional who performs multiple eyelash perms on a daily basis. This is an instance where you should seek out the best, not the cheapest.

The Results: Eyelash Lift VS Eyelash Perm

With lash lift techniques using the full length of the lashes to produce amazing results, they last slightly longer than a lash perm. Moreover, they don’t need a top up for 2 to 3 months. Lash lifts require little upkeep, and the aftercare is minimal, ensuring they’re the perfect solution for those with busy schedules. Clients can also ask for tinting treatments alongside the lift, complementing their entire look and creating a polished finish.

The lash perm has long held a place as a fantastic alternative to extensions for women who want their natural eyelashes to have a more pronounced curl. While both produce stunning looks, the lash lift has evolved as one of the most up to date techniques for all those looking to find sustainable ways to enhance their natural lashes.