Step-by-Step Guide to Lifting Lashes

Step 1: Clean customer’s lashes

We recommend cleaning lashes yourself to achieve the best result as you can see lashes much better and closer than customers do from the mirror.

Pump some cleaning foam onto the customer’s eyelid and not directly onto the lash line because it’s a more pleasant feeling for your customer. Use a cashmere brush or a lip wand to thoroughly clean lashes from the roots. Remove the majority of the makeup residue with a damp cotton pad and then ask your customer to tilt her head to the side to rinse off the residue.

NB! Always use saline to rinse before treatments as the salts in the saline start opening the cuticles gently. This will help lotions to penetrate the hair easier.

clean customer

Step 2: Apply Easy Lift primer

Easy Lift has a dual purpose:

  • To prepare lashes for the treatment by making their structure super soft so it’s easy to shape them without using glue
  • To fully open lash cuticles without dehydrating them as regular primers do
Easy Lift Primer

Easy Lift Primer is intended to be used ONLY with the super gentle Ruthie Belle lash & brow lift product series, as it enhances the effect of the lifting lotion. Lashes can easily over-process if used with a more aggressive brow lift brand.

clean customer

Apply Easy Lift with a tapered long-tip micro brush. Apply it generously – use as much product as necessary to thoroughly cover all brow hairs (especially tiny crosshairs that are the most difficult to lift) but avoid flooding the eyes. The product needs 30 seconds to do its magic and mustn’t be removed or rinsed. Don’t press hard on the skin when applying, as the product needs to open the brow hair cuticles, not the skin cuticles.

Step 3: Mark changing lash growth direction points

Have your customer look straight ahead and assess the growth direction of her eyelashes:

  • If her lashes are growing more or less straight, you can choose any shield size.
  • If her eyelashes are growing noticeably downward, then choose one of the round silicones to create a long-lasting effect:
flat lash lift silicones and round silicones

The reason why rounder silicones create a longer lasting result is because when these type of lashes grow out, after a few weeks the base of the lash is no longer visible – only the middle and tip of lashes are noticeable when looking at them from the front: 

lash lift results depend on the silicone shields

If the lash line is uneven (most common is outer lashes more downward-growing than inner corner and middle lashes), then mark the point of change with eyeliner and consider using a round silicone for a longer-lasting effect. 

mark the point with an eyeliner

The more downward growing the lashes are the more difficult they are to lift (they need longer processing with curling lotion). When customer’s lashes have an uneven growth direction the outcome is uneven too, unless you do something to fix it with different curling lotion processing times.

Step 4: Cover lower lashes with a gel pad or tape

The customer’s lower lashes are covered with eye pads or tapes (or both, tape covering the eye pad) for all eyelash extensions and lash lift treatments to isolate them from the upper lashes and prevent them from glued together. They are available in different sizes, shapes, and colors: choose the most convenient ones, considering your and the customer’s preferences.

Please read the dedicated article on Eye Pads and Tapes for further information.

Step 5: Apply silicone shields

Similarly to lash lifting lotions, innovation is also happening in lash lift shields regarding both style and materials used. Not one style or size fits all, so I recommend testing different types of shields to find out what suits you and your customers the best!

NB! Silicone shields may be used ONLY 4-5 times before becoming unhygienic and transferring germs between clients. Read about the science behind this here.

The smaller the silicone size, the stronger the curl it creates. 

S – small (intense curl)

M – medium (medium curl)

M1 – (slighter curl than with medium)

M2 – (slighter curl than with M1)

L – large (natural curl, perfect for relaxing lashes that are naturally too curly)

Over time all lash artists also develop their preferences on shield sizes. Still, to begin with, I would recommend choosing the shield size depending on the length of the customer’s natural lashes. Use the lash lifting tool to measure lash length like this:

use lash lift tool for measuring lashes

Anatomical Shields

The new generation of lifting shields is glue-free! They are called anatomical shields because of their shape, which anatomically mimics the shape of the eye. Due to this and the super soft silicone they have been made of, they can be applied to the eyelid without glue! They hug the eyeball snugly and won’t move out of place.

This makes their application and clean-up process at the end of the treatment much faster, cutting down on your treatment time.

anatomical lash lift silicone shields

They also have a distinct apex, so it is easy to see where the lift will be achieved. As a rule of thumb, the peak should be approximately 30-50% of the natural eyelash length.

We recommend using anatomical shields on clients with straight or upward-growing eyelashes.

They are also the best option for customers with sensitive eyes or sensitivity to lash lift glue.

PRO TIP: You can reverse the shield (use the left eye shield on the right and vice versa) to perfect the lift for lashes that grow more downwards in the outer corner. When reversing anatomical shields, the flat outer bit must be cut off to achieve a proper fit on the eyelid.

They will give your customers a lift comparable to lash extensions M curl.

Regular white shields

White shields can create a solid flat lift (comparable to lash extensions L curl) or a round lift (comparable to lash extensions C, CC, or D curl), depending on the shield size used.

If you want to soften the white silicone shields, roll them between your fingers before use.

curling levels of silicone shields

PRO TIP: There is a silly trend around using micropore tape on eyelids underneath the silicone shields. This is supposed to make removing the silicones after the treatment more accessible. Why do I say that it's silly? Because there is no need for it! Following this guide, you can easily remove silicones without using this old-school tape on humans' most sensitive skin. Micropore tape is super sticky and dries out the eyelids' skin for no reason.

How to choose silicone shield size for a perfect lift?

The choice of shield size depends on the following:

It's recommended to look at the first three (lash growth direction, eyelid shape, and desired effect) during the consultation when the customer's eyes are open and thoroughly decide on the shield size during the treatment after measuring the length of the lashes.

Here are the lash lengths and corresponding shield sizes I'd recommend:

White shields:

  • Lashes shorter than 7 mm – S 
  • 7–8 mm – M 
  • 9–10 mm – M1 
  • 11–12 mm – M2 
  • Lashes longer than 12 mm – L      

Anatomical shields:

  • 6–8 mm – S 
  • 9–10 mm – M 
  • 11–12 mm – L 
  • Lashes longer than 12 mm – XL      

We don't recommend using anatomical shields on lashes shorter than 6mm because the apex won't allow for creating a visible lift. However, for super short lashes, we recommend using shorter sizes of silicone shields with ridges, as they are much smaller than any other shield we have ever seen.

You can use smaller sizes to create a more dramatic lift. However, the apex should be at least 30% of the natural lash to avoid an unnatural bend which can also cause discomfort for the client. Eyelashes can go over the shield's edge, but in this case, one must remember not to use lifting/curling lotions on the tips of the eyelashes to avoid kinks.

eye pads

Glue-free anatomical shields are simply placed on the eyelid without glue. Their shape and material make them stick to the eyelid without any trouble. Left and right eye shields are different, so use them on the correct eye.

PRO TIP: You can reverse the shield (use the left eye shield on the right and vice versa) to perfect the lift for lashes that grow more downwards in the outer corner. When reversing anatomical shields, the flat outer bit must be cut off to achieve a proper fit on the eyelid.

How to apply silicone shields?

Separate the false lash layer from the main layer before applying shields to avoid placing the shield too far. Here is a video on how to do this:

Then hold the shield from its outer corner while positioning it: for instance, from the right if you are working on the right eye. Next, gently lift the customer’s eyelid to check that the silicone shield is placed as close to the lash line as possible.

how to apply silicone shields

For beginner lash artists, we recommend using anatomical shields as they can be easily repositioned multiple times.

If you are a beginner and want to use the white shields instead, try positioning the shield without glue a couple of times first to achieve the right feel. Then, when you are feeling confident, use the shield with glue. Pull the eyelid up with your finger, position the inner corner first, and hold it with your finger. Then lift the outer side of the eyelid and position the shield there. Finally, gently hold the shield with your fingers to allow it to attach properly to the eyelid.

how to apply silicone shields

NB! Apply the glue quickly to the silicone shield. It doesn’t have to be applied super evenly. It is more important to prevent the glue from drying out before the shield is in place.

How do I know if I placed the shield correctly?

One of the biggest reasons for an underwhelming lift is placing the shield too far from the eyelid. If the lashes are brushed too tight, it will make the waterline flip, resulting in a reduced curl. On the other hand, if the silicone is too far and lashes are brushed as tight as they usually should, it will still result in a reduced curl. So make sure to check the distance from the edge of the eyelid before proceeding. If you see any skin between the shield and the lashes, the gap is too big, and the shield must be positioned again.

How do I know if I placed the shield correctly

Step 6: Comb lashes onto the silicone shield and isolate them

Always comb the lashes straight up in the inner corner. In the outer corner, you can brush them straight up or slightly outward (only if your customer has very long lashes as this reduces the effect of the lift) for a cat eye effect. Hold the silicone shield in place with your fingers while combing, this avoids excess movement of the shield and makes the process easier. 

It’s absolutely fine to readjust the direction of lashes a couple of times to get it right. To do that, just add another layer of glue to the lashes as it will dissolve the glue underneath. The efficiency of the lotions depends on the amount of glue used so when you see that the glue layer is starting to get too thick from repositioning lashes it’s a good idea to remove it with a damp lip wand and start over. Remove ONLY the part that you’re not happy with not all of the lashes!

Start combing and isolating lashes from the inner corner of the eye, using a Lash Lift tool or a Y-tool. Apply the glue onto the silicone shield in 5 mm portions and then comb the lashes upwards. If you apply the glue to the whole shield at once, the glue will be dry by the time you reach the outer corner. The glue dries in approx. 10 seconds on the shield.

combing lashes on the silicone with lash lift tool
combing lashes on the silicone with y-tool

Comb the lashes upwards firmly in order to attach them properly to the shield. If you attach the lashes weakly, they will loosen more easily from the shield which complicates the rest of the procedure. The lift will also come out stronger if the lashes have been brushed up firmly.

NB! Make sure when combing the eyelashes onto the silicone shields that the waterline doesn’t flip. It usually flips when silicone has been placed too far from the lash line and/or lashes are pulled up too strongly. The flipped waterline weakens the curl. 

lashes separated and combed on silicone shield
Flipped waterline​​

NB! The lashes should be properly isolated on the silicone shield! They must not be bent, criss crossed or clumped together. The way they are positioned on the silicone is the way they will look after the treatment. Some lash artists like the effect of clumped together lashes after the treatment but when lashes start growing out they will continue growing in that same direction and after a few weeks they will start looking very uneven and unattractive.

It’s normal that it takes quite a bit of time (especially when you’re first starting out as a Lash Lift artist) to place the shields and isolate lashes. Don’t get frustrated because of that or rush yourself – it makes ALL the difference in the end look and it’s what will make your customers come back to you!

Keep checking the direction of the lashes you are pulling onto the shield as you go along – they must come straight up from their base. It’s easier to correct any mistakes on the go instead of dissolving the glue once it has completely hardened. Here is a tip how to do that easily – press down the tip of the silicone gently so that the bases of the lashes become clearly visible:  

PRO TIP: When you have finished isolating lashes, remove the eye pad (or pull it down a lot from the inner corner) to reveal ALL of the small lashes in the inner corner. Use your magnifying glasses if you don’t see them otherwise. Lifting 100% of the tiny lashes in the inner corner is guaranteed to take your lifts to the next level!  

Step 7: Apply lifting lotion

The purpose of the lifting lotion (also known as curling or perming lotion) is to break the disulfide bonds in the lash keratin to allow the lash to be shaped. Click here for in-depth Lifting Lotion chemistry information.

NB! It is of utmost importance to understand that gentle lotions need to be applied differently than aggressive lotions. Make sure to find out whether you are working with gentle or harsh products before using them for the first time. Not sure how to know for sure? No problem – click here to find out!

Always start applying curling lotion from the outer corner of the eye as the outer corner lashes are ALWAYS thicker and stronger than inner corner lashes so they need more processing time to lift as much as inner corner lashes. Remember – the more evenly lifted the lashes are, the more beautiful they look! 

how to apply curling/lifting lotion

How long should I process lifting lotion?

Lifting lotion processing time depends on the following:

  • Strength of the lotion (the harsher the product, the shorter the processing time)
  • Diameter (thickness) of the customer’s lashes
  • The health of the customer’s lashes. Sometimes lashes look long, but they are unhealthy (for example, when the customer is using a hormone-based lash serum)
  • Season. Skin, hair, lashes, etc, are drier in the colder months
  • Temperature. Lotions work faster in warmer temperature

All brands provide the minimum and maximum timings for their lotions. We recommend taking these as a starting point to understand the strength of the lotion. To know the exact time when the lifting lotion should be removed, I recommend checking each customer’s lashes during every service.

NB! The same customer may require different processing times during different treatments!

Only by checking the lashes can you be sure that the lashes will not be over or under-curled. We teach how to check this in our training sessions.

Our Cysteamine Lifting lotion processing times for lashes: 8-12 mins.

Remove the lifting lotion with a dry cotton swab after processing.

Application of curling lotion
Application of curling lotion​​

Step 8: Apply Fixing Lotion

Fixing lotion neutralizes the pH level of the lashes after the curling lotion and fixes the new curl by restoring the di-sulfide bonds. Read in-depth about Fixing Lotion chemistry.

Always use a Fixing lotion of the same brand as the Lifting lotion, do not mix and match! Use the timings recommended by the brand. Fixing lotion is not an aggressive lotion so if you keep it on a few minutes longer by mistake, you don’t have to worry that it will harm lashes.

PRO TIP: If a lot of lashes that come off the silicone shield after the first Lifting lotion they should be applied back with glue prior to the Fixing lotion application. Alternatively, you can use transpore tape, kind removal tape, lash lifting shell, or any other available method or glue nozzle wipe.

fixing lashes with a tape

See our video on how to secure lashes with tape for lash lamination:

If there are just a few lashes that came come off the silicone shield they can be secured with a cotton net. Just apply your preferred option ever so slightly after applying Fixing lotion, tint or Shine Repair onto the shield. Here is how to do this:

Always start applying fixing lotion from the inner corner lashes, neutralizing the effect of the curling lotion there first. Remember – inner corner lashes are always thinner and weaker than outer corner lashes so they need less processing time.

Apply fixing lotion along the length of the lashes to neutralize the effect of the curling lotion. It’s necessary to use more fixing lotion than curling lotion because when you remove curling lotion with upwards movements you will inevitably pull some of the lifting lotion higher with the cotton swab than where you initially applied it. If you don’t neutralize all of the lifting lotion along the length of the lashes, it will keep processing lashes and you risk over-processing them.

Our Cysteamine Fixing lotion processing times for lashes: 2 minutes less than Lifting lotion processing time.

NB! If your customer’s lashes look great immediately after the treatment but they tell you that their lashes changed their shape to wonky/messy/uneven after washing their lashes or even the day after the treatment, it’s most likely because you did not neutralize all of the lifting lotion during the treatment!

Step 9: Tint the lashes

After removing the fixing lotion, tint the lashes with a high-quality chemical dye of your preference. My personal favorite is a German brand called Schwarzkopf which creates a super dark and long-lasting effect.

Avoid using Henna, hybrid tints (such as Bronsun) and developers with a high hydrogen peroxide % after lamination.

If your customer has sensitive eyes, stay 1mm away from the skin to avoid watery eyes. Always make sure that the tint doesn’t get in the eyes. If your customer feels any irritation during that stage, the reason is ALWAYS tint getting onto the wet line or eyes so in case that happens check those first. Most people feel tint as soon as it gets on the wet line so remove it as soon as they feel it to prevent it from getting into the eyes. It’s best to remove it with a damp cotton swab.

After the tinting stage the cuticles of the lashes are still somewhat lifted so that tint goes into the lashes easier. This means that you can reduce the timings of the tinting compared to tinting without lifting. With Schwarzkopf, I usually tint for 5-7 mins. Remove with a dry cotton swab.

Step 10: Nourish lashes

All modern Lash Lift systems end with a nourishing product to put moisture back into the lashes and to add nourishing agents to it. Don’t skip this step or use an unprofessional product (that’s not created specifically for this purpose) to save product cost. Lashes need pampering after lifting so skipping this step will leave the treatment unfinished. Using castor oil or any other cheaper alternative will not have a similar effect on lashes!

Lifting and fixing lotions work as a pair so it’s important to always use them by the same brand. This is not the case with the final nourishing product though. I recommend testing different nourishing products and combining the one you like the best with any brand’s Lifting and Fixing.

The final product of the treatment is removed with a damp q-tip.

Step 11: Loosen lashes from the silicone shield

If there are some lashes that haven’t come loose from the silicone shield after using the nourishing agent, hold the shield in place with one hand and hold a lip wand in the other. Wet the lip wand thoroughly with a lash foam and move it to the left and right on the shield, gently applying pressure. This will loosen the last lashes from the shield (photo 1). If there are any lashes still stuck on the shield, you can also use a Lash Lift tool (photo 2): push it between the shield and the lashes and lift your hand CAREFULLY, letting the tool wipe off the glue between the lash and the shield.   

loosen lashes from the silicone shield

NB! This must be done with extreme care to avoid any discomfort for the customer.

Step 12: Remove silicone shields

Double-check that none of the customer’s lashes remain attached to the shield to avoid any discomfort for the customer when you remove the shield.

When you use glue-free Anatomical Shields you can easily just lift them from the skin.

When you use any other type of shields, you must first dissolve the glue underneath the silicone for painless removal. Wet a q-tip or lip wand generously with high-quality lash foam and gently roll it down between the skin and the silicone whilst holding the skin taut and pulling the shield in parallel direction with the eyelid.

Put the used silicones in soapy water immediately after removing them to prevent them from becoming dark-colored from the tint. Read how to disinfect silicones after the treatment.

how to remove silicone shields

Step 13: Finish the treatment

As mentioned before – lashes should NOT look clumped together or otherwise dirty from the lotions’ residue after the treatment. All residue should be removed and lashes separated. If you are still new to this treatment and see lotion/glue residue on the lashes after removing the silicones we recommend dipping a fluffy mascara spoolie into the lash foam and brush lashes immediately after removing shields. 

NB! Always brush the lashes upwards only to avoid weakening the lift!   

PRO TIP: Roll the spoolie between your fingers while doing this to fluff up lashes even more.

If there is still any stickiness on the eyelids, use a damp q-tip, lip wand or cotton round to remove it. If there is any tint residue between lashes or on the skin, use a damp q-tip or lip wand to remove it.

Eyelids have to be 100% clean without any stickiness/residue whatsoever at the end of the treatment.

Home Care

Read about home care from our dedicated article.

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