Different Types of Eyelash Extensions (and How They Stack Up)

When you decide to take the plunge into the world of eyelash extensions, one of the first things you discover is just how many choices there are. Yup, extensions aren’t all created equal – in fact, there are several different types of eyelash extensions and each one comes with its own unique pros and cons.

The sheer range of choice – and considerations – can seem overwhelming, but have no fear. The variety can be a good thing, because it means you’re that much more likely to find the perfect set of lash extensions for your needs.

And what’s more, we’re here to guide you through the different types of eyelash extensions, what makes each stand out, and what kind of look each is good for. So pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and come with us to find the perfect set of lash extensions for you!

types of eyelash extensions

Mink Eyelash Extensions

Yes, yes – Beyonce does wear mink lash extensions. But they have more going for them than sheer star power. For starters, mink lashes are just about the most realistic you can get, because they’re made from actual hair. To be specific, they come from the tail of Siberian or Chinese Minks.

types of eyelash extensions

And thanks to the fact that they are natural – they look very natural, like your real lashes…except infinitely better. There’s none of that shiny fake-ness that you get with polyester lashes – instead, mink lashes are feathery soft, slightly curled and lightweight, which means you can layer them up for maximum volume and length without looking like you’re wearing a set of falsies.

Mink lash extensions are also some of the thinnest lash extensions you can get, which helps them last longer since they can be attached to each of your individual lashes without weighing your natural lashes down. This also makes them a good choice for those with naturally thin, weaker lashes since the lightness makes mink lashes a burden even thin lashes will be able to bear.

But it’s not all flutters and unicorns with mink lashes – they do have downsides. For starters, mink lashes tend to flop down and lose their curl if they get wet and require daily styling and maintenance to get a good curl after wetting them. So you’ll have to be extra careful in the shower, constantly re-curl them, or just deal with having straight extensions instead of curled ones.

The other downsides? As you might have already guessed – mink is expensive. In fact, mink lashes tend to be the most expensive of the various types of eyelash extensions. We’re talking anywhere from $200 to over $500 for a set of lashes! And there’s also a concern with animal cruelty here. If you intend to use real mink extensions, be sure you check up on where they come from, and that the animals these gorgeous hairs are taken from are treated well and humanely.

Lastly, in the rare chance that you’re allergic to animal hair – mink is not a good choice for you, you’ll want to look into silk or synthetic lashes.

Overall, if you can afford it or want a stunning yet natural fringe of lashes for a special occasion, mink eyelash extensions are a top-of-the-line choice.

Faux Mink Eyelash Extensions

Much like their real-fur counterparts, faux mink lash extensions are extremely natural-looking, fairly thin, last a long time and can help give you a nice fullness without making it look like you’re wearing extensions.

types of eyelash extensions

They are carefully designed to resemble real mink as much as possible, and it shows, although there’s a range in quality. The best faux mink lashes may be made of synthetic material but they’re so remarkably soft and ‘fur like’ that it’s hard to tell the difference when you inspect them.

And unlike real mink, they have the advantage of keeping their curl even when wet. The curl in faux mink lash extensions is permanent so you don’t have to deal with constant fussing or taking the world’s most careful and annoying showers.

Another perk? Being ‘faux,’ they obviously don’t have the same animal cruelty concerns – or allergy concerns, so you can get guilt-free natural looking extensions without having to do a bunch of research to make sure the animals involved are being treated well, because there are no animals involved!

Finally, they’re much cheaper than real mink, starting at around $150 for a set.

Sable Eyelash Extensions

types of eyelash extensions

If you’ve never heard of a sable before, they’re a cute little forest-dwelling animals native to Russia and Siberia, often sought for their soft, dark brown or black fur. As it turns out, they’ve got fur that’s also pretty damn good for eyelash extensions.

In fact, while mink extensions may be known for their thinness, sable extensions are actually the thinnest of all. For this reason, they tend to be recommended for people with particularly thin eyelashes themselves, who can have a hard time with thicker extensions staying on their delicate lashes.

So if you’re plagued with unattractively thin and scant lashes, consider asking about sable extensions – unless, of course, you’re allergic to animal furs. That said, they have the same drawbacks as mink, mainly that unless you want to be contribute to harming or torturing innocent animals, you’ll have to do some asking about just exactly how the sable fur is obtained for the extensions you’re considering.

They also cost roughly the same as real mink extensions, from $300 to $500 for a set. Lastly, not as many lash salons offer sable lash extensions – yet. So be prepared to ask around.

Silk Eyelash Extensions

If you’re allergic to animal fur (or their price tag), vegan or simply want lash extensions that require little maintenance, silk lash extensions are a good bet. Silk eyelash extensions are a nice happy medium in terms of realism and thickness between fur lashes like mink and sable and synthetic lashes like acrylic.

types of eyelash extensions

Silk lashes tend to be thicker than mink and sable and are typically thicker at the bottom and thinner toward the ends, helping to create a fuller looking lash line.

They’re also reasonably natural-looking, but are also darker, fuller, bolder and glossier than mink or sable, adding more of a touch of drama. Silk extensions sit right in that vague grey area of realism where they’re just realistic enough to make people stare a moment and go “are they? or…aren’t they?” but just bold enough to add a great flair.

The biggest perk of silk lashes is that they require little maintenance, which means you can sleep comfortably, swim, bathe and play sports without worrying about your delicate lash extensions falling out.

Another huge perk? Silk extensions are also much cheaper than mink or sable lashes, starting at around $100 for a full set. Overall, if you are looking for a slightly more bold, mascara look with glossy, full lashes – silk lash extensions are a great bet.

Synthetic Eyelash Extensions

Note that while to many “synthetic” may be a dirty word –  when it comes to eyelash extensions, synthetic materials have distinct advantages and when done properly, don’t need to be trashy-looking in the least.

types of eyelash extensions

Want to really turn heads with your lash extensions? Skip the faux mink or silk lashes and go right for the acrylic. Everyone will know they’re fake, but who cares? When it comes to a dramatic “pop,” the point isn’t to make people wonder, it’s to turn heads, and synthetic/acrylic lashes will do that and then some.

The main perk of synthetic lashes is that they’re perfect for special occasions when you really want your eyes to pop. Because synthetics are thicker, fuller and have a more uniform curve to them, they’re the least natural-looking lash extensions of the bunch, which can be great when you want to go for a bold and glamorous look.

Synthetic lash extensions are also dark as well as thick, which means there’s pretty much no reason for mascara with these lashes.

The downsides, of course, are that the thickness makes synthetic lashes not as comfortable as, say, the lighter mink or sable. And the thicker weight can also be too much for thinner, weaker lashes.

Overall, synthetic lash extensions are a good choice if you just want to test the lash waters before committing to a higher-priced set of lash extensions. Starting at $70 for a full set, synthetic lashes are the most affordable and a great way to see if lash extensions are right for you!

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