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Reasons Why Your Lash Lift Didn't Work

Have you been praying to the lash lift gods just HOPING that your lash lift works every time you do the service?… Well… It’s time to stop doing that! 


If you are newer to lash lifting, you have probably encountered instances where the lash lift didn’t turn out exactly how you imagined it. In some instances, the lash lift didn’t even work at all! Becoming confident in providing lash lift services can take some practice - but hey, we’re here for you! 


If you’ve ever been wondering WHY the lashes didn’t lift as expected or why the lash lift didn’t work, you’re in the right place! In this blog, we will be covering the most common reasons why your lash lift didn’t work. Learn the reasons as well as the WHYs! Trust us, this blog will help you troubleshoot it all, so make sure you stick around until the end! 


The Lashes are Dirty

The first reason why your lash lift didn’t work could be because the lashes you worked on were dirty. We always recommend cleansing the client’s lashes thoroughly with our Balanced Lash Cleanser before starting the lash lift process. It’s something that we emphasize in our Instant Lift and Tint Course. Dirt, makeup, and debris on your client’s lashes can act as a barrier, preventing lash lift lotions from properly penetrating the lashes. If lash lift product cannot penetrate the lashes and do its magic, the lash lift won’t work!


The Lashes Were Damaged

If you’re trying to lift lashes that were previously damaged, guess what? They’re not going to lift the way you’d hope. Why is that? If your client’s lashes were previously over-processed elsewhere, they’ll still be damaged. What you’ll notice is that the lashes curl back and appear unruly, frizzy or “fried”. Sometimes, the lashes can even curl all the way back and touch the eyelid. The texture of the lash hairs feel more hard, coarse, and brittle. 


Avoid re-lifting lashes that were over-processed. The lashes may appear “fixed” for a few hours to days, but they will mostly end up over-curling again. Recommend a conditioning aftercare product such as Renew that they can use daily on their eyelashes to provide nourishment. It can help the eyelashes look less unruly. 


Incorrect Placement of Silicone Pad/False Layer Not Assessed

The false layer of lashes is the random lashes that grow above the main lash layers. This is commonly found in the outer corners of the eyes. These eyelashes should not be lifted, especially if they do not grow close to the main eyelash layers.


In order to get great lash lift results, the lash lift silicone pad should be placed as close to the lash line as possible. If the false layer lashes are accounted for, there would be a significant gap between the silicone pad and the majority of the lashes. When the silicone is placed too far out, it can result in an underwhelming lash lift. This is one of the most common reasons why your lash lift didn’t work.

Incorrect Lash Lift Silicone Pad was Chosen

Another reason why your lash lift didn’t work is because you didn’t properly assess the client’s eyelashes and eye shape. Without assessment, you may choose the wrong lash lift silicone pad. Selecting a silicone shield or rod that is either too big or too small for your client can lead to little to no results, and the lash lift not working. To help guide your selection of lash lift silicones, check out our previous blog: How to Select The Perfect Silicone for a Lash Lift 

Too Much Glue

Using too much adhesive on the eyelashes when isolating, and wrapping the eyelashes on the silicone pad can be a reason why your lash lift didn’t work. Although our lash lift adhesives do not affect how well lifting product penetrates the lashes (when applied correctly), having TOO much adhesive can. If the lash lift product cannot properly penetrate the eyelashes, the lash lift won’t work. If you see that there’s a thick, tacky, or clumpy layer of adhesive over the lashes, you’ll need to remove it. Use a moist cotton swab or lint-free applicator to wipe off excess adhesive. If lashes pop off, gently reapply a small amount of adhesive to re-secure them onto the silicone pad. 

Too Little Product OR Under-Processing

In order for lashes to be lifted, lash lift lotions must penetrate the lashes and process them for some time. If you’re applying way too little product onto the lashes, it might not be sufficient to properly penetrate and process the eyelashes. This is also the case if you process the lashes for less time. Under-processing the lashes can lead to your lash lift not working. Enough lash lift product needs to be applied for sufficient time in order for the bonds in the lashes to be softened, and then restored at the end. 

Expired Product

If products are used past the expiry date, the effectiveness decreases. This can lead to the lash lift not working at all, or not working properly. With products, there’s always an expiration date as well as a Period After Opening (PAO) which refers to the amount of time that the product will remain stable after being opened. With our Instant Lash Lift System, Lift lotion and Set x Tint lotion can be reused up to 5 weeks after opening if stored properly. If the sachets are not stored as directed, it can lead to a shorter PAO. 


Here is our recommendations for storage for Lift as well as Set X Tint:


Opened: Unused lotion can be stored for up to 5-weeks. Cut a very small opening at the top corner of the packet to minimize the amount of oxygen the product is exposed to (oxygen causes the lotion to oxidize, which will render it inactive). Dispense the desired amount for the service and immediately seal the packet with silicone tape to prevent the lotion from leaking during storage. Place the sealed sachet into a small zip-bag, then store in a vacuum-sealed container, such as our Adhesive Capsule.

Incorrect Placement of Lash Lift Lotions

Another common reason why your lash lift didn’t work is because of incorrect placement of lash lift lotions. It is important to be familiar with all your lash lift silicone pads in order to determine where to apply the product. Remember that a lash lift is a chemical process where eyelashes are restructured and reshaped to get a curl or lift. Lift lotion is responsible for softening the eyelashes. Set x Tint lotion is responsible for restoring the bonds in the eyelashes, and securing them into the new lifted shape.


The lifting lotions must be applied on the correct section of the silicone pad so that the lashes get reshaped to the silicone’s unique curvature. If you are not applying the lotions where you’re trying to reshape the lash, which is where the silicone shield is curved, you are not actually lifting the lashes. The result? Your client will end up with a lash lift that didn’t work. Always be mindful of where you are applying product.

Over-Processed Lashes

If the lash lift didn’t work, and you notice that the texture of the lashes have changed (more hard, coarse, almost frizzy), there’s a big chance that the eyelashes were over-processed. Leaving the Lift lotion on for too long, or having the product on the tips of the lashes for too long can contribute to over-processing the lashes. If this occurs, DO NOT try to re-lift the lashes in hope to fix it. Instead, apply intensely hydrating solutions such as our 24K Glaze + Keratin Sealant Duo, or Power Gloss onto the eyelashes. The leave-on treatment adds hydration and nourishment to the lashes. On top of this, we highly recommend sending your client home with a hydrating aftercare such as Renew Keratin Conditioner to continue conditioning them on a daily basis.

Important Takeaways: Why Your Lash Lift Didn’t Work

If you notice after the appointment that the lash lift didn’t work, reflect on the entire process and ask yourself if any of the above listed reasons would have been the culprit. Sometimes, it could even be a mix of reasons! The most common reasons we see are: 


Incorrect Placement of Silicone Pad

Incorrect Choice of Silicone Pad

Incorrect Placement of Lash Lift Lotions


Did you LOVE this blog and want to learn more? Sign up for our online Instant Lash Lift & Tint Online Course to learn how to achieve the best lash lift results - every time! Before you head off, make sure that you’re following us on Instagram and are subscribed to our email newsletter so that you don’t miss out on any lash-related tips & tricks or amazing offers that we have!