The false eyelash world is vast; knowing your best choice can be challenging with so many products and procedures.
Cluster lashes, also known as pre-fanned lashes, lash extensions, strip lashes or magnetic strip lashes, all have their place, and that’s precisely the point; each of these lash choices does different things, serving different purposes.
We will deep dive into the different lash choices starting with, ‘What are cluster lashes?’ and ‘How long do they last’ and move on to lash extension, strip lashes and magnetic lashes so you can pick the best false eyelash for your lifestyle.
What are cluster lashes?
Cluster lashes are a lash product derived from the volume lash extension designed to create a similar look but at a fraction of the price and, more importantly, designed with ease of application in mind.
Clusters or flares are a group of lash strands (4-11) bound together with a bulb-like end that you fix to your eyelid along the lashline with false lash adhesive. Cluster lashes are not lash extensions because lash extensions are glued to your natural eyelashes for an enhanced but authentic lash appearance.
The purpose of cluster lashes was to give the wearer a choice between extensions and strip lashes — a sort of in-between product that produces an almost natural look that could be created at home by the wearer, as opposed to lash extensions that require a visit to the salon.
So now you know what cluster lashes are, let’s find out how long they last…
How long do cluster lashes last?
Cluster lashes do not last as long as professional lash extensions. With all the will in the world, you won’t get more than 36 hours out of them, and realistically it will be more like one day, 24 hours.
The problem with cluster lashes is that they adhere to the eyelid skin rather than the eyelash, so the surface area of the lashline is smaller. The bigger the cluster or fan, the shorter the application’s life.
Basically, big clusters can weigh down the eyelid and fall out easier than small clusters. Cluster fans choose this style of false lash for various reasons.
- The cluster is cheaper than a complete set of professional lash extensions.
- Convenience — you can apply at home.
- Clusters give a convincing natural look for a short amount of time.
- Cluster lash advocates say they are easy to put on and take off.
Some lash technicians actively dislike cluster lashes because they can produce a droopy eye look and damage your natural lashes without careful application.
Cluster lashes vs lash extensions
If you want a full-lash look that lasts, lash extensions win hands down over clusters. However, cluster lashes are your go-to if you want to save money. The cluster lashes beat lash extensions again if you lack money and time.
Lash extensions are more of a long-term investment, where cluster lashes can come and go depending on your mood.
Cluster lashes vs strip lashes
Strip lashes are a complete look fixed to a lash band that you attach to your lash line. Strip lashes are convenient, easy to apply, and transform your lash look immediately. You can go from natural girl next door to glamazon in a blink of an eye.
Clusters require more time to apply than strip lashes but look more natural. If you don’t have a steady hand, we suggest going for a strip lash over clusters. Cluster lashes must be applied fan by fan onto the lash line, so you need more patience during the application process.
Cluster lashes vs magnetic lashes
Much like strip lashes, magnetic lashes are easier to apply than clusters (but not as easy as regular strip lashes). With magnetic lashes, the bond comprises a magnetic adhesive formula or eyeliner that connects to magnets on the lash band.
If you’re unsure about magnetic lashes and need more persuasion, you can click the link to learn more about magnetic lashes.
We hope that answers some of your questions about cluster lashes, leaving the question, ‘Are cluster lashes safe?’
Are cluster lashes safe?
All false eyelash products on this site are safe; we would not sell them to you if they weren’t. So, in turn, cluster lashes and the adhesive used to fix them are safe for your delicate eye area. However, we suggest that if you’re hesitant, or suffer from allergies, patch-test your glue first. Read more about patch testing.
How to apply cluster lashes — A step-by-step guide
- Clean your eye area, and remove all old makeup, lash glue and mascara so you have a clean, dry base to work with.
- Choose your cluster lashes to suit the look you desire.
- Gather your tools, tweezers, lash adhesive, mirror and clean hands.
- Take your lash cluster a put a tiny amount of glue on the bulb. Wait until the bulb is tacky.
- Attach a cluster of fans as close to the lash line from the inside of the eye line.
- Work outwards, small lashes inside the eye line, longer fuller lashes from the middle to the outer part of the eye line.
Our top tip: Don’t use a lot of glue on each lash cluster; too much adhesive can cause the lashes to look bulky, resulting in lid droop, and no one wants that!
How to remove cluster lashes
Removing your clusters is easy. Place a cotton wool pad or reusable cotton disc soaked in a lash remover or an oil-based makeup remover on your closed eyelid for 30 seconds. The cluster should simply lift off. Any stubborn lashes you can gently persuade to leave by wiggling the soaked cotton pad through the lash line.
If wiggling your cluster does not help. Take a clean spoolie brush or mascara wand and brush the cluster out. Once removed, you can’t use your clusters again, so now might be the perfect time to try strip lashes, as these are reusable.
Cluster lashes are a great temporary option; if you are a first-time wearer, remember practice makes perfect. The good news is if you decide clusters are not for you, you haven’t spent a fortune trying out the look.