Handmade vs. Premade Lash Fans: Which to choose?

The world of lash extensions revolves around creating stunning, dramatic looks for your clients. Volume lashes, with their fluffy fullness, have become a popular choice for achieving that coveted dense, textured lash line. And to create these stunning sets, you need lash fans - those beautiful little clusters of lashes that elevate your client's lashes from natural to wow!

We all know there are two main ways to achieve these volume fan lashes - handmade and premade. But if you're still unsure about which option to choose, let's delve into a comparison. Each choice can significantly impact your application speed, customization options, and overall client experience.


Handmade Lash Fans vs Premade Lash Fans: What Are They?

I. Handmade Lash Fans: The Art of Creation

What are they?

Handmade lash fans are exactly that - fans created by you, the lash artist, during the application process. You pick multiple individual lashes from a lash strip and then, using a variety of techniques, meticulously fan them out to create the perfect volume fans.

classic lash tray with a lash extension picked

How to Make a Handmade Fan?

To get multiple individual lashes into a beautiful lash fans, it requires fanning techniques. There's a whole world of handmade fanning methods to explore! From techniques like the wiggle, lonely fan, and rainbow for creating 2D-9D volume, to methods like flower bouquet and pinching for achieving mega volume (10D and above). And mastering these skills can take years of practice and dedication.

How to Apply Handmade Lash fans?

Once you've created your perfect fan, simply dip it in lash adhesive and apply it to your client's isolated natural lash. Remember, creating beautiful, lightweight fans takes practice, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't come naturally at first!


 Apply a lash fan by dipping it into lash glue then attach to an isolated lash

II. Premade Lash Fans: Convenience and Speed

What are they?

Premade fan lash extensions, just as the name suggests, are exactly that - pre-made! These fans come ready to use, already bonded at the base using either heat or glue. This offers a convenient and efficient way to achieve volume lash sets.

Premium super narrow premade fan - 5D - 648 fans - premade lash extensions

How Premade fans are made?

Preamde fans or Promade fans are bonded at the base using heat or glue. Heat bonded Heat bonded fans are loved as they deliver a lighter lash sets, while glue bonded fans involve double glue layers leading to heavier fell that is not recommended for those with thin & weak lash lines. Premade fans come in a variety of sizes and dimensions.

For a deeper dive into lash extension fans, check out this blog: The Anatomy of Perfect Lash Fans: Did you Know?

Premade lash extensions come in a variety of styles too, like ultra-speed lash fans and promade loose fans. Technically all are already-made fans but different in packaging. Each have their own strengths that you should opt for. To help you make an informed decision about what to choose, learn more about these options at: SMART Premade Fan Boxes - Your New Must-Try

How to Apply Premade Lash fans

Premade fans are incredibly easy to use! Simply grab a fan from the tray, dip the base in adhesive, and apply it to your client's natural lash. This method allows for faster application times, making it a great option for busy lash artists.



Handmade Lash Fans: Benefits and Challenges

Handmade lash fans are a popular choice for lash artists because they offer a lot of creative freedom and can lead to longer-lasting lash sets for clients. However, there are also some things to consider before diving into the world of handmade fans. 

Benefits of Handmade Lash Fans

1. High Customization and Control

With handmade fans, you can choose the exact number of dimensions you want in each fan (2D, 3D, and so on) and customize the length and direction of each lash. You decide how much weight each lash fan will have by choosing the thickness of the lashes.

This allows you to create truly unique and customized lash sets that perfectly complement your client's eye shape and desired look. This level of control is ideal for experienced lash artists who want to create truly personalized lash sets for their clients.

2. Natural looking

Premade fans often come in very symmetrical and uniform patterns, which can sometimes look unnatural on the lash line. Handmade fans allow you to create a more natural look by mimicking the way natural lashes grow. You can create fans with varying lengths and slightly different directions to mimic the natural way lashes grow on the eyelid. This can create a more seamless and beautiful finished product for your clients.

3. Economical Choice

in the long run, creating your own lash fans can be a more economical option compared to using premade fans. While you'll need to buy individual lash trays instead of pre-made fans, the cost per lash application can be incredibily lower.


4. Ultimate Retention 

Here's a big advantage of handmade fans - they can potentially lead to longer-lasting lash sets for your clients. The secret lies in a special application technique called the "wrapping technique". With this method, you carefully wrap the handmade volume or mega volume fan around the natural lash, creating a stronger bond that can help the lashes stay on for longer. This can be a huge selling point for your clients who want their lash extensions to last!

Lash Wrapping Technique
Lash wrapping technique vs. Flat lash | Photo: iLevel Lab

Challenges and Limitations

1. Time-consuming

Creating beautiful and flawless handmade fans takes practice and patience. It's not something you can just pick up and do perfectly right away. The time it takes to create each fan also increases with the volume of lashes used.

For example, creating a simple 3D lash set with handmade fans will be much faster than crafting a dramatic 8D set. This might not be ideal for clients who are short on time or if you're working during a busy period in your salon. Even experienced lash artists might not always achieve perfect symmetry on every single fan, especially when starting out. 

2. High Skill Requirement

Mastering the different fanning techniques like the wiggle, lonely fan, or flower bouquet takes dedication and practice. There's a learning curve involved, and achieving consistent results with your handmade fans takes time and perseverance. There are many resources to help you develop your skills, but it's important to be realistic about the time commitment involved.


3. Lack of Consistency

Since handmade fans are, well, handmade, the quality and consistency of the fans can vary depending on the artist's skill level. If you're a beginner, your fans might not always be perfectly symmetrical or have an even base. Uneven fan bases, asymmetrical lash distribution, and inconsistencies in lash selection can all lead to a less-than-perfect final look. The good news is that with practice, you'll be able to create beautiful and consistent handmade fans in no time!

Premade Lash Fans: Advantages and Disadvantages

Premade lash fans are a popular choice for lash artists for a reason: convenience and consistency. They offer a faster application process and a reliable outcome, making them ideal for busy salons and beginners. Let's explore the advantages and limitations of premade fans to help you decide if they're the right fit for your needs.

Benefits of Premade Lash Fans:

1. Time-saver

Premade fans are a huge time saver! Since they come ready-made, you can skip the entire step of creating fans yourself. This translates to shorter lash application sessions, which benefits both you and your clients. Less time spent applying lashes means less fatigue for both the lash artist and the client. Additionally, shorter appointments allow you to see more clients in a day, potentially increasing your profits.

2. Consistent Quality

Premade fans take the guesswork out of lash application. Each fan is pre-made to ensure uniform shape and volume. They also come with a firmly bonded base, reducing the risk of lashes falling apart during application. This consistency is a major advantage, especially for beginners just starting out with volume lashing.


3. Beginner Friendly

Premade fans are incredibly user-friendly, making them a great option for lash artists new to volume lashing. Application is very similar to classic lash extensions. Simply grab a fan from the tray, dip the base in adhesive, and apply it to the client's natural lash. No need for advanced fanning techniques!

4. Wide range offerings


The world of premade fans has exploded in recent years, offering a wide range of styles to cater to different preferences. You can find premade fans with various stem lengths (short, medium, long), different fan widths (super narrow, narrow, wide), and a variety of lash lengths, curls, thicknesses, and dimensions. This vast selection allows you to choose the perfect premade fan for any desired lash look.

For more knowledge about different features of premade lash fans, check out this blog: The Anatomy of Perfect Lash Fans: Did you Know?


Drawbacks and Considerations:

1. Limited Customization

While premade fans offer variety, they do limit your ability to completely customize the lash look for each client. Since the fans are pre-made, you can't adjust the number of lashes in each fan or the fan opening wide or narrow yourself, but you have to stock them in advance. This can be a drawback for experienced lash artists who want to create truly bespoke lash sets.

2. Supplier Dependence

With premade fans, you rely on your supplier to stock the styles and volumes you need. Not all manufacturers are also reliable but also can consistently offer a wide range of lash fans, provide the specific types of premade fans you prefer.

3. Pretty high-cost

Premade fans might seem more expensive at first glance compared to buying individual lash trays for creating handmade fans. However, keep in mind the time saved by skipping the fan-making process. In the long run, the time saved can potentially offset the higher cost per application of premade fans.

4. Retention

Premade fans typically have a pre-bonded due to the bonding process. This limits the ability to achieve the "wrapping technique" often used with handmade fans. While premade fans can still offer good retention, they may not achieve the same level of long-lasting results as expertly applied handmade fans which wrap around the natural lash. 

Choosing Your Perfect Match: Handmade vs Premade

There's no single "best" option when it comes to handmade vs premade fans. The ideal choice depends on your individual skills, experience level, and salon workflow.

  • Handmade: Perfect for experienced lash artists who want complete customization and control over lash design. However, it requires practice and can be time-consuming.
  • Premade: Ideal for lash artists who prioritize speed and efficiency. Premade fans also offer a consistent application experience, making them a great choice for beginners.

Ultimately, the best approach might be to embrace both techniques! Handmade fans can be used for creating intricate, customized looks, while premade fans can be your go-to for faster applications or classic lash sets.



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