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Handmade fans vs pre-made volume fans

lash tech making handmade fans

Working as a lash technician is a special kind of art form. Creating flutter-worthy looks from such small, delicate materials requires precision, creativity & real skill. This is why an eyelash course is not only essential for achieving your lash-boss dreams but so too is an understanding of the different options available to you as a technician. 

And the hottest debate in the beauty world right now? Handmade vs pre-made volume fans – which is better?

So we are here to weigh in, discussing the pros and cons of each side and how they can benefit you, your clients & your beauty business. 

Handmade fans

Let’s start with the basics behind the debate, and understand the difference between classic and volume lashes. 

Classic lashing

  • Refers to the more standard service, in which a technician will first  isolate the natural lash, pick up a classically shaped extension, apply adhesive, and place onto the client’s natural lash.
  • This may sound easy, but trust us, the isolation and adhesion process is some of the trickiest bits of any online beauty course! Which is why we have our expert tutors on hand to hold your hand through this virtually.

Volume lashing

  • Refers to a more in depth and analytical process, where the technician will assess the eye shape and style, choosing the proper diameter and length for a more customised & often fuller look. The technician will then construct ‘fans’ from the individual extensions, then apply as a voluminous structure to the natural lash. 
  • Of course, this technique requires real focus, dexterity and careful application, to ensure the fans are secure and correctly placed. However, this treatment is proving increasingly popular due to it’s highly individualistic style, and it’s ability to create a fuller and flirtier look. 

Volume lashes can be popular with clients, but many inexperienced technicians may find them simply too time-consuming and tricky to attempt. Creating a perfect set of volume lashes can take months, if not years, of practice. And even experienced technicians can end up looking for a shortcut!

This is where pre-made fans come in. 

Pre-made fans

Companies have emerged offering ‘pre-made’ fans for lash technicians, as opposed to the handmade approach. So what’s the real difference?

  • Handmade fans – are created by hand by the lash artist, often during the appointment. They are constructed by removing individual extensions from a chosen strip, fanning them out in a desired shape that suits the client’s eye structure, before being secured together and applied. 
  • Pre-made fans – are created by manufacturers in factories, and available for artists to buy. Instead of preparing them in real-time, these are ready to be applied straight away. These usually come in strips and can be bought in large quantities if needed. 

Now for the big question handmade or pre-made fans?

So let’s get down to the real question: are handmade or pre-made volume fans better?

Handmade fans

  • Individuality – no two eyes are the same, and no client’s lashes are ever quite the same either. They may need a thicker diameter or a shorter length to give them the desired look. They may need a wider fan, or thicker fan, depending on their facial structure. To be able to offer this kind of personalisation and detail to a client is a huge selling point.
  • Creativity – by creating your own designs you are working a very important part of your skills…creativity! Challenging yourself to create new and exciting looks is a fantastic way to keep your skills sharp, gain experience and ultimately wow clients. 
  • Cost – handmade fans are slightly cheaper than premade fans. 
  • Resources the time spent on creating handmade fans can be draining for you as an artist. It may also mean you have less clients throughout your working day as each takes more time to complete. 

Pre-made fans

  • Energy – pre-made fans can help to conserve your energy as an artist, as they require less dexterity and concentration during an appointment than making your own. 
  • Time – the time saved on creating volume lashes yourself is time that could be redirected elsewhere. Either by marketing your business, sorting financials or organising your diary. 
  • Individuality – pre-made fans are difficult to customise. While you may be able to achieve different lengths and thicknesses, you will not be able to fully adapt them to each client’s individual needs.
  • Control – as adhesive is already applied, there is a lack of control over these key elements, which may prove tricky if they do not bond well or if the adhesive is too heavy for your taste or your client’s wishes. Retention could also be affected if it is incorrectly applied or if the adhesive is not strong enough. 
  • Cost – pre-made fans are typically slightly more expensive than creating handmade fans. 

Top Tip – pre-made fans with a ‘heat’ adhesive rather than a glue adhesive are usually lighter in weight.

What is the answer? Whatever is right for you!

Your decision is the right one. The joy of being your own beauty boss is that you can decide for yourself what works for you and your business. While learning to make your own fans is an invaluable skill, it may not serve you well in the long run if it is taking up all your energy and time to do so. 

It’s important to also think, from a business perspective, what serves you best? Charging for an exclusive, personalised set of handmade fans may work better for the location you are in and create a better work-life balance. Or you might decide that to hit your goal number of clients per day requires you to use pre-made fans. 

Is there an alternative? Yes…!

You could start to pre-make your own fans. To do this, you’ll need to build a consultation service into your appointment procedure, and create a plan for the volume lashes. This way, you can then pre-make the fans for your upcoming appointments in one go. Instead of placing the fan on the natural lash, the adhesive will need to be rapidly cured. This means you can then store it for later use!

This falls under a productivity method called ‘batching’ which allows for seamless, uninterrupted activity – which is much more effective than a stop-start method. Therefore, if you want to keep a handmade, bespoke approach to your lash services, but up your productivity and client numbers, batching your lashes beforehand could be an excellent way to have the best of both worlds! Whatever you choose, take the time to perfect your craft. Without proper technique and good adhesive control, it won’t matter which method you choose. So if you’re considering a career in beauty therapy, would love to embark on your lash tech journey, or want to hone and perfect your craft – we are here to help!

Our eyelash extension certification is one of the most thorough beauty courses online. It will equip you with both theoretical and practical expertise to effectively apply and remove individual lashes and lash clusters, adapt extensions to the client’s eye shape, and style Instagram-worthy looks. Created by leading industry experts, who will guide you through step by step, our online courses provide you with the ideal environment to succeed. 24-hour access means you can learn whenever you are ready, and our affordable payment plans start from as little as $20 a week. Plus, you’ll get a full, personalised starter kit included in the price! Because we believe that online learning courses in New Zealand should be accessible to all, and provide excellent training that starts your new path the right way.

Whether you’re looking to begin your beauty therapy journey, want to brush up your lash skills or start building that beauty salon business – we are ready when you are! Enrol now!

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